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Dell laptop power problems


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#1 rleem

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 01:49 PM

Hello,

This morning I woke up and discovered my 1.5 year old Dell XPS M1210 laptop will not power up, even when directly plugged into the wall using AC power. I left it on overnight (as I've done many nights) and always plugged in; it should slip into sleep mode. When I opened the lid this morning all the display lights were on on the keyboard as if things were normal, but the screen was blank/black. I tried gently waking her up but to no avail (for what I knew to try at that particular moment) and ultimately forced it to power down in order to restart by holding the power button til everything shut down. After waiting for a bit, I tried powering up and this is what happened:

1. I hear something trying to start, (a slight high pitched "whir", like the beginning of a normal-sounding start-up), the central blue "power on" LED comes on as does the green "power" Device Status Light;
2. For a second or two initially, the Device Status light indicating when the computer reads or writes data comes on (the cylinder shape icon) but then goes out;
3. The Battery/charge light never comes on or flashes;
4. Of the Keyboard and Wireless Status lights-- the "9' light is on solid, while the "A" and "down-arrow" lights are flashing simultaneously (the others remain off)
5. After 20-30 seconds of this, the computer shuts completely down from this state

This is the repeating scenario for all my simple attempts so far at finding a solution. Meanwhile, I've checked the AC outlet (good) and the connection to the AC adapter (good as far as I can tell -- the light indicating the adapter is receiving power is on). Which leads me to guess it's a problem happening all of a sudden with the power connection at the computer itself (?). I took the battery out and followed one of Dell Support's online troubleshooting guides for no power & no POST but it did not give me any insight into reading the problem without having to contact their technicians directly for a fee.

With the battery out, there is still no indication the computer is receiving a charge to power up by the status light when I am using AC power only nor does it get much farther than the 20 or so seconds of noise and lights on the keyboard, BUT it is getting power in order to do this much.... I just wish I knew what it was telling me!

This is my first laptop and my secondary computer (I use a desktop PC primarily, but it's got malware issues I'm trying to resolve and temporarily out of commission making the laptop numero uno for the time being); I hope there is a new-user friendly solution. :-) Thanks for any help you can give~

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#2 Sterling14

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 05:31 PM

Check the manual (the online one may be better). The combination of the 9 light staying on, and the A and and down arrows simultaneous is probably an error code.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

#3 rleem

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 06:19 PM

Hi there,

Hmm...I've scoured both my physical manual and the online manual for this machine but haven't found anything that remotely tells me what that particular sequence of lights/error code might be.

I'm rather at a loss at the moment for how to locate this information without contacting Dell directly for a $59 diagnostics.
I'm still looking online for folks with similar problems and possible solutions before going that route. I welcome further guidance Sterling14 if you have the time. :-)

Many thanks!

#4 Sterling14

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 06:44 PM

I was thinking maybe the power connection, but it seems like the battery/power cable are alright. The motherboard may be the suspect. Not to give up so easily, you could try taking out individual sticks of ram, to see if one went bad, but besides this I'm not really sure what else you could do. The computer would still post if the hard drive went bad, so it's not the problem. Perhaps the graphics went bad, but you can't really replace these in laptops, so this would be almost as bad as if the motherboard went bad.

Another thing, maybe the fans got bumped loose, or the heatsink from the processor. This could be a fail safe to protect from overheating. You should also clean it out while you're at it.

Sorry, I'm not as good with laptops, but maybe someone else with more knowledge with them can help you out!
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

#5 rleem

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 01:45 PM

In case anyone is following this thread, I located some information on my symptoms:

Panel light code errors for Dell XPS m1210

http://support.dell.com/support/topics/glo...;l=en&s=dhs


Still no luck getting it fixed, but have yet to replace the memory altogether to see if that works.

r

#6 garmanma

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 04:52 PM

Try booting it up with the hard drive and CD/DVD drive removed
I had a Dell where the hard drive was toast
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