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Dell Inspiron 1520 Motherboard issue?

Posted on 2009-07-14
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
Hello,

I have been trying to fix a Dell Inspiron 1520, but it seems that this machine has a defect motherboard:

Symptoms:
- frequently freezing, no error in event viewer or minidump
- sometimes when clicking via touchpad, the click keeps on repeating clicking endlessly
- sometimes the machine gives the warning sound (constant beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep)
- sometimes a IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL BSD
- doesn't matter if machine was just started or has been running for eight hrs.

The rare minidumps (2 in 12 days) point to ntoskrnl.exe

Attempts to resolve so far:

All Dell Hardware Diagnosis tests have been completed successfully without error several times.
New drivers for touchpad etc installed (anyway, no sofware error was indicated).
Endless error checkings, sfc/scannow etc.
CPUCool shows max temp of 48
Fan is working well, sensor too (doesn't matter if machine was just started or has been running for eight hrs)
Ram has been tested, even exchanged

I am afraid that there is nothing else left than the mobo. Or?
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Question by:Sumukha
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dbrunton earned 70 total points
ID: 24855579
>> CPUCool shows max temp of 48

If that's under load that is OK.

>> Ram has been tested, even exchanged

Remove RAM, blow out memory slots.  Try memory one stick at a time and see if error still occurs using only one stick.

Download a Live Linux CD such as Knoppix http://www.knoppix.org/  Make the CD and boot from it and run Knoppix for a while and see if errors still occur.  If they do it is hardware.  If they don't it is software.

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Author Comment

by:Sumukha
ID: 24855883
Hi dbrunton,
thanks for posting.
Looked up the beep- one long one relates to systemboard. Done that w the RAM.
Great idea with the Linux. Will do that.
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 24856420
Also try disconnecting the touchpad (if possible) and use an external mouse.

But it is starting to seem very much like the board.
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Assisted Solution

by:greg_vander
greg_vander earned 55 total points
ID: 24856866
Hi

I thought it could be an OS error, so the dbrunton idea for live cd should tell you if it's that. if there's no error with linux I recommend you to do a low level format before reinstalling the OS.
regards.
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Author Comment

by:Sumukha
ID: 24859134
What do you mean by low level format?
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 24860820
A low level format is a format applied to a hard disk.

This isn't required in this case.  If the hard disk is suspected of being faulty then the disk manufacturer's utils can be used to determine it.  A combination of these utils can be found on the UBCD  http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/  Again most manufacturer's utils can map out faulty sectors making the use of a low level format unnecessary.

It probably wouldn't hurt to run a hard disk check.  But I'd suspect the motherboard more than the hard disk.
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Author Comment

by:Sumukha
ID: 24861086
Me too. And I have run countless disc check already.
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Expert Comment

by:greg_vander
ID: 24876499
Hi

did you do the test with knoppix ? if it's the same you could change motherboard, if not you 'll have to reinstall the OS.
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Author Comment

by:Sumukha
ID: 24887169
Started checking with Ubuntu, but due to missing driver support for the wireless adapter, didn't test for hours and hours actively.

However, we are getting another mobo. I'll split points with more for dbrunton.
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Author Comment

by:Sumukha
ID: 25032874
Final Solution:

It was NOT the Mobo!
When switching off one core, trouble stopped. Same with a different CPU. Different MOBO same.
Finally a complete factory reset made the errors disappear.

Meaning: cause was the part of the Win installation that takes care of the 2nd core.
All that although sfc was run more than once!
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