Inspiron 1501 is dead; Need help diagnosing culprit


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Inspiron 1501 is dead; Need help diagnosing culprit

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My Inspiron 1501 stoped working a few days ago.  I don't use this regularly, my kids and husband do so I am not sure what has been done recently.  I bought it refurbished from Dell over 2 years ago so nothing is under warranty.

Events/ Symtoms:

  • Sat night laptop was left on and was not plugged up to outlet.  Battery died.
  • Sun afternoon, plugged up laptop to AC adapter, light for charging battery came one, but the system would not come on or boot.
  • Left system to charge for several house.  When returned, the laptop turned on and worked fine. 
  • Monday, laptop would not come on again even though still plugged in to AC power. The laptop will start to power up.  You can hear the fan on the CPU, and the hard drive starts to power, but then nothing else happens.  Screen is black, you don't hear the HD booting. Blank screen.  Doesn't flicker, no curser, etc. 
  • Started to dianose the problem.  Thought perhaps a connection was loose or something broken.  Kids can be rough with the computer.  No throwing, but closing the top rather forcably or the little one will grab the screen and pull down.

Anyway, here's what I have done and now I am stuck:

  • Took laptop apart and checked all connections inc RAM and wireless card.  Cleaned entire inside with air.  Only checked screen connection, did not remove.  Hooked everything back up.  Same thing as above. 
  • Hooked up external monitor.  Monitor when not connected displays a message to check your connection.  When I hooked it up, the message went away like it recognized that it was hooked to a computer, but was just a blank screen.
  • Found back up disk and attempted to boot from it.  System will read the DVD drive, but again nothing else happens.
  • With power on, removed HD to see if there was an error.  Turned off, tried to boot with HD still out. 
  • I upgraded my RAM over a year ago and wondered if one of the chips where bad.  I still have the orig memory chips, so I replace the RAM with the original. 
  • Tried to access BIOS using function keys.
  • Removed LCD and checked connections.

Now I am at a loss on what to try next if anything.  I don't want to start replacing parts and then find out that wasn't the problem.  Worse case is I buy a new laptop. 

Any suggestions or help would be GREATLY appreciated.


All Replies
  • What happens if you push and hold down the start button for thirty or more seconds, then wait, THEN press the start button?

  • Same thing.  Computer will power on.  You can hear the processor fan come on, it will attempt to read the CD/DVD drive if there is a disk, and then you can hear the hard drive come on, but no boot sequence.  Screen remains BLANK/BLACK (no cursor) even if connected to an external monitor. 

    I think I am going to take the HD somewhere to see if the data can be recovered.  I am about ready to call it a loss.

  • Since you are posting on here I assume you have access to a working computer so you can recover your own hard drive yourself. No need to take it to anyone else.

    Get a 2.5" external usb enclosure for it and you are good to go to recover your data. Just connect to any other pc with a usb port.

    Also try to reset your laptop by unplugging a/c adapter and take battery out. then press and hold power button down for 30 seconds. then try to power up.

    If still no change then I think the mainboard is dead. Probably can get a good used one on ebay for $100. So up to you on how you want to fix or cut your losses.