Lenovo 310-15ABR Not Powering After Monitor Swap

Skipple

Estimable
Aug 12, 2014
8
0
4,520
1
Model: Lenovo 310-15ABR

Symptoms:


  • -No display on laptop monitor or external monitor.
    -No response from CPU fan when powered on.

    -HDD is getting power and spinning when powered on.
    -DVD Drive is getting power and opening when powered on.
    -Light is on when plugged into AC Power. The light is blinking three times when the battery is connected to the motherboard.
    -Power light is on and solid when powered on.
    -PC takes 10 seconds of holding the power button to turn off.
Story: I bought this laptop on craigslist with the intention of replacing the cracked monitor and using it for school. I have done many laptop monitor replacements in the past so I didn't think this was going to be much of an issue. I replaced the stock 720p monitor with a 1080p IPS panel.

Prior to the panel being replaced I know the laptop powered. Now, after replacing the panel I am getting limited response from the PC.

Troubleshooting:


  • -disconnected the main battery and CMOS battery
    -reseated all ribbon cables and RAM.
    -disconnected the new panel thinking that it might be drawing too much power away from the motherboard
Nothing has had any change in the response from this laptop. It sounds like something may have happened to the motherboard during the monitor swap. Any ideas of what I can try or did I just brick this laptop?
 

A-Onyx

Commendable
Sep 4, 2016
5
0
1,520
4
Hello, Skipple.

I'm going to give this a shot, as I think there is room for further diagnostic, as it seems your approach wasn't quite as "exhaustive" or as "comprehensive" as I would have tried... ;) No offense. So I want to try and find a solution for you, by being "extra thorough".
OK???

Let's begin:

(0) Do you FIRSTLY have access to any other spare / old / extra laptop for which the 1080p display is KNOWN to be Compatible?

++IF SO, please try connecting your newer 1080p screen into that alternate laptop, and try to boot it, to test if the 1080p is ALIVE.
--- IF you find that it is NOT, I guess that is your Final Answer. Review "What Went Wrong?" See also (6), (7), & (8) below.
++If the 1080p is STILL ALIVE, proceed below:

(1) "Prior to the panel being replaced I know the laptop powered."
You mention replacing the cracked screen, so I know what was "wrong" with it.
You mention elsewhere, connecting an external monitor.. but did not mention VGA, HDMI, or DisplayPort.

I *believe* VGA might only auto-detect by the laptop if using "newer" VGA cable with a certain pin wired.. Not sure.
I believe HDMI would definitely auto-detect by the laptop, if using a built-in HDMI port (ie not with an adaptor).
I hardly use DisplayPort, but I would wager that as a newer technology, it would be the same as HDMI - auto-detect.

What I will presume, then, is that ALMOST ANY external display, connected via a fitted port (no adaptor/converter), can be detected by the laptop, and the display will switch (down) to a resolution mode to suit, when User uses the Fn-key combo to DUPLICATE displays.
ALMOST ANY -- except VGA -- I think we can not "guarantee" the laptop will auto-detect / auto-switch for VGA, limiting our ability to measure responsiveness of the laptop to boot-up and video output.

You say here (above) that "the laptop powered", but did NOT say if you managed to operate it, with the broken screen, AND the external monitor, with NO mention of attempting video output set to DUPLICATE over both. I do not wish to presume...

?? - Did you try this? Did it work?
++ If SO, then the laptop itself can be presumed to have been working fine. (But you did not say this explicitly.)
--- If, BEFORE replacing the 720 panel, you got NO response on the external display, despite Fn-key combo, there's another Q:

(2) "The light is blinking three times when the battery is connected to the motherboard."
I will presume you meant this happened ONLY AFTER replacing the panel..?

Do you recall if you got this DIAGNOSTIC LIGHT BLINKING *before* you changed the panel? When you "know the laptop powered"?
Typically, a BLINK CODE can be diagnosed with a System Maintenance Guide / Manual from the manufacturer's website.
I can't be sure, but it's possible the 3-blink code indicates Battery Failure... but we can explore this possibility.

ALTERNATIVELY, a BOOT DRIVE failure -- if you have a USB Memory Stick with Bootable Windows, try to attach it and Reboot.
(That is to say: HDD "works", but BOOT PARTITION is invalid or not present (e.g. formatted HDD)..)

(3) "No response from CPU fan when powered on."
Without being able to see the screen, it is impossible to "log in" to Windows and operate the laptop in any way that would tax the system enough to generate enough HEAT for it to trigger the FAN... I would say this is not a reliable factor for diagnosis at this stage.

(4) "PC takes 10 seconds of holding the power button to turn off."
Again, I believe not a reliable enough factor for diagnosis -- most laptops allow a HARD SHUT DOWN by holding down the main Power Button, and requires it be held for several seconds. I believe some laptops may have a SETTING for how long; possibly in BIOS? Without knowing this, we can not exclude the possibility the previous owner set a longer "10sec" shutdown hold.
That, or a Windows protection, to delay it longer than normal, under diagnostic or recovery situation.

(5) "HDD is getting power and spinning when powered on.
-DVD Drive is getting power and opening when powered on.
- ...
-Power light is on and solid when powered on."

These are all encouraging -- it indicates (to me, at least) that the system is going through the POST (Power-On Self-Test) sequence.
If the BLINKING LIGHT happens AFTER the drives stop spinning, that would reinforce the blinking as DIAGNOSTIC -- a result of the POST sequence.
If the BLINKING ONLY happens with the battery inserted / connected, LEAVE IT OUT until the rest can be figured out.

(6) "I replaced the stock 720p monitor with a 1080p IPS panel."
I will presume that, since you've "done many laptop monitor replacements", you WILL have used the interior LABEL (sticker) on the 720 panel to identify a supposedly-"compatible" 1080p display to be used as a replacement;

.. AND double-checked & identified the MOTHERBOARD, confirmed it "matches" with other system identification (labels, badges, etc) on the OUTSIDE (i.e. to make sure that nobody has swapped the inner main-board and replaced it with inferior / prior-version tech);

.. AND RESEARCHED ONLINE to be 1000% SURE that the laptop main-board AND GPU (whether laptop discrete, or integrated, or APU) is COMPATIBLE with 1080p output, or otherwise were able to determine EXPLICITLY that 720p, as default, was NOT the maximum..?

I will ALSO presume that your "many replacements" means you also know how to check the REQUIRE VOLTAGES for each panel, AND cross-checked with relevant DOCUMENTATION for each panel -- the broken 720p and the new 1080p -- to ENSURE that the PIN-OUTS are EXACTLY THE SAME -- that is, (a) Voltages, (b) Polarity (+/-), (c) whichever ought to be "GND" (Ground)... AND ... that these definitely MATCH the pin-contact allocation at the main-board end.

If you happened to miss these critical steps, though, I recommend you address it IMMEDIATELY -- you may find that any differences in Pin-Out may indeed have "fried" something -- be it the 1080p panel, or the display output module on the main-board... >_<

(7) "-disconnected the main battery and CMOS battery"
Re blinking lights, leave the battery disconnected.
Disconnecting the CMOS may trigger the need to re-enter the BIOS. Find relevant documentation for this model laptop, and try to enter the BIOS, using an EXTERNAL DISPLAY, re-connect the old 720 panel (if not fully re-seating in frame, be sure to avoid SHORTING any metal contacts ANYwhere -- cardboard either side of the panel ought to do for now), and using whatever TRIGGER KEY(s) needed for entering BIOS. (ESC, Del, F1, F2, F10, F12...)
Keep pressing BIOS keys until the system goes quiet, THEN try using the Fn-key combo to step between the different Multi-Screen modes, to see if DUPLICATE brings up the BIOS screen on the External. Press the Fn-key combo, count 5 sec (to give time for any auto-detect), then repeat. Do this 8 times, to make sure you go through the typical options at least twice.

If you GET A BIOS screen, that's a good sign. Proceed from there.
If you don't, the only other thing to suggest is get a different external display and try a different port, if available. (My laptop has VGA & HDMI ports. I've not tried it, but I probably could have both attached at the same time. For now, I work on the HDMI to a 39" TV.)

(8) "-reseated all ribbon cables and RAM."
For sake of **exhaustive** diagnostics, please do the following:
(a) double and triple check all cables properly seated, and none are bent, broken, mis-connected.
(b) double & triple check LABELS on RAM -- ensure MATCHING specs (Frequency, Voltage, CL timing).. AND .. RAM CAPACITY.
If DIFFERENT CAPACITY RAM , BE SURE the LARGER module goes into Slot 0 ("first" slot) and smaller into Slot 1 ("second" slot).
Double-check that there is NO WAY a RAM module can go into a slot"in reverse". If so, look for The Dot or Notch (Pin 0).
(c) This will now be the Very Inconvenient Part:

Systematically / Sequentially mount DIFFERENT COMBINATIONS / PERMUTATIONS of RAM into the main-board, and for each, try the various diagnostic approaches to trying to get ANY response from the laptop, onto an external screen. (Leave battery out; use A/C.)
Viz:
Confirming with Laptop documentation, which RAM SODIMM slot is #0 and which #1, most importantly...
Ensuring the existing RAM is kept SAFE -- see also non-static mat, and that they ARE "matched" (Freq., V., CL).
LOOK OUT FOR ANY BLINK CODES, and COUNT THEM.
(If you "miss" one, WAIT, watch for longer, and look to see what pattern appears to "repeat". OR reboot and try again.)
Continue to use the HOLD-POWER for HARD/Cold Shutdown. Leave each permutation of RAM in for TWO (2) boot attempts.
BE EXTRA CAREFUL installing and removing RAM modules for each round of test/attempt.

I will use an EXAMPLE of a 4Gb module and a 2Gb module. Substitute for your own situation. With matched-pair capacity RAM, ie 2 x 4Gb, just note one ("4Gb") as "A" and the other (here, "2Gb") as "B". Please test and re-test attempts to get a video signal with:
Slot 0 : Slot 1
4Gb : 2 Gb
4Gb : ---
2Gb : ---
If ANY of those permutations gain a result, NOTE which RAM is installed, where, and STOP.

If NONE of the above permutations give any result, continue thus:
Slot 0 : Slot 1
----- : 2Gb
----- : 4Gb
2Gb : 4Gb
----- : ---- <-- NO RAM installed!
If ANY of THESE permutations gain a result, NOTE which RAM is installed, where, and STOP.

THAT ... is about as Comprehensive / Exhaustive as I believe we can usefully be at this stage.

Beyond this, really, the Time spent costs more than just going out and getting a different laptop.

GOOD LUCK -- hope you find a solution through DOCUMENTS and DIAGNOSTIC PROCESS.
 

Skipple

Estimable
Aug 12, 2014
8
0
4,520
1
MERGED QUESTION
Question from Skipple : "Lenovo 310 Not Powering After Monitor Swap"

Model: Lenovo 310-15ABR

Symptoms:


  • -No display on laptop monitor or external monitor.
    -No response from CPU fan when powered on.

    -HDD is getting power and spinning when powered on.
    -DVD Drive is getting power and opening when powered on.
    -Light is on when plugged into AC Power. The light is blinking three times when the battery is connected to the motherboard.
    -Power light is on and solid when powered on.
    -PC takes 10 seconds of holding the power button to turn off.
Story: I bought this laptop on craigslist with the intention of replacing the cracked monitor and using it for school. I have done many laptop monitor replacements in the past so I didn't think this was going to be much of an issue. I replaced the stock 720p monitor with a 1080p IPS panel.

Prior to the panel being replaced I know the laptop powered. Now, after replacing the panel I am getting limited response from the PC.

Troubleshooting:


  • -disconnected the main battery and CMOS battery
    -reseated all ribbon cables and RAM.
    -disconnected the new panel thinking that it might be drawing too much power away from the motherboard
Nothing has had any change in the response from this laptop. It sounds like something may have happened to the motherboard during the monitor swap. Any ideas of what I can try or did I just brick this laptop?
 

A-Onyx

Commendable
Sep 4, 2016
5
0
1,520
4
Hello, Skipple.

I'm going to give this a shot, as I think there is room for further diagnostic, as it seems your approach wasn't quite as "exhaustive" or as "comprehensive" as I would have tried... ;) No offense. So I want to try and find a solution for you, by being "extra thorough".
OK???

Let's begin:

(0) Do you FIRSTLY have access to any other spare / old / extra laptop for which the 1080p display is KNOWN to be Compatible?

++IF SO, please try connecting your newer 1080p screen into that alternate laptop, and try to boot it, to test if the 1080p is ALIVE.
--- IF you find that it is NOT, I guess that is your Final Answer. Review "What Went Wrong?" See also (6), (7), & (8) below.
++If the 1080p is STILL ALIVE, proceed below:

(1) "Prior to the panel being replaced I know the laptop powered."
You mention replacing the cracked screen, so I know what was "wrong" with it.
You mention elsewhere, connecting an external monitor.. but did not mention VGA, HDMI, or DisplayPort.

I *believe* VGA might only auto-detect by the laptop if using "newer" VGA cable with a certain pin wired.. Not sure.
I believe HDMI would definitely auto-detect by the laptop, if using a built-in HDMI port (ie not with an adaptor).
I hardly use DisplayPort, but I would wager that as a newer technology, it would be the same as HDMI - auto-detect.

What I will presume, then, is that ALMOST ANY external display, connected via a fitted port (no adaptor/converter), can be detected by the laptop, and the display will switch (down) to a resolution mode to suit, when User uses the Fn-key combo to DUPLICATE displays.
ALMOST ANY -- except VGA -- I think we can not "guarantee" the laptop will auto-detect / auto-switch for VGA, limiting our ability to measure responsiveness of the laptop to boot-up and video output.

You say here (above) that "the laptop powered", but did NOT say if you managed to operate it, with the broken screen, AND the external monitor, with NO mention of attempting video output set to DUPLICATE over both. I do not wish to presume...

?? - Did you try this? Did it work?
++ If SO, then the laptop itself can be presumed to have been working fine. (But you did not say this explicitly.)
--- If, BEFORE replacing the 720 panel, you got NO response on the external display, despite Fn-key combo, there's another Q:

(2) "The light is blinking three times when the battery is connected to the motherboard."
I will presume you meant this happened ONLY AFTER replacing the panel..?

Do you recall if you got this DIAGNOSTIC LIGHT BLINKING *before* you changed the panel? When you "know the laptop powered"?
Typically, a BLINK CODE can be diagnosed with a System Maintenance Guide / Manual from the manufacturer's website.
I can't be sure, but it's possible the 3-blink code indicates Battery Failure... but we can explore this possibility.

ALTERNATIVELY, a BOOT DRIVE failure -- if you have a USB Memory Stick with Bootable Windows, try to attach it and Reboot.
(That is to say: HDD "works", but BOOT PARTITION is invalid or not present (e.g. formatted HDD)..)

(3) "No response from CPU fan when powered on."
Without being able to see the screen, it is impossible to "log in" to Windows and operate the laptop in any way that would tax the system enough to generate enough HEAT for it to trigger the FAN... I would say this is not a reliable factor for diagnosis at this stage.

(4) "PC takes 10 seconds of holding the power button to turn off."
Again, I believe not a reliable enough factor for diagnosis -- most laptops allow a HARD SHUT DOWN by holding down the main Power Button, and requires it be held for several seconds. I believe some laptops may have a SETTING for how long; possibly in BIOS? Without knowing this, we can not exclude the possibility the previous owner set a longer "10sec" shutdown hold.
That, or a Windows protection, to delay it longer than normal, under diagnostic or recovery situation.

(5) "HDD is getting power and spinning when powered on.
-DVD Drive is getting power and opening when powered on.
- ...
-Power light is on and solid when powered on."

These are all encouraging -- it indicates (to me, at least) that the system is going through the POST (Power-On Self-Test) sequence.
If the BLINKING LIGHT happens AFTER the drives stop spinning, that would reinforce the blinking as DIAGNOSTIC -- a result of the POST sequence.
If the BLINKING ONLY happens with the battery inserted / connected, LEAVE IT OUT until the rest can be figured out.

(6) "I replaced the stock 720p monitor with a 1080p IPS panel."
I will presume that, since you've "done many laptop monitor replacements", you WILL have used the interior LABEL (sticker) on the 720 panel to identify a supposedly-"compatible" 1080p display to be used as a replacement;

.. AND double-checked & identified the MOTHERBOARD, confirmed it "matches" with other system identification (labels, badges, etc) on the OUTSIDE (i.e. to make sure that nobody has swapped the inner main-board and replaced it with inferior / prior-version tech);

.. AND RESEARCHED ONLINE to be 1000% SURE that the laptop main-board AND GPU (whether laptop discrete, or integrated, or APU) is COMPATIBLE with 1080p output, or otherwise were able to determine EXPLICITLY that 720p, as default, was NOT the maximum..?

I will ALSO presume that your "many replacements" means you also know how to check the REQUIRE VOLTAGES for each panel, AND cross-checked with relevant DOCUMENTATION for each panel -- the broken 720p and the new 1080p -- to ENSURE that the PIN-OUTS are EXACTLY THE SAME -- that is, (a) Voltages, (b) Polarity (+/-), (c) whichever ought to be "GND" (Ground)... AND ... that these definitely MATCH the pin-contact allocation at the main-board end.

If you happened to miss these critical steps, though, I recommend you address it IMMEDIATELY -- you may find that any differences in Pin-Out may indeed have "fried" something -- be it the 1080p panel, or the display output module on the main-board... >_<

(7) "-disconnected the main battery and CMOS battery"
Re blinking lights, leave the battery disconnected.
Disconnecting the CMOS may trigger the need to re-enter the BIOS. Find relevant documentation for this model laptop, and try to enter the BIOS, using an EXTERNAL DISPLAY, re-connect the old 720 panel (if not fully re-seating in frame, be sure to avoid SHORTING any metal contacts ANYwhere -- cardboard either side of the panel ought to do for now), and using whatever TRIGGER KEY(s) needed for entering BIOS. (ESC, Del, F1, F2, F10, F12...)
Keep pressing BIOS keys until the system goes quiet, THEN try using the Fn-key combo to step between the different Multi-Screen modes, to see if DUPLICATE brings up the BIOS screen on the External. Press the Fn-key combo, count 5 sec (to give time for any auto-detect), then repeat. Do this 8 times, to make sure you go through the typical options at least twice.

If you GET A BIOS screen, that's a good sign. Proceed from there.
If you don't, the only other thing to suggest is get a different external display and try a different port, if available. (My laptop has VGA & HDMI ports. I've not tried it, but I probably could have both attached at the same time. For now, I work on the HDMI to a 39" TV.)

(8) "-reseated all ribbon cables and RAM."
For sake of **exhaustive** diagnostics, please do the following:
(a) double and triple check all cables properly seated, and none are bent, broken, mis-connected.
(b) double & triple check LABELS on RAM -- ensure MATCHING specs (Frequency, Voltage, CL timing).. AND .. RAM CAPACITY.
If DIFFERENT CAPACITY RAM , BE SURE the LARGER module goes into Slot 0 ("first" slot) and smaller into Slot 1 ("second" slot).
Double-check that there is NO WAY a RAM module can go into a slot"in reverse". If so, look for The Dot or Notch (Pin 0).
(c) This will now be the Very Inconvenient Part:

Systematically / Sequentially mount DIFFERENT COMBINATIONS / PERMUTATIONS of RAM into the main-board, and for each, try the various diagnostic approaches to trying to get ANY response from the laptop, onto an external screen. (Leave battery out; use A/C.)
Viz:
Confirming with Laptop documentation, which RAM SODIMM slot is #0 and which #1, most importantly...
Ensuring the existing RAM is kept SAFE -- see also non-static mat, and that they ARE "matched" (Freq., V., CL).
LOOK OUT FOR ANY BLINK CODES, and COUNT THEM.
(If you "miss" one, WAIT, watch for longer, and look to see what pattern appears to "repeat". OR reboot and try again.)
Continue to use the HOLD-POWER for HARD/Cold Shutdown. Leave each permutation of RAM in for TWO (2) boot attempts.
BE EXTRA CAREFUL installing and removing RAM modules for each round of test/attempt.

I will use an EXAMPLE of a 4Gb module and a 2Gb module. Substitute for your own situation. With matched-pair capacity RAM, ie 2 x 4Gb, just note one ("4Gb") as "A" and the other (here, "2Gb") as "B". Please test and re-test attempts to get a video signal with:
Slot 0 : Slot 1
4Gb : 2 Gb
4Gb : ---
2Gb : ---
If ANY of those permutations gain a result, NOTE which RAM is installed, where, and STOP.

If NONE of the above permutations give any result, continue thus:
Slot 0 : Slot 1
----- : 2Gb
----- : 4Gb
2Gb : 4Gb
----- : ---- <-- NO RAM installed!
If ANY of THESE permutations gain a result, NOTE which RAM is installed, where, and STOP.

THAT ... is about as Comprehensive / Exhaustive as I believe we can usefully be at this stage.

Beyond this, really, the Time spent costs more than just going out and getting a different laptop.

GOOD LUCK -- hope you find a solution through DOCUMENTS and DIAGNOSTIC PROCESS.
 
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