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Dell Inspiron 4000 - Won't boot when in docking station

Posted on 2003-10-22
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Last Modified: 2008-01-16
Currently trying to figure out an issue with this Dell Inspiron 4000 Laptop.

When I turn the system on docked, there is no display shown, and the LED's on the docking station and Laptop both come on as if it were normally booting but the monitor never displays anything (and I have tried using Fn + F8 to change display mode) but after 1 minute or so the computer just shuts off.  And it doesn't get any farther then that when docked.

Take it out of the docking station press power and it boots right up, flawlessly.

(Just a note.... the battery that's in my laptop is dead, and i just use direct AC Power, put it in the back of my docking station if i need to use it, or switch it to just the AC on the laptop itself if i want to boot without the docking station)

I read that the latest BIOS update (which I already did) fixes this issue:

14. Fixed intermittent issue in which the system may fail to complete
    POST with AC power attached and a fully discharged battery installed.

Which i hoped would solve my problem, but unfortunately it didn't.

I've searched the web posted on dell forum and have not had any solutions yet.

Some say to delete the docking profile, or maybe you have incorrect drivers.... but i don't see those being the issue since it's not even getting to Windows at all, does stay on for more than 45 secs to 1 minute.  

--- Here's the next weird thing:

If I leave the computer off for a few days, then put it in the docking station and boot it up, sometimes it'll start up fine and i can use it with no problems until I shut it down again.

(Just another note, thought "Maybe it's a cooling issue" fan is still spinning and i feel it pushign the hot air out the side)

PLEASE HELP, I'd like to be able to dock my laptop.

ONE MORE THING ......   I have tried two different docking stations.... just in case one was bad.
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Question by:rcstech
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11 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:rcstech
ID: 9601326
I have also tried restoring Bios Settings to Default Settings.

And just for kicks, deleted any Docked profiles in the Windows Millenium OS.


Still no luck.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:chicagoan
ID: 9601378
Is there a PXE netboot option in the bios (if so turn it off).
I'd turn USB legacy support off and set the boot speed to do a full post.
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Author Comment

by:rcstech
ID: 9601645
I Set it back to System Defaults, I do not recall seeing a USB Legacy Support option or PXE Netboot being turned on, it was set to boot to HD, then Floppy, then CDROM.

I have set it to do a full post also... still no luck..
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Author Comment

by:rcstech
ID: 9606077
Just realized that I should probably state it as being a docking station, i really mean a Port Replicator.

Looks like this:

http://www.rcsonline.com/images/delldock.jpg

Anyone else have any ideas?
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Author Comment

by:rcstech
ID: 9609214
Please Help, I really need to figure this out, anyone else have any suggestions?
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Author Comment

by:rcstech
ID: 9609232
Increasing Points to 500
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:chicagoan
ID: 9609247
If I owned this setup and Dell wasn't forthcoming, I think I'd back up my data and do a fresh install of XP (pro), or at least back up and use the system recovery disk to refresh the ME installation.
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Author Comment

by:rcstech
ID: 9609346
I don't see how it could be an OS issue though....   When i take it out of the APR it works perfectly fine.

put it back in the APR docking station it doesn't even display anything, not even the Dell Logo, or HD Detections, nothing nada, not even that little white cursor.
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Accepted Solution

by:
GRiTech earned 500 total points
ID: 9654189
Do you have any diagnostics software to test laptop with?

Its possibly a systemboard fault, if you havnt got any test software try
http://www.itc.virginia.edu/desktop/dci/delldiag.html

Cheers
G
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Author Comment

by:rcstech
ID: 9657954
I called Dell and they said it is most likely a systemboard problem and that we would have to get it replaced...


I will give GRITech the points since that is the problem....
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Expert Comment

by:GRiTech
ID: 9657982
Thank you..glad to have pointed you in the right direction

G
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