Inspiron 1200 help

Hi, I have searched the forum and tried some of the ideas I already found. I will try to be as thorough here as I can.
I have a Dell Inspiron 1200 which I have had about a year. I have replaced the power cord once about 6 months ago and have had no other problems.
A couple of days ago it started telling me that the battery was critically low and then it would go into hibernation. When I turned it back on I would get a few minutes use then it would hibernate again on its own.
Now it will not turn on at all.
I have pulled and looked at the battery which does not have an indicator button. I have changed outlets and tried various combinations of plugging it in, with and without an extension cord and a surge protector or any adaptor on the plug. The light on the power supply is lit.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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  1. Two questions (well, one question and one following point):
    1) The computer does have a good dc jack? These models have somewhat "fragile" dc input jacks. I know mine do. You pull the battery and try to start the notebook without it
    2) The NiMH battries that come standard do not last as long (charge cycles) as the lithium ion ones. If you can boot without the battery installed, then you need a new battery ($45 - $60 on the Ebay).
  2. No, the computer won't boot at all whether the battery is in or not, with or without the power cord.
    The jack where the cord plugs into the computer appears stable and looks ok, there doesn't appear to be any damage and it is not loose.
  3. Oh. . . well, there's one and only one other extremely remote possibility. To test, though, you have to unplug LCD

    Its quite easy, 1) carefully pop off the hinge cover, 2) tilt out the keyboard, remove the RFI shield, and 3) unplug the lcd power / data cable. See it it turns on now (the power button is the small black switch on the right top-- I use a screwdriver to press it..

    Here's a link to the service manual

    Don't be alarmed that it says Latitude 110L. It is exactly the same as the Inspiron 1200 and 2200.
  4. OK, power button does not move and computer does not turn on.

    my bad, the power button DOES move but nothing happens.

    wait, I don't think I did this right. trying again.

    OK done correctly, still nothing.
    what about that coin cell battery? could that be dead?
  5. Nah, not the CMOS batery.


    There is still a chance the power supply could be bad.

    Otherwise, the board may be toast. Ouch. Reliable relacements from Ebay go for around $120 - $170 US (with shipping) most of the time, but every once in a while one goes by for $40 or so. . .
  6. Oh, that's bad isn't it. I am going to take it to the people at work, since it is a work computer. What worries me is the photos I have saved on it that don't exist anywhere else. There is work stuff too, but I can recreate that.
    But thank you for all your help. Can you tell me if this is fixable and if my stuff might still be there?
    Oh, and what exactly is "the board" in case I decide to try to fix it?
  7. "the board" e.g. The motherboard (some people say "mainboard" others say "systemboard", but most of the time its "motherboard").

    As far as data goes, that's an easy solution-- you can get a decent enclosure for a 2.5 inch drive (laptop hard drives are either referred to by the width: 2.5 inches is standard or the height: 9.5 is standard) for around $12 - $20 or so. Check newegg or zipzoomfly or or microcenter (these are all websites, except microcenter, which is also a brick and mortar).

    Make sure it supports your hardrive, which is IDE (sometimes called UATA or Ultra ATA). Do not buy a SATA enclosure. Let me repeat, your hard drive is IDE, not SATA.

    You can mount your laptop drive inside the enclosure, thereby turning it into an external hard drive.
  8. Wow, who knew all this amazing stuff! thank you so much. I called the peeps at work and they are going to fix it if it can be fixed or get my stuff off of it for me.
    I am going to look into the enclosure thing for the future and keep back ups. I heard once that there are two kinds of people in the world, those who have lost all their data and those who are going to!
    thanks again, glad I joined up here.
  9. bryghe said:
    Wow, who knew all this amazing stuff!
    ..*mourns the loss of his social life*...
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