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Michael Hannigan
Michael Hannigan, Engineer
Category: Computer Hardware
Satisfied Customers: 11742
Experience:  25+ Years Experience in Computer Hardware. MCSE, MCP, ICCP - Asus, Acer, Dell, HP, Compaq, Sony, Alienware, Lenovo.
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My Dell Inspiron #N7010 fails to turn on or boot-up leaving

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My Dell Inspiron #N7010 fails to turn on or boot-up leaving a blank screen. I've recently been successful with the flea test procedure, and now it's happened again without clearing.
JA: What kind of computer do you have?
Customer: Dell Inspiron N7010 running Windows 7 Pro
JA: Have you installed any updates recently?
Customer: Yes, from HP for printer failure
JA: Anything else you want the computer expert to know before I connect you?
Customer: The problem occurred immediately after the update required restart

Hello. My name is Michael. I can help you with your question.

Can you please clarify what you mean by the "flea test procedure"?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Recommended static energy removal

Is that something that dell recommended?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Without ability to turn the laptop on, how will you be able to even access my device???

I wouldn't. Why do you ask?

Is the computer turning on and showing a blank screen, or does it completely fail to power on?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
The laptop power button activates an attempt to boot up the OS, but there is NO screen image...remains black.

Ok... there are a couple of things we can try.

The first thing I would do is remove the battery and unplug. Then press and hold the power button for 30 seconds. Then plug it in without putting the battery back in and power on. If it does power on, you can put that battery back in. If that doesn't help, we can try booting from the recovery partition.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I'd be willing to go for the secure link however I don't get how you'd achieve access with an otherwise dead device???

Oh... I think you are referring to what is is system message. That won't work at this stage, so you can just click the x to close that.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
OK, Mike, I've done that Dell recommended procedure a couple of days ago which However, today I installed an update from an HP Scan/Doctor tool as I couldn't print and following that update install, it required a restart leading to game over
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Is the reboot via reboot partition doable? If so, please advise how

I don't think the driver would do that - more likely a coincidence that it happened after the driver install.

The recovery partition should come up if you press alt+f11 right after turning it on.

If your recovery partition is still there, booting into it will allow you to do various tasks like repairing the boot image/OS

Sorry... correction


Customer: replied 5 months ago.
OK, let me give it a try, thanks

What the previous procedure does is just make sure that you've completely rebooted the system.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I've tried a couple of times...power button then CTRL/F11 without anything displaying

When you're turning it on, is anything flashing on the screen - you should at least see the dell logo if it's trying to start.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Nothing on the screen... yet
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
FYI, the ONLY result I get is hearing the cooling fan operating

Let's think outside the box a bit. With nothing at all coming up on the screen, it's really not going to allow us to do anything.

If you look at the screen closely with a bright flashlight on it, do you see any hint of an image?

The reason I'm asking is that one of the common failures on these is the backlight inverter - and if that goes, the screen will have an image, but you won't be able to see it easily.

The cooling fan noise is slightly encouraging.

Normally, do you hear a POST beep when it starts up?

It's not the hard drive... with that you would still get the dell logo.

So the two possibilities are the backlight inverter or the motherboard.

If you normally hear a beep and you don't now, that would be the motherboard.

If you do hear a beep, then it's very likely related to the screen.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
After pushing the power button, I only hear the video tray motor start spinning followed by the cooling fan but no display whatsoever

Did you check it with a bright light? It has to be right up close to it.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I can't see any glimpse of light or latent image. I'm using a very high intensity flashlight

Ok. Thanks for hanging in there with all these requests.

Do you prefer good news or bad news first? (the bad news isn't that bad)

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I'm an adult retired Fire Captain, bring it my friend

Hey! So is my dad! 36 years!

The bad news is that the motherboard needs to be replaced, and doing that is a pain in the rear end.

The good news is that it's not an expensive repair if you want to take it on. You can get a new genuine replacement for about $80.

It's a pretty common problem as well. Which is probably why the motherboard is so easy to find. Here's a link to one.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Kudus to your dad, I was in service for 34 years��
Is this a relatively DYI operation?

As far as doing the replacement - all I can say is screws.

You just have to work your way into the computer by taking out about 50 screws. There's no documentation on where they are, but if you are smart enough to be a Fire Captain, then you'll be fine. It's all pretty logical once you get started.

Anyone can do it, really. You just need tremendous patience. You'll keep finding "another" screw. As long as you set them out somewhere in the same way they came out, you can put them back easily.

With the screws removed, it's all pretty modular. Pieces just snap together.

Ahhh.. even better. I DID find a service manual.

This has excruciatingly specific instructions on disassembly.

With that, I have no doubt that you can do it.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
my recent recovery was temporary leading to 100% failure? Thanks for your time responding with a solution that's doable. I appreciate your skills and insight into computers and their collapse. I'm leaning toward converting to an Apple IPad Pro and leave Microsoft at the curb!

A lot of people do that.

It's definitely a good time to consider shopping.

I would say that the recovery was temporary and that you're motherboard was on the verge of failing completely. And the next time it restarted, regardless of why, it would have stayed that way.

Keep in mind that on the iPad, you won't be able to use the same apps you use now.

Which might not be a bad thing. Just something to be aware of.

Before leaving, I would appreciate it if you click on the 5 star rating and submit.

But if you need me for anything related to this, you can contact me again on this page.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
FYI, this laptop is 9 years old hence the old Windows 7 Pro OS. However, with that history on board, data transfer issues will remain so I will execute the motherboard change out and go from there. THANKS again Mike.
My best,

You're welcome. Thank you!

Michael Hannigan and 4 other Computer Hardware Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Is there a way to offer you a gratuity other than 5 stars?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Breaking good news Mike,
I gave your POWR/CTRL/F11 one more shot and it WORKED this time!!!
I'm back in bidniz and again ever appreciative to your skills and effort hanging in there. For what it's worth, I've added a 25% tip to the program. Hopefully I can eek out another month or year with this dinosaur laptop, you know how getting use to a system is easier for a dinosaur user like me than to learn a new system!
Keep up the great work!

Hey! That's absolutely fantastic! I'm really glad you stayed the course and beat that thing!

Now, since you also know how to replace the motherboard, that puppy might be good for another 5 years!

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