Inspiron 3521 wont power up

By Fence69
Mar 11, 2016
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  1. Tried to power up my laptop today and found it would not boot.
    Initially, I had the power light (bottom front) come on with no other lights, HD and wireless light not indicating. The fan would start after a short period (minute or so) and would continue on with nothing else progressing, no power to the DVD
    AC/DC adaptor fine, changed power cord no difference, changed power points no result.
    Removed battery and power and held power button for 30 seconds to remove static. Nothing
    Replaced battery and power and tried Fn power button. Nothing
    Currently have no lights and nothing working at all.
    Any assistance would be of great benefit.
    Cheers, have a great day
  2. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,004   +656

    Uncertain from your description if you have tried to run machine with battery removed. If not, do so.

    Focus is to get machine to POST. If it won't POST and it has good power, then it is likely to be a 'bad motherboard' (broken solder joint, fried resistor or capacitor or power chip - each a $.03 to $.50 part).

    If machine runs with battery removed, then it is the battery.

    Start at the wall outlet - confirm power present by plugging in an lamp. Unless you have training - stay away from anything above 24v.

    Use multi-meter, confirm something around 18v from the converter and around 12v from battery (check manufacturer of machine/battery for exact numbers - but just being close to these numbers are a good sign). If not, check the specifications and fix that.

    If all is good to this point, the problem is inside the laptop case. Find a video for the dis-assembly of your machine. Primary purpose is to look for anything obviously out of place. Since you cannot get the machine to POST yet, it is very likely the motherboard has failed. Close examination of the chips may result in identifying a small black spot (burned chip) or 'frosty looking solder' which might indicate a cold solder joint - very hard to find.

    At this point, if nothing has surfaced, you may want to remove the HDD and transfer files.

    Motherboards can be replaced.

    ps I find this type of job much easier if I approach it 'professionally' - large clear workspace, gather tools before hand, make notes, organize parts using an organizer (or just a cardboard, which I punch holes in and insert screws with notations as they come out).
  3. Fence69

    Fence69 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey Cycloid
    Thanks for your tips and advice.
    Will put them to work tomorrow.
    Will post the results.

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