Dell Inspiron Laptop (N4010) Will Not Turn Off

Hello Everyone,

I'm new to the board, so I apologize for any lack of protocol, but I'm completely and thoroughly stumped, and I need advice.

I have a Dell Inspiron Laptop, about 1 year old. It's running Windows 7, 64 bit. Starting about a month ago, the computer will no longer shut off through Window 7. I select "shut down" and the computer appears to shut down, but then reboots immediately, just like a typical restart. The only way the computer will shut down is by holding down the power button for about 5 seconds, thus overriding all software, and shutting down.

Here's what I've done thus far:
1) Updated the BIOS - no change
2) Entered safe mode and try to shut down - no change
3) Changed all conceivable power settings and button/lid settings - no change
4) Dumped hard drive, formatted, reinstalled windows from cd - no change
5) NEW MOTHERBOARD from Dell - no change
6) New Hard Drive from Dell with factory image - no change
7) Full Hardware Diagnostic with onboard utilities - no errors at all

I am stumped, and so is Dell. The system is still under warranty (barely), and I'm really frustrated. Dell is now pondering options, including sending system to them, but that's a last resort. Any ideas? Could there be an issue with the power button? Stumped!
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  1. If win7 fails when shutting down it can automatically re-boot. Rule this out by turning the automatic reboot off. http://pcsupport.about.com/od/windows7/ht/automatic-restart-windows-7.htm

    There are many events that will bring windows out of a shutdown. some of them are in the BIOS. Start with WAKE ON LAN. make sure that is off. Then verify that all start-up timers are off. See if things are good.

    Download a bootable diagnostic. Corsair (ssd vendor, google it) has a nice USB based bootable image. Set the boot order in the BIOS to include ONLY usb or CDROM (depending on whether or not you got a bootable USB or CDROM diagnostic). See if the PC tries to boot from the USB or CD. If so the problem is BIOS or settings. If not then you've got something in windows that is requesting a restart instead of a shutdown.

    Post results of above test and we can fine tune next steps.
  2. Forgot: "Could there be an issue with the power button?" yep. The power button is an intermittent switch. IF the switch is shorting or the spring allows the switch to make intermittent contact then the laptop will boot. See if you can pry up just a bit on the power button and hold it up. See if you can use a can of compressed gas ($5-$7 most places) to blow out any debris from under the power button.
  3. Thank you very much for the input.

    I forgot to mention previously, but I did disable the auto-reboot. No change.

    I'm a little confused with the bootable drive option that you mentioned, but I think I get the point: see if the system will shut down when not in Windows, right? The system will shut down from the BIOS when pressing the power button, and also, I just booted from my dell diagnostic DVD and shut down with the power button there, and it worked. It does appear that the system will simply not shut down properly when in Windows.

    I'm going to ask Dell to send me a new power button for the heck of it, although it seems fine. Now that I know how to take this thing apart, the power button is easy :)

    I disabled my network card and wifi in the BIOS as well - no change.
  4. "...and also, I just booted from my dell diagnostic DVD and shut down with the power button there, and it worked." sure makes it sound like a windows software problem.

    You tried a clean format install and it didn't help ? "Dumped hard drive, formatted, reinstalled windows from cd - no change " I'd try this again and make sure you are not connected to the network, so you know you have exactly the windows load dell put on your pc.
  5. tsnor said:
    "...and also, I just booted from my dell diagnostic DVD and shut down with the power button there, and it worked." sure makes it sound like a windows software problem.

    You tried a clean format install and it didn't help ? "Dumped hard drive, formatted, reinstalled windows from cd - no change " I'd try this again and make sure you are not connected to the network, so you know you have exactly the windows load dell put on your pc.


    Yes - I did try - I even installed a new hard drive with a new factory image...no change.
  6. I don't even know what else to try..... sorry. Maybe someone else does.
  7. Hi ,

    I have the same problem on a Dell 1545 , running Vista 32. The original harddrive crashed so I installed a new one and reload the OS. I have done nothing else.

    The computer shuts down, waits 5 seconds and reboots. In Sleep mode it enters into Sleep mode , waits 5 seconds and reboots. I have checked all the power settings.

    Installed all the correct drivers - still does the same think. Reinstalled window from scratch and it just keeps rebooting.

    I have been through the bios a hundred time disabling the settings and it just reboot. Remove all network drivers , screen drivers and it just reboots.

    This is riduculous. - Any advise.
  8. tsnor said:
    I don't even know what else to try..... sorry. Maybe someone else does.


    ***SOLUTION***

    This is a hardware problem, not a software problem. I am running the factory Win 7 home x64 and dual booting Ubuntu 12.04 x64, with this exact problem in both OS's.

    What I did is I took out the keyboard and the palm rest (there should be a tear down guide put out by Dell) and you should see a coin cell battery. I took it out for about 10 seconds and then put it back in. I also checked all the other connections and removed and reseated the HDD.

    I then went into BIOS and made sure there weren't any funky settings. It now shuts down and suspends properly (only tested in Ubuntu 12.04)

    I have no clue how or why, but that's what did it.
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