Dell Inspiron 1545 won't power up

I have a Dell Inspiron 1545 that is totally dead. It won't power up with the battery inserted nor with the battery removed and just the AC adapter connected. The AC adapter is the original Dell equipment and the blue light on it illuminates when it is plugged into an AC outlet. Gently wiggling the connector right at the power port made no difference at all.

I have tried removing the battery and disconnecting the AC adapter and holding down the power button for over 30 seconds -- no joy.

I have also removed the H/D, the DVD-ROM drive, the battery and all RAM chips. Nothing -- no beeps or anything.

Short of potentially wasting money on a replacement AC adapter that may make no difference, is there anything else I can do to isolate the problem to the AC adapter vs. the motherboard?

Thanks, in advance, for your help.
don0donAsked:
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rindiCommented:
Use a voltmeter or multimeter to measure the output of your powersupply. If the correct voltage is read, the PSU probably is fine. Most of those psu's also include a led. If it is on it also indicates that everything is fine.
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don0donAuthor Commented:
I have a multimeter, but have never used it to test the output of a notebook PSU. How do I go about that?
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don0donAuthor Commented:
As I said in my posted question, the LED on the PSU lights up just fine.
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rindiCommented:
You just measure the voltage you get on the plug of the PSU. Usually the value is written on the PSU, and also on the notebook.
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nobusCommented:
normally, you will have 19.5 V at the output
see here how :  http://www.fonerbooks.com/laptop11.htm
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
Do you have an extra power supply lying around you can try?

Also, try hooking up an external monitor and turning the laptop on.  I've seen it before where I thought the laptop was dead but it was just the screen that had gone bad.
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don0donAuthor Commented:
rindi & nobus: Thanks for  helping me learn how to test a notebook PSU. The PSU for this notebook tests out at 21 V -- is that excessively high? And since we've now determined the PSU is delivering power to the notebook, does that definitely prove that the problem is with a motherboard component?

ScottCha: No, I don't have an extra known-good power supply to test the unit with. And the notebook doesn't power up at all-- no beeps, no fans, no indicator lights, nothing--so the problem isn't merely a dead LCD display.
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rindiCommented:
What does it say about how much it should deliver on the PSU? You can expect some tolerance, and when it is connected and under load, it'll probably also get a little lower though.
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don0donAuthor Commented:
rindi: Sorry, I should have said--the output listed is 19.5V.
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rindiCommented:
Then the 21V is probably fine. That definitely points to the mainboard as main suspect.
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nobusCommented:
here my laptop troubleshooting guide, i hope it helps you :
- remove all external devices
-you can disable devices from BIOS to test (sound, lan, etc..)
- if no display - test with an external monitor
- test if it runs from battery alone, or from AC alone
- test also with a known good battery !
***some laptops have a reset button - if you have one use it!
- 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 you can access the bios battery, remove the battery, AC, and bios battery for a minute to reset the bios
or test it, it should read 3 V
*** you can test the disk on another pc, if you like !

===>>you can test if the mobo works outside the casing, connected to power and external video  !

you can also remove and reseat the video plug - it sometimes comes loose

for troubleshooting the display (LCD) problems : http://www.lcdparts.net/howto/symptom.aspx

bad invertor or CCFL bulb?  Thanks to Grant1842 : http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Laptops_Notebooks/A_5022-Test-if-your-inverter-is-bad-or-your-CCFL-bulb-in-the-LCD-sceen-is-bad.html
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don0donAuthor Commented:
Sorry for the delay. I ended up with some serious problems of my own -- both my desktop PC and my own laptop died within three days!!  What are the odds?

Thanks for the help!
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nobusCommented:
>>  both my desktop PC and my own laptop died within three days!!  What are the odds?
 <<   i'd say one of these :
-sheer bad luck, and coincidal
-environmental cause (eg AC or grounding problems)
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rindiCommented:
The scientific odds are almost zero (let's say 1%). But it's murphy's law, so in real life, the odds are 99%!
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