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Is my Dell Inspiron E1505 laptop gone?


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#1
Tomeczek

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Hi guys. I'm glad I found your forum, maybe you will be able to help me.

My 2 years old Dell Inspiron E1505 laptop doesn't boot anymore.
When I press the power button, nothing appears on the screen. Three lights are initially on: NumLock, ShiftLock and the next one, with the down arrow lock.
After a second only NumLock stays on, the other two start blinking. After about 35-40 seconds machine turns off.
I understand that these three lights mean something - some kind of diagnostics.

Can someone explain what it means? Is my machine hosed?

Thank you in advance!

Edited by Tomeczek, 16 September 2008 - 09:24 PM.

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#2
peter99

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Possible AC adapter trouble

Check the power light

When the power light is lit or blinking, the computer has power. If the power light is blinking, the computer is in standby mode—press the power button to exit standby mode. If the light is off, press the power button to turn on the computer.

Charge the battery

The battery charge may be depleted.
Reinstall the battery.
Use the AC adapter to connect the computer to an electrical outlet.
Turn on the computer.

Check the battery status light

If the battery status light flashes orange or is a steady orange the battery charge is low or depleted. Connect the computer to an electrical outlet.
If the battery status light flashes green and orange, the battery is too hot to charge. Shut down the computer, disconnect the computer from the electrical outlet, and then let the battery and computer cool to room temperature.
If the battery status light rapidly flashes orange, the battery may be defective. Contact Dell. See Contacting Dell.

Check the battery temperature

If the battery temperature is below 0°C (32°F), the computer will not start up.

Test the electrical outlet

Ensure that the electrical outlet is working by testing it with another device, such as a lamp.

Check the AC adapter

Check the AC adapter cable connections. If the AC adapter has a light, ensure that the light is on.

Connect the computer directly to an electrical outlet

Bypass power protection devices, power strips, and the extension cable to verify that the computer turns on.

Eliminate possible interference

Turn off nearby fans, fluorescent lights, halogen lamps, or other appliances.

Adjust the power properties

See Power Management Modes.

Reseat the memory modules

If the computer power light turns on but the display remains blank, reinstall the memory modules (see Memory).
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#3
Tomeczek

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Thank you peter99 for your response.

My machine is (was) set with the hibernation and sleeping mode disabled. I only used it at home with AC adapter.

I don't think it's a power problem. The battery is charged, AC adapter has green light on it. On the computer itself, the power and the battery lights are green when I try to turn the machine on. There are exactly the same symptoms using AC adapter and just the battery.

Reseating memory modules changes nothing...

The way the three lights behave (NumLock, Caps and the third one) must mean someting. Do you know what it is?
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#4
The Admiral

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The ON-FLASH-FLASH code indicates that the motherboard doesn't see any RAM.

Your laptop has two sticks of RAM (stick 1 and stick 2) in 2 slots (top and bottom). This is going to take quite a bit of testing, but I want you to try the following configurations and tell me if the computer ever boots up or if the code changes. Try every single combination, then post back with the code the LEDs give, or a successful boot.

Stick 1 in bottom, stick 2 in top (this is the way it is now).
Stick 2 in bottom, stick 1 in top
Stick 1 in bottom
Stick 2 in bottom
Stick 1 in top (careful not to over rotate the stick when putting it in)
Stick 2 in top (careful not to over rotate the stick when putting it in)
No RAM

Remember: Before touching the memory, unplug the power cord and the battery, and hold down the power button for about 10 seconds. This will drain out any extra power and hopefully prevent damage to the motherboard.
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#5
Tomeczek

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Thanks!
I can't believe, but it works!
I started with one stick and it was recognized only as DIMM-B. Machine rebooted!
Then I added my second stick as DIMM-A. Also recognized!

So, my Inspiron E1505 is still alive!!!
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#6
The Admiral

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Good to hear you got it fixed!
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#7
bigmikemo

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hey there i was wondering if you could tell me what it means if my dell shows the FLASHING numlock-ON caplock -ON scrolllock code with i start up holding the [fn] key. the problem is my lcd stays blank when i go to start up, but the power light and fans come on. thanks in advance!!!!
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#8
N2FC

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hey there i was wondering if you could tell me what it means if my dell shows the FLASHING numlock-ON caplock -ON scrolllock code with i start up holding the [fn] key. the problem is my lcd stays blank when i go to start up, but the power light and fans come on. thanks in advance!!!!


Just found this after looking up similar problems...

The flashing lites you indicate are a symptom of memory not seated properly, such that NO ram is available in the laptop!

Hope that helps!
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#9
Matthgt

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Hi I just had the same problem with my inspiron e1505. I did as you said and tried reseating the ram. I tried switching places for each stick but that didn't help. I tried with just the top stick in the bottom slot and that worked. Does it mean my other ram stick is dead? I'm backing up all my files now from an ubuntu live cd because vista wouldn't start. When I finish backing up I can try just with the stick I think is dead and see what happens. I'm also planning on restoring vista :s

So, what do u say? Is my ram dead?

Thanks
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#10
fraeliz

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I did all the Ram swapping and my Caps and Scroll lock blink the same each time. They blink exactly 44 times then the pc shuts down. No matter what combination of Ram.... I was wondering if the person who posted the Ram swapping thing had any other suggestions for my Dell Inspiron E1505. I think it was the Admiral.
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#11
Jcink

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Just wanted to file my own experience with this situation here. Maybe it will save somebody time and effort.

If you're having this issue where Dell Inspiron E1505 won't boot, and simply just sits there like a dead duck with the caps lock and scroll lock icons blinking then you might want to open up the bottom of the laptop and try messing with the RAM, provided you're out of warranty and all that.

The bottom has just two screws to remove; and you have access to the RAM. Unplug the battery and the AC adapter first of course. Try all of the stick arrangements above to see what works.

If the situation is anything like mine, DIMM slot A has failed. The slot itself is damaged somehow because the system works with only 1GB of memory in slot B. I also tried the memory from slot A and put it into slot B alone and it works fine as well.

Pretty much I'm looking at motherboard damage, and there's nothing I can do myself to fix it. For what it's worth, some full disclosure here: I used this laptop to play PC games a lot, used it as a web server at one point. It's been opened various times; taken apart and put back together again. I won't act like I haven't pushed this computer to the limit more than the average person.

I let it sit with some downloads going for the night, went to bed, and woke up the next day and it was dead.

I don't know what caused it, but it really doesn't matter. I definitely got a lot of use out of the machine and will continue to do so even with 1GB of RAM, but I wish it had lasted a little longer. This model is around 3 years old now and I noticed some people are reporting these same memory related issues in only the last year or so. Interesting.

Some other important information: this computer only supports 2GB of RAM. If one your slots has failed, you cannot buy a 2GB stick of laptop memory and install that, it's not going to work. You're stuck with 1GB. And if you can't get the computer started at all then I'm sorry to say, but it's time to buy a new computer if you're out of warranty. The time and money to pay someone to replace the motherboard in this system is simply not worth it.

Hope this helps someone.
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#12
woggly

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jcink is not correct on memory for e1505. You can populate the remaining socket with 2 gig. my machine is running right now 3 gig. That is one 2 gig chip and 1, one gig chip. If I had 64 bit software, I am sure it would take 4 gig total. I have run this with 3 gig on xp sp3, ubuntu linux, mac, and they all work perfectly. this is a replacement motherboard, as I wanted nvidia 7300 graphics with a higher rez screen. The early board failed so this one has run for 2 years. I have replaced the memory to faster ram, and replaced the screen with higher resolution, but not the wuxga, but the better glossy wsxga. That way my 62 year old eyes can read it well. The early screen was sparkly, and uneven, this screen also dims when removing the power with Mac so you can tell if the battery is discharging. I am moving to Asus as they have good lifetimes and 3d technology with the fastest laptop video. With a 9 cell battery it would run over 3 hrs. My e1505 is just now getting its third battery, and will probably be the last one for it as I move on to windows 7, and linux and mac on Asus. I think a lot of e1505s fail when the hdd fails, so keep a good one onboard, I just use a different hdd for each operating system, and it makes a different machine each time.
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#13
Jcink

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That's interesting.

Dell says you can only put 2GB maximum memory in the machine.

Right here on the documentation page:

http://support.dell....s.htm#wp1073114

Are you saying that dell themselves are wrong? It honestly wouldn't surprise me with Dell.

I also found no place on their website to buy a 2GB memory module for E1505. A little research, and now I found a couple people who attempted it but were not able to get it working with 2GB of memory in either slot. But I also found people who say this works perfect, so I'm intrigued.

If you could tell me, what bios version are you running? What type of memory did you buy that this worked and where did you buy it?

On another note, I think I've found somebody who has tinkered with this machine way more than I have. :)

Edited by Jcink, 22 November 2009 - 07:07 PM.

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#14
woggly

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I am running mac right now. I am running spaces. In the first space I am running and listening to an old 95 art bell show. In the second space I am running a web browser named camino. In this space I am running a browser called Icab that I am running gmail in. In the remaining space I am running opera. Spaces are akin to different monitors, and are seperate tasks. The problem is it takes me awhile to shut of and restart. That is how I will find the bios. Also the ram is from a newer machine that has faster ram than the original e1505 ram. The machine I bought is a Gateway p-6831fx. It came with this faster hardware and ram. It has a way faster 8800 nvidia video. The problem is it is bricked. I think it was upgraded on the bios, and they failed. I have bought a new bios chip loaded with the software. but will have to use fingernail clippers and magnifying glasses to solder the tiny, tiny 8 legged bios chip back in. I have had this e1505 apart 20 times, so it knows how to open up. The ram was particular on which slot the larger and smaller ram was in. Also, I was reluctant to try things the Dell site said wouldn't work. If you read blogs of hackers trying stuff and more than one says something will work, you sort of have to believe it. My machine shows 3 gigs in all types of OSs, and have tried to overload it with stuff. Like running all kinds of programs and videos, and then looking at it in a monitor of functions, and the most I have ever loaded was 2.35 gigs. After my radio show is over I will look at the memory specs, and the bios for you. I don't even know if you will check it later, so I am not in a big rush. Today I downloaded windows 98SE and will try to run it just for fun. I am running Kalyway for the Mac Pro 3.1. I am running my third download of linux which is 9.04 Ubuntu. I tried Iatkos for the Mac but it was flaky on this machine. I am 62 so after yesterdays loading of horse hay I am moving slowly. I may sound hit or miss on the ram, but I was very picky an looked and have looked at ram for years to understand what can run or what will cause damage. It just may sound like I am a bailing wire hick, maybe I am, but a careful one you see.
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#15
woggly

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I took the ram out to look at it. It is samsung 2gb pc2-5300 ddr2 667mz 200pin sodimm. After I put it back I first noticed a piece of black plastic, very small in the contact area. I took both memory modules back out and cleaned the gold contacts with a pencil erasure. It was very difficult to get all the tiny rubber grit clear. The computer failed to boot 4 times as I took the chips back out cleaning them and being very careful of static electricity. Once it booted but froze after overloading memory, so I cleaned it again, and now it is good. I would not take out the chips again, as the magic smoke may get out. My bios is mm061 series, bios A06. The 2gb chip is in the B slot. I have read of rich folks putting 2 2gb chips in and just using 3 gigs. I have no idea how this structure works in conjunction with double data rate dual channel as the chips are assymetric, but on tests in linux it shows maximum performance. In fact on the Mac it runs faster than the 3.1 Mac pro on tests, I think this has to do with the NVidia setup on Dell. Personally they outdid themselves with this plain vanilla machine and I hope my next choice is as good. I think I can get the Gateway running and after the first of the year get the asus machine with real shutter lcd glasses 3d. When researching this machine to buy it I read people saying it was badly engineered and flexible and a host of negative instances. I have found non of those things to be true, and if it serves you as well as it has me, you will be good. I put the 7200rpm hdd to load faster on windows, so on mac it is almost on before I am ready. I do not believe I will put windows 7 on it but wait for the asus. I may put 7 on the gateway as it has two hdds and can run stripped raid for faster access in 64 bit OS. Paul
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