Laptop problem

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by 607, Jul 11, 2021.

  1. Hi, it's me again!

    Um... I've got a pretty severe laptop problem and I thought that maybe someone here would have an idea for what to do. :$

    Since about one week, most of the times I press the power button to boot my Dell Latitude 5480, it turns off again, before the Dell logo. It does have power, as if I have my external hard drive connected, it spins up and then spins down again when it turns off. This issue occurs regardless of whether my external hard drive is connected and regardless of whether the charger is connected. It seems to be probabilistic, as the amount of 'attempts' before succeeding varies. It also seems to be getting worse, as some days ago it took five presses at the longest, more recently I had 7, then 9, then 11, and this morning I didn't count but I think it took at least 14 presses. When it gets to light up the screen and show the Dell logo, it always completes to Windows without issues.
  2. Does your computer heat up excessively or more than usual during a failed boot? That might suggest some kind of electrical problem that doesn't let the startup process continue. But I'd maybe expect random shutdowns to occur if that's the issue, but you haven't experienced that?

    Otherwise an issue with the bootloader? But I would expect some error message even in the case of a crash.

    I'm in no way an expert at diagnosing these issues or familiar much with the Windows boot process lol so I'm sure there could be other alternatives.
    UltiPig and 607 like this.
  3. I had a similar issue with my laptop before. Disabling Windows fast startup fixed it for me until I was able to reinstall Windows.

    Some other potential fixes depend on how comfortable you are with opening the laptop. If you are able to open it, here are a few things you could try.

    1) Unplug the battery from the motherboard and try it running off the charger. If it has no issues, it is a potential battery issue.

    2) Check for any loose cables in the device. Sometimes things can come loose with time or if they were never installed fully.

    3) Reseat the SODIMMs (RAM) if possible. Some laptops have one or both of the modules soldered to the motherboard so removing them may not be user possible (looking at you HP). They may not be making contact properly.

    4) Remove the CMOS battery to and hold the power button for 10 seconds with the internal battery disconnected.

    If you aren't comfortable doing any of the above yourself, I would take the device to someone who is able to open it and do hardware diagnosis. You could also try a Windows re-install but it sounds like a hardware issue.
    Nickblockmaster, 607 and wafflecoffee like this.
  4. Sorry to bomb with more thoughts on top of the good ones above, but do you hear any beeps coming from the computer after you power it up?

    If you do, it's possible those beeps are a clue of what kind of problem(s) you might be having. Count them up and check with the computer manufacturer to see what problem(s) those beeps can indicate.

    EDIT: It likely won't pick off a battery related issue so following the info WitherDoggie put above will help if it is the battery. But if anything else is being problematic on top of the battery this should help you ID it.
    Nickblockmaster, 607 and WitherDoggie like this.
  5. I haven't come up with any other possible causes yet, but an empty CMOS battery also came to my mind.
    In addition to this, replacing it could potentially help. Generally it's just a simple CR2032 battery, which can be bought relatively cheaply from most stores that also sell regular AA batteries. :)
    607 likes this.
  6. This happened to my laptop (which I stopped using when I got a desktop in 2013) when I was using a messed up cable with sparks coming out of it.
    JesusPower2 likes this.
  7. I was not expecting so much feedback! I am rather tech-savvy myself, and had little idea of what to do here. But hardware is not my forte!
    Thanks for the suggestions!
    I notice no heat, and there's no error message. After the laptop's booted to the Windows screen I have no issues.

    I have opened the laptop before. Indeed I would've liked to try starting it without the battery, but indeed the laptop needs to be opened to do so. I will try it now that you suggested it, if I can (I'm on vacation, but the vacation address I'm at probably does have screwdrivers).
    My laptop does not have fast startup.
    Nope, no beeps! I've only heard the pc speaker during the diagnostics process (which said there were no issues).

    Nickblockmaster likes this.
  8. Another thing I just thought of: did Windows update shortly before this started?
    607 likes this.
  9. I'm not sure. I've done two updates since though, and on both occasions my laptop failed to restart while updating, and I had to press the button a few times again. Not sure if this is any further evidence, but I found it interesting. :)
  10. I know my laptop has built in diagnostic software that will check every component of the device. I've used mine to find out that my laptop came with a faulty RAM module (was fixed under warranty). I'm not sure what kind of diagnostic software Dell laptops come with, but you might try to look into that.

    What version of Windows are you running? I know Windows 10 has fast startup enabled by default. I'm not sure what other versions of Windows have fast startup as a feature.
  11. I must've disabled it for another reason.
    I'll open my laptop now!
  12. It's not either of the batteries, because without them it also doesn't boot most of the time! Thanks. :)
    Edit: I'm not actually sure if this is a sound conclusion.
  13. ... it just took 31 tries. I don't think I'll be able to keep using this laptop. :(
  14. I must've missed that part in your post. My apologies.

    With the bottom of the laptop open can you see the motherboard? If so, are there any burn marks, corrosion, or any other signs of damage to the board?

    At this point a Windows reinstall can't hurt either. Just back all your files up and reinstall. It will either fix things or it won't. I'm still not convinced it's a software issue. It sounds like a power delivery issue to parts of the board, but doing a proper diagnosis on those issues is beyond my level of knowledge.
    Nickblockmaster and 607 like this.
  15. It's indeed not. :p The CR2032 one might need to be replaced.
  16. I'll bring my laptop to a laptop repair in Amersfoort (my home town).
  17. Are you starting it up from scratch, from sleep (slaapstand), or from hibernation (sluimerstand)?
    607 likes this.
  18. From scratch (just took seventy times!), but my sister wanted to try to wake it from sleep once, and that didn't work either. It unsuccessfully woke from sleep, and then it was back to the usual. I haven't tried hibernation.

    I looked more into the CMOS battery stuff, and I seem to have little reason to suspect there is an issue with it.
  19. Maybe try hibernation as well, I'm curious if that works.
  20. Done. :)