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Laptop won't start

Last response: in Motherboards
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March 20, 2013 5:36:44 PM

Hi:
For a couple of weeks my laptop has been down. It will not start up. It is a Dell Inspiron 1545, and from what I can see on multiple posts around the web, this model has a broad history of this problem.
When I push the power button, all that happens is the fan turns on and in about fifteen seconds there is a beep-beep. And that’s it—no display at all. No other sounds at all.
I have read everything I could find and have tried all suggestions---but nothing has worked. I have tried the variations of removing the battery and trying to start with the charger only. I have verified the charger with a meter. I have reseated the memory cards, and tried with only one at a time. I have reseated the CPU and the hard drive, and tested the hard drive to be sure it was good. But the result is always the same no-start.
I have noticed once or twice a VERY, VERY dim Dell logo symbol on the screen---so dim you question whether you can really see it. But it’s only a few times---usually not.
So, all of that said, I understand that when a PC will not boot up because of not completing a POST that there is most likely some bad component that is returning an incorrect post value, and so it won’t boot up---such as a video card. And that the video card in this laptop is integrated into the motherboard.
So could it be that the only solution is to replace the motherboard? I can do that. But I’d want to be sure that I’m not wasting money to do it if that’s not the real issue.
Sorry this post is so long, but I thought the more I told you the better chance of identifying the problem.
Saragon

More about : laptop start

a b V Motherboard
March 20, 2013 7:10:34 PM

It may be just monitor dead. Have you tried connecting it to external monitor?
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March 20, 2013 7:23:37 PM

Yes, I did. Forgot to post that in the initial list of things tried thus far.
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a b V Motherboard
March 20, 2013 7:52:37 PM

Have you tried to boot it without HDD or Optical? Once i had that issue. Symptoms were that laptop would power up but nothing would happen, simply removed HDD and it worked.
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March 20, 2013 8:00:01 PM

That is another good suggestion. Yes, I tried that as well, and there was no difference. I'm stumped, unless it is a motherboard issue.
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a b V Motherboard
March 20, 2013 8:46:17 PM

According to Dell 2 beeps mean that there is memory error and that you should try with another memory module or to change slot. But have probably tried that allready. If you have done everything that online supports suggested it may come for you to change motherboard at the end.
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March 21, 2013 5:36:15 PM

Feldmarschall said:
According to Dell 2 beeps mean that there is memory error and that you should try with another memory module or to change slot. But have probably tried that allready. If you have done everything that online supports suggested it may come for you to change motherboard at the end.


Regarding the 2 beeps---I removed both of my 2GB RAM cards, and then tried to start the laptop. It immeditaely gave into a SERIES of two beeps this time---not the same thing that it does when the cards are in.
When the cards are removed the two beeps start immediately after I push the start button, they are louder and they keep repeating over and over. With the cards in the laptop, two beeps are higher pitched, quieter in volume, and do not occur for about 15 seconds after I push the start button---and only sound one time. So I am left wondering if what I am hearing is a not the same code for a memory? It's much different, if you could actually hear it.
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March 21, 2013 6:20:01 PM


More on the one set of 2-beeps that sometimes hear when I try to start the laptop:
1) It does not do it every time. When it does do it, the power cord is plugged into the laptop.
2) It never does it if I remove the power cord and try to start with the battery only.
3) It may or may not if I try to start with the power cord only and no battery.

My battery is the original one. The last time I ran diagnostics when the laptop was still working, it said the battery should be replaced.

A few days before it finally dies there was a screen message that said something about the battery being at a low percent, if you want to start anyway press F2.

I have verified the charger output voltage with a digital meter, and my laptop power light is always solid white after I press the button. But I don’t really know about the battery condition.

Could this no-startup have anything to do with the battery? Does a Dell Inspiron 1545 have to have a good battery to start up, or should it start just off of the power chord if the battery is removed?
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a b V Motherboard
March 22, 2013 1:26:23 AM

You can try to power on without battery. It depends on what kind of circuit is in it. I have not seen laptop that's been made in last 6 years or so that can't start without battery. Assuming that battery went bad (not lost capacity, went really bad) could prevent device not to operate due to failsafe switch. So try without any fear. When you remove battery, and laptop is unplugged simply hold power button for 3-4 sec to discharge capacitors, plugg power supply and try to power on.
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March 29, 2013 7:50:37 PM

Thanks for answering. I have tried all of your suggestions. I don’t know what's wrong with this piece of junk at this point. I've tried changing the mother board and the both RAM cards now, but the result is always the same: no start up, a black screen and two beeps only after about 20 seconds---then nothing at all. I should be smart enough to just give up and trash this thing at this point.
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a b V Motherboard
March 29, 2013 8:08:12 PM

Have you bought brand new mobo or refurbished/used one?

P.S. it's so rude from Dell support to stick with their memory thing rather than solve it
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March 30, 2013 11:52:32 AM

The mobo was new, but at a really low price on Ebay. Yes, Dell's support was disappointing.

But here's some good news: After thinking it was 'game over' at this point, I tried to start the thing one more time, and for just a second I saw the Dell logo on the screen and then it disappeared again. But I though maybe I could still barely see it. So I did a bunch more Googling and found a guy on YouTube talking about bad Display Inverters. He suggested that I take a bright light and put it right in front of the screen and see if I could see anything. And there it was! First you could barely see the Dell logo, and then it would switch to a Windows page talking about how the laptop wasn't shut down properly, do you want to start up in Normal?

Of course since I've never been able to see that, I could only assume that Windows was just simply never starting at all---which it wasn't, but because I wasn't responding to the propmt which I couldn't even see. I think the two beeps were when I did not respond or hit a key that was not an option?

I did find an Inverter on line for about $15, and I believe that will be the fix here. It looks very simnple to change out. I've only got about $100 in parts, between the mobo and the inverter, so that's not too bad. (But probably 40 hours of Googling for a fix. :)  ) Thanks again for your feedbacks.
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a b V Motherboard
March 30, 2013 4:24:37 PM

Saragon said:
The mobo was new, but at a really low price on Ebay. Yes, Dell's support was disappointing.

But here's some good news: After thinking it was 'game over' at this point, I tried to start the thing one more time, and for just a second I saw the Dell logo on the screen and then it disappeared again. But I though maybe I could still barely see it. So I did a bunch more Googling and found a guy on YouTube talking about bad Display Inverters. He suggested that I take a bright light and put it right in front of the screen and see if I could see anything. And there it was! First you could barely see the Dell logo, and then it would switch to a Windows page talking about how the laptop wasn't shut down properly, do you want to start up in Normal?

Of course since I've never been able to see that, I could only assume that Windows was just simply never starting at all---which it wasn't, but because I wasn't responding to the propmt which I couldn't even see. I think the two beeps were when I did not respond or hit a key that was not an option?

I did find an Inverter on line for about $15, and I believe that will be the fix here. It looks very simnple to change out. I've only got about $100 in parts, between the mobo and the inverter, so that's not too bad. (But probably 40 hours of Googling for a fix. :)  ) Thanks again for your feedbacks.


:)  glad you found it.

If there is dim logo on screen your external monitor should have output. Just make sure you send it via shortcut keys.
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