Laptop not booting Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Series

What’s wrong: laptop will not start windows, BIOS. Did get one error code beep

What I have tried:

1)motherboard swap (same problem recreated after swap)

2)RAM swap

3)Testing hard dive with SeaTools for Windows. While hard drive is connected externally to my PC, I can look at it’s contents and copy them etc. When running tests in SeaTools, I get a fail code of 6C9AC2A4. “

Serial number not detected, SeaTools did fail the drive,” as indicated on this page:

4)When turning on laptop, it only goes to a blank screen. Backlight does seem to turn on. An LCD test works (RBG all flashes).

5)Battery is believed to be dead. All of these tests are performed with the battery taken out and the AC Adapter plugged in.

Here is a video of the error code beep:

Any suggestions?

Post was last edited on June 30, 2019 9:00 PM PDT

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I don't see the full model number.

Why isn't the laptop being repaired? I read that you know the battery is gone but that wasn't fixed?

Why this matters is a failed battery can cause motherboard failures. Sometimes folk leave a failing battery in and the motherboard fails later. That 20 to 40 dollar part (battery) is to be replaced when it's dead. Not when you feel like it.

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Inspiron 15-5559

I didn't know what the full model number was because it wasn't listed anywhere on the exterior. I assumed it was 5559 because I found matches on the internet, but I didn't know for a fact. I was able to find this out later on, when I was able to boot to Windows, as described below.

Short answer to your battery question: the laptop does not belong to me, it belongs to my co-worker. He agreed to let me work on it and I'm troubleshooting with the information he gave me (Ie: "all of a sudden it died and it won't turn on anymore"). So, I was starting from the ground up, essentially. I'm an amateur, so I process troubleshooting at my own pace and things are not always obvious to me. A new battery has been ordered, but it hasn't arrived yet.

Given that I replaced the motherboard and it didn't make a difference to the initial problem, that is likely not the issue. I have since put the old motherboard back in.

I was able to connect to an external monitor via HDMI cable and find that I am still able to use the computer. This was actually one of the first things I did when I received the laptop (though at that time I used VGA to USB), but I had failed to press the key combination of Fn + F8(in the case of this laptop) in order to switch display to the external monitor. I was too used to monitors automatically being recognized and accessed, I suppose. My bad. I could have saved a lot of time had I thought to do that, but that's just how it goes sometimes.

I am still receiving error codes when scanning the hard drive with SeaTools and HP Support Assistant. Check out this link for the results.

As of now, I am looking at purchasing a replacement LCD cable/and or LCD screen + cable combo. Later I will address the hard drive as it seems to be working fine despite receiving error codes.

Any input is still appreciated, thanks for replying!

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So that battery and HDD are bad.

At least according to the story so far. Both can cause booting issues.

I do have clients that want assurance that replacing the known bad parts will fix it. Sorry folk, no one including me will offer that assurance. But that's how you work a broken PC. Start with replacing the failed parts first.

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The other problem. Yeah, Service Manual. sees working models for about 350. If you are down for a drive, battery and motherboard no tech I know will fix the machine as it's likely to be a disaster zone.

That is, some folk won't tell you the full story about how old it is (anything past 4 years gets iffy) or it was given a bath, dropped from the tailgate or such.

If you want to proceed, it may be that lesson about when to know at what point you pull the plug.


Post was last edited on July 2, 2019 2:22 PM PDT

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Definitely true

I agree with and appreciate your comment. I also looked up the cost of working models. I'm more looking for repair experience, so I actually want to work on it and find solutions that way. Hopefully I find a solution before pulling the plug. My co-worker has given me permission to do this with his machine - otherwise, it could be any other laptop I have in my possession.

What I am working with now:

When I turn on the laptop, I am greeted with this Dell Support Assist message. Just notifying me about the battery.
I can still boot to BIOS, Windows, etc, after hitting continue and seemingly use the laptop as I would normally, despite having the HDD error. That is why I am thinking of trying the LCD screen/and or cable next before replacing the HDD.

Edit: thanks for the manual link. I have it bookmarked already and have been referring to it. Also YouTube videos for live demonstrations.

Post was last edited on July 2, 2019 2:37 PM PDT

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The message is typical

When there are failures in the following areas:
1. Charger failure. It's a three wire system and if the owner wasn't gentle there can be a failure in the cable.
2. Power connector failure. This one is so common there are web sites just for laptop power connection repair.
3. Motherboard failure. Too common if the owner left a bad battery in the laptop for long.
4. Failed battery. Some ask me how I know if the battery is good or bad. While it is possible to test a battery the problem is the cost. At the shop we are at 150USD a hour and a replacement battery is 20 to 30 so my test is very simple. I look at the date on the battery and at 2 and more years we replace it.

-> Some new techs think that with enough data you can nail this in one go but I rarely see that happen. The techs and I know to replace what we know is bad or in the case of an old battery, that as well then see where we are.

At least there's a service manual here. Many machines don't have that.

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PS. If you go over 100 bucks.
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Thank you for the messages, everything helps. As for making machines last, I can relate. I have a 7 year old HP that didn't take a Win 10 upgrade so well (around 2014/15). So, I installed Unbuntu and continue to use the laptop for general web browsing and video streaming in my living room. It sits in one place and I have a wireless keyboard/mouse set up. I also have an old HP tower from around 2008 that I have set up with Ubuntu as an OS. The monitors and other peripherals have been freebies or left over from other setups I have had. I have it set up on a work bench and use it while, say, working on this Dell laptop. I have another high powered PC setup for everything else. This sounds like a lot, and it is, but generally if something works I tend to keep it and find a use for it.


I am going to continue on troubleshooting the laptop and see what I can come up with.

One question I have for you: I am able to run an LCD test pattern (screen flashes red, green, blue, white, to detect what I assume are broken pixels on the display and such) but outside of the test, the laptop screen displays nothing else. Just a faint backlight. I need the external monitor to see what I am doing.

In your opinion, does this sound like a potential problem with the LCD screen or cable?

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If this was on my desk.

I'd pull out the HDD and batt since these are known bad then boot up a Linux off USB or optical to see if that displays.

The LCD screen or cable question is not one I can guess. If it was here I'd remove the batt and power then do a quick reset by holding down the power button for 60 seconds, release, apply power and test.

That Fkey to enable the external can have it in some mode where the test works but only the external displays. This is where I do the reset and don't connect the external and try the Fkey a few times.

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Will try usb

Thanks. That's a good idea, I'll try booting linux from USB. I did already try the quick reset process, but I held for less than 60 seconds, so I'll try again. Can't hurt. I'll post about the results as soon as I can.

Edit: I actually have an older version of Ubuntu on USB already, so I'll try that.

Post was last edited on July 2, 2019 4:40 PM PDT

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USB Update

So I booted Ubuntu from USB and was able to verify this:

and this.

So, the LCD works. One thing, though: the battery warning can only be viewed via external monitor. This is all with the HDD taken out, mind you. As well, when entering BIOS, I could only view via external monitor. It was only booting to Ubuntu when I was able to view things from the laptop monitor.

In my mind, this tells me that I can likely still go ahead with a new HDD, but perhaps you have a second opinion?

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At the shop and office

We have shop drives to swap in for test which rarely happens. We see so many failed drives that we don't need second opinions on when to replace those. Again I don't want to sound dismissive here but when you repair these things you must replace the bad bits.

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All good

Not dismissive, it's all good. If I can get them from professionals/experts I am open to second opinions before making decisions. Since you've been good about providing input and advice to my problem, I've been more prone to picking your brain rather than going on independently. I am going to be imaging the current HDD onto one of my external drives and then I'll go buy a new HDD for replacement.

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Just last month

We picked up a 240GB SSD for under 30 bucks. Given this is more than enough for old machines for storage as they are often used for web browser, YouTube and such, I can't see buying another HDD from here on out.

Once you install a few smaller SSDs into old gear you will understand why (at the shop and home) we will likely not install/replace a HDD with a HDD ever again. They are not that costly and can really make an old machine feel current.

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Good Idea
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If W10 is already running.
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The owner of the laptop is running what appears to be an illegitimate copy of Windows 8. I thought it might be nice to upgrade to 10 with a license key. That is a good deal you found, though. I may just get one. Haven't quite decided yet.

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