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Richard, Computer Specialist
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 36526
Experience:  Over 20 years of consulting to the IT industry
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Dell inspiron 15 wont boot up. The hard drive spins for a

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Dell inspiron 15 won't boot up. The hard drive spins for a couple of seconds then stops. As it is spinning the screen dimly lights up (kind of an orange cast) goes black as soon as the spin stops. Have tried it both with the batt and power cord, operates the same. It did get to the desktop one time, and it looked OK but went black immediately.
Lately the screen has had an orange cast on wake up, but went away quickly.
Thanks Tony
Thanks for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I look forward to assisting you.

Can you remove the battery and power cord please Tony.

Then hold the power button down for 1 minute.

Release, put the battery back in, connect the power cable and start the Dell.

Tell me if it now starts please.

Thank you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I had tried that previously for 30 seconds, Did it again for full minute, per your advise, still not working. It did light up for a little longer (few seconds) then black screen.


Thanks Tony

If you try to start it and keep tapping F8, are you able to get it to reach a menu?

If not, do it with F2

Let me know the results please

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Same with either f8 or f2. Screen flashes, goes black, blue power led on front is stays on.

Thanks Tony.

Then the issue is hardware, this we just confirmed.

In my experience, from the symptons you are describing, it is either the Motherboard, or the Hard disk. It is though likely to be the motherboard.

You will need to return the Dell to have this replaced. They will run a hardware diagnostics on it, and determine which of the components is causing the issue, and have this replaced.

It will be covered by the warranty if this has not expired, and the replacement will be done at no cost to you. If the motherboard is the issue, then your data will be safe.

I am really sorry about this, and if you have problems, or would like any additional information or assistance, please do not hesitate to let me know.

And if you can take a second to rate my service, that would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your time. It is not in warranty, do you have any idea what the repair could cost?


Your most welcome Tony

If it is the motherboard, you will be looking at $250 including parts and labor (so complete cost)

If it is the harddrive it will be approximately $200

Feel free to ask if you would like any additional information please.

And please remember to rate my service (clicking one of the smiley faces below).

Thank you
Richard and 4 other Computer Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I replaced the mother board and fan. Still have the same problem but more symptoms to discuss.

Can you tell me the new symptoms you now have please?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I bought a dock and saw data on the hard drive, so I loaded the data on my other computer.

Put in the new (used) mother board. I got it to boot up everything seemed to be ok. Ran for about 1/2 hr. Then it went black and the same thing happened as before. But now I noticed that if I closed the cover and opened it quickly the screen would come back on for a second or 2. After doing this numerous times it fired up and worked for a while.

About this time it did a chkdsk, and deleted the following:

index entry traces.fx in $130 of file1179

index entry edb.log in index$130 of file 1308

index entry adb00194.log in index $ of file 1308

I took a picture of this screen (I'm not good enough to remember all of that!


after that it booted up and worked for a while then died again.


tried to boot it again, went through the same thing, screen flashing, close and open cover, chkdsk, it deleted different files but this time I didn't get a picture, (phone batt died) it started up ran for a short time died again.

Sorry so long winded, but am going NUTS!



I tried to hook it up to my TV, if the image stayed long enough on the laptop it would also be on the TV.



Thanks for the information Tony, it is helpful.

Looks like there were multiple problems.

If you start the Dell without the battery in it, what happens?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

disconnected all power, AC & DC, held on button down 30 seconds, plugged in AC power, same thing---hard drive spins, screen flashes, goes black all in 1 second.


I don't remember at what point I noticed the following. You had asked me if there was a faint image on the screen, at one time last night there was. I haven't noticed it today however

ok, shine a flash light on the screen when it should be on.

Do you see the image faintly?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


ok, I want to be sure.

What exactly do you see?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

sorry it took so long to answer. I didn't realize you had answered.


it went through post and the desktop is up, I can see it with the flashlight.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Everything that is normally on the desktop.

It also says that new updates are available. I don't know what for though.

Thanks Tony

Its the invertor that is failing (that controls the backlight)

you are going to need to replace this as well.

Can you read off the exact model number on the Dell Tony so I can source this part for you?

Thank you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The tag on the bottom

Inspiron 1545

model number PP41L

input 19.5v 3.34A/4,62A


express service code XXXXXXXXXX /p>

service tag (sn) 14LTVJ1


One thing Tony, have you tried turning the brightness up to full?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

is that f5?

yes, but with FN held down.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

no change with either FN/F4 or FN/F5

Then it is the inventor

I got one for you for $25 here

Click Me To View

I also have an excellent video that shows you how to do the replacement

Now that the computer is working, once the invertor is replaced it should be good to go as this controls the backlight, and why your not seeing an image correctly.

Let me know how it goes please Tony

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I will do. Thank you so much for your help.

I ordered the inverter and saved the link to the video.

One more question: How do I pay you for your time this time, I don't feel that the initial $43.00 was sufficient.

I guess I lied, I have yet one more question: How can I be assured that I can get to you in the future?

Thanks again


haha, those kind of lies you can do all day Tony :)

For the first answer, you can rate me again on this answer is you wish. Just click on one of the smiley faces.

To get me directly, save the below link and post any new questions via this link. They will come straight to me.

I am an expert with Computers, Networks, Phones, Tablets, and virtually anything computer related.

The link is here

Thanks Tony, and please let me know how it goes when you get the Invertor.

Richard and 4 other Computer Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Richard
I finally got around to installing the inverter, no joy, same problem.
I bought a hard-drive dock, all the personal info is there. I have now loaded it onto my other computer. I also bought recovery disks on line for Vista. When I put them in the drive and open to view the files the only one I seem to be able to access is "TOOLS" then when I click on "RESTORE" it says it is starting to reformat the hard-drive but the a window pops up stating that access to "TOOLS" is denied.

Hi Tony

Sorry about the delay, I was offline,

Can you right click on Restore and select Run as Administrator.

Do you still then get the Access is denied message?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Richard

While I was waiting, I tried a number of things and all of a sudden it sounded like a gun went off and the screen started to flicker. I unplugged the power supply and everything seemed to be OK. I got on the internet, checked email, went through the documents folders and even ran a video. It ran for about an hour on the battery. I shut it off thinking that the problem was solved (that the power supply was the problem). Ordered a new power supply (haven't received it yet). Booted it up yesterday, on the battery, ran for 5 minutes, screen went black but it's in the background, acts the same way as original. I'm back to square one.




I just hooked it up to my TV. It was the same originally, (flash, dark screen etc.)but now I'm able to watch Hulu on the net and the display (computer) is also up. Has been running for about 15-20 minutes with no problems.

I also found that others have had this same problem with Dell 1545. This is a link to what they tried.

I looked at the old mother board, pin 7 looks good on it but I didn't know how to check the fuse(F1) with it soldered in. Don't know what the pin or fuse is like on the replacement board.


Hi Tony,

Anything that has blown (will be a capacitor) you will see on the mainboard as blown, like a firecracker after it has gone off.

Do you see anything on the motherboard?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My son was out today and he said he thought it might have been the sub woofer on my surround sound that blew. His did and he said it sounded like a gun shot. It was on at the time in the other room (my wife was watching TV.) I haven't had a chance to check any of it out yet, hoping to get to it tomorrow. As you know, it's not easy to check out a mother board without taking the damn thing apart, can't just swing the door on the tower open.

I did discover one thing: the laptop works just fine with an external monitor. I hooked it up to the TV and was able to navigate the desktop and compute as usual, even after the screen on the laptop went black.

The following is still happening and it confuses me as to why:

I noticed that if I closed the cover and opened it quickly the screen will come back on for a second or 2. After doing this numerous times it will fire up and worked for a while.



It does sound like a faulting capacitor, most likely on the Integrated Video module.

Are you able to just use it with the External monitor Tony?

Would save you quite some effort.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm seriously considering it! Biggest problem is: this computer belongs to my wife and she also has a desktop that she hardly ever uses, (because she has a laptop)(or had).

The thing I'm having trouble with is both mother boards act the same. I only heard the loud bang when I was working on it after I installed the used one and had been running it for a length of time.

Did you ever look at the link I sent. I know a lot of the stuff on the net is crap but it sounds like a lot of people have had this problem with this computer.


I did check the link and have heard of this problem,

When you see that photo, and look at your mainboard, can you see any similar damage?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Not on the original motherboard. I'll take it apart tomorrow to look at the replacement board. I think I'll go to bed now and dream of a fix. Or maybe I can dream of something better. Catch you later


I would advise something better Tony!!

Sleep well