Friend of mine brought his friend+laptop, a 1.5 y/o Dell Inspiron 1521 (Service Tag pulls up: AMD Sempron 2.0Ghz, 2GB DDR2 667, 160GB WD Scorpio Blue HDD, DVD+/-RW, 15.4 WXGA LCD, Vista I guess, but COA worn blank) to me, hoping I could fix it, and normally I can, but this one has me stymied.
Claim: Friend said "one day I was using the laptop, and the screen went all green, then went black, and then it wouldn't turn on again, ever."
Current status: I press the power button, and the power light comes on solid blue, (=normal/working) the optical drive light comes on solid, (not normal) and the CPU fan comes on and stays on, and the system will heat up as though the CPU is loaded pretty good. But no other activity, whatsoever, no matter what. No hard drive activity, the optical drive stays on solid.
I have tried every possible combo of tested-good RAM in each slot, (NOTE: with no RAM, the caps+scroll+num lock keys will flash several times, and no power light, and the system will shut off) I have tried removing the HDD, opti, keyboard, AC Adapter vs. battery, unplugging the internal LCD cable, using an external monitor+VGA cable, everything short of total mobo replacement, all to no avail. No change, ever.
After all that, my gut says "fried video chip or CPU," as far as I can tell, which might be more than the friend can afford.
I don't want to give up if there is a chance I'm missing something, so I wanted to see if anyone has an angle I haven't tried?