Dell D505 does not power up (after long unused period)

By yarospo
Apr 27, 2010
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  1. Hello everyone.

    I know there are tons of threads like this, but nothing seem to work for me, plus, my situation is a little different:
    I got this laptop after it lay unused for about a year, and all the posts I saw were talking about a laptop that suddenly stopped working.

    Basically it won't turn on. Nothing at all happens when I push the power button (no fan/HDD activity/flashing of lights - Nothing). The power cable+socket seems to be working because when I initially plugged it in the "charging battery" light went on, and stayed on for a few hours, I assume while the battery charged. Now it won't turn on when I unplug-plug the power cable, but if the power cable is plugged in, and I push power while holding Enter, it does flash for a moment.

    Things I tried:
    1. Removing power+battery, holding power button for 60 seconds.
    2. Reseating RAM, HDD, CD-ROM.
    3. Trying to power up without HDD.
    4. Disassembling the laptop with the help of a service manual and taking out and plugging in the screen+keyboard+touchpad connectors, removing the heatsink to verify that the CPU is firmly in place and putting it back.

    There seems to be a battery called "Reserve battery" - what is it for? Maybe it went flat?

    Anyone has any idea what I can try next?
    Thanks!
  2. CAMusing

    CAMusing TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 328

  3. yarospo

    yarospo Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks CAMusing,

    It took me a while to get to it but today I measured the voltage of the battery and it read 7.66V (Instead of the rated 7.2) so it seems to be ok (Or am I wrong here?).

    Anything else maybe?
  4. CAMusing

    CAMusing TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 328

  5. yarospo

    yarospo Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Yeah, I saw it before I posted, I didn't want to mention that I actually tried turning the laptop upside down and expected for it to work, but I was desperate :)

    Any more ideas?
  6. CAMusing

    CAMusing TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 328

  7. yarospo

    yarospo Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Solved!

    Eventually, the tiny circuit board with the power button was not connecting properly into the mother board. with some filing and bending it functions just fine now.

    Here's the procedure (I can't post links):

    After much grumbling and swearing I determined that if I pushed down on the board with my finger near the connector then the power button would function properly. It was pretty clear that the connector for the board was not staying fully in contact.

    I took the laptop apart and determined the problem to be with an aluminum heat-sink that is under that board and covers many of the components, including the CPU. This is not a heat sink with fins, but is flat on top. The problem was that the corner of the heat sink was pushing the aforementioned board up and away from its mating connector.

    I removed the heat sink (three screws) and did two things:

    1. The aluminum heat sink is rolled down around the edges. In the area near the power board connector the edges were too high, preventing the connector from seating well. I used a metal file to file down the edges a bit in that area. I took off about 1/16th inch, although if you take off more it is not going to hurt anything.

    2. I examined the heat sink on removal, and it seemed flat to me. There are screws in the problem area to keep that corner held down. Before reinstalling I bent that corner down a bit. Once the three screws were put back in place the corner did a good job of staying low, allowing the power board connector to stay seated.
  8. CAMusing

    CAMusing TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 328

    yarospo

    Thanks so much for posting back with the solution. So many times, people don't bother to come back with their success story. You are to be commended. Good Work! :)
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