Dell Inspiron 1545 - won't boot up, totally dead. PSU has light and power light lights up as if booting but no fan woosh or HDD click or other lights (ie. optical drive)

Laptop

Laptop
Laptop computer Forums (Audio, General Hardware, Video)

Dell Inspiron 1545 - won't boot up, totally dead. PSU has light and power light lights up as if booting but no fan woosh or HDD click or other lights (ie. optical drive)

This question is not answered

Hello

I am trying to fix a Dell Inspiron 1545 for a friend so she doesn't have to shell out the stupid money a repair engineer wants to even breath on the laptop.

The power supply brick is ok, light is on and voltage is correct.

We have:

Removed the battery and tried without

Reseated the memory and tested it all in various sequences to prove memory is not at fault (or more or less anyway)

Reseated HDD

**HDD tested in her Mums inspiron 1545 and booted up fine**

What it does:

Power brick light ok both when charging and on its own. When on button pressed the power on light comes on at the front and stays on, however the fan does not kick in nor does the HDD not spin up just dead. No POST or anything just totally blank (probably obvious as HDD doesn't kick in)

I am loathed to think it is the BIOS battery as there have been no warnings. I have not reseated the processor/heat sink as have no thermal paste at the moment.

To me it points to the motherboard, but does anyone else think there is a slim chance it is the bios battery (pain in the **** to get to) or the processor. Only other thought is the motherboard is not getting power but I cannot tell.

I am doing all this at no cost to my friend so any help most gratefully received as if she passes it to an engineer they literally want ££s just to open the lid lol.

I have had a good read around the forum and have not found anything to help. Most seem to have the problem but their fans/hdd kick in.

Thanks in advance :-)

All Replies
  • We have also done the static discharge process a number of times as well Wink

  • The Laptop AC Adapter is a SwitchMode-PowerSupply (SMPS). When they start going out, they will often supply correct voltage with NO LOAD, but voltage drops under load. On a laptop, it's tricky to measure voltage under load. Easiest way to test AC Adapter is to use known good one, or test suspected one on good machine.

    Yes, a bad battery can drag-down PowerSupply, so good to try without it installed at some point. Obviously, when working inside laptop ... ever have AC Power OR BATTERY installed.

    First, shoot for a BIOS screen being displayed. You don't need a HDD even installed to get a BIOS Post screen. It will just say no Bootable drives found.

    You can try an external monitor if you suspect internal display is bad ( usually ends up being LCD Panel, inverter, or cable).

    Yes, check CMOS battery and go ahead and reset CMOS while you are at it. On some newer machines with Intelligent Charging Circuits, there is also a hidden reset button for that micro-controller near the battery or RAM access panel.

    Disconnect anything non-vital to simplify laptop config. Reset all parts (ie RAM SoDIMMS) and any cable connectors you can reach.

    When you have a possible bad motherboard that won't BIOS Post, give beep-codes, or boot up ... you really can't exclude any basic troubleshooting procedures because the final step is often to replace motherboard. Be sure to download Service Manual.

    While owners are often reluctant to provide details ... if the machine has recently been though some trauma (dropped, liquid spill, etc.) it's good to know to focus repair efforts. 

     


    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

    Wiki-like Threads I've written and other Favorites

    Posting Tips:
    - Always provide machine make, model, specs and software versions.
    - Click the button if we answered your question.

    Registered Microsoft Partner
    & Apple Developer:

    Gaming when I'm not programming.

    I answer questions here, but
    I'm not a Dell employee.

  • Thankyou.

    I tried to add all I have done.

    It was tested with and without battery (with just PSU) on all tests.

    It was also tested the same with her Mum's PSU and battery.

    There is no POST ever at all, even with external display attached.

    There are no beeps, no wooshes nada nothing.

    I have not done this, but in theory I should get POST without the HDD installed if I am correct.

    I used to fix PCs quite some time ago but am a little rusty with the technology inside laptops (motherboards, daughter boards etc etc)

    Thanks again for your help :-)

  • DELLiciousGal
    It was also tested the same with her Mum's PSU and battery.

    Good. So her PS and Battery work in other laptop, but Mum's PS and Battery won't allow bad laptop to boot?

    Just checked Service Manual. You might have to see if any voltage is outputting from "Charger Board" (where power comes in). I think that is also the DC-DC converter, so several output voltages would be generated there.

    Also, not sure if this older model has one, but be sure to check for a Battery Embedded Controller reset Button inside soDIMM door. If tripped, machine will not boot (however, I think you still get a Dell logo on-screen).

     


    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

    Wiki-like Threads I've written and other Favorites

    Posting Tips:
    - Always provide machine make, model, specs and software versions.
    - Click the button if we answered your question.

    Registered Microsoft Partner
    & Apple Developer:

    Gaming when I'm not programming.

    I answer questions here, but
    I'm not a Dell employee.

  • Tesla1856
    On some newer machines with Intelligent Charging Circuits, there is also a hidden reset button for that micro-controller near the battery or RAM access panel.

         Tesla I'm glad I ran into this...I did not know that. 

         I've worked on a bajillion 1545's and when all these steps fail, shy of replacing the mainboard, invariably I replace the AC/DC I/O board. It sounds like you guys have this pretty well under control. I wanted to chime in with my two bits because 1545's are IME notorious for AC/DC I/O boards just going south. Make sure to match up the part numbers. I believe there are 2 different p/n's one of which comes with an octogonal charge port and accepts the PA-21 Family flavored charger. GOOD LUCK! Hope that helped. Sounds like you know your way around a laptop, R&R on that board might take you half an hour. you don't even have to let the mainboard loose to do it.

    Dell™ Community Forum since 2013

    Not employed by Dell™

  • N7U
    I've worked on a bajillion 1545's and when all these steps fail, shy of replacing the mainboard, invariably I replace the AC/DC I/O board. It sounds like you guys have this pretty well under control. I wanted to chime in with my two bits because 1545's are IME notorious for AC/DC I/O boards just going south.

    Really? ... interesting and good to know. Like this:

    http://mydell1545.wordpress.com/2011/09/16/the-achilles-heel-of-a-laptop/

    I'm surprised no one ever released a tutorial (on a opened "benched" machine) on how to use a volt-meter to check for some if not all of the required output DC voltages. I think that's how I would determine if it was good or not. Sorta like connecting a Digital Power Supply tester to a desktop PS, and checking for all the different voltages.


    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

    Wiki-like Threads I've written and other Favorites

    Posting Tips:
    - Always provide machine make, model, specs and software versions.
    - Click the button if we answered your question.

    Registered Microsoft Partner
    & Apple Developer:

    Gaming when I'm not programming.

    I answer questions here, but
    I'm not a Dell employee.

  • Still not sure I would replace "Charger Board" without testing it first (or some sign it's truly bad) but this is how ...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KC0B7emR51I

    It's important to remember that this laptop IS getting at least some power, so I don't think main AC Adapter jack could be bad.


    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

    Wiki-like Threads I've written and other Favorites

    Posting Tips:
    - Always provide machine make, model, specs and software versions.
    - Click the button if we answered your question.

    Registered Microsoft Partner
    & Apple Developer:

    Gaming when I'm not programming.

    I answer questions here, but
    I'm not a Dell employee.

  • Tesla,

         Yeah JUST like that one HAHAH! In retrospect an tutorial might have been a great idea, or as you mentioned a d/a PSU tester to the tune of compatible with this device. Now, however it would be a flagrant misuse of finances to purchase this OEM from the OEM vendor (eh Hem!) You can find the part nearly anywhere that deals in this sort of thing, for about $10 US and if you pay $15 for it you didn't look! Stranger things have happened I suppose but this DEFINITELY is historically the 1545's Achilles Heal. (I'm talking about the board, not just the jack...which is more trouble than it's worth considering availability of the entire component.)

    Dell™ Community Forum since 2013

    Not employed by Dell™

  • The jack itself probably isn't bad. The vid was great! where was this the first run I had at one of these 5 years ago! Anyway, if beneficial, HERE'S THE SERVICE MANUAL 

    Dell™ Community Forum since 2013

    Not employed by Dell™