1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

Dell Inspiron 1100 won't turn on

By christoff ยท 34 replies
Nov 20, 2005
  1. Hi

    I have a Dell Ispiron 1100

    It won't turn on

    I press the power button and if there is no AC power attached
    the lights light up while I press the button, but no start up

    When the AC power is attached, I don't get any lights at all

    It's been happening for a while

    I used to flip it over and pull out the battery, then replace it
    and try again, after a few times it worked

    Then I realised that just by opening the screen and trying it, then closing
    the screen, then opennng and trying again... after a few times it would start

    (are there any wires that would be affected by that??)

    Once it started, so long as I left it plugged in, and the screen open it would always restart first go

    I also think, that when it was unplugged, closed, etc so long as I started it agin fairly soon, it worked

    I've just been overseas for a week in a colder climate and now I can't seem to get it started at all

    I've tried with battery in, with battery out, AC in AC out

    Any help would be much appreciated
  2. uh-clem

    uh-clem TS Rookie

    Dell Inspiron won't turn on

    We have a professor at our university that turned in a Dell laptop with exactly the same symptoms!

    Really, with the battery alone installed, the lights flash momentarily when the power button is pressed. If the charger is connected (or the charger alone): no lights
    (Just like Christoff)

    The machine won't start up and there was some story about how it died last time the lid was closed. We are suspicious of a faulty lid interlock that is keeping the laptop in hibernate (or some deep, permanent sleep).

    Another theory - Does anyone know if these have an internal power fuse, such that the external power brick isn't actually getting DC into the main board or charging the installed battery? We can't find any info about the power distribution or a schematic.

  3. IronDuke

    IronDuke TS Rookie Posts: 801

    Sounds like it could be a sticking switch. This should be near the hinge. After you've switched on try pushing it in and letting it spring out and see if that does it.
  4. richard1966

    richard1966 TS Rookie

    Inspiron 1100 and other Dells fix for Hibernation mode

    Thanks to the other post on this thread for getting me thinking why a friend's Inspiron 1100 wouldn't switch on despite power led lighting up. The Dell guy had had no luck with it whatsoever. I thought also it must be something to do with the hibernation switch activated when the screen goes down. So screwdriver at hand I opened up the unit to loof for the usual spring loaded switch , alas there was none. So how does it turn off I asked myself ? I investigated the clips attaced to the screen, alas nothing there either. It was only when I positioned the removed lower plastic cover near the screen catches that I noticed a magnetic attraction - AHA ! Time to take it apart.

    The answer lay in the touchpad assembly removed for inspection (upon which the unit sprang into life - this is where the problem lay) I noticed where the magnet would exhert its force was near to a long thin sensor - labelled V1 on the circuit board. After a little umming and ahing I decided that I would disconnect this sensor with a sharp knife. Sure enough, this was the fault, I suspect the sensor had increased in resistivity and was no longer functioning. The only downside to this is that on closing the lid there is no automatic hibernation. However this has to be better than the $500 quoted by the dell guy for a new Mobo.

    Total time for repair : 1 hour ( be careful removing the upper plastic casing there are screws under the screen housing so the screen will have to be removed)

    Cost of repair : $0

    Good luck. Let me know if this was useful

  5. SimonEast

    SimonEast TS Rookie

    Richard -- absolutely brilliant!

    I was just about to send my Dell Inspiron 1100 to a repair place that would have charged a fair bit just for a quote, let alone new parts, but I decided to try and follow your instructions.

    Although I've built and repaired lots of PCs before, I've never done much on the inside of laptops, so was a little cautious, and it took me a while to understand your instructions, but eventually got there, and, as you mentioned, as soon as I unplugged the mouse touchpad unit from the motherboard, plugged the power back in, the computer then turned on! Yay!

    Although... now the screen displays a few visual glitches and I get memory errors from the BIOS, so I might have more problems (really hope I didn't damage anything inside the laptop). But at least I can see something, and can troubleshoot these other problems a bit later. Hopefully won't need to pay anything for repairs.

    Just to clarify some of the instructions on removing the touchpad unit:
    1. Unscrew the 8 or 9 screws on the underside of the laptop, including the one you can only reach by removing the battery
    2. Open the laptop normally. Pry off the blue cover above the keyboard (surrounding the power/reset switch)
    3. Unscrew the 4 screws holding the LCD display to the base (plus the 2 on the rear of the laptop).
    4. Unscrew the keyboard, unplug and remove
    5. Unplug the LCD display connector from the motherboard
    6. Unscrew the 2 remaining screws under where the display was, then remove the entire top cover from the laptop base (the whole section surrounding where the keyboard and mouse touchpad are).
    7. With this cover you've removed, you can then unscrew the touchpad and examine.

    I think I see the bar that detects the magnet (located in the lid), looks to be labelled U1 (perhaps the V1 the Richard mentioned above). Might pull that bit off when I get a chance to do further work on it.

    Will post back when I've tried further. But thanks again Richard for your help.


    DISCLAIMER: Please only do this if you have some computer hardware experience and know what you're doing. It's not my fault if you damage your laptop further.

    UPDATE: I have fixed the issue, read down below. But, a good note for others... Before actually breaking the sensor, try turning on the computer with the touchpad unplugged from the motherboard. If that fixes your problem, and the problem returns when you plug it back in, you can be fairly sure the sensor is the issue, and you may need to break it.
  6. Gunstra

    Gunstra TS Rookie

    This actually works...

    I have a Dell Inspiron 1100 myself, a few months back when I was on the road (I'm a truck driver as well as a Computer/Printer Tech), I was watching a dvd on my dell and had earbuds plugged in and was laying on my bunk in the sleeper, I went to get up and the earbuds shocked me in the ear, my sound went out of the laptop and was out for months, well tonight I decided to take the laptop out of the case and play with it, it wouldn't turn on so I did a search and came across this thread here, I did what you guys suggested and not only did it work and the laptop came back on again but the sounds works again, go figure.

    Anyway, as I don't do alot of laptop repairs can anyone here tell me if I replace this touchpad assembly with one from Dell for $59.95 will it solve this problem?

    Thanks in advance...

  7. drjay519

    drjay519 TS Rookie

    I've also got an inspiron 1100 that won't turn on. In the above instructions about getting to the touchpad, it mentions removing the monitor. Is that necessary? Also did your computer make any start up sounds at all? Mine doesn't.

    Late breaking news
    I went ahead and tried the fix by removing the U1 part of the touchpad. I was initially encouraged because the screen lit up brightly (brighter than usual) and it started making 'starting up' noises. Then it went silent and stopped. I tried booting again and this time it made start-up sounds again for about 10-15 seconds but the screen stayed dark...and then it stopped. Any ideas or is this thing really hosed now?
  8. SimonEast

    SimonEast TS Rookie

    The computer initially would not turn on or make any sound whatsoever. Just a quick flash of the power and battery lights and then off again.

    Yeah, I'm pretty sure it is necessary to remove the LCD screen because there are a couple of screws underneath it which need unscrewing to properly open the top of the base (the cover surrounding the keyboard and touchpad).

    I deliberately broke the lid sensor (think it's labelled U1) and then did manage to get the computer running 99% fine again after those other issues, although I would recommend always being careful with plugs and ribbons and ensure everything is seated firmly again afterward. I may have slightly damaged the keyboard cable from unplugging it repeatedly during the tests, so be careful of that.

  9. drjay519

    drjay519 TS Rookie

    Almost but no cigar

    Late breaking news
    I went ahead and tried the fix by removing the U1 part of the touchpad. I was initially encouraged because the screen lit up brightly (brighter than usual) and it started making 'starting up' noises. Then it went silent and stopped. I tried booting again and this time it made start-up sounds again for about 10-15 seconds but the screen stayed dark...and then it stopped. Any ideas or is this thing really hosed now?
  10. SimonEast

    SimonEast TS Rookie

    Unfortunately it sounds like a more serious problem than the one I experienced. Just check that everything is plugged in and seated properly (CPU, RAM, monitor, keyboard, etc.). Failing that, I'm not sure what to suggest. Fixing the lid sensor should get the computer to turn on (which is what has happened for you) but there may be something else wrong also.

    A good note for others... Before actually breaking the sensor, try turning on the computer with the touchpad unplugged from the motherboard. If that fixes your problem, but the problem returns when you plug it back in, you can be fairly sure the sensor is the issue, and you may need to break it.
  11. drjay519

    drjay519 TS Rookie


    Looks like it may be heading for the scrap heap since I was also having problems with the DVD player too.. For the cost of the diagnostics and repair I can probably get a faster better laptop. I'm soooo glad everything was backed up. I appreciate your advice and I may continue to tinker around with it. I've done work on my desktops before, but other than upgrades, I've never really taken apart the guts of a laptop. Really amazing how they cram all that together. So , if it's true you learn more from your failures than your successes, I guess I learned alot!
    Thanks again
  12. Slinger

    Slinger TS Rookie

    You may have a bad RAM. That was my 1100's problem.

    Initially, I would power it on and after a couple of seconds it would power off. I followed the above postings to try to fix my problem. This did not work in my case. I bought another 1100 to use since this one was messed up. It needed an extra 256 memory stalk installed so I borrowed one from my old 1100. Once installed, the second 1100 then acted just as the first one did. Once the memory was removed, the computer acted normally.
  13. Gunstra

    Gunstra TS Rookie

    No, it was the touchpad as they said, I followed the instructions to a T and it fixed it (of course no touchpad now), and I have already sold the laptop for $500.00, not bad since I got it for $849 - $300 discount and had it for almost 2 years :)
  14. powerlinep

    powerlinep TS Rookie


    Hey I have the same problem. Dell Inspirion 4000. It seems to be charging. When I press the button the only thing that happens is the three lights blink. I read your posts and do not actually know how to fix this. I took the pc apart and dissassembled the touch pad. I did not really see anything to remove??
  15. wannabetech

    wannabetech TS Rookie

    Thank you so much for this forum! I just followed the previous instructions on removing the switch labled U1 and to my astonishment, it worked like a charm! I still have use of my touch pad because I only broke the glass switch with some plyers and bent the switch side to side till it broke off and everything works fine now!
  16. Waterboy

    Waterboy TS Rookie

    I have a Dell Inspiron 1100 with similar problems as with others in the forum. When I push the power button the power light and the cooling fan turn on about a second and then turns off. I have checked ram, processor and cable connections. I also disconnected the touchpad as did others in this thread but the laptop still will not power on. I hope it's not a motherboard problem. Any ideas will be appreciated.
  17. tlcstat

    tlcstat TS Rookie

    In power settings (control Panel) set computer to standby when the lid is closed.
    When you close the lid does the computer go to standby?
    No = problem with lid sensor. Yes= No problem with lid sensor.
    If the lid sensor is ok then the problem is a Windows Xp problem related to how windows handles the switch logic on the laptop.
    Solution, In the Power settings change the profile from Laptop to Home/Office. Since the operating system will no longer see the system as a portable system it won't error in switching the computer to hibernate. Hope this helps. You can also verify this by booting from a Linux disk such as Puppy Linux. The computer will boot just fine from Linux which verifies that the problem is related to software and not hardware.
    Mean time I will try to find a registry hack that will correct the problem. This is better than butchering your computer.
    I will work on it but please be patient.
  18. diane baker

    diane baker TS Rookie

    laptop wont turn on

    i have read all threads on what to do if laptop does not turn on, we have an e systems laptop and is just over a year old, been working fine up until the other day came down in morning to turn on laptop as always and nothing, nothing at all tried it with battery and without battery with mains lead and without mains lead but nothing completely dead. Do u think this could have anything to do with the sensor that people have been mentioning or do u think could something more major any input would be great help as the laptop is only just over a year old and dont see why it would break down this soon after purchase tearing me hair out as miss me laptop lol
  19. tlcstat

    tlcstat TS Rookie

    It kind of makes sense to have a boot disk available. If you have a second computer you can download a copy of one of these.
    1 Hiren's Boot Disk (can be downloaded with bit torrent.)
    2. ERD Boot Disk (also found on bit torrent)
    3. Puppy Linux Disk (freeware from Murga linux. Just do a Google search).

    Burn the ISO to CD, Set your CMOS to boot from CD first.
    If you can boot the disk from the CD there is probably no problems with your computer processor. If you use the Hirems disk it will have a ram tester built in. If the computer checks out ok and if Puppy Linux or one of the others will boot, then you probably have a good computer and there is a problem with your operating system installation. If the hardrive is accessable you can use Puppy Linux or the ERD disk to copy your data to a thumb drive and then do a reinstall. You have a Professional situation here but the above info should let you know what is necessary. At some level today, a new console is cheaper than a repair. Just keep your old monitor, keyboard and mouse and put them on a new machine. But you may want to recover your data. Data means documents, email, favorites, etc. Just remember, cutting out the professional and the expense is ok as long as you go to the trouble to do things right. That means putting together some diagnostic tools and perhaps even getting a little free professional advise. However the free advise won't work if you don't use it.
    Good luck
  20. diane baker

    diane baker TS Rookie

    e systems laptop

    thanx for the reply unfortuantely its an e systems laptop so cant keep the monitor and that lol, it just doesnt turn on at all but up until a couple of days ago it was working fine think its time for a new one even though its only just over a year old
  21. pcsupply

    pcsupply TS Rookie

    sounds like the motherboard may be bad
  22. tlcstat

    tlcstat TS Rookie

    I would first check the power supply with a VOM. Output should be about 19v.
  23. monarca

    monarca TS Rookie

    well I am new here, but i have the same problem here with my dell e1505. It turn on and turns off automatically. I think it is going to hiber mode some how because a replaces ram and tested another battery. Any one have instructions on how to open this type of dell or would this sensor be in the same place??

    ty in advanced
  24. tlcstat

    tlcstat TS Rookie

    Dell Laptop unexpected hibernate

    If you are running from the power supply, you can turn off hibernate in the control panel under Power Management. Also, change the profile from Laptop to Always On. This will prevent the system from shutting down the computer. I see this problem as a Windows System problem and not a hardware problem. I would avoid hacking the internal electronics since making the power management settings have the same effect. If the profile is set to always on then the system won't look at the switch condition.
  25. acakuo

    acakuo TS Rookie

    Hello, my Inspiron had many thermal shutdowns, so I decided to clean the dust from the fan and replace the thermal grease (again).

    Toke the CPU and fan out, cleaned them all and reassembled. But now it will not boot up!

    When I press the power button the power led turns on (green), the HD led blinks for a second and I can hear a short sound from the HD motor, the fan turns on. The display will not turn on, and there is no sound from the speakers. After exactly 30 seconds then fan turns off, but the power led is still on.
    Pressing the CD eject button will open the CD tray (even after the 30 seconds).

    If I plug the charger, the battery led will do one short green blink every 9 seconds.

    After reading this tread, I took the touch pad + magnetic switch connector out, but nothing changed.

    The memory stick is good (checked with a friend laptop).
    I tried many times to reinstall the CPU with no success.

    The totally weird thing is if I take out the CPU and memory stick and then turn the pc on, nothing changes, still only power led and fan working for 30 seconds.

    Does any body have a clue?
    Is there any error beeps / led code for the Inspiron?

Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...