Hi JAFL, Sorry to hear of the problem with your Dell....this is not looking good
There are some things you can try:
1 Hold down the power on button for 20 seconds, then release it
2 Wait 30 seconds
3 Push the power on button once(just a push..dont hold it down this time)
if not then:
4 Make sure that all CD/DVD drives are empty, all flash drives removed,all USB ports and any other that your machine has are empty..remove any camera cards etcand your Ethernet cable and then disconnect any other wires from the laptop so that nothing is connected, no power cord even.
5 Turn the computer over so you are looking at its underside and remove the main battery.
6 Turn it right way up and reconnect just the power cable....now repeat steps 1 2 and 3 above.
Will your machine boot from a bootable CD/DVD?
If you still can't even get into the BIOS or cannot see any signs of life, no fan running, no vibration or slight noise indication the hard drive is spinning up, then its probably bad news.... is it still under guarantee, warranty, service agreement or do you have any protection in your jurisdiction under consumer protection laws?