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Laptop sometimes turns on, sometimes won't

by cms07f / December 27, 2010 8:57 AM PST

Starting yesterday, my laptop acts as though it is in sleep mode (which my power settings do not allow for), but when I try to get it to wake up, pushing the power button just turns it off. Then when I try to turn it back on, the keyboard and power lights come on but there's a black screen and no sound. Then, today, after many times of turning it off and trying to turn it back on, it worked, but it said that it had to start up in recovery mode and the computer tried to revert itself to a previous, working state. Everything was fine and I used it for several hours without a problem, but then I went back to it about 3 hours later it turned black again. There is no problem with overheating, the charger works perfectly, and I think this points to a software problem as opposed to a hardware one. Any suggestions? I am running Windows vista on a Dell latitude 620.

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I see a little detail.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 27, 2010 8:59 AM PST

I have an unknown age Dell Lattitude 620 without age or use to gauge if this is some unit that needs a new motherboard or maybe a battery. Tell a little more.

-> There is one clue and that some folk have the power settings to not turn off but to sleep and then they put the machine away. The battery is depleted and the next attempt at booting fails JUST LIKE YOUR DESCRIPTION. Let's hope it's that old issue.

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by cms07f / December 27, 2010 11:08 AM PST
In reply to: I see a little detail.

The laptop is about 3.5 years old, the battery less than a year old. Every time I have tried to turn it on to no avail it has either been plugged in at the time or had been charging an ample amount of time and should not have been depleted of power. Also, I have tried removing the battery and putting it back in, with no luck.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 27, 2010 11:14 AM PST
In reply to: Detail

Try the generic reset noted in the forum sticky. Remove battery, AC and press the power button for a full minute. Release and forget the battery and see if it boots and shows the dell screen. If not it sounds like the motherboard has failed.

Again, all details matter. For example my old laptop didn't boot one day and I lost a hour until I remembered I had left some memory card in the PC-Card slot (yes, it's a little oddball card but the point is that all details matter.)

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Same problem - did you resolve yours?
by l444 / April 23, 2011 1:40 PM PDT

My laptop (HP, 2 yrs. old, running Windows Vista) has been having the same problem for the last week. Did you figure out what was wrong with yours? It just would be helpful to have more ideas of what could be going on with mine and/or any additional diagnostics I could run. It's not a battery or overheating issue, and I haven't changed anything about it (e.g., no new memory cards or anything). Thanks!

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