Dell Inspiron - Sudden Shutdown & Unresponsive Power Button

Colorful Life

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Apr 6, 2013
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Hello!

Details:

Del Inspiron N1050
Windows 8

Former Issues:

Battery failed - replaced.

I have to replace the wire that connects adapter to AC plug every once in a while.

__________________________

Issue 0
The laptop used to stop (power off ) possibly due to overheating (but only after an hour ?). So I always use a cooling pad. Not a perfect solution but works, most of the time.

Issue 1
One fine day, windows 8 claimed it has updates to make my laptop even more secure and productive, so I let it. It asked for a restart and then on shutdown screen showed update status. But after the restart, to where the windows supposedly boots to the desktop, it just flashes the screen. Detail: couple seconds of complete black screen followed by couple seconds of backlit black screen.

Suspecting resolution (frequency?) issues, I connected the laptop to my TV, no luck. Connected to a monitor by VGA, same. But I can see (only laptop display) what happens till the desktop supposedly shows.

Issue 2
I attempted a clean install of windows 8. The laptop stops(power off)
in the middle of the installation, notably in the second stage of installation (I don't remember but 'copy of system files'?). After a few times of this routine, I observed it happens when the DVD writer gets most noisy. Same with Ubuntu, although I can run it 'live' from the DVD.

Issue 3
I thought this might be the overheating acting up and decided to try when the laptop cools off. But now I am greeted with a 'RTC power failure' message. When I searched it, I came to understand that it's a CMOS battery issue.

I replaced the CMOS battery but now, the power button went unresponsive. When I searched for the former issue, most users reported both the issues occurring at random. In fact this is what happening to the laptop right now.

In one post it is even pointed out that if replacement of CMOS battery didn't do the trick, it most surely is the 'RTC chip on the mainboard'. So the mainboard should be replaced.

______________________________________

When some how, Issue 3 doesn't act up, Issue 2 does. And also the Issue 0 is ever present.

I think it's the Issue 0 but not Issue 1 that really set all this off, but I am not sure.

So does all of this zero up on the 'RTC chip on mainboard'? Or is this a heat sink failure that lead to the earlier? Or is this completely something else?

Thank you for reading through this! Any help is appreciated. :)

 
Heat sinks don't really fail, though the cooling system and/or thermal monitoring hardware can. It definitely sounds like a main board problem. :(

Last resort before replacing the board or the chip would be to reflow it, which MIGHT be viable, since you mentioned the system may have shut down from overheating. But if it's failing electrically, then the reflow won't revive it.
 
Heat sinks don't really fail, though the cooling system and/or thermal monitoring hardware can. It definitely sounds like a main board problem. :(

Last resort before replacing the board or the chip would be to reflow it, which MIGHT be viable, since you mentioned the system may have shut down from overheating. But if it's failing electrically, then the reflow won't revive it.
 

Colorful Life

Honorable
Apr 6, 2013
9
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The laptop shuts down even after 5 minutes in the BIOS setup screen. It's hardly overheating. I think the laptop came to the end of it's life.

So it's the second one.

Out of curiosity, what is electrical failure of a laptop?
 


ESD damage, blown capacitors, etc. It can be more difficult to determine electrical damage, as it's not always - maybe even rather seldom - physically apparent. Sometimes the only way to tell is to test with something like a multimeter.
 
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