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Windows 98 laptop not powering on, read below...


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#1 BigTarantula99

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:07 PM

I got a Windows 98 laptop (specifically the Dell Latitude CPi D300XT) for dirt cheap.  It does not have a battery.  So I rely on the power adapter.  When I first got it, when I hit the power button the power light came on for about 3 seconds then turned off again.  So I fixed this by disconnecting the CMos battery for about 72 hours and reconnecting it.  The laptop worked fine until we had a slight power surge.  It forced the laptop off, since it has no battery.  The laptop would not turn back on.  Now I don't even get a blink from the power light.
 
One known issue:  when a Dell laptop charger is working properly, the light indicator on it is solid green.  This is the case when I have my charger plugged into the wall but not the laptop.  As soon as I connect it to the laptop now, the power light flashes every 3 seconds.  Almost as if the charger detects that something is wrong with the laptop and does not deliver power to it.
 
So how can I get this thing up and running again?  Let me know if you need any more details.  Thanks very much for suggestions!



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#2 wolfeking

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 02:25 AM

This is a shot in the dark as it went through a surge situation.  You can try and buy a battery to check if the laptop functions on itself (they are available for $25 on ebay). 

 

Generally I would ask if the charger gets warm to the touch in use, but if the machine will not boot, then you are likely not going to get a temperature change either way.

 

Are you comfortable with opening the laptop up? If you are, then open it up and check the motherboard, RAM, and CPU for signs of over voltage damage. You should be looking for signs like bulging/burst capacitors, scorch marks on the PCB, etc. If you find damage, then you will need to replace the affected component (capacitors can be replaced with the right tools). Ebay has a motherboard for ~20 should you need one.

 

Honestly, you are likely going to end up putting more into it to fix it than it would cost to get another one (there if one that boots to BIOS on the ebay for $32 that you could use parts from yours to fix it.  


If you're in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at the enemy, throw one of those small pumpkins. Maybe it'll make everyone think how stupid war is, and while they are thinking, you can throw a real grenade at them.

 

I personally do not trust new products or webcams. This is why my desktop is 3 years old, and my laptops older than that. 


#3 BigTarantula99

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 07:07 PM

Hi!  Sorry for not replying quickly - I had to find time to open the laptop.

 

I opened it and checked around for scorch marks and stuff and didn't see anything - it looked the same as the last time I opened it.

I really don't want to get a $25 battery for an outdated Win98 laptop that cost me half the price of the battery.  It's really not worth it to me to put any money into it since it was basically a garbage find.  Do you have any other recommendations while I have it taken apart?  If not, I am just going to leave the CMos battery disconnected for the next week and see if it works.

 

One other question - if I were to find another working laptop that accepts the same style hard drive, would I be able to insert this one into it and have it work the same way as this laptop did?  What about if it had a different operating sysyem previously on it, like Win95 or Windows 2000?



#4 wolfeking

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 08:26 PM

I don't really have any other suggestions for it. You may be able to test the charger with a multimeter to see if it is supplying power, but with such an antiquated machine, pretty much anything you need to replace is going to cost more than you invested. 

 

On the hard drive question, that is a little more complicated. The license of the windows install is likely OEM, which means you will need a new license to use it on a new motherboard (ie a different system). TO circumvent that issue (seeing as it is an OS that likely does not even internet activate.) it may or may not actually work without a reinstall though. You can always try a safeboot to remove all the drivers for the old system, and then install drivers for the current system. 

As for installing on another system from a different OS era, that is not really an issue assuming that there are drivers for the hardware in the OS you want to use. 


If you're in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at the enemy, throw one of those small pumpkins. Maybe it'll make everyone think how stupid war is, and while they are thinking, you can throw a real grenade at them.

 

I personally do not trust new products or webcams. This is why my desktop is 3 years old, and my laptops older than that. 


#5 BigTarantula99

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 08:32 PM

Okay.  Thank you very much for the information!  I'll let you know if I get lucky in the next week, if I can put it back together...



#6 BigTarantula99

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 05:57 PM

It didn't work :(  Looks like this computer is headed for the bin.






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