laptop won't boot

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Hi all,

I have an inspiron 3800 which will boot very occasionally but most of
the time when I turn it on it does nothing.

by nothing, I mean the fan starts and the screen appears to be in 80x25
text mode with just a cursor blinking in the top left corner. there is
no bios screen and no beeps. control-alt-del does nothing, nor does the
setup button or f2 etc.

on the rare occasions it does boot (no idea why) it is stable.

any clues please? it's going in the skip if I can't figure it out...


Re: Laptop won't boot

I had problems with my laptop shutting itself down, particularly when
trying to perform memory intensive tasks (playing a game, watching a
video, etc.). My initial thoughts were overheating, so I cleaned the
heatsink (which was fairly clean anyway) and added some more heat
transfer gel. It didn't help.

Then one day, I got the lovely BSOD complete with a load of writing
which I didn't catch before it turned itself off. After that the laptop
refuses to boot, preferring instead to show me a blank screen with a
flashing cursor. On occassion it doesn't even show me the BIOS screen.

Since then I've ran the IBM Hard Disk diagnostic, which has given me
disposition code 0x70, which I'm led to believe basically means its no
use anymore. Before changing it I decided to run memtest and check the
memory, the only problem is it shuts itself down in the middle of

So does this mean I have more problems than just my HD? Has my memory
gone too? Is there any way to find out?

Thanks in advance for any help

Re: laptop won't boot wrote:
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The first thing to do is check that the memory modules are making good contact.

(Remove them, clean the contacts with a pencil eraser, then reseat them.)

If that doesn't help, c'mon back!


Re: laptop won't boot

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hmm, no joy I'm afraid

it had 2 memory modules in it and placing either one of them in slot
"A" the symtoms remain the same (with no memory modules in it doesn't
seem to turn on at all)

I also tried removing the hard disk but that made no difference.

as for Jay B's suggestion, I can't get into the BIOS screen at all - no
keys seem to have any effect (caps lock etc doesn't turn the indicator
light on)

Re: laptop won't boot

i dont quite remember that model - how to get into the bios, but have
you tried all the obvious keys, f2, f12, del.

the other thing i suspect is overheating is keeping it from working
right.  that is a common big problem of these laptops.
take a compressed air can, or vacuum or other and try and force air in,
and/or vacuum out dust around the grills etc. wrote:
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Re: laptop won't boot

cmos battery issues,
try resetting nvram from in the bios setup.
i believe you turn on the caps,num and scroll lock lights, and then hit
alt-e then alt-f wrote:
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