Dead Laptop (Dell Precision M90)

mbizup
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I have a Dell Precision M90 laptop that is not starting up.

It makes a clicking sound and a couple of lights flash briefly under the display when I hit the power button.  After that, nothing happens. There are no sounds or anything else showing signs of life.

My first thought was that it was a dead battery.  This is what I have tried so far with no difference:
- Two different power supplies.  
- Removing the battery and trying to start it with just the power supplies.

Does this rule out the possibility that it is just a dead battery, or do these computers need a battery to start even if they are hooked up to a power supply?

If it rules out the battery, what should my next trouble-shooting step be?

Thanks!


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Commented:
Sounds like the hard drive may have failed. If it is beyond a mechanical failure (something in the electronics of it) it could cause a short and prevent the machine from starting up.  I would pull out the hard drive and try booting it again. This doesn't sound like it has anything to do with a battery or ac adapter issue.
Battery is a non-issue, as the laptop will run with just the power supply connected and no battery attached.  The "clicking" you're hearing could be a bad hard drive, but since you never get anything on the screen, it makes me think it's something more critical.  You could even remove the hard drive temporarily and see if you at least see the POST screen on your laptop.  
mbizupNerd
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Commented:
Thanks for the replies. I'll try that. I won't get a chance to do this until later tonight (US East Coast), but will post back when I do.

Obvious beginner's question - do I need a static guard to remove the hard drive?
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Commented:
Well.....you can never be TOO safe.  I don't use one, but then again, I've never fried something by static discharge.  I'm sure I'll start using one after I do.

This makes me think about a class I had where the prof. asked "Who here makes regular backups of their data?"

10% of the students raised their hands.

He then asked "Who here has has lost data because a hard drive failed?"

The same 10% raised their hands.
mbizupNerd
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Commented:
Lol!

Hopefully I'll be in that 10% the NEXT time this happens (sheepish grin).  

I don't store much on my home PC (mainly things I can easily reinstall), so I don't make regular backups.  

But just the same, I'm starting to itemize the little things I MAY have lost ...
If it's your motherboard at fault and not your hard drive malfunctioning, you can still get your data off of that drive.  You can pickup cheap ($20) kits from newegg.com for 2.5" drives that will allow you to hook it up to another PC via USB.
mbizupNerd
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Commented:
<If it's your motherboard at fault and not your hard drive malfunctioning>

Stephen,

From your posts, I'm gathering that the tell-tale sign after removing the hard drive would be the POST screen (bad hard drive) versus nothing (bad motherboard).

You guys have given me some great tips, which is just what I needed.  I'll run with them when I get a chance later on, and post back.

Thanks again
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Commented:
here my laptop troubleshooting guide :
- remove battery and AC adaptor, hold power button for 20 sec, connect AC and reboot --> any display ? if NO -->
- disconnect all disk and cd drives, battery , and other cards and peripherals, leave only 1 ram stick
- boot -->any display ?
- if NO remove all ram and reboot --> if NO beeps, mobo or cpu bad ; if it beeps, replace ram stick
mbizupNerd
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Commented:
Hi -

I started trying to work with this last night, but got nowhere fast. I didn't have any screwdrivers small enough to take the hard drive out.

I'm out of town this weekend and am not sure when I am going to have a chance to get back to this.

I'm going to go ahead and close this since everyone has posted good trouble shooting ideas. That is huge for  me, because I needed to know  where to start.  I will follow up with seperate questions if needed.

Thanks, and have a good weekend!

mbizupNerd
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Commented:
Thanks for the help -  I really appreciate the experience-based details.
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Commented:
i hope you get it running soon..

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