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Dell laptop has power but won't boot up - please help


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#1 JAFL

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 09:29 PM

I have a 2006 Dell E1505 laptop (with Windows XP Home Edition). The computer has been running fine lately (no viruses, no bsods, etc.). This morning, after leaving the computer in standby mode, I came back about an hour later to a computer that would not come back into operation. After turning it off and trying to restart it, it shows there is power to the system, but the hard drive doesn't work (the hard drive light flickers just once after I hit the power button, then goes dark). The power source is working fine.

I've tried rebooting and hitting F2 or F1 multiple times to try to get into BIOS and reset the boot order so I could use a recovery CD, but I can't even get into BIOS. Literally nothing ever comes up on the monitor.

If anyone can help I'd really appreciate it. I'm a novice with computer repair, so anything that involves physically taking the computer apart may be over my head, however I'm willing to give it a shot if it's not too complicated.

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#2 Yiddish

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 12:29 AM

It's a peculiar problem, it's better for your PC safe you contact Dell service.

#3 James Litten

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 01:31 AM

Hi

Try unplugging it from the power supply and take the battery out for a few minutes. Then put it back in, plug it in and see if it boots.

James

#4 JAFL

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 07:27 AM

It's a peculiar problem, it's better for your PC safe you contact Dell service.



Unfortunately it's long out of warranty. If all else fails I'll probably just find some local repair shop.

Hi

Try unplugging it from the power supply and take the battery out for a few minutes. Then put it back in, plug it in and see if it boots.

James


Tried this, no luck.

#5 James Litten

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 11:07 AM

Before you go any further, you may want to pull out the hard drive and back up the data. If you do not have a way to connect the laptop's hard drive to another computer (I believe yours is probably a SATA drive) you can get an adapter that will hook it to a computer via USB for about $20. I have a Diablotek EN3525D Hard Drive Docking Station that I use for the type of hard drive that I expect you to have in that laptop (SATA).

Does your battery still hold a charge? If not, can you find one that does (from a friend or other free to try source :) ) or another power adapter? The reason that I ask is it helps to determine whether the problem is in the external power supply (it will look like it is okay even when it is not sometimes) or if it is inside the computer itself.

James

EDIT: Also, have you ever replaced the AC adapter or the battery before or are they the original Dell ones?

Edited by NeverSayDie, 12 March 2012 - 11:16 AM.


#6 JAFL

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 11:17 AM

Before you go any further, you may want to pull out the hard drive and back up the data. If you do not have a way to connect the laptop's hard drive to another computer (I believe yours is probably a SATA drive) you can get an adapter that will hook it to a computer via USB for about $20. I have a Diablotek EN3525D Hard Drive Docking Station that I use for the type of hard drive that I expect you to have in that laptop (SATA).

Does your battery still hold a charge? If not, can you find one that does (from a friend or other free to try source :) ) or another power adapter? The reason that I ask is it helps to determine whether the problem is in the external power supply (it will look like it is okay even when it is not sometimes) or if it is inside the computer itself.

James


Thanks James, I tried another ac adapter that I've used before on this computer and the problem persists (the one I've been using is the original Dell ac adapter). My battery has not held a charge for more than 3 or 4 minutes for several years. Fwiw, I also tried hooking the laptop up to an external monitor, but I still get nothing. I also tried reseating the hard drive and ram, but the problem persists.

Edited by JAFL, 12 March 2012 - 11:18 AM.


#7 James Litten

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 01:06 PM

Looks like it's in the laptop then :(

If nothing is happening but lights are coming on for power and briefly for hard drive, I would normally start my search for a problem at the AC jack in the computer. Has it ever been loose?

Before going any farther than this (before opening the laptop :) ), we should wait and see if anyone else here has some suggestions.

#8 JAFL

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 03:10 PM

Looks like it's in the laptop then :(

If nothing is happening but lights are coming on for power and briefly for hard drive, I would normally start my search for a problem at the AC jack in the computer. Has it ever been loose?

Before going any farther than this (before opening the laptop :) ), we should wait and see if anyone else here has some suggestions.


To the best of my knowledge it's never been loose. But then again I've never actually opened up the computer. I will say the computer has had pretty good care (never been dropped or manhandled).

#9 James Litten

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 09:35 PM

I just remembered an old-school trick that I haven't done for many years. It's simple enough to try.

Power on the laptop and open the optical drive.
Turn off the laptop and unplug it but leave the optical drive open with the drawer out.
Plug it in and turn it on again with the drive still open.

The reasons it worked had to do with old laptop BIOS detection so it's definitely a long shot.

Also, when you reseated the memory and hard drive, did you try turning it on with any of those components removed? If so, did it make any beeps? That would mean that it is at least trying to do the BIOS Power-On Self Test (POST).

James

#10 rotor123

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 12:02 PM

Hook up a external monitor and turn on the laptop, Any display?

Your laptop should have two memory in it.

E1505 Service Manual
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins6400/en/sm/index.htm

Try removing one memory and see if that works, if not try swapping them and test.
Follow this page http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins6400/en/sm/memory.htm#wp999869

If no success Try removing both memory and turn on the laptop, does it make any beeping noises?

if no success then pull the hard drive. Handling it very gently. Do not drop or put down hard onto a surface.
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins6400/en/sm/hddrive.htm#wp1123687
and test

if no luck try removing the optical drive and test

If these do not help.............

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins6400/en/sm/opdrive.htm#wp999869

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#11 JAFL

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 02:35 PM

I just remembered an old-school trick that I haven't done for many years. It's simple enough to try.

Power on the laptop and open the optical drive.
Turn off the laptop and unplug it but leave the optical drive open with the drawer out.
Plug it in and turn it on again with the drive still open.

The reasons it worked had to do with old laptop BIOS detection so it's definitely a long shot.

Also, when you reseated the memory and hard drive, did you try turning it on with any of those components removed? If so, did it make any beeps? That would mean that it is at least trying to do the BIOS Power-On Self Test (POST).

James



Ok just tried all of this but no luck. I also tried starting with the hdd removed, but it made no beeps or anything. I also tried restarting with both ram chips removed, it made no beeps but there were two lights that flashed continuously above the keyboard.

#12 JAFL

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 02:36 PM

Hook up a external monitor and turn on the laptop, Any display?

Your laptop should have two memory in it.

E1505 Service Manual
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins6400/en/sm/index.htm

Try removing one memory and see if that works, if not try swapping them and test.
Follow this page http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins6400/en/sm/memory.htm#wp999869

If no success Try removing both memory and turn on the laptop, does it make any beeping noises?

if no success then pull the hard drive. Handling it very gently. Do not drop or put down hard onto a surface.
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins6400/en/sm/hddrive.htm#wp1123687
and test

if no luck try removing the optical drive and test

If these do not help.............

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins6400/en/sm/opdrive.htm#wp999869



Just tried all of this, no luck. I also reset the CMOS but nothing. Another board suggested reseating the cpu, but it's a lot of work to get to it. Many seem to think it's likely the graphics chip or motherboard.

BTW, do you guys if most repair shops/techs charge to just diagnose a computer without actually repairing it? I'm assuming they do. And if so, what's a normal charge just to diagnose?

Edited by JAFL, 16 March 2012 - 03:06 PM.


#13 rotor123

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 03:15 PM

Where I am in NJ it runs around $50 + tax, whether you fix it or not. If you decide to fix it make sure the diagnostic fee applies to the repair labor before having it diagnosed.

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#14 JAFL

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 03:34 PM

Before you go any further, you may want to pull out the hard drive and back up the data. If you do not have a way to connect the laptop's hard drive to another computer (I believe yours is probably a SATA drive) you can get an adapter that will hook it to a computer via USB for about $20. I have a Diablotek EN3525D Hard Drive Docking Station that I use for the type of hard drive that I expect you to have in that laptop (SATA).


James, would a docking station/SATA drive reader effectively show whether or not the hard drive was faulty and the cause of my problem? In other words, if I could still pull data off the drive, would that mean the drive still works, and I could then eliminate that as a potential cause of my problem?

#15 rotor123

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 04:20 PM

Since it did not start working with the drive removed then that eliminates the drive as the cause.
Pulling the drive would let you attach it to another computer and most likely retrieve data.

It is sounding more and more like a bad motherboard.

Edited by rotor123, 16 March 2012 - 05:44 PM.

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