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New Laptop Hard Drive problem


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#1
creatureofdarkness

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I have just replaced the hard drive in my Dell Inspiron 5160, but when I turn the computer on the screen remains completely black.
I can access the optical drive, and I put in the Xp reinstall CD that came with the computer and restarted the computer, the disc spins, but the screen remains black.
The fan cycles on and off as well, but nothing from the hard drive. What might I try? Thanks
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#2
Ferrari

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Did you change the boot priority in the BIOS?
  • Start the computer/press the power button
  • Immediately start tapping the appropriate key to enter the BIOS aka "Setup"
    (Usually shown during the "Dell" screen, or "Gateway" Screen)
  • Once in the BIOS, under Advanced BIOS Options change boot priority to:
    CD-ROM 1st, Hard Drive 2nd
  • Open your ROM drive and insert the disk
  • Press F10 to save and exit
  • Agree with "Y" to continue
  • Your computer will restart and boot from the CD
Did this help?

Posted Image

Posted Image



Also, when in the BIOS, did you see if your hard drive was recognized anywhere? Maybe under "boot devices" or "boot priority"?

Edited by Ferrari, 18 February 2010 - 08:35 PM.

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#3
creatureofdarkness

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Ferrari -
Thanks for your reply, but...
When I say black on startup I mean black... I don't even get the Dell screen or any thing... nor any of the usual startup beeps.
It gets worse...
I took the new HD out and put the original back in, and now the same thing happens with that one... nothing whatsoever at power on, no beeps, no light, not even a flicker.
The fan runs, the optical drive opens and closes, and I think I hear the Hd spinning... but otherwise... just deep and endless black on the screen.
I took it all apart again to see whether I had any screws or connectors loose and found everything tight.
Should I just call the computer coroner?
Thanks
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#4
Ferrari

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With it being a laptop, the only other suggestion I can think of is to test the memory. Do you have two sticks of RAM?
  • Take one stick out, does it boot? If not,
  • Replace it with the other stick, does it boot? No?
  • Try using the different slot, any progress?
  • Trial and Error.
What if you boot without the hard drive plugged in at all? This is possible, the idea is to just get to the BIOS. I've seen hard drives cause the computer to hang at startup.

Did you replace the old drive because it was faulty?

Should I just call the computer coroner?

Laptops are much more difficult to work with than desktops, especially help via forum. If the above doesn't give you any progress, taking it to someone with experience in laptops may get your some results. If the laptop was working fine with the old drive, and all you were doing was an upgrade, the old drive should of booted up fine. It is possible other hardware could have faltered by mere coincidence, but usually unlikely.

I also wonder, did you replace the hard drive while the battery was in? This could of caused some sort of short or problems with the motherboard. The battery is a source of power and it should always be removed when working on a laptop.

Let me know how things go. Good luck.
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#5
creatureofdarkness

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Ferrari -
I tried all the various things you suggested, but got nothing more than before, still just the black and silent screen. I changed the hard drive because a local tech guy {who fixed my 5 year old Dell after I got the blue screen frozen fatal error treatment} said the hard drive was failing fast. One thing I didn't mention before was that in addition to changing out the hard drive - a relatively non-intrusive procedure - I also got well into the guts of the computer to remove and clean out the heat sink and cooling fan assembly that was quite clogged with a bunch of dirt, dust, and fuzz. Though I had the fully detailed exact Dell service manuel for my machine in front of me, and I was very careful in dis- and re- assembling the machine (without any slips or bumps along the way), I realize I may have unknowingly screwed something up in that process. I will contact the tech who worked on it before for his opinion and assistance. Thanks for your help. If anything else comes to mind, I'd more than welcome it.
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#6
Ferrari

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If anything else comes to mind, I'd more than welcome it.


I think that is about it for a laptop. It's possible that you bumped something loose, or forgot to plug something in, I think taking it to your local guy is a good idea at this point. I bet it's something simple like that, hopefully.

Let us know how it goes, so others may learn. Good Luck :)
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#7
creatureofdarkness

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PROBLEM SOLVED! I had my local tech guy take a look at it, though I had pretty much lost hope, figuring I'd killed it in the process of removing and cleaning out the heat sink-fan assembly, or through a static discharge, or... But he found that the processor had not reseated properly when I reassembled it. When I took out the heat sink I didn't realize that the processor had come with it, stuck tight with the old, dried thermal paste. He simply removed the processor from the heat sink, scraped away the old paste and replaced it with new, seated the processor properly, and now it all works fine with a clean heat sink and fan, and new hard drive. :) Thanks for the help along the way.
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#8
Ferrari

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Awesome! I hate when the processor sticks to the heatsink... it happens quite often. You got lucky! Many times the pins get bent or destroyed when that happens if you aren't used to taking it out that way. I'm really glad you got it figured out. Congrats! :)
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