Elitegroup G320 Sudden Laptop Death

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my ECS Elitegroup G320 died. No chance to restart after falling into a
deep coma. I used to run it as a desktop PC during day time and as a
file server at night, many weeks without interruption. When I took it
to a friend to use his printer it would only start up after pushing
the button 5 or 8 times. Back at home it didn't start at all. When I
plug in the AC adapter the charge LED is lit until I press the start
button. Then all LEDs are dark.

I took everything apart and I noticed the DC power jack needed re-
soldering. I did that and re-connected all the units on my desk. When
I pushed the start button i realized that on each push the fan would
show a slight twitch movement. I went on pulsing the button and
suddenly the thing would start up. I was able to restart several times
this way.

OK, I can live with that I thought. I needed a working laptop, it
would give me a chance to save my data and look for a new laptop on
Ebay. So I re-assembled everything again but it doesn't show the
faintest sign of life no matter how many times I press the button..

BTW, I've checked the CMOS battery, it's 3.5 volts. I've disconnected
it, short-circuited the pins on board, reconnected, no effect. I don't
have an oscilloscope but I got a shortwave radio. It appears that
after pressing the start button the laptop's power circuitry is trying
for about 10 seconds to establish stable power conditions to fire the
CPU. Then it gives up. I understand the power circuitry does a couple
of tests and stores the results in some status registers so the CPU
can later access them via the SMBus or I2C-Bus. Is there a way to
debug the power system without a working CPU? Or is there a less
systematic approach to repair the laptop?

Thanks for any help,

the Elitegroup/ECS Desknote G320 has a VIA CPU and chipset and is sold
under a couple of OEM brands, e.g. Yakumo G320, Yakumo Green 320,
ISSAM Smartbook-i-1000, Mercury G320, Great Quality G-320 (GQ G320),
Great Quality MX-3201 (GQ MX-3201)
...and perhaps many more.

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