RAM Voltage on Dell Inspiron 8500

Posted on 2006-05-29
Last Modified: 2013-11-10
Hello All,

I am have been having issues with a Dell Inspirion 8500 laptop. I have tested the voltage to the RAM at 2.2V and wondering if that is the correct reading for this laptop? What is occuring is that about every 6 months the ram seems to be failing. Once I replace the memory the system runs well again for that approximate time frame. Any ideas on this? Also, I was unable to purchase a schematic diagram from Dell and was wondering how one would obtain this? I have seem misc. schematics for Dell hardware posted on the net but, not the full blown schematic for the Inspiron 8500. Any ideas on where I can find this would be a huge help. Please refrain from comments that Dell is the only place - thanks.
Question by:UnitedPres
    LVL 70

    Accepted Solution

    The correct voltage is 2.5v.   There's a 5% tolerance, so the voltage could be as low as 2.375v and be within spec ==> but 2.2v is too low.  

    I've not seen a "full blow schematic" for the Inspiron 8500, but Dell does have some fairly comprehensive documentation (see the Service Manual in particular) for this model available on the web:
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    I agree with the person above.  Have Dell chagne your laptop's motherboard.

    Give him the points.

    LVL 44

    Expert Comment

    Have you done a BIOS update on this laptop?  It is downloadable from DELL.  All the voltage per CPU type is listed in BIOS tables, and if the BIOS table is old, then it will preset the wrong voltage.

    Before you give up on the board, just download the latest BIOS and FLASH it, per DELL instructions, making sure you do not power the laptop off between the time you start flashing, and a complete new reboot of the OS.  Once it has rebooted with the new BIOS settings, you might find it works just fine.  This is a TYPICAL BIOS update issue.
    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    do you have the 2.2 V when running from battery alone, and from the AC adaptor alone?

    Author Comment

    I have the low voltage reading when running on both battery as well as the AC adapter. I have flashed the bios with Dell's most recent update and no change. What I am looking for here is to find a schematic for this laptop. I appreciate the suggestions and especially garycase answer to the correct voltage and will award him some points. Rather than spend $500 on having Dell replace the board I would prefer to board level troubleshoot this issue. Replacing a transitor or a few resisters would be my choice over feeding Dell too much for a simple problem.

    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    If you remove the motherboard you can probably find the voltage regulator for the 2.5v supply.   But whether the regulator IC is bad, or the control circuitry is out-of-spec, is difficult to say.   Look carefully on the motherboard for any sign of deteriorated capacitors (leaking or bulging).

    Good to know there's still some interest in board-level repair instead of just throwing things away :-)
    (although with modern multi-layer boards it's a lot trickier than it used to be)

    Write Comment

    Please enter a first name

    Please enter a last name

    We will never share this with anyone.

    Featured Post

    What Should I Do With This Threat Intelligence?

    Are you wondering if you actually need threat intelligence? The answer is yes. We explain the basics for creating useful threat intelligence.

    In this article you will get to know about pros and cons of storage drives HDD, SSD and SSHD.
    In this article we have discussed the manual scenarios to recover data from Windows 10 through some backup and recovery tools which are offered by it.
    It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages.
    Get a first impression of how PRTG looks and learn how it works.   This video is a short introduction to PRTG, as an initial overview or as a quick start for new PRTG users.

    758 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    14 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now