My Dell Inspiron won't power on any more... why?

By tonedoggydogg ·
I own an Inspiron 8600 and the battery has been on it's way out for quite some time now. There is also a short in the power cord near the prongs from pulling it out the wall over the years. (I can always confirm the cord is fuctioning by checking whether the LED light on the power supply box is illuminated.) The battery lasts about 5 minutes, which is long enough to go into standby if the laptop is unplugged. There is one other problem: whenever I close my laptop, it will go to standby as normal. However, while in my laptop bag, it will mysteriously come one and sometimes back off. Eventually the battery will die. Obviously something is loose near the little popup thingy that detects whether the laptop is open/closed. (similar to a refridgerator)

With that being said, my laptop has worked until one day it would no longer power on. The power adapter still functions (LED light), but the battery light no longer flashes, and the fan or nothing else will respond. Here's the kicker: when I press down near the power button or any where above the keyboard, whoala! The battery light returns to the normal flashing. If I let go, it stops. If I try to power the unit on while pressing down, it doesn't respond. One day I randomly tried and the computer powered on as normal. I shut it down and it never came on again. (Obviously I saved everything I could to an external hard drive when it mysteriously started working!)

So I have ruled out the power adapter and battery, since those were preexisting conditions; the cord must work if I can get the battery light to come on, and the laptop battery still lasts about 5 minutes.

So do you believe there is simply something loose from being jarred, or is this signs of a dying motherboard?

(I'm sorry this is so wordy; I just wanted to give as much information as possible to avoid wasting your time.)

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New Laptop Time

by TheChas In reply to My Dell Inspiron won't po ...

With your bad battery, and the cost to repair the power problem, you are likely better off to just buy a new laptop.

What has most likely happened is that the solder or circuit board has cracked near or at the power plug. You have to weigh the cost of the repair and new battery against the cost of a new laptop.

Another thing to keep in mind is if your battery has fully failed, it can place too much load on the power circuits and prevent your laptop from powering up.

As to coming out of standby mode while in your bag, I don't believe that is happening. Standby is not the same as off. Some power is required in standby mode that is not required in the off mode. I suspect that your battery is now weak enough that there is not enough power reserve to maintain standby mode for as long as it used to.


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She lives to see another day or so... lol

by tonedoggydogg In reply to New Laptop Time

Well, the problem was fixed by my genius brother, who has been able to fix anything since age 5.

This Dell has the option to remove panels and change colors for personal customization. The top panel, just to the left of the "INSPIRON" logo, there's a little notch to left of the top panel where the power, mute, and volume buttons rest. (There's also CAPS LOCK and other LEDs along with the standby popup.) Lifting that panel using a mini screwdriver takes 5 seconds. To the far right, there's a connector that rests on the motherboard. Apparently, all buttons send responses to the motherboard via this one connector. It was not fully seated into the socket, which caused the randomness. After securing the small cable into the motherboard, the laptop now works perfectly.

Yes, the battery light still blinks because it's completely usesless (lasts 5 minutes) and I have to make sure the plug is extremely still (sad lol), but the laptop will live to see a few more days!

Thanks for your reply; it's good to know that people will actually try to help the best way possible.

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Well provided that you realize

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to She lives to see another ...

That with the bad battery there is no where near enough capacitance so any Spikes on the Mains will hit the Electronics of the NB and not be absorbed by the battery.

This shortens the life of the unit. As such you'll need to keep a up to date backup of any important data that may be on this unit.

I would start making plans to replace it with something in much better condition sooner rather than latter.


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