Dell e1505 dead, won't start up

By jstluise ยท 30 replies
Jan 12, 2009
  1. I have a family member's Dell e1505 that is over 2 yrs old (purchased 8/06) and out of warranty. No problems with it up until now. They went to turn it on yesterday and couldn't get anything.

    Source of power doesn't matter (battery, wall, or both). I hit the power button, power light comes on for 3-4 seconds and then goes off. Nothing else happens. There are not sounds whatsoever coming from the laptop.

    I removed the hard drive, and memory just to see if it would change anything and it didn't. I only was able to run across one thread online where someone had the exact same problem. Wasn't much help though as they didn't offer any advice on finding the problem.

    I'm suspecting the worse...dead mobo. Any ideas? Anyway to test this? I'm fully capable of working on the laptop, but don't really know what to do. I can't get to a boot menu or anything so I'm lost.

    Any help would be appreciated :)

    PS. Haven't had a lot of luck with computers lately it seems like. First my power supply in my desktop went out a couple weeks ago. Last week, my hard drive in MY e1505 finally went out (after months of clicking), and now this problem. This one is by far the worst...I'm hoping it's not the mobo.
  2. adweston

    adweston Banned Posts: 242

    Change the adapter before diagnosing motherboard.
  3. jstluise

    jstluise TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    You mean the AC adapter? I did do that, as well as trying different batteries. All resulted in the same outcome. Please let me know if you mean something else.

    Thanks for the response.
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

  5. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    Try connecting the video output to a monitor to see if perhaps there is output there. I have a similar Dell laptop in my wksps with a similar problem and it has a failed screen - and is not worth repairing.
    You say there are no noises - not even from the hard drive? Are there any of the lights on?
  6. adweston

    adweston Banned Posts: 242

    If you did all that, combined with your other efforts in the OP, then chances are very good it's the motherboard. Probably a faulty component on it.
  7. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    Sounds like it needs a specialist repair = if you need one and you are in the UK I know someone.
    PM me for contact details?
  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Well not quite yet anyway
    Still a few tests to run above ;)

    By the way, any good tech shop can look at it, if he wants to pay
    Better to stick with the free support, until motherboard confirmed dead, as yet not


    oh he can't PM for quite a few posts yet anyway
  9. jstluise

    jstluise TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Thanks for all the responses.

    AlbertLionheart - I guess i could hook up an external monitor, but I have a feeling nothing will happen. Yes, no sounds at all come from the fans, hard drive, etc. The only light that comes on is the power light like I said, but only for a few seconds.

    Also, the power light comes on and does the same thing if i push the "media direct" button...if that means anything. I don't even know what the button does as i haven't used it at all...i think it's for the media center on XP.

    I was able to get a hold of the individual who had the same problem. He told me he found a replacement mobo (reman) on ebay. Installed it and it works fine now. I guess that is a route to go, but then if I'm spending $200 for a replacement mobo, I might as well think about buying another laptop with better specs for a few hundred more.

    kimsland - I will check out that thread. Thanks for posting it.


    I would like to reset the CMOS on my laptop to see if that solves my problem, however, I can't seem to find anything on the web about the jumper or anything for my computer. Is resetting the CMOS the same thing as resetting the BIOS password (this seemed to come up a lot)?

    Any info would be great...even just a good place to look for the instructions. I have the service manual for my laptop also, but couldn't find anything in that about resetting the CMOS.

    Thank you
  10. adweston

    adweston Banned Posts: 242

    You have to take the laptop apart and pull the battery from the motherboard. It's not a quick thing to do, especially on a Dell.
  11. jstluise

    jstluise TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Is it the 3V CR2032 coin cell battery that is on the motherboard? Or is there another battery that must be removed. If it is that 3V coin cell, it is pretty simple to remove on my's located just under the keyboard.

    I really don't have any other choice...I have to do it. So if it isn't a quick thing to do it doesn't matter to me.
  12. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    That's it

    Remove all power, and remove the "coin" battery
    Hold down the ON button for 30 secs

    You still may need to benchtest the mobo though ;)
  13. jstluise

    jstluise TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Alright tried that and nada. So, benchtesting the mobo huh? What's involved in doing that? Removing the mobo completely then what? Would I be capable of doing it myself...I mean are there special diagnostic tools that are used?
  14. jstluise

    jstluise TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Okay I am back on this project now. Today I dismantled the computer and removed the motherboard completely:


    The mobo is as bare as it can get. I plugged in some power to it and installed the power switch on it so I can see if anything happens. Nothing. The power light comes on like before and then goes off after a few seconds. I plugged the fan in also to verify nothing happened.

    What else can can I do?...since I really don't know what is involved in "bench testing". Any tips or what I should look for, I would really appreciate it. If I can confidently say the mobo is dead, then I will order a new one.

    Thanks all :)
  15. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    The "BenchTest guide:
    Was in the No Post Guide (supplied earlier)
    Which also included, "Reseating your CPU"

    But you have done most of it already. You need to check for any obvious signs of damage, and confirm all connections are ok. Actually you could get a can of Circuit Board Cleaner and spray all over it (CPU and Ram out first) Then allow to dry (recommended 1 to 2 days) Then test again
  16. spanket

    spanket TS Rookie

    could just be teeny solder joint gone bad. get a heat gun and reflow that solder :D concentrate on hottest parts of mobo and cover plastics with foil. i fixed a e1705 that way when it had bad graphcis card, also worked on an xbox 360 i had
  17. cronycrony

    cronycrony TS Rookie

    Hi jstluise & All experts,
    I Have hit exactly the same problem today on my E1505. I rarely used for 3 months.
    When i switch on the power, i see Scroll Lokc, Num Lock and Caps lock lights glow for 3 seconds and then all lights turn off. Doesnt even show the BIOS screen, no fan sound.
    Changed RAM, harddisk, power adapter, battery but nothing helped.

    jstluise, I think we are seeing same problem. Did you find any recovery for your problem. Plz share your experience.
    I'm already scared of bad mobo :-(. I was never a happy customer of DELL.. it should be renamed to HELL

  18. jstluise

    jstluise TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Crony, we may have the same problem, but the only light that comes on for me is the power light... no num, caps, or scroll lock. So it may be something else. I suggest you go through what Kimsland already recommended for me. Follow that no POST link that was supplied.

    I still have to go through the benchtest guide since I got the motherboard out of the computer yesterday. It isn't my laptop so I'm not in a huge hurry to get it fixed lol. If it comes down to it I was finding replacement (reman) motherboards on ebay (using the Dell part #) for around $150.

    Spanket, could you elaborate on your technique? Could you see the bad solder joint and fixed it that way? How did you know what to heat up? If I do the benchtest and absolutely know its bad, I may try what you recommend before ordering a new mobo.

  19. spanket

    spanket TS Rookie

    no you cant see the bad solder joint but you dont need to cause a heat gun you can heat up a large area. look on youtube for xbox 360 heat gun fixes you will see how its done.
    also with your dell can u hold down Fn key while turning it on to do the diagnostics where the LEDS lights up? that could narrow down your problem..
  20. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    You may have to have the board "re-flowed" - as this uses a bit of kit that costs about $30K you might like to review the finances.
    What this does is heat up the various chips on the board that do not have visible solder joints (like the two in the above image with red lines around them) so that the solder connections underneath reflow. This is a skilled business!
    If you need someone in the UK I can provide contact details but it is not cheap!
  21. crackers8199

    crackers8199 TS Rookie

    how did you get the motherboard out of the base? i've gotten it down to how it looks in your first picture, but i can't get the board itself out of the case.

    i need to replace it because i spilled a drink on my computer and fried the board (luckily i think i saved everything else, other than the keyboard)...i obviously can't replace it if i can't get it out of the case though... :)
  22. jstluise

    jstluise TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Well after you remove the heat sinks there was only 3 screws I think holding the motherboard to the base. When the motherboard is loose it is a little tricky to get it out since the plugs on the right side kind of interfere. I think if you pull the board toward you while rotating it clockwise, the plugs on the right side will clear the case.

    If you still can't get it you can check out the manual on Dell online...I skimmed through it to make sure I got everything undone before I forced anything.

    Good luck
  23. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    I could be wrong, but I thought there was one hidden screw underneath the base :confused:
  24. jstluise

    jstluise TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    All the screws that come out from underneath (including the LCD screen and DVD drive) are all in plain basically just take out everything you can see. There was nothing really hidden that I can remember. There was only 1 screw that I didn't see right away (until I looked at the manual), but it was before the top case was removed, so it sounds like he got that one taken care of.

    I took apart a Toshiba Satellite for a friend to re-solder a broken power port and I have to say the Dell was MUCH easier to take far as all the screw locations and number of screws. The Toshiba was tricky and I definitely followed the manual carefully with it. I pretty much had the Dell apart w/o any help. Of course, these are the only two machines I've taken apart.

    Kimsland, I don't really know what else to do with the mobo. I think to get a for sure confirmation that it's the mobo, I'm going to dismantle MY laptop which is the same exact model with same specs (they were ordered together) and start swapping parts to verify everything.
  25. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Actually I liked the Heat Gun idea
    But obviously swap parts first

    You could also drown it (totally spray the "heck" out of it) with Circuit board cleaner

    I don't think it's finished testing yet ;)
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