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Solved: Need a little diag help...

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by powersct, Nov 23, 2011.

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  1. powersct

    powersct Thread Starter

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    Hi all,

    Having a problem with my daughter's Dell Studio 1745 that is a couple of weeks out of warranty. Spoke with a Dell tech and while nice enough, clueless doesn't begin to describe the encounter....anyway...

    She shipped it up to me after the problem began. She used it before bed one night, shut it down and tried to start it the next morning and here are the symptoms: The indicator lights above the keyboard light up (there is a left to right and then right to left progression) and then are solid- the power button is also solid. No video whatsoever- also no audio.

    I tried to boot a recovery cd to no avail- now it is in the slot drive and won't eject- the button is unresponsive.

    Dell support had me do a power / "D" combination to test video- nothing. Their determination from this was LCD. I don't agree. I have since tried an external monitor- nothing which tells me it's more than the LCD.

    I'm thinking motherboard but don't want to start throwing parts at it without some corroboration of the diagnosis- any ideas are appreciated - thanks in advance.
     
  2. SUEOHIO

    SUEOHIO

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    Im sorry that its not under warranty any longer.It sounds like either the motherboard or maybe a power supply problem. A bad monitor isnt going to cause a cd drive problem thats for sure.You can try taking it somewhere to see what the exact problem is and go from there.
     
  3. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    I agree with you that the screen is not the problem. I doubt it is the board, either. That is usually the last thing that goes. In any case, I doubt very much that you could replace it unless you are very familiar with the innards of those laptops, and the "board" in laptops includes everything, from graphics to the soldered in CPU.

    The CD drive is a curious symptom. The opening mechanism is independent of the rest of the system and has its own power supply. For that reason alone, I would guess the power supply is the problem. But that, too, is likely built into the board. May be time for a new machine.

    I'm actually wondering if maybe it was not turned off and overheated, possibly with the vents plugged with fluffy blanket, but one will never know.
     
  4. powersct

    powersct Thread Starter

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    Appreciate the replies guys- as far as taking it somewhere- I've been repairing these things since the 80's. As far as 'time for a new machine' it's 13 months old. I'm capable of replacing the board, just want to be sure. I have trained all my kids (which includes my wife) not to do as you have described in leaving it on a bed or whatever- that doesn't happen here. Anyone know how to manually eject from the slot type cd drives?

    Your replies continue to point to the motherboard which is my strong suspicion...others?
     
  5. raybro

    raybro

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    Have you looked for the small hole near the eject button on the CD drive? If one is there, just insert a straightened out paper clip into it and the locking mechanism will release.

    Incidentally, I have had at one time or another, the CD tray hangup due to a CD burning program installed (I think it was Roxio). When the program was running, clicking the eject button in the program was the ONLY way the tray could be opened (other than the paper clip, that is)
     
  6. powersct

    powersct Thread Starter

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    Yeah, read about the little release hole- none on this one. The eject button on this one is electronic on the top above the keyboard- cd is slot type load- no tray...no hole.
     
  7. raybro

    raybro

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    Well, it was worth a shot. :(

    Mobo from Dell isn't gonna be cheap and no guarantee that is the basic problem (although I agree its most likely). Dell would probably just scrape it and send you a rebuilt replacement even if it were still under warranty.

    I went through 3 CRT monitors with them years ago on my old XPS-400, Win98SE rig. Each replacement was a "refurbished" unit... Whatever that is..... Finally just bought a LCD monitor and got done with it.
     
  8. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    The point is that the board on that machine is the machine. Replacing it will most likely cost more than replacing the whole machine, provided that you can even find a board for it. But you may get lucky on Ebay or some place like that.

    The other problem is the OS. You will either have to buy a new copy of Windows, get the board from Dell, or find a way to "tattoo" the new board so that it accepts it as a Dell product or the old OS will not work.

    Time for a new machine (maybe). If it has lasted a year in a school milieu, it has already outlived most of its peers. :D
     
  9. powersct

    powersct Thread Starter

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    So far, a quick look around puts the board at about $200- I wouldn't buy it from Dell. I'll be playing around with it for a few days before I order anything if anybody has an epiphany...thanks.
     
  10. powersct

    powersct Thread Starter

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  11. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Does your machine seem to be running? I mean, does it make the sounds like it is booting even though there is nothing on the screen?

    I suppose you have already made sure that the screen is turned on with the Fn keys, right?

    (That guy's clicking noise is probably his hard drive.)
     
  12. raybro

    raybro

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    Elvandil make a valid point. Dell machines have the OS "married" to the hardware. Replacing the mobo likely means you would have to factor in the cost of buying a copy of XP.

    Just looked at the link in your last post (done while I was typing this). Seems this might be a generic problem with the Studio 1745. May be a consideration in whether to repair or not. Good money after bad and all that.
     
  13. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Believe me, I am not just sitting here trying to shoot down every idea you come up with, even if it looks that way. It's just that I have been through this "fix the old one" thing far too many times for my own good. By the time you factor in all the costs of parts, and especially if you account for your own time at a reasonable wage, you almost certainly will not be saving any money.

    If you like doing these things and have the time and inclination, go for it. But in the long run, buying a replacement may end up being the most wise decision both for time and money, especially since this looks like a generic problem that may happen again. I'm just trying to use a little prolepsis and prevent you from going from the frying pan to the fire. :D
     
  14. Snagglegaster

    Snagglegaster Banned

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    Anytime you have a laptop that won't boot, it's often helpful to try disconnecting it from A/C power, and then removing the battery for 30 seconds or so, replacing the battery, and powering the machine back up again.
     
  15. powersct

    powersct Thread Starter

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    Tried that Snaggle- thanks.

    El, I hear exactly what you're saying but after the initial outlay a year ago, a new comparable machine is not cost efficient from my perspective. While the board appears to be around $200 plus my time, I have found someone who will actually repair the existing board for $120 including return ship back my daughter- this makes complete sense to me... thanks to all.
     
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