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No bios no boot


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No bios no boot

  • Hey guys this is my first posting.  I have a dell Inspiron 3800 and all of a sudden the thing doesn't boot up.  I turn it on: leds flashes and a cursor flashes in the top left hand corner of the screen (although a black screen) then it powers itself down.  I've taken the notebook apart tried different boot attempts but still nothing - any suggestions?



  • Two usual suspects - memory needs reseating and/or the cpu module needs to be reseated.  Very common on the 3800.

  • Hi!

    I am having the exact same problem with the Inspiron 3500. Please help get the system to boot up. Need to Flash the BIOS to A14. (BTW, where do I get the ISO version?) Cannot do it until I can get it to boot. No POST, nothing! Display working fine because I can see the greyish specter lines when turning the sytem off.

    I was able to boot up a few times and even get to Windows 98SE but the system froze while running Scandisk. It would not answer to any keyboard command. Had to turn it off and it has not boot up again. It reverted to original problem. I have tried F2, F12, reset hole, reseating memory modules, and praying. No difference. System is "on-strike" or trying to drive me nuts.

    Please help! Thank you.

  • Hello Everyone,

    I posted on 3/13/04 a message about not being able to boot to POST and BIOS on the Inspiron 3500 and have not received any response as of yet (3/22/04). The response on the board referred to an Inspiron 3800 and the suggested solution did not work for the Inspiron 3500.

    Although the power light turns on and remains on, the hard drive barely turns on and immediately goes off. The CD Drive light goes on and there is activity on the CD drive. Yet, there is nothing on the screen. When I turn off the system, I can see the spectrum of vertical lines on the LCD screen turning off. At some point, I was able to get it to boot up to the DELL splash and to the BIOS. It even went all the way to Windows 98SE but froze. I had to turn it off and have not been able to boot it up again. I have tried F2 and F12 to no avail. I inserted a bootable CD (since it does not have a floppy) but nothing happened. I tested the hard drive on another notebook and some Windows 98SE files are missing. However, this should not affect booting up to the POST and BIOS. I get no beeps or any other strange sounds. Could somebody help me solve this problem for the Inspiron 3500?

    Thank you much for your cooperation.


    Message Edited by Shammee on 03-22-2004 11:54 AM

  • Hi I think I may have found the problem by the end of the week I'll know for sure

    I had everything tested and It's down to the CPU or motherboard

    I found both on ebay and am awaiting there arrival, hopefully by Thursday I'll have the problem narrowed down to either the CPU or motherboard


  • Hello there!

    I am from the Netherlands so I could make some misstakes in my writting!

    I've got the same problem as you Shammee. The only difference is that I could not get in to the bios. If I press the capslock or numlock the indicationlight goes on and off. I can do this for about 5-10seconds and then the light stays on or off. I've done this: memory needs reseating and/or the cpu module needs to be reseated but it was not a solution! If you have solved the problem could you mail me how you fixed it. I am going to search for a solution as well and when I've found one I'll place it on this forum.

    Thanx allready!

    Message Edited by don-Corleone on 03-23-2004 05:59 PM

  • Hi Don Corleone and Everyone!

    Well, I was not able to get into the BIOS either for quite a while! I decided to open up the notebook once more and check the CPU. I reseated the CPU and put some thermal pad (since the notebook is 5 years old and it had never been serviced at the hardware level for this problem before). Well, just when I had givn up, I was able to boot again! Now, I am reinstalling the OS since the HD bcam corrupted. Now, I think that the problem lies with the CPU. After I reseated it, the machine did not respond and I could not turn it off. So, today, I decided to get inside again and re-check the CPU connections to make sure that the module was well-set. I reset the module and re-assembled the notebook. Well, the CPU module must have not been all the way in before because now, the notebook responded and I was able to get to the BIOS and begin re-installing the OS. I will let you know if it is still responding OK after I finish installation and re-test it.

    Hope this helps.


  • I had gotten it to work. It was booting up and running OK. Went to install a new software and all hades broke loose again!  Definitely hard drive problem. However, now the notebook is not even booting up anymore! I am going to have to do it all over again to hopefully get it back to booting and Windows!

    I've decided that this Inspiron 3500 notebook is the notebook from hades! It's hade's torture device!

    Hope your progress is better and more permanent. Please, keep us posted. Thanks.  

  • Hi Everyone!

    Well, it seems that the no boot, no bios problem is definitely related to CPU (processor module) issues. I reopened the notebook and reseated the processor module once again. I noticed that the Thermal Pad was loose. Replaced it with new one. The Thermal Pad is on the back of the Heat Sink/Processor Module cover.  Now, the notebook is working again. I am still weary about doing anything to it like flashing bios, installing new software, etc. The Windows system had again become corrupted so I am re-installing it (Windows 98 SE) .

    So far, the problem seems solved and narrowed down to CPU becoming loose from socket issues. That is mostly a design "fault" and we cannot do much about it except ask the CS engineers to improve it, if they haven't already in later models!  Because of these intermittent problems, I advise my clients to always backup their data from the notebook to their desktop or an external storage device like a USB memory stick, CD, or portable hard drive. Notebooks are great but it is always good to have a desktop backup for rainy days.