Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dell Inspiron 9100 wont turn on

This text explains the repair of a dead Dell Inspiron 9100. The laptop did not turn on at all. One day it works perfectly, and the next - nothing.
There are more reasons for this kind of failure, and you can find plenty of it online. The best way to go about this problem is to first remove the ram chip(s) and try boot. If it boots, or gives the beeps for a missing ram, then you probably solved the problem - it is bad ram chips, or poor contact between the slot and the ram board. In this particular case both ram boards were OK, but one of them did not work on its original slot, so I swapped them. When I thought the problem is solved by swapping the slots, the computer did not boot again. Then I took out the suspicious ram chip and inspected the pins. I realized that it had a layer of corrosion on some of the pins, so I took nail polish remover and wiped thoroughly the contacts with a fine cloth. This corrosion probably happened due to poor handling of somebody who installed the ram. Probably the person touched the contacts with sweaty fingers or something, and time did the rest. After wiping the contacts I placed the ram back in the slot, and added some paper between the chips and the ram cover, so that it would force the ram chips firmly in the slots and insure good contact. That fixed the problem and I had the computer on for more than 30 hours to make sure that it will work. Now its back to its owner who is happy that he has his computer back without any big investments.

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Anonymous said...

just thought I would add a little to your item there. I have been dealing with a 9100 with an interesting problem. IF it's allowed to deplete the battery while in sleep/hibernation mode. It will kill the memory stick in slot A.

Symptoms are "press power, all 3 leds light up, and the power light comes on for 5 seconds, then shuts down"


Igor Mateski said...

Thanks for the input. One note of clarification: when the laptop is in sleep mode the CPU and RAM are still fed with electricity, so messing with the battery MAY damage the RAM as it is very sensitive to power shocks. Hibernation on the other hand is when the content of the RAM is recorded in the hiberfil.sys, placed in the root of the system disk. With this data stored on the hard drive, the computer is shut down completely. You can remove batteries, power supply, keep it for months under your bed, and when you turn it back on, it loads all the content from the hiberfil.sys into the RAM and you resume working exactly from where you left it.
If the RAM suffers while in sleep mode with the power cord unplugged, it may be that you are dealing with a battery with some fault in the wattage control circuit so it fails to stop power bursts on its output, hence destroying the RAM.
The best practice from my perspective is to simply hibernate the computer every time you don't want to work any more.