Dell inspiron 6400 not starting [Solved/Closed]

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Tuesday October 16, 2012
Last seen
October 16, 2012
- - Latest reply:  gmcadam - Feb 12, 2017 at 08:54 PM

I have just switched the hard disk of one of my inspiron laptop to another laptop, also an inspiron. However, I have encounter some problem.
"When you press the power button, If your laptop powers on, the lcd panel is pitch black blank screen, not even back light power, no dell startup screen, you hear the fan spin up, you hear the hard disk spin up, in this state one of the 3 LED lights blinks for 7 seconds (I think numeric keypad), and then if everything switches off silent. The only LED on after that would perhaps be the battery charging indicator. it could be a memory DIMM gone bad, If you have two dimms try one, then the other to confirm"
That is the description of the problem. When I go online, they suggest that my memory DIMM might be spoilt. May I ask, How then can I solve this problem? Is it a hardware problem whereby parts of the laptop needed to be changed or?
Thank you for your reply.

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Registration date
Sunday September 23, 2012
Last seen
December 13, 2018
Thank you
Hi Bal,

This thread was opened for Dell Inspiron 6400; do you have the same System Model? If yes, please try to run the computer with one memory module (RAM) at a time in each slot and check if there is any change. This will help you determine if one of the memory modules or one of the slots on the motherboard is bad. Also observe other symptoms such as beep codes or LED codes during the startup of the computer and add the same in your reply.

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Registration date
Sunday September 23, 2012
Last seen
December 13, 2018
Thank you
Hi hanyelc,

Thank you for providing the detailed description of the problem. You have mentioned that the Num Lock light flashes for 7 seconds and then the computer powers off. This does not indicate any common failure, however from your description it seems the system has power but is not able to power on completely because one of the components may be failing. If the keyboard status lights are lit in any of the following sequence they might indicate a system problem in Inspiron 6400 Laptop:

1. On-Flashing-Flashing = No Ram
2. On-Flashing-On = Ram Fault
3. Flashing-Flashing-Flashing = Motherboard
4. Flashing-On-On = CPU
5. Flashing-Flashing-On = Video
6. Flashing-On-Flashing = LCD
7. On-On-Flashing = Mini PCI Card
8. Flashing-Flashing-Off = Keyboard
9. Flashing-Off-Flashing = USB
10. Off-Flashing-Flashing = Modem

I have mentioned the keyboard light status in the sequence starting from left (Num Lock, Caps Lock and Scroll Lock) and the failing component is listed against them. Do reply if you observe any of these indications.
Also you have mentioned that you read from other forums and found that one of the Memories was failing. You can try reseating the memory modules in the machine to try a fix for the problem; also you can try one memory module at a time and check if the problem still exists. You can follow the link below to see how to reseat the memory modules:

Do reply with results.

> Ceejay -
Had same problem, Ceejay. 2 x 1 GB RAM installed. Removed one RAM module. Same result, lights on-on-on no fan. Then switches off. Removed the other RAM module. PC displays message 'the amount of system memory has changed...' and appears to hang there. But after a minute or two a further message indicates ' F1 to continue of F2 to enter setup ...'
Replacing the second RAM module, get 'the amount of system memory has changed ...' again. Waited until further message appeared, pressed F1 and system started OK.
Registration date
Thursday May 22, 2014
Last seen
May 22, 2014
My Inspiron 6400 does not start when battery is in. With power cord attached and no battery, LED lights blink once and that's it - nothing on the screen, etc. Hard drive is fine, I put it into enclosure and connected to another PC - it's not damaged. What can a problem ?
lovely it worked
my light goes on for 6 second and turns off
> help me -
Yes I have you're problem also. Don't hold out much hope for a solution as the Inspiron 6400 laptop is so old now. Hopefully someone still looks here. It was running fine and XP still does what I need.

There was a small amount of water on and around the laptop. Not sure if any got in. There is no sign of anything wet inside.

On power or battery, when I press the power button, the power light lights for about 6 seconds then just goes out. Nothing else happens.

I have tried :
Checked that the adapter is working - light is on.
Battery light is flashing, but its the original battery and is dead.
Removed and reinstalled the hard drive. No change.
Removed and reinstalled the RAM. No change.
Tried the RAM modules one at a time. No change.
Tried with NO RAM installed. No change.
Removed the power button cover and cleaned under it. No change.
Removed the keyboard and replaced the CMOS/BIOS battery. No change.

My diagnosis at this time is dead mother board, which is probably not worth the cost/hassle to replace.

Any other options/actions/suggestions much appreciated.

Thanks, Greg.