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Laptop Fails To Start


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14 replies to this topic

#1 darkside701

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 10:44 AM

I woke up the other morning and when I went to turn on my Dell Latitude D800 laptop nothing happened. So I took out the battery and plugged the laptop into the outlet still no signs of life. I had a friend run a diagnostic on the HD and its fine so worst case scenario I can buy a hardrive enclosure for that but are there any ideas on whats wrong or how I can determine whats wrong. My first inclination is dead motherboard but who knows.

Edited by darkside701, 18 November 2007 - 10:45 AM.


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#2 Robert Isbell

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 11:10 AM

a dead board, you are correct, sir.

#3 hamluis

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 11:43 AM

I don't know much about laptops...but if this was a desktop, I would suspect the power supply before I came close to writing off the motherboard.

When you connected the laptop to a wall socket...no sign at all of life?

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#4 dc3

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 11:44 AM

Does the fan spin when you start it, any LEDs? Have you used a volt meter to determine if you are getting any power out of the AC adapter? Is there any charge on the battery?

I wouldn't make an assumption that your motherboard is the problem without looking at other possible problems to narrow the diagnosis down first.

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#5 Robert Isbell

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 01:36 PM

1. will not turn on with the battery.
2. will not turn on with the ac adapter.
3. will not turn on period either way.
3. will not turn on with ac plugged in and no battery.
conclusion: dead board.

Edited by Robert Isbell, 18 November 2007 - 03:15 PM.


#6 dc3

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 02:01 PM

Or flat battery because the adapter isn't charging because it has failed.

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#7 hamluis

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 04:38 PM

...or a loose/broken power connection inside the laptop...

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#8 groovicus

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 04:47 PM

Or the power switch is broken.

#9 garmanma

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 05:15 PM

Or the power switch is broken.

Speaking of broken switches, the switch that's for the lid/screen might be broke or stuck. I've heard of this happening more than once
Mark

Edited by garmanma, 18 November 2007 - 05:15 PM.

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why won't my laptop work?

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#10 Robert Isbell

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 06:03 PM

switch broke, which damages the board, board has to be repaired or replaced if cost is less than half market value of system.

power connection broken, locate part, chance it did not shape or crack the board, cost of labor to have it repaired, is it less than half the market value of board?

lid switch, jammed or broken, cost of locating part, labor of replacing part or fixing it, is it less than half the current market value of the system?

I worked for toshiba, IBM, and Dell as a desktop and laptop licensed repair tech, the amount of laptops that I repaired out of warranty I can count on 1 hand and that covered 15 years. it's cheaper to get another laptop, because if you fix one thing and another part fries out on the board, you've thrown that money down the tubes that could be used to get another laptop. maybe not new, a factory refurbished one.

#11 groovicus

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 06:19 PM

Thank you. So to rephrase, "sure, it could be something else besides 'conclusion: dead board'"?

I worked for toshiba, IBM, and Dell as a desktop and laptop licensed repair tech, the amount of laptops that I repaired out of warranty I can count on 1 hand and that covered 15 years. it's cheaper to get another laptop, because if you fix one thing and another part fries out on the board, you've thrown that money down the tubes that could be used to get another laptop. maybe not new, a factory refurbished one.


Regardless of what experience you claim to have, wouldn't it have been more clear to just say that whatever the problem may be, one may be better off investigating a refurbished system? There are plenty of people of dedicated people here with experience exceeding yours that care about the quality of information given on Bleeping Computer. Make a claim without considering alternatives, and expect to get called out. It's a little thing we call quality control. :thumbsup:

I notice you ignored the suggestion of a bad AC cord..... $35 on bizrate.com

#12 garmanma

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 06:49 PM

I don't have money to burn. It might be a 20 dollar part. A system board is 200-300 bucks. Dell offers one of the best manuals for disassembling a laptop. I'm sure as heck going to look at it first. And yes, I have repaired a few Dells. One was a power jack, 7 bucks and the other was a backlight. Both cheaper than buying a new one
Mark

Edited by garmanma, 18 November 2007 - 06:53 PM.

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#13 Sneakycyber

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 07:30 PM

:thumbsup:
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#14 Robert Isbell

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 07:45 PM

and I've seen a power plug snap off and crack the board, same for the switch.

I'm waiting to see what the OP has to say.

#15 usasma

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 08:31 AM

Replacing the motherboard will likely fix the issue. That's what the service centers do - and then they charge you $400 - $800 for it and keep the laptop for several weeks! It's easier than troubleshooting the issue and it results in a fix the majority of the time (sort of like wiping and reinstalling to fix software issues - it works, but it's not necessarily the best solution). If you don't want to pay that much, then you're in the market for a new computer - resulting in even more money in their pockets.

It's also how the smaller computer shops stay in business. They disassemble the laptop and diagnose the problem rather than replacing the mainboard. They use their skills to repair the components that are malfunctioning. For example, a local shop here will charge you about $50 to replace the AC adapter plug on the mainboard - and will have it done within a day in most cases (they keep a stock of parts on hand). Dell's are a bit different (as I've been told) so the job is a bit more difficult.

Repairing laptops is becoming more and more frequent these days. And by far the most common repair is fixing the AC Adapter plug. We see several of these a week at my shop (we don't repair them there). And, purchasing a new laptop isn't within the means of every customer that comes in the door with this problem (just like buying a new car will fix the problems with the old one) - so they'll opt to repair the broken plug and will hope that that's the end of their problems.

Finally, I've seen this happen on laptops with bad AC adapters - and the customer has run the computer for so long that there's no longer any charge left in the system (not even the flash of an LED will show). So, I believe that the first step is to test the AC adapter with a multimeter (to include wiggling the cord to see if it's an intermittent break in the wires). If it's not working, then you've gotta test both the AC circuit and the DC circuit to figure out what to fix. The next step (before opening the case) would then be to check the plug in the case (for the AC adapter) for "wiggle" - this may show you that it's too durned loose to be connected to the mobo - and wiggling it may even get the system to show a spark of life. This takes you about 1 minute to do and most PC shops (that I know) will do it for free.
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