I have an Inspiron 1545 running Windows 7(64-bit) with 3 GB of RAM(2 + 1). Around a month back I started getting notifications that I need to replace the battery and I thought of getting it replaced this month.
Yesterday when I was using the laptop, I got this notification which said that no battery was detected although the battery was where it was supposed to be(I checked to endure that it was not loose). I did not pay much attention to this and shutdown the laptop after my work was done.
Later when I tried to turn on the laptop, it refused to startup. The power light in the front was glowing but apart from that there was no activity of any kind. After trying a few times I gave up and took it today to the Dell Service Centre.
The technician checked and told me that one of the RAM slots were not working hence the laptop was not booting. I asked him to replace it but he said that RAM slots cannot be replaced, I need to replace the entire mother board. My first question is whether this is really true? Are there no replacements for the RAM slot?
Since I was not carrying the money, I asked him whether inserting the 2GB RAM stick on the working slot(and removing the RAM stick from the faulty slot) would allow me to work on the laptop. Since he confirmed that I could, so I asked him to do that.
After I reached home and tried starting the laptop, I was faced with the 'Startup(Normal) or Startup(Repair)' screen. Starting up normally either led to a black screen without any activity or a screen which was highly pixelleted with horizontal lines running across it. When I chose Startup Repair, the system asked me whether I wanted to restore to a Sytem restore point. I chose 'Yes' and after shutting down the laptop finally started up normally and I was able to work after which I shutdown the laptop.
Now when I tried to startup the laptop, I am facing the same 'Startup(Normal) or Startup(Repair)' screen as before. But this time I cannot get the laptop to start with any of the options. Either the pixelleted, horizontal lines screen appears and I cannot do anything or the screen goes blank. During one of the attempts this long message appeared which said that I need to check for any recent hardware/software changes, startup in safe mode etc.
Is all of these happening because of the single 2GB RAM? But in this case how did it run earlier. Or is it because the RAM is not properly inserted in the slot. Or should I use the recovery disk to try and repair Windows 7.
Point to be noted is that all throughout, I am able to access the BIOS setup screen without any problems at all. No pixellation or horizontal lines.
Turn the laptop over and recheck that the memory is fully inserted into the slots. Oh, and if your computer is not under warranty, then I would stay away from those "service centers" because more times than not they'll try to sell you another motherboard on fear.
If the memory is properly seated in the slot, then the next thing to do, if you are still having the problem, is to go ahead and follow the prompts to do the repair of Windows.....it's automated and should repair any damage from missing or corrupted files from your backup image that the computer uses. Lastly, always make sure to shut your computer down properly by clicking the Windows logo on the bottom left of your screen and shutting down that way. If your battery dies while your computer is on standby, that will make the computer think that something is wrong which will trigger the startup repair choices etc..... hope this helps.
Thanks for the reply John472. The first time I repaired Windows by following the prompts it worked. Then I faced the problem again but this time repairing didn't solve the problem. Anyway, I will try it again today. Can you confirm two things for me:
1. Is it true that the memory slots cannot be replaced instead I need to replace the motherboard?
2. The laptop had a 1GB + 2GB RAM and I removed the 1GB stick from the faulty slot. Is this the reason for the problem?
1. Yes, it's true that the slots can't be replaced as they are part of the motherboard.
2. In order to know if it is a memory problem and not a registry error, then you would have to do a trial and error type test. You can try inserting both memory modules back into the laptop and do the repair install again. Or, you can insert the 1GB into the original slot and remove the 2GB. Just rotate the memory around until you find the slot that's bad yourself. In the Bios, you can do a memory check to see if the memory sticks are the cause and not the slots.
We repair all brands of PC's here in Illinois, but I tell people that come to me from Best Buy's Geek Squad not to worry, we don't sell fear here.........we only fix computers. I really can't see this particular computer just having a bad memory slot all of a sudden and I'd say it sounds like bad memory sticks or either you need to copy your documents to a USB flash drive and do a clean installation of Vista or Windows 7.
Also, we do remote computer repairs for little or nothing (45.00), which covers the first 30 minutes and usually that's all it takes, but Best Buy Geek Squad will charge 189.00 for the same 30 mins not mention cost to diagnose. Anyway, most problems could be solved by the customer- like you are doing.
Let me know if it works..............