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Computer Won't Start Up! Help!

 Hey guys, my laptop won't start up. It is a Dell Inspiron 7000 running Windows. Some lights come on on the keyboard, but doens't do anything else. Need help!

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If there's hard drive activity (the light will have a drive icon resembling a cylinder) than you may be one of the many unlucky Dell owners to have a bad screen.  If this is the case, hopefully you are either within the 1 year warranty period or were smart enough to purchase a protection plan.  Otherwise, you will be paying about as much to fix it as you would to buy a new one.  Nepheron's test will work to diagnose this one; Dell's are notorious for LCD deaths.

Otherwise, if there's no drive activity, then you probably have something bad on the motherboard or power supply.  The power supply can sometimes die on the CPU supply lead, meaning the rest of the computer will get power but the computer can't "think" to start.  A faulty motherboard can cause a whole host of problems similar to this.  Unfortunately, the same rules apply here as above: either you have a warranty to protect you, or you're buying a new computer.

It really is unfortunate, and I hate besmirching the good name of any manufacturer, but it appears that Dell has made many compromises in quality - the market forced them to, in a way.  A decade ago, Dell's were the bee's knees, but the quality came at a high price.  Seeing the decline in their sales, they started making low- and mid-range models in order to compete; however, they had to cut costs somewhere, and typically they did so in the hardware.  In my experience, I've had to deliver plenty of bad news to Dell owners due to faulty components.
Pull the power cord, and the battery pack for a minute, just occasionally mine's "died" like that - and total power offs restored it.
Good idea.  I'll add that when you remove the power and battery, press the power button as if to turn it on; this will help drain any spurious charges in the computer.  Wait a minute after, then connect everything back up.

If this doesn't fix it, it sounds to me like a power supply or motherboard issue.
godoggie (author)  MahavishnuMan7 years ago
 By the way, when I plug in the power cord, the laptop whines...is that normal?
I wouldn't think that to be normal in a laptop.  In almost all power supplies, the transformer can emit a very faint, high-pitched whine; this can be heard in almost any tower when it is plugged in but powered off.  Laptops, on the other hand, don't have full transformers inside them (the power adapter has the transformer) and if there is whining, it's probably coming from a bad toroid on the power regulation on the motherboard.
godoggie (author)  MahavishnuMan7 years ago
 I tried it...but it didn't work...yeah it's pry the motherboard...or a short
nepheron7 years ago
 Push the on button. Do you hear any whirring sounds? if you do, thats a good sign. It means the hard drive/fans are functioning.

After you turn your computer 'on', the screen is black, correct?
Take a BRIGHT flashlight, and put it right up to your screen. If you see dim letters or graphics, then your back light is broken. Computer LCD's don't give off any light, so a bright bulb inside the screen will shine through it, like a projector. These back lights can sometimes break, leading people to think there computer is broken, when it is only the monitor.

good luck!
godoggie (author)  nepheron7 years ago
 Yes, I do hear the whirring. The lights come on for a couple seconds, and there's no screen light. Period. The computer is still on, because if you do the 5-second power button hold-down trick, it shuts off. Otherwise...Not sure...Thanks!
Sounds like neph' and Maha'Man may have nailed it re: the backlight. If you have access to a desktop monitor, (maybe at a friend's house if not your house?),try hooking it up to the laptop and seeing if you can get a picture there. That should tell you conclusively whether it's the LCD or not. In order to send the picture to an external montior, you may need to press a function key. Which key it is differs from laptop to laptop, but there's usually a little picture that looks like a monitor screen on it. On my Fujitsu, it's F10, and on my old IBM StinkPad it was F5.
godoggie (author)  RavingMadStudios7 years ago
There is no response from the screen. Also, after a couple seconds, the lights go off and the fan stops, but the computer is still on...I'm puzzled.
godoggie (author)  godoggie7 years ago
 By the way, I tried the desktop screen and there's still nothing :(
 Are you sure you hooked up the desktop screen to the laptop properly? keep trying!

P.S. back lights can be replaced easily. If you can use a screw driver, you could probably do it yourself.
godoggie (author)  nepheron7 years ago
 By the way, when I plug in the power cord, the laptop whines...is that normal?
godoggie (author)  nepheron7 years ago
 let me try the monitor again...
 Yes, it's supposed to stop. Once the computer has been booted up, it will wait for the next command. While its waiting, most everything will stop moving (occasionally the fans will run, or the hard drive will whir intermittently)
 Did you do the flashlight trick? Try it in a dark room.
Which lights come on on the keyboard, and do they do anything (like flash, or only stay on for a few seconds then go off, or change colors, or whatever)? Does it make any noises, or does the fan come on, or anything at all?
godoggie (author)  RavingMadStudios7 years ago
 see reply to nepheron...above
Acepilot427 years ago
you might have a short.