dell laptop not posting

dankyle67 used Ask the Experts™
my old dell laptop recently came up with blank screen and i didnt even hear the post
beep that it is starting up.  tried putting windows xp cd in it to see if it will boot to it and
no good as well.  Doesnt even show bootup menu which shows option to get into bios or to hit any F keys at startup.  I know if hard drive is bad it will still at least show bootup menu and then get error that no bootable device available.  I think motherboard is bad but just to be sure, are there any other tests i can try.  The power light goes on but thats it.  No hard drive light or any sounds or startup screens at all.  thanks.
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Can you plug in an external screen? Just in case the tft/backlight is dead.
If you are not passing the power on self test, then it is a safe assumption the laptop is dead.
If you have done any hardware upgrades, I'd remove the installed hardware.  

If you did any software / firmware upgrades, this might be the problem.  HP has a utility that you can use to troubleshoot this sort of thing, you might have to contact Dell to see if they have one too:

Since you don't hear a beep, and can see the light come on, that rules out display issues and power supply issues.  The motherboard is all that's left.

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