Dead inspiron 1521

Discussion in 'Dell' started by kevin, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. kevin

    kevin Guest

    The laptop was working fine until this...

    Now when you turn on the PC the green on/off button lights up and the
    fan spins.

    Screen stays completly black, no beepin, no other sign of life.

    I removed the battery and held the on/off for 1 minute replaced the
    battery - no joy

    I repeated the steps above without replaceing the battery and tried to
    boot just with the power supply - same result.

    Any other suggestions?


    kevin, Nov 25, 2009
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  2. Hi!
    Many Dell laptops will indicate failure codes by way of the keyboard
    "lock" (num/caps/scroll (if equipped)). Do any of these lights blink
    or illuminate alongside the power button?

    Try opening the memory access door (bottom of the system, usually
    marked with something that looks like a memory module) and reseating
    any installed memory modules.

    Should the system still fail, remove one memory module and try it
    again. (It is very likely that there are two modules in place.) Swap
    the one remaining memory module with the one you removed and try
    again. If the system powers up, the computer has defective memory.

    William R. Walsh, Nov 25, 2009
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  3. kevin

    kevin Guest

    I remove the memory chip tried to reboot - no good
    I replaced the chip with a good chip - no good
    I removed the CMOS battery discharged the laptop and replaced the
    battery - no good.

    I took the HD out of the unit and inserted it in a external drive
    device and it is accessable.

    I spent a bit of time reading about dead Dell laptops and it seems

    Any other suggestions before this is tossed?


    kevin, Nov 25, 2009
  4. kevin

    kevin Guest

    PS: no other lights when unit is powered up. Just fan noise.
    kevin, Nov 25, 2009
  5. kevin

    Ben Myers Guest

    Failures of Dell laptops are just as common percentagewise as any other

    Seems like you've done what you can to try to get it running again.
    Likely something failed in the motherboard circuitry, altho processors
    do fail infrequently.

    Don't toss it. Keep your hard drive, give away or sell off the rest.
    Dell parts are in demand (like any other brand. Again.), because the
    name brand manufacturers do not stock many spares, and often contract
    out the spares and logistics aftermarket and warranty work to companies
    that charge what the traffic will bear. Corporate America and
    Government America, in their often dim-wittedness, often pays
    near-extortion prices for repairs... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Nov 26, 2009
  6. kevin

    kevin Guest

    Sorry, I suould'nt have used the words "toss it" so carelessly. I
    still have my first "laptop" a OSBORNE. I will use the HD /someday/.
    As for the rest I am sure bits and pieces will end up in something.

    I always say whenever something ends up in my shop that is DOA that I
    will add it to my museum....... LOL.

    I have not put ANYTHING in the landfill since I upgraded 30 original
    IBM PC's about 20 years ago..... Any I reformatted and gave away about
    10 of them.

    Thanks for confirming my conclusions, Its a shame "they dont make
    things like they use to"

    Happy Thanksgiving

    kevin, Nov 26, 2009
  7. kevin

    Ben Myers Guest

    Dell, like every name brand, every white box assembler, every off-brand
    (e.g. Systemax, the house brand of MicroCenter), has its laptops and
    desktops with reasonable quality and some absolutely lamentable products
    made very cheaply.

    I generally recommend to people that if they want a product to last,
    then they should not buy the cheapest model available.

    There is also the recommendation to buy the business models, which,
    historically, have been built to a higher quality standard than the
    consumer models. However. And it's a big however. Let's compare the
    "business" model Latitude 100L of about 5 years ago with the "consumer"
    Inspiron 1150. Guess what? identical motherboards. Same bottom
    plastic and keyboard. Same LCD screen, given the choices of 14" or 15"
    available for both models. Different plastic decor. Oops! Same stuff
    sold to businesses and consumers, but the business model carries a
    higher price tag and a longer warranty.

    Now consider the "business" Latitude D600 and the "consumer" Inspiron
    600m. Same story, just different plastic coloring.

    So much for recommending "business" class computers. Businesses are
    generally getting fleeced, because the underlying assumption is that
    they can afford to pay more.

    Unfortunately, because nobody does an honest-to-gosh teardown of new
    models to really assess product quality, you have no idea what you are
    getting if you pay more.

    Certain models develop a reputation, deserved or not, for high product

    Everyone keeps saying "caveat emptor", but the emptor has no empirical
    data to go on in the 21st century... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Nov 26, 2009
  8. kevin

    alien Guest

    Are you saying that changes in attitude don't always reflect changes in

    alien, Nov 26, 2009
  9. kevin

    Ben Myers Guest

    True. Especially when one goes to the southern hemisphere... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Nov 27, 2009
  10. kevin

    Ben Myers Guest

    The problem we are all dealing with here is the diffusion of useful
    information about laptops (and other gear), rather than using one source
    of consolidated information that collects the facts from knowledgeable
    people (lab rats, trade press, power users and the like)... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Nov 27, 2009
  11. kevin

    kevin Guest

    Pure speculation on my part but I believe that the problem(s) with
    todays electronic devices can be attributed to several things:

    1) non-lead based solder.
    Temprature fluctuations causes cracking at the connections
    2) denser circut boards
    Tighter tolerances and looser quality control create a situation
    where "good out of the box" fails after normal wear and tear.

    It use to be if you got a PC "or any electronic device for that
    matter" and it worked for a month or two it would last as long as you

    I guess it is getting to the point where the "extended warranty"
    should be incorporated in every purchase. At the right price of

    kevin, Nov 28, 2009
  12. kevin

    Ben Myers Guest

    Well, the name brand manufacturers are all promoting low price, low
    price, low price. Guess what? You get crap for quality at a low price.
    Buyers who shop only on price get suckered into buying throwaway
    laptops, which is great for the peddlers of laptops who can keep on
    selling more and ever more of them.

    Plus the laptop manufacturers almost unanimously solder the power
    connector (where the AC power adapter plugs in) to the motherboard with
    NOTHING else to support it structurally. So you plugs and unplugs the
    power adapter a few hundred times and weaken the soft-metal solder. The
    power connector starts to wobble a little bit, then fractures leaving a
    motherboard unable to charge the battery, or a system that becomes very

    The denser chips and more densely packed boards are more likely a good
    thing, as long as the motherboard design is high quality. Recently, I
    took apart some dead laptops in my collection, 'cause I grew tired of
    them waiting around for some good parts to fall out of the sky. Some of
    the internals of older P2 and P3 laptops were designed by Rube Goldberg
    with MULTIPLE boards, more itty-bitty wires, etc.

    Normal wear and tear causes failure when the wear and tear happens with
    cheap thin flimsy plastic, which is what you get in the bargain basement
    laptops and netbooks, which are oh, so light in weight. With the wrong
    choice of materials, light in weight means a laptop/netbook cannot
    possibly stand up to wear and tear. Give me another extra pound of
    weight for a titanium frame like the IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad T-series
    notebooks... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Nov 28, 2009
  13. kevin

    Ben Myers Guest

    Continuing my riff on product quality, I took a Toshiba Satellite A215
    laptop with broken screen as a trade in, giving the owner short money
    for the parts, figuring if I could make it whole, it would be worth
    something. I have a compatible screen, and tore down the system so I
    could replace the screen. The teardown is a near-complete disassembly.
    Underneath the keyboard is a top cover that lifts off after you
    unscrew it and disconnect four sets of the teeny tiny wires and the LCD
    cable. I attemped to twist one of the LCD hinges into a better position
    to put the cover back on the screen, and bent the hinge. The other one
    turned out to be broken. The front bezel for the LCD is held on with 4
    screws. It is a chore to remove the plastic without breaking it,
    because the plastic is thin and very flexible. Reassembly requires
    either smaller fingers than I have or special tools to reach down under
    the top cover to connect up the teeny tiny cables, a design inspired by
    Rube Goldberg. Bottom line is I would have to invest in new hinges and
    hope the damned thing held together long enough if I sold it. I came to
    the only rational decision: EBAY! Sell off the motherboard on eBay,
    keep the SATA drive and DVD burner, put a lot of small laptop screws
    into my growing collection of laptop odds and ends, let somebody else
    mess with assembling the damned thing, and sleep well at night knowing I
    won't get a call from an angry customer. I've torn down several other
    dead Toshibas in the last year or so and the product quality is about
    the same.

    Give me (most) Dells and (most) IBM/Lenovo laptops for product quality
    and ease of repair... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Nov 29, 2009
  14. Hi!

    Did you ever try the external monitor I suggested earlier?
    I see people say this, and I just don't think it holds a lot of water. I
    really don't see the problem with traditional leaded solder, and I've got
    enough of it to last quite some time. (Probably as long as I will ever care
    to solder.) That's another story entirely. I guess the decision has been
    made, lead is bad, etc, etc, etc and it doesn't matter what I think.

    I feel a much stronger argument is to be made for bad soldering processes at
    the factory. Personally speaking, I have not seen any real difference in
    good quality, well designed devices with leaded or non-leaded solder used in
    their assembly. Remember, a lot of bad soldering jobs also turned up on
    equipment using leaded solder!
    I don't know about this one. A lot of today's motherboards are populated
    with a few highly integrated ICs. While I would say this definitely does
    increase trace density, it also reduces the number of possible things that
    can go wrong, and the number of components that can fail. It's a trade
    off--a board with discrete components could be easier to fix. Highly
    integrated parts are almost impossible to find and even if you can, they may
    require special measures to put them into place.
    To a certain extent, you get what you pay for. Dell's infamous Inspiron 11x0
    series systems are proof of this. So many have died due to a lack of
    adequate cooling where other Dell laptops from the same time frame have
    remained reliable. Dell wanted those systems to be as cheap as possible for
    the time, and that came at a price...

    The only reason I have to believe that my Latitude D800 will be anything
    less than fully functional by the time I go looking for a new laptop will be
    due to normal wear and tear taking its toll on the system. The Compaq LTE
    5000 that came before it is *still* running, although the display backlight
    is badly aged and the battery has pretty well had it.

    William R. Walsh, Nov 29, 2009
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