Question How to fix my Dell Inspiron 3521 that only clicks and will not boot up?

May 24, 2022
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My laptop only clicks loudly with a black screen when I try to start it. I tried to install a new hard drive but it did the same exact thing. I tried F8, 10, and 12 to no avail, even with the new one. The new hard drive needs to be formatted but I cannot do that unless I can get my computer to boot up. And why does it still click even with the new one? Nothing I have tried works.
 

Etrius vanRandr

Upstanding
May 11, 2022
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Microsoft and create a bootable USB Window 10 or 11 installer. See if you can boot from that. If not, something else is wrong with your laptop. Hopefully, you were running 10 or 11 already.
The issue is not Windows, the issue is that their laptop isn't turning on.

Please refrain from making uninformed or irrelevant replies.

My laptop only clicks loudly with a black screen when I try to start it. I tried to install a new hard drive but it did the same exact thing. I tried F8, 10, and 12 to no avail, even with the new one. The new hard drive needs to be formatted but I cannot do that unless I can get my computer to boot up. And why does it still click even with the new one? Nothing I have tried works.
My condolences, it appears that your laptop is broken.

If it's under warranty you can try contacting the manufacturer, if not, you can take it to a repair shop or buy a new one.

Without more information, we can't properly diagnose an issue.
 

USAFRet

Illustrious
Moderator
The issue is not Windows, the issue is that their laptop isn't turning on.

Please refrain from making uninformed or irrelevant replies.



My condolences, it appears that your laptop is broken.

If it's under warranty you can try contacting the manufacturer, if not, you can take it to a repair shop or buy a new one.

Without more information, we can't properly diagnose an issue.
And his recommendation was not a "Windows" solution.

It was just to isolate the existing drive and OS.
Boot from something USB.

Could just as easily have suggested a Linux LiveUSB.
 
The issue is not Windows, the issue is that their laptop isn't turning on.

Please refrain from making uninformed or irrelevant replies.



My condolences, it appears that your laptop is broken.

If it's under warranty you can try contacting the manufacturer, if not, you can take it to a repair shop or buy a new one.

Without more information, we can't properly diagnose an issue.
That wasn't an uninformed reply. Clicking when trying to start a computer with a HDD can indicate that drive has either crashed or lacks a boot sector. It has nothing to do with Windows per se. My suggestion was an attempt to diagnose if the computer itself is working. The only time I've ever heard a computer "clicking" is when the HDD is bad.
 

Etrius vanRandr

Upstanding
May 11, 2022
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That wasn't an uninformed reply. Clicking when trying to start a computer with a HDD can indicate that drive has either crashed or lacks a boot sector. It has nothing to do with Windows per se. My suggestion was an attempt to diagnose if the computer itself is working. The only time I've ever heard a computer "clicking" is when the HDD is bad.
It can mean any number of things, but the giveaway that it's not entirely a HDD problem lies in the black screen that OP mentioned.

Even if it was an HDD problem, reinstalling windows isn't magically going to fix it.
 

Etrius vanRandr

Upstanding
May 11, 2022
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And we weren't even at the "reinstall Windows" stage.
That was just to see if the thing boots up.
That's true, but OP did mention that the laptop has a black screen, so I suspect there is more than just an HDD problem.

My laptop only clicks loudly with a black screen when I try to start it.
Modern HDDs don't even click loudly, it could be a broken fan blade. We won't know until OP replies.
 
May 24, 2022
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The operating system was Windows 8. I used this laptop until it no longer would boot up. Close to the end, I had to boot it a few times before it would work. I would turn it on and it would click so I then turned it on and off repeatedly until it finally booted. Then, it just stopped booting up at all. I bought a hard drive and replaced it but it still does not boot. I hope this information helps some.
 
May 24, 2022
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My laptop only clicks loudly with a black screen when I try to start it. I tried to install a new hard drive but it did the same exact thing. I tried F8, 10, and 12 to no avail, even with the new one. The new hard drive needs to be formatted but I cannot do that unless I can get my computer to boot up. And why does it still click even with the new one? Nothing I have tried works.
My laptop was running Windows 8 when it crashed. It did not go out all at once. For awhile, if I would continually turn it on and off and on, it would eventually boot up. Then it went out and would not boot at all. I bought another hard drive and installed it but it just clicks like the old one. The fan starts just before the clicking but nothing else happens. Only the click, click, click of the hard drive. It also will not access the BIOS. Nothing changes the clicking. No matter what I do, I only get a brief startup of the fan and then the clicking starts and nothing will bypass.
 

Etrius vanRandr

Upstanding
May 11, 2022
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31
360
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The fan starts just before the clicking but nothing else happens. Only the click, click, click of the hard drive. It also will not access the BIOS. Nothing changes the clicking. No matter what I do, I only get a brief startup of the fan and then the clicking starts and nothing will bypass.
Sounds like a bad motherboard, then. Were you rough in handling the laptop at any point?
 
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