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Dell Inspiron 1420 Won't POST after swapping keyboard


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#1 aarrr

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 09:35 PM

A client of mine needed a battery and a keyboard for her laptop.

After swapping the keyboard and putting everything back together, this is what happens when I press the power button:

The power led turns on, the hard drive led turns on, and the caps lock led starts flashing.
After two seconds, the hard drive led goes out.
The caps lock led continues to flash for a total of 45 times then goes out.
Then the power led goes out.
Nothing else happens - no post, no beeps, nothing on the screen.

After checking and re-checking all the connections, the same thing happens.
Thinking I may have received a bad keyboard, I put the old one back in.
Same result.

What have I done? I know I installed the keyboard correctly - it's something I've done dozens of times.
The inside of the laptop is pretty gunked up. Lots of dust and evidence of spillage.

I'm ready to take the whole thing apart and clean it but I thought I would post here first.
Anyone know what the flashing led means? I have searched the internet and can't find an answer.
I found a couple postings by people with similar issues but with no replies.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

Dell Inspiron 1420 Laptop
Service Tag # C9X2DF1

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#2 MrBruce1959

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 12:33 AM

Hello and welcome to Bleepingcomputer.

I believe you most likely have some sort of guidence for disassembling this laptop, but just in case you don't, I am providing this link for you below, just in case you find it helpful to you.

http://www.insidemylaptop.com/disassemble-dell-inspiron-1420-vostro-1400-laptop/

If you are finding that the internal parts are gunked up with liquid spills and dust, you would be doing the laptop owner great justice by taking the time to clean this laptop out the best you can.

You may have installed the keyboard and connected the ribbon cable correctly, but you may have also disrupted another connection in doing so.

You may correct that problem if you go a little deeper with the cleaning process.

Bruce.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 20 July 2011 - 12:35 AM.

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#3 aarrr

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 06:59 AM

Thanks, Bruce.

I do have the service manual from dell but your link has some nice photos that I'll use when I start taking it apart.

I suspect that it's some sort of mobo problem and was hoping to hear from someone who may have experienced the same symptoms.

Anyone?

#4 aarrr

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 01:09 PM

Since my last post, I completely disassembled the laptop and cleaned it, so the gunk is not an issue.
Actually, it wasn't bad inside, just a few sticky spots on the bottom cover.

After re-assembly, I have the same problem.
The caps lock led flashes 45 times and that's it.

I'm guessing the motherboard is dead.

#5 abauw

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 02:21 PM

have you check your memory?
if not you could check it first, just play swap or remove slot.

if you have external monitor, you could plugged to your laptop and see what happen.

Edited by abauw, 20 July 2011 - 02:28 PM.

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#6 MrBruce1959

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 02:36 PM

I found some posts by you on other forum boards, that's okay that is allowed. :wink:

For reference your other posts.

http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/3518/p/19390306/19908109.aspx

http://forum.notebookreview.com/dell-inspiron-dell-studio/596142-dell-inspiron-1420-wont-post-after-swapping-keyboard.html

Please use this link below to diagnose your flash code issues, seems to be the only one I could find on the web that covers the flash codes correctly.

http://www.bay-wolf.com/portpostcodes.htm

Let me know what you have decided as being the primary issue with this laptop.

Also, can you ask the person who owns this laptop if this caps light flashed like this before your replacing the keyboard and what was the priamry reason for replacing the keyboard?

Thanks in advance.

Bruce.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 20 July 2011 - 02:38 PM.

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#7 aarrr

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 04:06 PM

The owner said it was working fine right up to the point when she handed it to me. :(
She wanted the keyboard replaced because she was missing some keys.

The link with the flash codes was very informative. The second entry down is what I'm getting.
If I do a hard reset, the first time I plug it back in, the caps light flashes and the two lights on either side of it will be lit solid.
If I plug it in again, just the caps lock light flashes and the other two stay off.

I doubt it's the keyboard. If it was, the machine would still post then give me an error.

I tried the sodimms in all possible combinations with no joy.
The last thing I need to try is different sodimms but I don't have any.
I need ddr2 and I have everything but.
My search for ram even turned up 2 8mb simms.....ancient history! :)

I'm going to a friend's house to borrow some ddr2 but I'm still thinking it's going to be the mobo.
Wish me luck. I'll let you know what happens.

Thanks for all your efforts, Bruce. I really appreciate it.

#8 MrBruce1959

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 08:05 PM

I am wishing you luck and I have read many responses in other forums and trouble shooting charts that point to an error with either the RAM or the slots on the motherboard.

You are taking the correct approach by trying a different set of RAM modules in this motherboard.

I have read various issues with this laptop which included a problem with the power supply port shielding shorting out, to a problem with the processor area of the motherboard. Perhaps the heat sink shorting out somewhere to a near by circuit.

You are most welcomed for the help I offer you here, it is my personal enjoyment working with other members here to solve problems they are having with their computer or hardware.
I am not one to give up easily because trouble shooting electronics to me is like playing a role playing game, so I tend to find more fun in it than I do frustration. :thumbup2:

I will watch for your reply when you finally have the chance to try a different RAM module, if I do not reply with in 24 hours, please send me a PM with a link to this thread and I will review your next reply.

Best of luck and I wish you success! :thumbup2:

Bruce.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 20 July 2011 - 08:08 PM.

Welcome to Bleeping Computer! :welcome:
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As a Volunteer Staff Member of Bleeping Computer, the Help That I Proudly Provide Here To Our BC Forum Board Membership is Free of Charge. :wink:




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