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Dell Inspiron 1420 won't boot:

Posted on 2011-09-15
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I was given a Dell Inspiron 1420 that won't won't boot.

Here's what I'm noticing:

- There seems to be a big delay before the machine actually powers on.  I press the power button while it's plugged in and nothing happens for about 15 seconds.  It then powers on.
- The screen lights up but there is no POST.  The screen just stays lit permanently.
- At this point the NUM lock is lit solid (not blinking)
- I cannot power the laptop off.  Pressing and holding the power does nothing.  I need to take the battery out in order to power the machine off.

I've already taken the hard drive out, extracted the data for the person and put the hard drive back in. I know it's not the hard drive.
I took the RAM out and tried both in SLOT A but the same thing happens.
I didn't try either of them in SLOT B yet (will the laptop even boot with no RAM present in SLOT A?).

Any help would be appreciated.
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Question by:homerslmpson
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by:shbasm
ID: 36544761
it is almost a hardware issue
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by:shbasm
ID: 36544769
you need technical skills to deal with it
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by:homerslmpson
ID: 36544787
Hmmm. I was hoping to get a little bit more information.

Something along the lines of:

"I've seen that on a friends computer.  he replaced the CPU and all was well."
-or-
"Chance are the motherboard is toast."
Etc.
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by:shbasm
ID: 36544801
i think you need somthing beyond swapping cpu ram ......etc
i Although i adviced you to do so first
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by:shbasm
ID: 36544908
first take battery apart and try to turn on without it
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by:homerslmpson
ID: 36544943
Already tried that. It won't power on.
I noticed that this laptop make/model was affected by the NVIDIA class action lawsuit so I'm thinking it has to do with the video card (NVIDIA Geforce 8400M GS I believe).
I can try buying another GPU but my concern is that additional damage may have been done to it.
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by:jamietoner
ID: 36544950
Most likely its a bad motherboard, but it could also be a failed cpu. But first try with just the ac adapter in and the battery out then try with the battery in and the ac adapter out. Replacement motherboard can be found on ebay for $100+, and dell offers teardown guides on their website for repairs.
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by:shbasm
ID: 36544966
don't be hurry up i will walk through step one by one
now take a multimeter and test the output of adapter
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by:jamietoner
ID: 36545000
On this board you cant replace just the gpu(8600m), unless you have some insane soldering skills, as the gpu is integrated on the motherboard.
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by:shbasm
ID: 36545026
then pull adapter cable from AC outlet and insert connector to DC jack of laptop move it gently do you feel it too loose ?
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by:homerslmpson
ID: 36545033
@jamietoner:
I did a quick search and it looked as if the video card is replaceable without soldering but I'm not 100% sure:
http://www.amazon.com/nVidia-GeForce-8400M-128Mb-Vostro/dp/B00493EOC4
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by:jamietoner
ID: 36545115
From what I am seeing on Dells website this system shipped with 2 video options an intel and an nvidia 8600m both are soldered onto the motherboard. The video card in your link is for an Inspiron 1520 and a Vostro 1500 and will not work on the 1420.
The part# for the motherboard with the nvidia gpu is UX283
The part# for the motherboard with the intel gpu is KN548
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by:homerslmpson
ID: 36545134
Ahh.  I see.
I was going off the website I found (CNET) because I don't have the laptop with me to disassemble (see image).
I'm not sure what else I can do then as buying / replacing the motherboard is probably not worth it.
 Specs
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by:shbasm
ID: 36545176
There are other things causing the problem mentioned
-make sure about adapter by swapping it with knewn good one
-swap cpu ram
-reflow by heat gun on gpu IC
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_gun
-reflow under cpu socket
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by:shbasm
ID: 36545197
if your problem still inform me
infact your are lucky cuz i am expert in this type of problems
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jamietoner earned 500 total points
ID: 36545229
Possible Dell did ship with the 8400m later and didn't update the documentation, wouldn't be the first time. Both the 8600m and 8400m were affected by the faulty soldering issues. The Vostro 1400 which uses the same board was shipped with the 8400m so more than likely you are right and have the 8400m installed, but it's still soldered onto the motherboard on these models. You can remelt the solder and it can bring the system back IF it's the video card causing the issue, but given the symptoms it could be many things and there is no real way to know for sure. If it was my laptop where I have the ability to repair it Id replace the motherboard, but if it was a customers laptop given the cost of parts and labor I suggest getting a new laptop as a current $400-$500 laptop would outperform this one and it would have a warranty.
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by:shbasm
ID: 36545245
if you have the passion and time to open laptop to reach to internal parts its better to go farther and learn soldering skills
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by:homerslmpson
ID: 36545280
I was given the laptop to keep.  The person didn't want it.
I'm just trying to decide if it's worth it to replace the motherboard.
There's an eBay item for $130 that you send them just the motherboard and they'll put the newer NVIDIA GPU on your existing motherboard and send it back to you:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/DELL-INSPIRON-1420-MOTHERBOARD-LAPTOP-NEW-NVIDIA-VIDEO-CHIP-INSTALLATION-SERVICE-/120774396198?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c1eb70926
I don't know if in theory, that'd be a better bet than ordering someone else's used motherboard that probably suffers from (or will suffer from) the same problem, ya know?

What to do, what to do...
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by:jamietoner
ID: 36545421
I have never used one of those repair services but it has good reviews and may be worth a shot. If the systems not going to play games another option is to order the motherboard with the intel gpu.
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by:homerslmpson
ID: 36545452
Yeah I was thinking about getting the Intel board.
Either option seems like it's going to be about the same price.
Thanks for the help guys.
Looks like I'm going to need to think about what path to take.
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by:shbasm
ID: 36545467
yes but that link talks about a group of predefined problems it didnt say we will repair any (no display problems) if you do not like to do the steps i mentioned it is better to take your laptop to a professional repair guy
cuz
sometime software in bios ic go corrupted and reprogramming it resolves the problem
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