Can't turn on laptop

  kevindickens001 10:24 04 Feb 2009

I have a 6 year old Dell Inspiron laptop. When I try to turn it on I only get a black screen with a flashing white line in the upper left corner. I suppose this is quite a major problem but I thought I'd ask in case there is a simple solution.


  Taff™ 10:32 04 Feb 2009

Does the laptop go through the POST sequence or straight to what you describe?

  kevindickens001 10:39 04 Feb 2009

No. Nothing happens. So I can't access the boot menu or anything.

  kidsis 11:02 04 Feb 2009

so you get no response from F8 safe mode or F12 diagnostics. It could be the hard drive has died. As you have access to another computer, you could try getting a 2.5" enclosure (check whether your drive is ide or sata), pop the disk in and attach it via usb 2.0 to the other computer to see if the hard disk is ok. There are other issues that could cause this, maybe you would prefer to try: unplug, remove battery, remove memory, cd drive, hard drive, replace all and try switching on. When it last worked did you have any problems, blue screens, clicking noises, anything like that?

  Taff™ 11:09 04 Feb 2009

If the machine doesn`t POST it won`t give any options for what kidsis suggests. The HDD could be checked as he suggests which would confirm that the data is intact but even a faulty HDD would throw up a message at POST.

Do you get any beeps as the computer starts? If so please describe.

Do you have any LCD`s alight at any point e.g. Power, HDD Activity?

My guess is the CMOS battery has gone. Have you noticed that the Date/Time has been erratic or received POST warnings about setup been changed to default when the computer was working?

  kevindickens001 11:52 04 Feb 2009

Thanks for all the advice. To answer some of the questions:
-I did try removing the battery
-I get no beeps. The power LED lights up but not the HDD one.
-Before the problem I did get occasional freezes.

I was thinking of buying a new laptop anyway so if there is no simple solution I am not too bothered.

  Taff™ 12:33 04 Feb 2009

It`s a process of elimination really. Can you post back with the exact model of Inspiron and I`ll see if we can get some indication of where the CMOS battery is located. Then we`ll see if it`s easy enough to replace yourself. If it`s not the battery it could be a motherboard fault which isn`t worth continuing with if you`re thinking of another laptop anyway.

Shot in the dark - Remove the battery and power lead. Then press and hold the power button for a minute. Connect the power lead and try a boot without the battery.

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