Question

Told Dead Motherboard But Laptop Still Working/Booting

I have a Dell Inspiron 13 5000. A few months ago I started having problems powering on my laptop, I'd sometimes have to press the power button multiple times for it to turn on. My laptop would also lose 5% power overnight while it was shutdown. I've had my laptop for a little over a year and one day it would no longer turn on, the blue light would go on indicating that the laptop was charging and I could hear that something was on but it wouldn't boot up. I took it to a repair shop and was told I have a bad motherboard. They tested the voltage: my laptop could take in power but the motherboard was not functioning. My laptop ended up turning on a after I picked it up from the diagnosis but the repair place said it was still a bad motherboard (could go at any moment, likely won't last a month). Is this possible? I've been doing what I can to figure this out but aren't getting anywhere. It's a new system and I heard that newer motherboards don't use beep codes anymore. I ran Dell's diagnostics and a diagnostic from Intel but both came up clean.

Post was last edited on March 14, 2018 7:11 PM PDT

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Answer
Small world.

Another Dell but it too didn't power up when the button was pushed. It turned out Dell had a new BIOS out. Be sure to check at Dell.com for updates on BIOS, motherboard drivers at the very least.

Also, test without ANY USB devices plugged in.

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Response: Bios Update

Thank you for your fast response! I am running Dell's BIO update now. I saw articles that a BIOS update in January caused a lot of problems, could this really be from an update from over a month ago? I don't know if I installed the bad update from back then. Do you know of anyway that I can check to see if this update fixed the problem (without paying for another diagnosis with voltmeter)? It's weird because it started working again maybe 30hrs after it wouldn't boot up.

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BIOS 1.13.0 vs 2.2.1

My system had BIOS 1.13.0 and the BIOS update which caused the problem in January was 2.2.1. So I don't think I have precisely the same problem but you're right, it could be an issue with BIOS.

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Just so we're in the clear. And another area to work on.

Did you use your Service Tag at Dell.com to be sure this update was for your PC?

New area to explore. Many laptops arrive setup to SLEEP when you press the power button or close the lid. I disagree with this as default because folk tend to press the power button which is fine but what if they unplug the power and put it away? What can happen is the battery runs down and it may not power up when they plug it in until they ---->>> Try a few times <<<--- (sound familiar?)

Next time you are on your PC change the power button to power off. If you want to sleep, set the lid closing to sleep. This way you can have both options without having to use a menu from the start button.

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Sleep mode and motherboard

Yes, I used my service tag with Dell. I usually use the shut down button through the start menu. You're right, the times I had to hit the power button a few times I might have just shut the lid (either with it plugged in overnight or unplugged for an hour) but I can't remember for sure. Does this happen even if there is still close to full charge when trying to turn on the laptop after it has been in sleep mode? Or is this more of a problem when the batter drains down to closer to 10-20%?

Would this be related to the motherboard issue? That week I had started using sleep mode with the laptop plugged in overnight (usually I shut down). The night before I had the motherboard issue I had left my laptop on (with the lid down) and left it plugged in overnight. It turned on no problem the next morning (almost full power), I used it for maybe 15min, then shut the lid. I tried to turn it on 2hrs later and could not get it to turn on at all. I took it to the repair shop after that (after I tried draining the battery). Then the next evening I was able to turn it on without plugging it in no problem. It had a good power supply so the repair plus must have charged it.

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You have to know your PC.

As to the more of a problem, my view is to know your settings and use the method to avoid the dead laptop won't start issue by setting it to not go to sleep and drain then have issues.

What motherboard issue? "Bad" is not clear enough.

Another cheap thing to try. Install a new CMOS battery. It's cheap and could be the cause. But today I'm running into folk that want long discussions why or proof. I won't do that. It's cheap, known to cause issues along with the other battery and settings I noted.

Is the big battery over 2 years old? Did you use it a lot on battery power? What wear level is being reported? Don't know? Go get BATTERYBAR (the free one) and check.

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No power to motherboard

I bought the laptop new 1.5 years ago but don't know how long it was on the shelf. I think the intel core is 6th Gen, so the battery could be 2 years old. I usually use my laptop while it is plugged in, so I don't use the batter power much. I took my laptop to a repair shop where they used a voltmeter to test whether the motherboard was taking in power. When the laptop was plugged in the blue indicator light would go on but the computer would not boot. They said that my laptop was charging but the motherboard was not taking in power so I would have to replace the motherboard (that's all they told me). The repair shop said that my laptop could stop at any moment (wouldn't last more than a month). Not looking for a long discussion, just don't know how my laptop could go from having a motherboard that can't take in power to working like nothing had happened, yet still have a bad motherboard.

Thank you! I will try out batterybar and changing the CMOS battery.

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Here's hope.

Even at that age I've run into changing the CMOS battery fixing some. We think it's too cheap to get into since most use the CR2032 which in bulk can be 25 cents.

Hope to hear back about Batterybar and CMOS results. It's not a sure thing but we are trying to avoid the motherboard change.

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