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Dell XPS M1530 won't boot

By camahule ยท 106 replies
Oct 24, 2009
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  1. Hey,
    Had a Dell XPS M1530 since around February last year and was working fine up till now. Left my computer in sleep mode last night (which i do fairly often) but when i got home today and tried to turn it on (by pressing the power button) the button only flashed on for about 3 seconds and there was no other response although i could hear hard drive whirring away.
    After trying another 2 times I restarted computer (by holding in power button) and then tried to turn on. However i keep getting the same result of the blue flashing on for three seconds then turning back off.
    Have tried taking out the battery out and putting back in and starting the computer with only power cord but same result every time.
    My warranty with Dell has run out so i can't just send back. Any ideas?
  2. camahule

    camahule TS Rookie Topic Starter

    As an update I tried reseating RAM and trying with only 2GB stick then with only 1GB stick but no improvement.
    Found on Dell support holding 'fn' and power button runs a quick diagnostic with flashy LED's as codes. Got the first one flashing and the others solid which according to website means :

    "The Microcontroller is handing control of the system to the processor. This code will persist if there is no processor detected"

    Which i believe i'm correct in assuming means either my CPU or my motherboard is stuffed? In which case about my only option is finding the cheapest person to repair/replace it...?
  3. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 13,810

    Try updating your System Bios to the current version
    Updating your Bios also has the added bonus of resetting all your Bios Settings
    • Download your most current Bios update file: http://ftp.us.dell.com/bios/1530_A12.EXE
    • Copy the file 1530_A12.EXE to a bootable floppy. (or create a BootCD)
    • Boot from the floppy to the DOS prompt.
    • Run the file by typing A:\1530_A12.EXE (where A is the drive letter where the executable is located).
    Also have a look here: Tutorial: No POST (Power On Self Test)
  4. camahule

    camahule TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey kimsland,
    Would love to be able to try that but there are two problems. Firstly my computer doesn't get to DOS prompt at all (or if it does it doesn't show up on the screen) and even if it's just not showing on screen i'm not sure how successful i'd be at timing right without being able to see what i'm doing.
    Secondly, there is no manual eject button on the disk drive (has an input kinda like on a wii) and so requires the computer to be working to eject so i can't get the cd that was left in there out in order to put a new one in...
  5. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 13,810

    Hi camahule

    If there is a CD already in the drive you can use a paperclip (unbent) to push into the tiny hole in the front of the drive itself (your computer must be off first)
    When you push the end of the paperclip in the hole (pushing the gear release inside the CD/DVD Drive)
    The door will open, and then you can remove the disc
  6. konz3n

    konz3n TS Rookie

    We're on the same boat mate!

    Hi guys, I've had my XPS for 2 years and one day after i shut down the laptop it won't start again.

    When you press the on button,

    the leds will blink from left to right as usual , the hard drive led will blink forawhile and then stop. Even the bios won't load. Only the power led is on.

    I disassembled everything except for the LCD and reseat all of them but no luck. I did the FN + ON test and it gives me :

    "The Microcontroller is handing control of the system to the processor. This code will persist if there is no processor detected"

    Then I suspected it was a motherboard failure so I've sent it to a shop for repair and they solved it within an hour and they say its a display chip issue? Technician won't answer me much as people want to make a living so screw that.

    After 2weeks the same thing happened and I had to send it for repair again. And now it happened again and I can't be arsed to send it for repair. Anyone knows a solution for this? I searched online like a mad fool and no results. Gonna try messing with the LCD now. I'd appreciate a quick reply! Thanks a lot!
  7. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 13,810

    If there was a LCD issue that caused your computer not to start up, then there would have been a recall on your model of Dell computer
    Also an external Monitor plugged in will automatically disengage the LCD anyway

    This sounds like a Mobo issue (that they fixed?)
    You might want to ask them directly what they did, and which part exactly
    You can also chat with Dell HERE, and ask them if they know anything about this issue
  8. konz3n

    konz3n TS Rookie


    No I didn't send it to dell. I went to a shop in a popular IT shopping mall at my area. They said it wasn't a mobo prob they said it was a display chip prob. and they charged me $50 so I don't think they replaced the mobo. It happened again recently after i closed my monitor to make it sleep. and once I flip it open again theres no display.

    After that the same thing happens when I try to boot the laptop after that. the FN + on LED troubleshoot displays the "The Microcontroller is handing control of the system to the processor. This code will persist if there is no processor detected".

    thanks for the quick reply! :)
  9. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 13,810

    Well your "popular IT shopping mall shop" must know how to do surface mount soldering or something
    It would be ideal to know what they did exactly? If they don't want to tell you, then they don't sound that good at all !

    By the way, I said contact Dell just for info (chat) not to get them to fix it for you (unless its under warranty, which means they should do it anyway)

    There is a "micro" switch for your LCD that when it closes, the switch allows the computer to go into sleep mode. This could be the faulty component too

    You could also reseat the CPU, some info HERE (bottom of that guide)

    I'd still say chat with Dell though ;)
  10. konz3n

    konz3n TS Rookie


    by any chance to do you know how i can access this micro switch? i'm about to strip the lcd now. About dell, I can't use the live chat option since my warranty is over so I guess i'll email them. I'll try reseating the CPU. thanks a lot!
  11. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 13,810

    The only way to know about the location or access of the micro switch, is through the disassembly guide
    These guides can be found through Google searching (sometimes) Generally most models are difficult to find, but some are easy, its just a matter of searching Google
    Good luck :)
  12. camahule

    camahule TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey, well i ended up giving Dell's XPS hotline a call and they said (for my case at least) that it is the motherboard that's faulty.
    Going to cost about $800 to fix though which seems a bit steep...
  13. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 13,810

    For that amount of money, I'd suggest that you try removing the Mobo yourself
    Note: You may need that disassemble manual (if found?)
    Then once the Mobo is out (including removal of all connections; CPU; Ram and any other cards/circuitry, then fully clean the Mobo with electronic spray (note once cleaned, you should leave it to dry for a day or so)

    Then remount the Mobo and all connections and test (the LCD connection is not required to turn on the computer - just use an external Monitor)
    It may just be a faulty CPU connection to the Mobo (which requires cleaning
    Cost ~$10 Time: ~ 2hrs (for dismantle and cleaning only)
  14. konz3n

    konz3n TS Rookie

    Yeah u're better off trying to remove the mobo urself first. I'm gonna send it over a to a shop just to get them to tell me what's exactly wrong with it first. I tried removing and reseating everything except the mobo yest and still no luck. gonna try removing the whole thing today!
  15. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 13,810

    Keep us posted
    Actually you could take pics of each stage of dismantle, that would help
  16. konz3n

    konz3n TS Rookie

    Hey guys.In the end, I didn't disassemble it again. Tried turning it on the whole night and when I brought it over to the shop today it turned on all of a sudden -_- .
  17. konz3n

    konz3n TS Rookie

  18. stratt28

    stratt28 TS Rookie

    Hi All,

    I just wanted to weigh in with my experience. I purchased my new XPS M1530 in Sept., 2008. Two nights ago is shut off, wouldn't power back up and was EXTREMELY hot underneath. I have the 9 cell battery so the laptop is actually lifted up from the table surface a bit, allowing for plenty of air to circulate underneath it. I called Dell yesterday thinking my warranty expired this past September (after one year), but I was pleasantly surprised when the customer service rep. told me that it was covered until Sept. 2010 as I had purchased an extra year of warranty when I bought the laptop!!! Now THAT was a pleasant surprise!!! They are sending a tech to my house next week to replace the motherboard, heat sync and fan. I was only on the phone for 20 minutes while he had me run through some tests. Other than the darn thing melting down in the first place, I guess I cannot complain. I wonder if the components that they are going to replace have been changed to address the problem or will they be the exact same pieces? I will ask when he arrives.
  19. Damian619rey

    Damian619rey TS Rookie

    Hello Stratt28 my m1530 sadly broke around 3 days ago was wondering when you try to boot your m1530 but there's only a black screen it doesn't light up at all sadly my warranty is out so it's going to cost me 200-400$ after yelling at them for trying to charge me 528+tax ran through some tests took the ram out took the hard drive out did the fn power button test and the guy said it's either a cpu problem or the motherboard it's self also they will be giving me another year warranty free which i love i will be extending it before it ends this time lol.. just wondering if when you try to boot up is there just a black screen but the fans blowing and the hard drive is working as well? also it's not giving any power to usb my head set won't light up and even if it isn't plugged in and i hit enter to get passed the incorrect shutdown still no sound.. it's been over heating quite a bit it's shutoff by it's self alot because of the heat and i don't get it there's plenty of room for air under and back of it where it needs it... i saw how hot the cpu and gpu was i think it's insane it's normally while gaming 80-90c.. hope this issue is fixed and i never have to worry about it again 2 months after my warranty expires bam :/
  20. stratt28

    stratt28 TS Rookie

    I had zero power going to the 1530. No lights, no sounds, no fans, no kidding! He replace it onsite 3 days after I called. While he was checking to power, he said the motherboard shorted out the AC adapter. Thankfully he brought a new replacement with him. Good luck!
  21. cynders

    cynders TS Rookie

    XPS M1530 Monitor not showing

    Sounds like the same problem I have with my laptop. I can't figure it out either and there isn't much on the internet about this specific problem.
    All i know is that I took my laptop in to Mr. Notebook, and they said it was a heat sensor issue. They said the possible problem is that my laptop overheated, and that it wouldn't turn on because it was overheated. When they worked on my laptop after 3 days of letting it sit and charge, they said it turned on fine for them. So all they did was check the heat sensor and make sure to tighten it. $50.00 and it worked for about 3 months. Now its doing the same thing again. I guess I have to take it back in.
  22. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,633   +97

    I guess so, despite the fact that Dell's usually have much better heat dissipation design than say HPs (which are pretty stupid to put it mildly), I will advise you to consider using an appropriate/good quality cooling pad.
  23. willux

    willux TS Rookie

    I had exactly the same problem as in the first post. I disassembled the whole computer. I took me around 8 hours work but didn't help.
    I saw some people mentioned on internet that the motherboard causes this problem by shorting the power cable input to a certain circuitry on the board. I believe that's definitely what happened to my XPS M1530.
    Yesterday I incidentally turned on the laptop without AC power connected. Now, it works well as long as you do not boot it with AC cable connected. I can connect the AC cable after booting, but it will certainly fail if AC connected before booting.
  24. Svingtut

    Svingtut TS Rookie

    I have been experiencing the exact same problem as previously mentioned. I called dell support, but since my warranty had ran out, all I got from them was; "Try to take out the battery and the Ac adapter, wait for 20 seconds and turn it back on..." While that sounds rather retarded, it did the job for 2/3 days, Now, however, nothing happends what so ever, other than the blinking blue lights and I can hear that the fan is running. Yesterday I thought the laptop was dead and I was ready to buy a new one, However after reading through this post I saw how the diagnostic tools was mentioned and how you could force them to run holding down fn + powerbuton, and as a miracle, it turned on.

    Conclusion, It now takes 15 minutes to turn on my laptop, very convenient isn't it:D

    "When you buy a dell, u know it's gona go to hell" - Svingtut

    Any solutions to the problem yet? Scared to turn the laptop off again today !
  25. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,633   +97

    Does it boot if you try to do so on battery as suggested above?

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