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 Post subject: power problem with Dell laptop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:22 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 8:48 am
Posts: 53
My son's 3-1/2 year old Dell Studio laptop (out of warranty) was having automatic shutdown problems. This model is known to have heat issues, and we took a few simple steps to mitigate the problem.

The best thing I did, though, was to replace the laptop with a nice Toshiba model. I was able to get the Dell running long enough to transfer files to the new laptop, but I wanted to play around a little to see if I could fix the problem.

Unfortunately, the laptop got more and more unwilling to start, going from occasionally booting to not even chugging before trying to boot. It won't turn on at all.

My naïve guess is that this is a power supply issue. Agree or disagree?

I was hoping to be able to guess what a repair would cost, but I can't even find a power supply part online. My searches keep turning up AC adapters, which they call power supplies.

Part of me says I should junk the old laptop, but part of me wants to give it a chance as a device to use in an emergency. Any idea what replacing the power supply (assuming that's the problem) would cost? Should I use the laptop as a doorstop?

Thanks.

-- Attila


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 Post subject: Re: power problem with Dell laptop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:04 pm 
Million Club - 20 Plus
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Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2004 9:26 am
Posts: 4739
Location: Dixon Springs, TN
Try taking the battery out and just use the power supply to power it. I had a laptop where the battery was going bad. Took it out and was able to just use the power supply until I could order a new battery.
If that doesn't work, replacement power supplies and/or batteries are not all that expensive on ebay. If you want to give that a try.


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 Post subject: Re: power problem with Dell laptop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:28 pm 
Thunderbird
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Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:17 pm
Posts: 852
Location: Phoenix, AZ
I agree try it without the battery present.

Other easy things to try:

1. Boot up (if you can) and run memtest86 (v4) or Memtest86+ (v5).

Also, remove one stick and see if the laptop still has this problem. If so, swap sticks and see if it still has the problem.

2. Boot up (if you can) and run or run Windows version of the laptop's HDD maker's free diag test app available from support download page.

3. The Studio instructions are usually pretty good. Go to the Dell support page and figure out how to do a thorough cleaning of the interior of the laptop.

I take it if you shake the laptop there are no loose parts inside?

Hard to believe thermal compound is dried out on a 3 1/2 yo laptop.

4. Use a VOM to measure output from the AC/DC Power brick. Does it match?

5. Try wiggling where the AC adapter cord enters the laptop. Any change?---this is the most common repair area on a laptop.

6. Install HWMonitor (if you can) and get readings? Anything abnormal?

That is pretty much it for easy messing with a laptop.


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 Post subject: Re: power problem with Dell laptop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:54 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 8:48 am
Posts: 53
dedgar and FN, thanks for your advice.

I took the battery out and the laptop still won't boot. No sound, no nothin'. With the AC adapter plugged in, there's a light that's on next to the place where the adapter goes it. It flashes when I push the power button. But that's all she wrote.

By the way, when I said "power supply," I meant the component inside the laptop that powers the thing, not the AC adapter that connects to the outlet. I don't think I would be able to replace the inside component myself. I was just wondering how much it would cost if I took it to a repair shop.

Thanks.

-- Attila


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 Post subject: Re: power problem with Dell laptop
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:40 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2010 6:31 am
Posts: 46
What you are referring to as the power supply is actually called the "DC jack" which accepts the power from the adapter and gives it to the computer and battery. If that is the culprit, its not too terribly costly to have it fixed. You can usually spot if that is the problem by wiggling the adapter when plugged in like FN suggested and see if the light stays steady or comes and goes as you wiggle it. If it is not the jack, it may be the motherboard that is the issue. A replacement part for that series of laptops is probably going to run you between $60 to $80 plus whatever labor charge the tech would tack on to it.


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