smayo44
1 Copper

Inspiron 3650, bricked after BIOS upgrade

A friend asked me to look at her system that would not boot. When plugged in, it comes up with an orange power light, the fans start up and then it dies. The power supply tests ok with a green light with all peripherals installed or when disconnected. After talking to her and reading some of the stories on this forum I am sure her system is bricked. She indicated that she had powered it up after a month or so and it started an update. From her description it sounded like a BIOS upgrade. She said that there were boxes and some were black and some were not. After a while it stopped moving, so she tried to cancel it. That did not work so she hit ctrl-alt-del. When that did not work, she powered off. Then the problem started happening. 

I have tried the BIOS Recovery 2 by pressing ctrl-esc and nothing happens. I removed the CMOS battery and press the power button for 30 seconds and it still does not boot. 

Is there anything else I can try other than to replace the motherboard? I have worked a lot of systems and never had this happen before. I do not have the time to spend four hours on the phone with Dell. I did find a replacement motherboard for $78.

She is 81 years old and cannot afford to buy a new system.

Please help. Thanks.

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3 Replies
Mary G
6 Indium

Re: Bricked Inspiron 3650 after BIOS upgrade

Bios updates do not install without user input and come from Dell. Windows updates are from Microsoft and are automatic. It might have been a MS update that she interrupted. Try replacing the cmos coin cell battery. Cheap fix if it works. Since the user only starts the computer occasionally that could be one of the problems.  Unplugging the computer instead of just shutting it down can cause the battery to fail. 

Do not replace anything until you do more detective work. Remember that this model is a budget model and replacing major parts is not practical.

Look up the manual at support 

 

 

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7- Thorium

Re: Bricked Inspiron 3650 after BIOS upgrade

User Davey2018 had exactly the same symptoms after a recent failed 3650 BIOS update that was offered through Dell's SupportAssist app. So your friend may have accepted the update that way. Note that the update worked ok for the OP in that thread.

Davey2018 did essentially everything you did, with no luck, but as Mary G suggested, try a new CR2032 battery. If that doesn't help, you probably will need to replace the motherboard... Smiley Sad

 

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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7- Thorium

Re: Bricked Inspiron 3650 after BIOS upgrade

Did replacing the battery help?

User Davey2018 reported in the other thread that a new motherboard fixed the problem for him. But he better not risk updating BIOS again.

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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