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Mysterious Vostro Issue: Lockups and Not Booting


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#1 Kitsupra

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 01:19 PM

The laptop is a Dell Vostro 1510. I was told that it had been having issues with lockups and hanging that is normally associated with overheating. A couple of us have checked the CPU fan, taken apart, and cleaned it, but it was still having issues. I ran the Dell Diagnostics on startup with both sticks initially and it was able to make it through 2 of the RAM checks before hanging. After that, I tried each stick individually (Both Samsung brand. 2GB 2Rx8 PC2 6400S 666-12-E3, 1GB 2Rx16 PC2 666-12-A3. It was running fine off of that before.) They both passed the 4 initial RAM/CPU tests before hanging. After putting the memory back in, the laptop decided it didn't want to boot up at all. No activity on the screen, but the battery light (at least I THINK it is the battery light.. little cylinder) flashes 3 times before it powers itself off.

I'm stumped so far. Any ideas? Unfortunately, I don't have other compatible memory to test it with right now.


EDIT: After removing the RAM and battery and letting it sit, it boots now, but still has a completely black screen. The NUM LOCK, CAPS, and Power button all light up and things flash like normal.

EDIT: Got it to boot up. Made it all the way through the loading screen and to the Vista desktop. Sat for about 2 minutes before it locked up. I noticed that the fan is not spinning anymore.

Edited by Kitsupra, 05 August 2010 - 01:55 PM.


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#2 MrBruce1959

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 03:12 PM

Hello and welcome to Bleepingcomputer.

You may be faced with a possible power adapter issue, those do wear out after a while.

I see where you said the cooling fan is not spinning, this is not good and not good to continue operating the computer with a failed cooling fan.

Lets approach this problem with the cheapest solutions first.

If the cooling fan is failing to spin, it is either from embedded dust that has made its way into the spindle, or the fan has a burned open coil.

If the fan does not spin freely with a flick of your finger, it has seized up and needs replacement.

If there is evidence of dust and its removal causes the fan to operate normally you have solved the problem

Any time you remove the heat sink from the processor, always apply a new bead of thermal paste/grease to the processor core to help in the process of heat transfer to the heat sink.

There is also the possibility that the power adapter is not supplying enough power to the computer, it happens as those units get older.

Bruce.
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#3 Kitsupra

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 05:21 PM

Thank you for the advice.

As I had stated, I had opened it up and cleaned everything, and there was not much dust to begin with. After paying closer attention to the fans while trying to start it up, I noticed that the fan will spin while the laptop tries to boot, and then abruptly stops. The two times it did boot to Vista, it locked up about 2 minutes in.

#4 MrBruce1959

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 07:00 PM

Sounds to me like the fan has seen better days and may be in need of replacement.

Failure to replace the fan may cause permanent damage to the processor.

Although I have read your post, I also realize you did not exactly state which fan in your computer has failed to keep running, so I am assuming its the processor cooling fan.

Bruce.
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