Dell laptop not powering on

techdrive used Ask the Experts™
I generally do not work with PC's as I am a systems person but have a question. I have a M6700 DELL laptop and this thing up until a week ago was awesome. Now when I cut it on the fans kick on and after a few seconds it just shuts off. I get no display but did notice the battery LED light was orange. I replaced the battery with a DELL battery and also the power cord with a Dll. It does the exact samething except this time instead of the light being orange its now white along with the other lights just as the hard drive. Could this be the motherboard. I left it connected so that the battery could charge but I doubt that's the issue. I took it a step further and took the battery out. I tried to power on the laptop without the battery just the power cord and the samething occurs. Does this sound like a motherboard issue?  I hope not please help.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Get a bootable USB key from Dell Support.   Start it with a bootable USB key and that will isolate your issue to hardware other than the hard drive, or operating software.

If hardware, then it could be the CPU overheating (thermal compound gone dry) or the Motherboard itself.
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer

From the symptoms you've described it does sound like a problem on the motherboard.  The fact that the system previously had a battery problem may or may not be related.

From the description it sounds like the system is not even getting into the BIOS, which it should from a very cold power-off startup.  Even if there are heat issues laptops can often get as far as the first splash screen; laptop CPUs must be able to tolerate excessive heat and will automatically throttle way, way down in a desperate attempt to keep running if it is at all possible to do so.

In this situation I'd be inclined to pop out the wireless card, replace it with a mini-PCIe POST status card, and see what happens when the system is powered on.  If you don't have a mini-PCIe POST card and your employer doesn't have one either, then (a) buy one - at $2.50 they're cheap and useful (b) any locally owned PC repair shop should be able to stick theirs into the unit and tell you how far it gets into the POST.

At that point you will have some solid information to go forward with.
Most Valuable Expert 2013
If it doesn't boot try using the LEDs as diagnostics - Dell has a standard system for the Precision Series
LED Diagnostics
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BitsBytesandMoreNetwork Operations Manager
Top Expert 2009

As per your description it does seem to be the motherboard. Did you try using the Dell pre boot hardware diagnostic tools?

Dell PCs, tablets and monitors come with pre-boot or built-in diagnostics which can help diagnose hardware issues and capture error codes. Built-in or pre-boot diagnostics are run before the PC boots into the operating system. Running a built-in or pre-boot diagnostics does not require your PC to be connected to the internet.

Running Dell Pre-boot System Assessment or enhanced Pre-boot System Assessment (Dell PSA or ePSA)

Dell ePSA or PSA diagnostics are available on Dell laptops, desktops, servers and Windows-based tablets.

Restart your Dell PC.
When the Dell logo appears, press F12 key to enter One-time Boot Menu.
Use the arrow keys to select Diagnostics and press Enter key on the keyboard.
Follow the on-screen prompts and respond appropriately to complete the diagnostics.
If the test fails, write down the error code and validation code.
Use the Dell Interactive Support Agent (English only) to get information about ePSA or PSA diagnostic error codes.
Alternatively, you can visit the SupportAssist Pre-Boot System Performance Check page to get more information about ePSA or PSA diagnostic error codes.

My guess if it is not even starting that the BIOS may be bad. You can't do any of these things above if the BIOS is not even starting.  Sadly, it could be the BIOS chip, a bad mother board, an internal power regulation issue, etc, etc.

I would not spend too much money or time on this.

Also, the "white" LED really bothers me, because usually they do not put RGB LEDs into these machines. The battery LED is typically a RED/GREEN LED, so it can show green to yellow to orange to red. To make it turn even close to white, you would have to dump way too much power into the GREEN LED, which will burn it out fairly quickly. And if the LED is truly getting too much power, that points to power regulation on the mother board not working. And if the power levels are all wrong, who knows what it might have burnt out?
Top Expert 2013

try this :
remove AC and battery
hold the power button pressed for 20 sec
now reinstall Ac and battery and test

Adding to nobus great idea, here is a video of things to check from Dell that includes his solution as well:

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