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Dell Studio 1555 Power Issue

Okay, here's a tricky one for everyone.  I have a Dell Studio 1555 with a power issue.  Originally when we bought it, the lcd back cover was broken, which is where the power button is located (if you look at it open, it's on the right hand side as part of the hinge).  So, we ordered a new back cover with power button and installed it.  Everything seemed to be working fine but now we have a problem.

If the laptop SITS for a while, not plugged in, it will not turn on when you press the power button.  If you plug it in, it does not turn on.  However, if you take the battery out, hold down the power button for 10 seconds, then plug in the AC Adapter, it turns on!  You can turn it right back off, put the battery in, unplug the AC Adapter, and it will still turn on just fine.

Tried this several times.  Once it is 'working', you can turn it off and back on running just off the battery.  I've checked the CMOS battery to see if it was undervoltaged, which it was not.  I'm frankly out of ideas.  It seems like the power isn't dissipating from the motherboard properly.  As you can imagine, I feel like pulling my hair out.  I wouldn't mind it except I'm a computer shop and I wish to sell this.  I can't tell the customer to go through all this just to turn it on.  Any ideas?
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Scott Thompson
Asked:
Scott Thompson
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2 Solutions
 
edbedbCommented:
Only thing I can think of is to try removing the wireless card and test. If it works that way, replace the adapter.
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Try the following (from methods to start a Thinkpad):

Remove the hard drive and any media drives, battery and unplug the AC adapter.

Press the "power" button ten times in a row, holding it down for ten seconds each time, and thirty seconds the last time around.

This is to reset the start mechanism and might assist here. .... Thinkpads_User
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nobusCommented:
since you say it restarts after a 10 sec bleeding pause, i would try a bios update
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Scott ThompsonAuthor Commented:
Okay, here's what I have done.

I have already tried a BIOS Update, but thank you for the suggestion anyways, nobus.

edbedb, I tried removing the wireless card and had no luck.

thinkpads_user, I did your COMPLETE drain to hopefully reset the mechanism.  It did turn on, however, after letting it sit, it did not again.

I do have to change my problem a little bit.  If I power drain it for 30 seconds with the battery out, and then put the battery back in (NO AC ADAPTER), it does turn on.

Any other suggestions? (Yes, this is a new battery, but I have the old one too)
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
There is (likely) a BIOS battery (small coin battery). They are usually pretty reliable, but yours may have gone. That could cause this issue.

Beyond that, you may have a motherboard problem. .... Thinkpads_User
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Scott ThompsonAuthor Commented:
I did check the CMOS battery, it reads 3.02V.  There does not appear to be any issue with the wireless, and there is no Bluetooth.
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Regarding the CMOS battery. It looks like it might be ok, but remember that you are reading voltage under no load. It may be worth another battery just to see.

Otherwise you could be looking at a motherboard issue.  ... Thinkpads_User
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Scott ThompsonAuthor Commented:
Well, put a different CMOS battery in (3.10V), and while I was doing that, the holder for the CMOS battery came loose.  So, I soldered it back on and put the battery in.  THOUGHT that fixed my issue, but alas, it did not.

So, obviously trying to avoid the motherboard, any other ideas?
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edbedbCommented:
You could try popping out the RAM modules to see if it will start w/o removing the battery.
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RootsManCommented:
Have you tried cleaning around the power button? Maybe there's gunk causing the button to get a stuck. Spray a little WD-40 around the power button and work the button several times, then slide a piece of paper in the space between the power button and the case to clean out any gunk and soak up the WD-40.
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nobusCommented:
>>   Once it is 'working', you can turn it off and back on running just off the battery  <<   did you try another AC adapter?  that seems here to be the cause imo
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Scott ThompsonAuthor Commented:
Actually nobus, we have tried another AC Adapter, but thanks for the idea.

I'm not sure what cleaning the button will do, RootsMan, since it's a new button, but I will try it here in a bit anyways.

I tried the memory thing, but it did not work.  Sigh.
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I think you have a motherboard issue, given all you have tried. .... Thinkpads_User
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RootsManCommented:
Although you have a new power button, the whole that is passes through, if dirty enough, may be causing the button to not slide in and out all the way.
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Scott ThompsonAuthor Commented:
Sigh, I'm thinking if I can't fix it, that we will just use it around the shop as an extra laptop... and I still haven't tried to clean the button yet, but I'm open to suggestions.

Buying a motherboard for it would not be cost effective unfortunately.
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Grant1842Commented:
I had a similar issue like this on a laptop .
I went through all the usual.

Turns out there was a pull up resistor (surface mount) next to the DC power jack that had a bad solder joint on one side of surface mount resistor.

The way I found it was live voltage testing.
I start at the DC power jack and follow the copper trace and test each component.
When I probed that bad resistor I noticed a small spark .
It was doing sporadic start and no start from the power button.
I had all ready tested the stand voltage at the power button , etc .

I applied some surface mount solder to the resistor and flowed in new solder on both sides of the resistor and the problem was solved.

If you have not done live voltage testing on a PCB before you could do more damage than good.

 I hope this helps you to find your problem.
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
>>> Buying a motherboard for it would not be cost effective unfortunately.

Unless you are up to repairing motherboards (most of us are not), then, correct, buying a new one is not cost effective. Sometimes you can get a good one on eBay, but for the most part, you are probably better off with a new machine. ... Thinkpads_User
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
My posts (ID:37058794, ID:37063527, and  ID:37066828) along with others address this issue.  The machine has a motherboard issue and is probably best off replaced. .... Thinkpads_User
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Scott ThompsonAuthor Commented:
I will try to find the problem with the motherboard, but will most likely replace it.  Thank you for your time!
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Thank you, and I was pleased to help. .... Thinkpads_User
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Grant1842Commented:
Sorry to here you did not find the problem.
Thanks for posting the question.
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