Dell 5150 won't boot

just me - May 21, 2008 at 03:50 PM
 littlequeen6944 - Dec 2, 2011 at 09:12 AM
My Dell 5150 laptop won't show any signs of power, would changing the RAM possably fix this? The reason I ask is that an IT guy had it working when he swapped his parts into it. he is no longer around now to ask. Thanks

4 replies

hmmm the Dell inspiron 5150, one legendary laptop with umpteen issues, a laptop designed to break.
A promising contender for the stupidest laptop dell has ever built contest. However if my laptop survives this summer it may see its fifth birthday in november.

Follow at your own risk

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.

If you can charge your battery elsewhere and power up your laptop
it means
a) AC/DC jack on motherboard has gotten loose, use solder to fix in place, shaking the adapter sometimes shows the loose connections.
Connector related problems, The USB and the DC jack connectors frequently loosen from motherboard. solder breaks. Do not move the laptop around too much. particularly with wires sticking in from the back. the tug of the cables cause them to loosen.
b) The Schmidt trigger chip near the DC jack has come loose.
Sometimes applying torsional force on laptop and pressing the laptop it near the power button makes contact temporarily, and laptop can get power, the mild bending of the motherboard aids contact, be careful .
c) your DC adapter has frayed, get a new one, confirm with someone else's adapter.

Overheating related power downs, laptop power down when hot and within seconds/minutes of booting.
Open the laptop and clean the fan and its related wind outlets.
This needs to be done once every six months (at least).

Dear reader, If you are reading this please share your other hardware related diagnostic and trouble shooting experiences with this legendary laptop. It is useful if the last remaining dell inspiron 5150 to have a handy troubleshooting guide. like how would I know if my graphics card or processor goes out next.

also see
Tell-me-how service manual, owners manual
this has happened to my computer today - after accidentally being touched by my 2 year old. There is no screen at all, totally blank black. I can hear the computer start to boot up. I put a DVD in and it seemed to start reading it but still no screen. I can't turn it off but it doesn't seem to be turning on either, there is a blue light on the lcd screen near the power button and my laptop is a latitude d610. Have you got any tips for what is wrong with it, I'd really appreciate your advice
This is most probably a hardware issue. It could be a dead inverter, or worse, a dead LCD screen. In the latter case, it will be cheaper to get a new laptop.

Try connecting an external monitor to the VGA port you'll find on one of the sides. You might also have to activate it by pressing some Fn button. I can't be more precise, since I certainly do not use Dell.
computer geek > kathryn
Sep 19, 2008 at 09:25 AM
heres what I think it is try your video card no video means bad video card
My Dell 400 Latitude just shut off without real warning yesterday. I thought it was overheating, but there are no signs of life. No fan blowing. No LCD screen or back light. Do I have a completely different disaster than is being discussed here?
August 7, 2010. After I installed two 1 GB Ram cards into the Dell 5150, I ran into the problem of the 7 second bootup with one light flashing, and then the unit would shut down. I suspect the tech working on your computer installed new RAM, so you need to put the old RAM back in. I am trying a bios update to see if that will accept the new RAM.

Brian. Calgary, Canada.
Hi kathryn,

Try re-posting with latitude d610 in the subject/message title, that way another latitude d610 user with more insight may respond.

You said "blue light on lcd screen near the power button" do you mean, "blue L.E.D." if so that might be a blue tooth/wireless indicator. otherwise I'm still trying to guess what you mean. you could be referring to the back light, or maybe the screen is on and a small portion of it has been colored blue.

The LCD screen is a matrix of red,green and blue dots(pixel). When the LCD screen is powered, there is a faint glow on screen due to the back light. The liquid crystal at each pixel can change its opacity in response to electric current. The graphics subsystem of the computer then controls the elctric current at each pixel to produce the impression of a display. In the reference to pitch black blank screen, I refer to a state in which the LCD screen is not even be powered on (no back light). This is in contrast to a state in which the LCD is powered on, and every pixel on the screen is set to block(turned off, in this case you can still see a faint glow in the dark).

Most cdrom/dvd and hard-drives drives just spin up on power on. the subtle question you need to answer is "is the machine booting" do you feel its trying to do more than just spin up , is it actually reading something off the drive. if that's the case then the graphics card/CPU/memory card(for the most part)/motherboard are all right. For this you need to actually listen and watch the dvd/disk activity lights keenly.

The key question is do you perceive your laptop to be booting but not showing anything on the screen, or do you think its hung. If its the former, you see hard disk activity and its just an LCD panel /connector issue. If its the latter it could be just about any serious problem, the smallest being the memory card and hard disk.

a small inexpensive tryout list :
* Maybe the LCD panel connector has come lose
* As in the above response it could be a bad memory dimm, try removing one or he other memory slot
* Maybe some component internally has just loosened and the bios refuses to boot minus this crucial component. (some bios refuse to boot if no keyboard is present.) so check whether keyboard connector is sitting tight.

also see

good luck
Had the same problem with Inspiron 6400. Took out new (one month old) dimm purchased from Dell. System now boots. Thankls a lot!
Here are the details: I had a, mouse, printer, and dual laptop fan under the comp. plugged into the usb via 4-1 usb splitter. I plugged in a usb flash drive and the computer started making a driver for it and then everything froze. I turned it off by holding power button down, then when powering on the blue caps lock light to the right of the power button would flash with the green on light then, fan on, dvd on, no boot up, then off after about 10 seconds.
I took one of the two rams out put one in the B DIMM slot and computer stated up. After working with it for 10 min it freezes. Then when I start it up again the lights flash and turns back off after 10 sec again, until I take the ram out and put in the other ram. It's like the Ram is overheating because the computer works when I switch between the two. If I don't log into the computer but let it boot up and go to the user login screen and let it go to screen saver it will work all day long with the screen saver moving. As soon as log in and play around for 10 min it freezes.
I have learned that if I use the computer outside 35 degrees Fahrenheit it works fine. That leads me to believe that something is getting to hot. I have taken the fan assembly out and it was like brand new. When I took the fan assembly out the processor was stuck to the heat sink part via electrical grease stuff and was removed from the mother board. I had to work really hard to get the processor unstuck from the fan heatsink and put it back in with new electrical grease.
Could anyone give me any insight as to what could be getting too hot, ram, processor, or is it something with the USB that I mentioned in the beginning.?
Thank you Adam
okay okay so ihave the dell lattitude D610 and one wekkend I went away and I allowed my sister to play her game soniit and when I cam back the creen had a faint read glow to ot and the within 1 or 2 minutes of use the screen goes black now if u look closely the screen is black but u can still kinda see like the stuff behind the black help!
The PSU has failed. The green LED on the motherboard remains illuminated but the power switch flashes amber. Sometimes the computer boots up after a few minutes. When the power is switched off the same problem happens again.
Replace the PSU with a ATX 305W PSU. No need to buy Dell, get a cheaper PSU from a computer shop. Check it has 24pin connector etc.
i been trying to in stall xp on my sony vaio and I want to uninstall vista how to do it can it be done
lol,try bringging it to a shop then get it fixed for money if dont want to do that, I dont know what to tell u.
YourMom > jhfuhslks
Dec 21, 2008 at 02:35 PM
You are a total stupid f*ck
Dec 2, 2011 at 09:12 AM
to change you os from vista to xp.First save any pics,music or other documents you want to keep save them to a flash drive or burn to a cd, Then insert the xp cd in the cd player shut down your computer restart your computer and hold down the f2 key you will hear beeps and it will take you to the bios look for the boot order go down to cd and make the cd player the first boot device follow what it tells you to do .your computer will now restart and boot from the xp cd in your cd drive instead of the vista on your hard drive when it boots up it will ask you if you want to boot from the vista or xp choose xp then it will ask you if you want to install xp say yes it will then tell you you need to format the hard drive say yes choose the drive with the most space it will give you the choice.It will take a while to format your drive just watch it.Then it will begin the install process it will also take awhile after you are finished it will ask you to activate the xp you need a valid product key.WHEN YOU GET TO THE ACTIVATION PAGE CHOOSE TO ACTIVATE OVER THE PHONE ITS THE ONLY WAT WITH XP it will give you a phone number and a long list of numbers .call the microsoft number its all recorded follow what it tells you you will have to enter thoes numbers when you are done and activated get online go to windows update and update xp then reinstall your pics,music and documents back on the computer and you dont have to take and pay anybody people come here so they dont have to spend their hard earned money if they can fix it themselves with help from these posts and the guy who told you to go pay someone so jhfuhslks if you dont know what to tell him then then dont try .i hope this helps you just take your time and do it slowly its not as hard as you might think.