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Dell XPS M1530 won't boot

By camahule · 106 replies
Oct 24, 2009
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  1. Fatima2012

    Fatima2012 TS Rookie

    Hi Saiber77

    I would still like to put a complaint in writing since i think it is a bit of a con to have a laptop for such a short time and i cannot even get into it. Do you know who to address my complaint to in the UK?

    I have tried most of the solutions on this board except for heating the Nvidia card.
  2. saiber77

    saiber77 TS Rookie

    First off http://support.euro.dell.com/suppor..._care/en/complaints_procedure?c=uk&l=en&s=gen is the complaint dept for Europe, always use Google as it is your friend, all I typed in was "Dell Consumer Complaint Dept" the first result i clicked on was Dell Europe. You also could go to Ripoffreport website and post your complaints there so it is in the public domain.
  3. ganeshjey

    ganeshjey TS Rookie

    I am also having the blank screen issue...When I click the power button the fans are blowing up for 3 seconds and then stopped immediately. I went to the local service center and have asked them to do reflow. But they are not agreeing to do this. They are telling, If there is any problem with GPU then it won't affect the fans. It should run normally. Problem might be in other palces.

    Please suggest what I have to do now.
  4. saiber77

    saiber77 TS Rookie

    Perhaps you are confusing them with the focus on the fans, most laptops do initialize their fans at boot anyway, have you tried to boot the laptop with an external monitor attached to determine if your problem is related to a screen or LCD inverter?

    A good way for you to find out if you need a reflow or not is to try the method i posted earlier in this thread regarding the low heat reflow by prying up on the heatsink and letting the computer run for about 10 min without a heat sink on the GPU, just read my earlier post and follow it to the letter, it seems to work for at least the first boot following this method and just goes back to the black screen after a reboot or shutdown and startup, if it does work then you can back up your claims with the local shop about it needing a reflow.

    Be sure to ask them if they have ever done this before because if it were me I'd rather do a first attempt myself rather than letting some unknown shop pop their cherry on this, I did it for the first time and it was easy, just look up methods on youtube and choose the one that is right for you, good luck and remember if you mess it up you only made a doorstop into a doorstop... no harm no foul.
  5. ganeshjey

    ganeshjey TS Rookie

    Thanks for your info. Saiber.

    Today I went to that shop again and I have asked them to do your "easy fix".

    He removed the heat sink and switched on the laptop. Nothing is displayed in the screen as well as in external monitor.

    He said, he found some short circuit in mother board. Thatswhy all these methods are not working and processor is also not running.

    But I have noticed my laptop is generating some heat immediately after switched on. I don't know he is lying or not.

    How can I verify my processor is running or not?

    I have installed Windows 7 ultimate in my laptop and Instead of Shutdown I clicked Sleep. After that my lappy never booted on.

    I never had a more heat issue with my laptop. GPU temperature always will be less than 75 degree celsius.

    Please help me what could be the issue.

    They said, Found the issues with two ICs. That need to be changed. It would cost around $100. Please suggest.
  6. Fatima2012

    Fatima2012 TS Rookie

    Dell installed a new motherboard. Screen is still blank. Dell has told me to re-install the operating system since they dont know what is wrong and they are refusing any further help since the laptop is out of warranty. However, today i am working off the laptop since i managed to start it by booting from the CD. However, this sometimes works and other times it doesnt. Where do i go from here?
  7. Ahayes87

    Ahayes87 TS Rookie

    Same problem as everyone else

    Hey everyone,

    I noticed everyone is having the same issue as I am. Fixing a Dell XPS M1530 laptop that won't boot. I've been to over 40 different sites looking for answers and I've tried everything I can think of that would possibly cause this issue:

    Swapped RAM with known good RAM of exact same type
    Swapped CPU with known good CPU of exact same type
    Reflowed the GPU with a hot air gun (same method that I used to fix xbox 360's)
    Found the Hall Effect sensor that tells BIOS the screen is closed, unhooked that and hooked it back up after trying to boot (this fixed a Toshiba laptop that did this exact same thing)

    Only thing I noticed that changed was with the known good CPU I got a dull white screen and the most random flashing diagnostic codes with Fn+Power. System would stay on except for the cpu fan. Also didn't like no RAM, but seemed to like having RAM installed, it didn't throw an error code on boot, like it did without.

    Old CPU: CPU fan turns on but only for a few seconds, HDD spins up, dvd drive turns on for a second or two, and then shuts off completely. lights come on with either CPU.

    Any ideas would be appreciated, btw this is out of warranty by quite awhile.
  8. Fatima2012

    Fatima2012 TS Rookie

    Hi after trying so many things, I re-installed the operating system and it is now working. I would use this as a last resort since it takes ages to update the operating system files. Unfortunately there was no pattern to the behaviour of my laptop - sometimes it worked other times it didnt and I was going to throw the towel in and buy a new laptop.
  9. jepotter

    jepotter TS Rookie

    Dell XPS m1530 has Parenthesis in the bios while booting

    When my dell used to boot corectly the word DELL would apear first with an all black background and all was fine. A couple times the screen would flash black and say the video display driver has failed. I updated the driver and this did not fix it. sometimes the screen would stay black and I would have to restart. The computer now has little dots all around the word DELL upon bootup. Once I see those dots I know it will not fully boot up. Now after the DELL comes up with the dots around it there are Parenthesis in the biops bootup. I put my harddrive into another dell xps m1530 and it booted fine. The computer will also not boot to disc. Any help?
  10. fooledbydell

    fooledbydell TS Rookie

    Hello, another frustrated XPS MT1530 owner here, having the exact same issues. I just thought I'd share my experience.

    I have owned this laptop for at least 4-5 years, I remember having some 'sleep mode' issues a couple of times over the years (maybe once every 10 months or so) but at the time it started working again after a forced reboot done by continuing to press the PWR button once it's on.

    However, last week it started to always boot into sleep mode, regardless of whether I shut the computer down or put it to sleep. I believe it is more of a software issue than a hardware issue (except for the faulty nVidia chips mentioned earlier in this thread), as it is widely known that Vista is a buggy OS and the symptoms seemed to indicate a trouble getting out of sleep mode, not a hardware malfunctioning.

    In the past week I have been able to bring it back to life and out of sleep mode 2-3 times, by just randomly trying all the methods suggested, but now it has been blocked for good.

    Overall, I tried:
    1) Pressing the power ON button for 5-10 secs so that the computer switches on and then off immediately.
    [NO success]

    2) Remove power cable, battery, keep the power button pressed for 10-20 seconds, then just boot it normally while keeping all devices but the power cable detached.
    [YES success, only once though so it could be random]

    3) Forcefully inserting a live Linux Ubuntu cd as soon as I pressed the power button, this awoke the computer and windows loaded normally
    [YES success, but even after booting my cd drive messed up and stopped working and didn't eject the cd anymore, I had to open all the laptop to get to the disc drive and pull it out with some pincers, but that just messed the cd drive and broke it for good. So this method worked until I broke the cd drive]

    4) Inserted a bootable system rescue usb stick
    [YES success, but only once. So it could also have been caused by me randomly going through numbers 1) and 2) ]

    5) I have also tried disabling sleep mode and hibernation from the Control Panel advanced Power Management Settings, a waste of time
    [NO success]

    Finally, I reached the end of the road and fixed it for good
    6) FN+Power Button trick mentioned here worked! But to me, the screen stayed pitch black even after doing this, so after doing a forced reboot it just magically loaded windows.
    HOWEVER, to solve it for good I got rid of Windows Vista (and its hibernation issues) as soon as I was able to log in and back up my files, and installed XUBUNTU (it is a lightweight version of Linux Ubuntu made specifically for older laptops, all drives worked straight out of the box with my XPS MT1530)
    Xubuntu also seems to use less memory and the vent seems to be high on tranquillizers, check out also Puppy Linux and Damn Small linux distro.

    So I suggest to back up all your data if you're lucky enough to be able to log in, and as soon as you've logged in reboot and install Linux. I don't think it is worth it to pay anything more than $300 for repairing this laptop, as it is getting old, and it could be just the start of computer repairs that can easily over time add up to the cost of a brand new laptop.
  11. fooledbydell

    fooledbydell TS Rookie

    ^^^I'm the poster above^^^ [Edit:...last poster on the previous page]^

    Today, one day later it didn't boot again, even by using Linux. All day long trying to randomly press the ON and OFF button etc. to make it work by random magic like the other times.

    However, I was able to get it working again by pressing the FN+POWER button.
    My screen stays pitch black while the computer does its thing. Then, I forcefully shut it down by keeping the POWER button pressed, switch it back on again and it works.

    I seem to have concluded that the reason by which this method works is because it heats up the laptop, and therefore it may heat up that faulty nVidia video card mentioned earlier in this thread, where people used a hair dryer to heat it up.
  12. tintintin

    tintintin TS Rookie


    this is crazy!

    same symptoms:
    + fn + on shows left led blinking, 2 constant
    + on boot shows "power" led on, (front view), no hdd led on, could hear hdd in the beginning, was able to press buttons but nothing happend (saw the button feedback)
    + screen was dark, could hear noises

    tried external monitor, but no success

    based on the following posts i fixed the issue (THANKS to you folks!)
    w ww.techspot.com/vb/post1013366-45.html
    w ww.techspot.com/vb/post996928-42.html

    1) disassemble laptop
    2) locate nvidia chip (a single heatpipe explicitly for the nvidia chip, below the fan... the processor and another chip are on the left heatpipe...)
    3) do a cleanup of the chips, get new heat-paste since old one was dry already (clean like shown in post 42)
    4) without heatpipe i used a normal fan to heat up the nvidia chip approx 1.30min. be sure to only heat the nvidia chip (but i think you can leave this step out)
    5) install the heat pipes (especially for the cpu), grab some isolated wire, wrap it around the nvidia heatpipe, insert battery, plug in AC, power ON, use the wire to get the heat pipe away from the nvidia gpu ... this way it gets hotter and hotter..
    5.1) carefully listen to your fan.. at first it will be off, after some time it gets hotter and hotter and gpu sensor tells fan to start pulling away the hot air... after approx 3-5mins the fan will consantly be on full speed..
    5.2) now stop pulling away the heatpipe, let it snap onto the gpu, apply some force (i used the back of my isolated screwdriver and hit it a few times.. be gentle!), seat it
    6) power of (screen is still black)
    7) power on -> screen shows dell logo!

    thank you for this fix..
    you really saved my day!

  13. cgavris

    cgavris TS Rookie


    This is clearly a GPU failure.

    Allowing the GPU to overheat will fix the problem (at least temporarily)

    I will not reiterate the procedure since our good members have already offered a good solution. So go back and check these posts:

    #62 (Thanks tintintin! Like the wire thing!)

    #45 (Thanks saiber77! Great explanation for what's really going on!)

    I will however add a few tips:
    No 1: Skip the heat gun part for forcibly heating up the GPU if you don't know what you're doing. Too dangerous! Lifting up the heat pipe even by a few millimeters and a little patience will do the trick.
    No 2: Be careful with that screwdriver while the system is running
    No 3: Be careful with that screwdriver while the system is running... Seriously!

    Other than that I think this is a workable fix. I don't expect it to be permanent but it revived my system. So make sure you keep those screws on the back panel a little loose and always pack a screwdriver and a piece of string, just in case. MacGyver style.

    Good luck!
  14. Quadzillar

    Quadzillar TS Rookie


    i think my XPS1530 has just joined the club!
    used it until the batt ran out this morning, now it wont start up.

    same start up issues as described. press power button, it lights up for 1 sec then goes off. did the Fn + power, first led flsashes, the other 2 are on.

    had this happen once before, found that one of my RAM chips died, so it only has one 2gb chip.tried reseating it. i dont have any more RAM chips, so i ordered 2 x 2gb chips which are on the way...

    and then i thought id search the web, and found this forum.
    my warranty expired about a yr ago.

    so ill try the RAM chips. if no success try the rest of the procedures in this thread.
    hope something will work.

    did alot of research at the time for laptops and chose DELL because it was a good known brand at the time. I paid top dollar for this machine, with all the features i required and upgraded CPU at the time, so expected good length of time. but nup its expiring after 3 years later. if i have to replace this machine, it wont be DELL, ill build my own using quality generic parts/names
  15. Quadzillar

    Quadzillar TS Rookie

    it worked

    got new RAM chips, which didnt change a thing.

    read this thread again and tried the GPU fix
    lifted the heat sink off the GPU a few millimetres. switched it on and let it run for about 1min or so.
    put the heatsink back on, the screen flickered and booted up!

    i think ill remove the heatsink and fan completely, remove the old thermal paste and reapply new stuff, give it a clean as it was a wee bit dusty. and hope for the best or flick it on!

    good thread, thanks guys!
  16. segovia15

    segovia15 TS Rookie


    i figured out the problem its not the graphics chips its the cpu somehow the cpu got over heated and wont send power through anything at all so i replaced it and ta da! the computer turned on normal like nothing ever happened
  17. saiber77

    saiber77 TS Rookie

    Glad your problem was resolved so easily segovia, this is not what was wrong with every other computer in this thread and by stating that its not the Graphics Chip but the CPU you may unnecessarily send people on a goose chase to purchase CPU's when it is the Graphics Chip that is responsible for the symptoms related to the OP's problem as well as almost every one else who has posted here. The fact that it is related to the GPU is a well documented issue easily found all over the internet, and proved by all our experiences.

    My advice for anyone reading would be to try the FN+Power button boot to read the LED code, then the heatsink lifting technique before anything else, if overheating the GPU doesn't get your computer to boot at least once every try then perhaps consider segovia's suggestion.
  18. BanXafe

    BanXafe TS Rookie


    I had just the same problem as everybody else in here, same LED's and stuff...
    But when i do the trick with overheating the gpu, my laptop reacts a little different.

    So i move the heat sink a little bit away from the gpu, than i turn on the laptop, at first no fan, than quiet fan and at last fan at full speed... And than suddenly the screen turns on while i'm doing that and i see the dell logo and everything works. Than i screw the heat sink back on and i can work on my laptop.

    But when i turn it off and try to turn it on again, i have to repeat all of the gpu heat sink stuff, which is a little bit annoying to do every time i want to use the laptop!

    Any ideas?

  19. saiber77

    saiber77 TS Rookie

    If you read back in this thread you will see that this option is only a temporary fix, and is useful in diagnosing the GPU as the issue, in order to actually effect a repair you will need to either do the fix yourself or find someone willing to disassemble the laptop and use a heat gun (some others have been successful in using a hair dryer but in my opinion this is not enough heat to guarantee a fix) to re-flow the solder on the gpu, it is a well documented issue and instructions on disassembling the laptop as well as how to use the heat-gun is available on YouTube if you search for the laptop model and GPU fix. Heat guns can be readily picked up at various locations including hardware stores and are relatively cheap, just make sure you get one with a temperature gauge so as to not use too hot of a setting.

    If you are not comfortable doing the procedure and don't know of anyone with the skills necessary I do hear there are some services on Ebay as well as some websites out there that carry out the fix for a nominal fee or flat rate, not sure as to the repute of the people on ebay but as with any website or ebay there are sure to be some reviews from people who have had it done. Otherwise they do make a rather functional if otherwise ugly doorstop...

    best of luck to you BanXafe and if you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask.
  20. adamuko

    adamuko TS Rookie

    Guys, brilliant thread, really helped me with my M1530 which wouldn't start this morning!

    I didn't need to use a heat gun in the end i just unscrewed the heatsink over the Nvidia chip and it started up fine.

    Time for a backup and a look for a replacement chip!
  21. sixstrings1963

    sixstrings1963 TS Rookie

    Thank You!

    It worked!
    I opened the cover and set the block end of a nylon wire tie between the heatsink and the Video chip and let it run. And WOW in about 5 minutes my screen came to life. Now I need to pull the whole heatsink off and get some good heat sink compound on there. Ok now to get on my soapbox about this computer. I bought it exactly three years ago (Sept of 08) at the time it was advertized as a high end computer that I should easily be able to use for a mobile Audio DAW but in reality it has been nothing but headaches. I never was able to run a firewire or USB Audio card to even play music from Media player without severe latency issues. I finally learned through forums that the bus issues were due to poor design of the bus on the MOBO. i was ticked but needed a good computer so I spent another $2000 on a mac with a dual core processor and never had an issue again. What I was upset about was that Dell denied there was even a problem. My final thoughts are that it's always a good idea to read these forums and let a product become a little established in the market before dropping a cool $1850 on a computer like I did this one. thanks again to the genius who figured out this solution.

  22. superduffio

    superduffio TS Rookie

    fix works!

    I bought a Dell XPS M1530 in 2009. Spent a cool £1K on it, so was gutted to have this problem, and even more gutted to learn about the faulty nvidia chip. It's always run hot, I guess this due to the faulty NVIDIA gpu? Anway, in the last 12 months it was occasionally refusing to boot, in the manner described here by many posters. The other day it wouldn't boot at all, hence I started to look for a solution on the tinterweb. Luckily I found this forum, which led to my finding this video on youtube, as i'm a new member i can't post links but this is the vid title:

    "DELL XPS M1530 bad video card fix! ( the redneck way)"

    It's a really good video, and the laptop he does the repair on is indeed a 1530. I used a hair-dryer, the first time it didn't work, so I did the procedure again, and really heated the f*** out of the 2 chips the guy uses the blow torch on in the vid (no ****, he uses a blow torch!). The second time - hey presto! It worked. As the problem would appear to have been caused by overheating in the first place, I must admit to being miffed that this fix works. I don't really understand how, other than it's to do with 're-flowing' the solder on the gpu? If anyone can explain more I would be grateful. I have been using a belkin cushdesk to increase the airflow under the laptop on, but I guess this was still not enough? I know someone else with 1530, an IT professional, who recommends this powered fan solution (I have just ordered one on amazon, good value at £11.69):

    "Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand in Black With High Capacity Fan (F5L001erBLK)"

    Can anyone recommend anything else I can do to prevent the problem form recurring?

    Best regards

    Ben (uk)
  23. Campey1986

    Campey1986 TS Rookie

    Same issue

    Hi, I am having the same issue as all of you. This is my second time that my computer won't turn on, after a free so called "repair" from Dell because of the Nvidia lawsuit. First I tried that guy's fix on YouTube "How to fix your XPS M1530 (the redneck way)". I tried a blow dryer, and that didn't work. Then I tried a lighter, and I started smelling this weird burning plastic smell, so I stopped and tried turning it on, and that didn't work. Before I tried those solutions, the computer would at least stay on, but the screen would be black. Now, the screen is still black, but when I try to turn it on, it shuts off immediately like I am trying to run it with low battery. I am going to buy some thermal grease and see if that works. Also, do any of you know how to get a CD out of the CD/DVD drive when my computer won't even boot up? Since it is slot loaded, it won't eject without the computer being on.
  24. superduffio

    superduffio TS Rookie

    hi there, can you tell us what repair dell did? thanks.
  25. Campey1986

    Campey1986 TS Rookie

    They replaced my motherboard, and repaired a crack I had in the left corner hinge of my laptop from when I dropped it. I asked the technician if I would be getting new parts free from the defect, and he told me yes. I see now that was a lie.

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