Dell XPS m2010 won't boot

By bigbucko · 178 replies
Sep 28, 2008
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  1. phlegmel

    phlegmel TS Rookie

    hey, don't give up hope just yet. i had the same exact problem. have you tried what loosing and retighten the four center screws labeled ABC and D?
  2. vandetta

    vandetta TS Rookie

    No go I'm gonna order the vid card off ebay now. I hope that works.

    I took apart the card cleaned off the old thermal paste- put on new artic silver 5 thermal paste but no deal.

    If I disconnect the card completely both fans come on and everything seems to work- so I'm guessing its the vid card. Hopefully this works if not- they got those HP Touchsmart IQ524 's on ebay right now for under $800. I could get that with that ilugger case they make for imacs and carry that to work I guess. Its about the same weight as the m2010.
  3. phlegmel

    phlegmel TS Rookie

    my fans did the same thing. didnt work with card in. when i took card out fans worked. i just loosened and resecured screws ABC and D. these screws are still kinda loose but my system works like a charm. i wish you luck with new video card. dell sells them for $499. new. you can get a rebuilt one for about $200.
  4. vandetta

    vandetta TS Rookie

    I paid 135 on ebay for a used one from a seller that has 4 in stock. I hope it works : /
  5. phlegmel

    phlegmel TS Rookie

    i am positive that it will work. just have faith. i think we all know how you feel, having such a great computer and aren't unable to use it. if there is anything i can do let me know.
  6. stradivarius

    stradivarius TS Rookie

    Hello goys and birls,

    I've had the m2010 for a year now and have run complete tests (motherboard replacement & video card replacement) to figure out what the problem is for most people. Motherboard replacement doesn't do anything for most. Video replacement works only sometimes... And the reason is because almost all video cards manufactured for this laptop have the SAME problem.

    dadarexz is somewhat correct.
    It involves the heatsink gel/thermal paste inside the video card melting and shorting out the card OR the gel getting too old/hard to conduct heat properly. This is why some M2010s will boot eventually if you leave them on long enough and let the video card get warm enough (this re-melts the gel/paste, moving it around and preventing it from shorting the card). This is essentially like the "towel trick" used to fix XBox 360s with the RROD problem (do a search on google/youtube). You'll need to take apart the vid card and put in new gel like Artic Silver to fix this. Note that when you place the vid card back into the laptop, it will still stay blank for a while. Playing around with the ABCD screws doesn't do anything (correlation != causation, unless the heatsink is loose, which it usually isn't); dadarexz just happened to be doing it while he was waiting for the laptop to reinitialize.

    And no, there's no need to pray to a higher deity for this badly manufactured piece of tech.
  7. vandetta

    vandetta TS Rookie

    Yeah I got a kick out of the praying thing although I did anyway since 3 people got it to work by messing with the ABCD screws.

    I can confirm that the thermal past was melted and hard. The video card itself could not be taken apart easily because of this. I'm wondering if I should take apart the newly used one and apply some artic silver 5 to it. I don't want to jinx it though so I dunno. Had to use alcohol and hot water to clean the heatsink- had to just use alcohol to clean the gpu which took FOREVER.

    My card arrives on monday I took some pics but I'll post them on monday from my XPS if it works XD

    At least M$ manned up and fixes 360's with this issue, Dell doesn't even admit there is a problem.
  8. dadarexz

    dadarexz TS Rookie

    Well Strad well for the gel paste or the cooler... I replaced em and still ddint work....well I believed it workd with the srews ABCD cos I just did it for my friend who used 2010 tooo
  9. dadarexz

    dadarexz TS Rookie

    Toxic u r a crazy guy.....Did u go to church anyway....Well neevr give up...mine took me one week b4 it stared working
  10. vandetta

    vandetta TS Rookie

    Well made a vid about it. Just some reference- apparently the asset tag or the warranty id is on the back of the computer underneath the battery. Kinda late for me- I bought it refurbished off ebay so I figured the computer didn't have a warrenty. I'm gonna check later if the warrenty is still valid so I can get an extra vid card.

    I got a newly used video card off ebay since you can't get them new anywhere. How the hell do you refurbish a video card? Anyway the video card came- it works but it the heatsink on it was dinged up and bent. Had to take it apart and use the heatsink from the old card. Good thing I did because the seller on ebay- after talking to him said that he's seen this happen to a lot of m2010's so he applied extra thermal paste to it. Good thing I took it apart because dude def put the thermal paste on top of the old thermal paste (you're suppose to clean off the old stuff first- and you're only suppose to put a dab of thermal paste- too much is bad).

    Anyway thanks to everyone here- loosening and tightening the screws didn't work on the old card- but the new card worked.
  11. Amithat

    Amithat TS Rookie

    thank you so much

    Hello I'm new here and that little bit of information at the end was exactly what I needed. I did just what dadarexz said and now, after months of not being able to use my m2010. I can it works great. Thank you all for keeping this thread alive.
  12. unclejamis

    unclejamis TS Rookie

    Ok, I'm a dork

    I have the same problem as everyone else with the 2010. I a'm not a computer guy. My question is, where is the video card, and how do I get to it? My warrantee is up, so I have to do this on my own. I can build you an airplane from scratch, but put me infront of a computer, and I'm scared crapless. James.
  13. sweetdego

    sweetdego TS Rookie

    Hey all with the same M2010 Video card problem. I read through all the postings trying to find a resolution to this issue and I bought the thermal paste and re-applied it to the surface on the video card. I was able to get the computer to come up after a few minutes waiting for it to heat up but then after about 2 minutes into Windows it freezes everytime. This is as far as i ever gotten since i've been messing with this computer for a month now. Also i played with the ABCD screws as suggested by some and still nothing.

    Current status: takes 2-5 minutes to come up, once boots up approximately only 2-3 minutes of use before freezes.

    Also this is not a video card that has been replaced yet, i was kind of reluctant to buy another video card since they are expensive if it wasn't a garuntee to solve the issue so once i found this forum i wanted to try a few things with my current card prior to buying another (and it obviously works for a small period of time).

    Any sugesstions or help would be appreciated, thanks all.

  14. pauniform

    pauniform TS Rookie

    Dell xps m2010 defective

    I have a dell xps m2010... I've had problems with this system since the day I bought it. I have spoken with dell and Have found out that this system has been discontinued due to unfix able malfunctions... from monitors to bluetooth. I have faught with dell for two years. Sent it in many times. Had tecs to my home many times. Finally dell is replacing my system with a better one. So my advice is to just keep calling and speak with their supervisors. They will exchange it because they knew of the problems when they first started selling this system. They will not replace any extras like travel cases.
  15. jbjb29

    jbjb29 TS Rookie

    well i do beleive in Jesus............i fiddled with the screws and lo n behold laptop is working..... i think it maybe the connection between motherboard and video card, hence footering with screws. Dell were useless saying video card on a 3 month delivery and it must be the motherboard at £400.they said it was not a known fault........thanks to copying all files in case of reoccurence
  16. jbjb29

    jbjb29 TS Rookie

    well i do beleive in Jesus............i fiddled with the screws and lo n behold laptop is working..... i think it maybe the connection between motherboard and video card, hence footering with screws. Dell were useless saying video card on a 3 month delivery and it must be the motherboard at £400.they said it was not a known fault........thanks to copying all files in case of reoccurence
  17. Dalwana

    Dalwana TS Rookie

    This worked for me...

    Amen! Not only is this system badly manufactured, but it's poorly supported. I'm surprised there hasn't been a class action law suit against Dell considering the cost of these machines and the number of people that seem to have problems with them.

    I've called Dell many times and had either the motherboard and/or video card replaced on 8 separate occasions. Luckily I had enough vision to purchase a 3 year warranty and then after the first 4 failures, an additional 2 years to keep my $5000 POS running. This last time Dell finally gave me the option of replacing the M2010 with a Precision M6400 because I’ve had so many repairs, but the exchange process (or any Dell process) is taking so long, I started browsing on-line for possible solutions while I wait.

    I removed the video card (which was a refurb from Dell) and took off the heatsink (which had been removed before and only partially cleaned by Dell) cleaned the 2 types of paste off, put some new back on, reassembled and the computer finally booted. The video did freeze during the boot process (still had HDD activity), so I turned it off and back on. Same non-booting problem again, so I left it on and after about 20 minutes of no activity, it finally booted again, this time into Windows. I'll use the opportunity to back-up my information as long as it stays on and say my good-byes. I enjoyed using it when it worked, but am looking forward to a (hopefully better) replacement after countless wasted hours on the phone with Dell (on hold) and waiting for parts and repairs.
  18. RosemaryG

    RosemaryG TS Rookie

    I Tried this and it works Thanks Phlegelm

    Ok so after having this computer for 2 years i am ready to throw it out the window. As soon as bought it 2 months later had to have motherboard replaced. Upon opening it the keyboard had to be replaced and then the video card. You just cant depend on this machine, it crashes unexpectantly constantly. Anyway I got the same problem everyone was having where it doesn t boot, cd spins a second then stops and then black screen. It has been sitting in my garage dead as can be until i decided to read all the info here. I followed someones advice about it being the video card and to play with the screws and pray and i did and i am up and working, not sure for how long with this machine but at least i was able to get my data off. I took it apart and eventhough i didnt have the tools to lossen the ABCD on the video card i lifted the card up and screwed it back down and so far so good everything is working. If you have this same problem try it out even if its just so you can get it back up to get your data. Machine itself is nice but there are major problems with it and Dell should be ashamed to make such a piece of garbage and not recall it.
  19. jbjb29

    jbjb29 TS Rookie

    re tools to loosen the screws........ a small flathead screwdriver will loosen these screws if you don't have the correct one, it needs to be big enough to fit the diameter thats all. Dell are still trying to sell me a new motherboard and insist its not a known problem!
  20. dadarexz

    dadarexz TS Rookie

    help me watre licked into my motherboard and my power button wont on on my dell xps m2010 please
  21. vandetta

    vandetta TS Rookie

    Okay I'm back. Its been 3 months and the replacement video card I ordered crapped out. The irony is my warranty was still valid when I called the first time about this issue.

    What I'd like everyone to confirm is if the express service tag number is under the battery of the laptop or if its just on the back of the laptop like most laptops.

    Mine was under the battery. When I first had this issue I called Dell twice and they turned me away because I couldn't find the service tag number. I thought that was odd that the stickers on the back of the laptop weren't the right number- it was only until I took out the battery that I noticed it was underneath the battery. And this was after I ordered the replacement video card which now died of the same issue 3 months later...

    Whats crazy is when I was talking to the Dell tech support guy he said he had never heard of an issue with this laptop- and I pointed him to this thread and how many people had this issue. Then they said they had no record of me calling and I pointed out that I posted here well before my warranty expired. I even said I made a video of me starting up the laptop after I had a certified Dell tech replace the card ( I work in a repair center: ) . This was all before my warranty expired and my argument is that if no one at Dell knows where the service tag number is then how am I suppose to know this is the only laptop with it underneath the battery? And I fixed it with my money when I could have had it fixed under warranty...

    When I first got the laptop I called about another issue- some people might know the laptop comes with this licensed software that sound blaster makes which emulates virtual sound. The problem for me was that I installed XP since I didn't want vista and I needed the software license which dell issued over the phone. They said I'd need a service tag at that time and nobody told me that it was under the battery. Then a year later the video card issue comes up and still the tech support couldn't tell me to look under the battery for the code. So I've called Dell 4 times and they have no record of me calling and I've had this laptop for just over a year since I bought it back in August 2008 and it died in July 2009.

    I even called Triangle Laptops which is the only reseller for the m2010 video card on ebay and they said they've sold a lot of those cards and that they get a lot of out-of-warranty-repair m2010's and that is always the issue with them.

  22. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Motherboard needs to be replaced. Contact Dell. This seems to be a common problem with this machine... perhaps a motherboard defect.
    Motherboard replacements average $80 plus labor, or over $150. New Dell motherboard are over $150.
  23. vandetta

    vandetta TS Rookie

    I don't want to say that's impossible, but it is definitely the video card. Same issue happened the last time. I was listening to music while working in photoshop and all of a sudden the music started skipping and the mouse stopped responding. Then the computer would not boot.

    Almost everyone in this thread has had an issue with the video card.

    This really isn't my problem my problem is that it was under warranty when I ordered the new card. And the new card worked for a while and now its dead. Even the people at Triangle Laptops confirmed that is an issue with this laptop.

    I would really like to confirm with the people that own this laptop if the service tag number is behind the battery like it is on mine. Because the people I spoke with at Dell said that was not the case. Had someone at Dell told me that I would have gotten this fixed under warranty...
  24. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    On the m2010's we have seen (5 of them) it has been the motherboard...
    The video graphics card problem is really a problem with the board... which is why people who replace that cheap little card still have failure problems very soon.
    None of ours has the service tag under the battery... It is my understanding that those with the service tag under the battery have already been refurbished by Dell soon after time of Sale... at least in the USA...
    Also, the Service Tag is available in the BIOS screens when you press those first setup numbers.
    There may also be an issue with the video card, but the problem goes away when the system board is replaced.
    Triangle laptops is a good outfit... we like them a lot... but we disagree with their analysis unless there are two separate problems.
    Dell is aware that this is a problem machine. When you call, ask to speak to the US Representatives, not India, and you will have a very interesting conversation.
    Insist that Dell does the right thing... The person you talk to must be USA or Canada, and they must be reminded that this has been stepped up to a full issue.
    Now if you bought this Dell m2010 under a special deal or discount, you have already accepted its limitations... but talk to Dell anyway... INSIST that you talk to advanced Tech Support.
  25. vandetta

    vandetta TS Rookie

    Thanks raybay. That does answer my question- what you said about the service tag makes sense because I did buy it refurbished. I believe Dell stopped selling them new and then began selling them refurbished then phased them out...

    I created a backup routine with syncback se but I can't get the info off the drives because I have this set in raid 0 and my back up is a month old : /

    I spent an hour with the tech support in India pleading my case- what gets me is the warrenty thing, had someone told me refurbished M2010 laptops have the info under the battery that would have saved me a lot of time and money. I'll try calling advanced Tech Support in the US tomorrow.

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