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Last reply by 01-14-2012 Unsolved
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2 Bronze

Failing to boot


I have a Dell Precision M65 Workstation laptop which has worked perfectly for 5 years. Very recently if refused to boot: the Power light lit, the fan started, the optical drive began to spin but the screen remained blank, there were no beeps or other tones.

I tried rebooting whilst holding down the <fn> key and the flash codes (using the NUMLOCK, CAPSLOCK, SCROLL LOCK lights) were, in sequence: Flashing Green, Steady Green, Steady Green with the POWER light a Steady Green. According to the Dell flash code table this POST (power on self test) indicator means 'processor not detected'.

Obviously the processor is present, so what is the problem? My concern is that the CPU is toast. The guidance given by Dell is to check the CPU and if necessary reseat it. What other checks should I perform?

I am not aware that the laptop has been used in a situation in which it could overheat. I assume if it does overheat the fan speed will increase and if that doesn't work the processor (Intel t2400 1.83/667) will shutdown until its temperature reduces to safe levels. But will it reactivate on its own after a thermal event or is it waiting for me to give a command (keyboard?) to reactivate it? Is there a hidden reset button somewhere?

I must admit that a CPU failure, if that is what has happened, is a new experience for me but as I have a technical background I am well able to replace it having been involved with electronics for almost 50 years. Obviously I am loathed to replace the CPU if the real problem lies elsewhere.

I have scanned the user and service manuals and I am no closer to finding a solution. If the POST micro-controller is signalling 'processor not detected', I assume it cannot hand control over to the main CPU because it does not answer (not detected) and the boot phase will not start.

Has any other member experienced such a problem?

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