I have a Dell Inspiron 600m from November 2004. For the last month, I've had an intermittent problem when I attempt to turn on the notebook. I'll press the power button and the three LED's (cap lock, num lock, and scroll lock) will blink rapidly for about five seconds and the power led will light up like normal. After this five second period, the computer shows no signs of life. If I repeat this process, eventually the computer will power up like nothing was ever wrong.
I've tried powering up the computer on a freshly charged battery, and I've tried removing the battery and using just the AC power supply. Neither makes any difference. I've also tried re-seating the RAM chips, the DVD drive, and the hard drive. So far nothing seems to make any difference.
I've read other posts about this problem, but I haven't seen any definitive conclusion as to what is causing this type of problem. It it's the motherboard, then the repair will probably cost more than the notebook is worth. But, if it's the power button, it should be fairly cheap and easy to replace this. (I can't imagine what else would cause this.)
Does anyone know what would cause the three LED's (cap lock, num lock, and scroll lock) to blink rapidly for about five seconds when the power on button is pressed? And, has anyone encountered this problem and reached a successful resolution?
according to this PAGE the three lights flashing is a system board failure.
Thanks to a post by another (in a different thread), I've been able to consistently get my Inspiron 600m started by slightly twisting the base of the notebook when I press the power button. I ran the Dell Diagnostics and got the following error message:
Error Code 3B00:0887
Msg: Invalid interrupt count. Expected 64h but received 0h.
Device 5705M Int NIC 0
NIC Interrupt Test
Does this mean that the only solution is a total motherboard replacement? It sounds like the Broadcom 5705M ethernet card is bad, but is it possible to replace only that, or is it actually part of the motherboard?
Does the ethernet port work after that laptop boots up? Could just be a short where the ethernet chip is on motherboard. Fixable by a qualified laptop tech otherwise you need new/used motherboard.
In bios disable the onboard ethernet see if it will then startup without twisting the case.
I have been twisting, pulling, pounding, pressing my 600m on for over 3 years. Very frustrated that Dell can't or won't tell us what the problem is.
Sure a new MB will fix it, but I am positive there is a fix that can be performed on the MB if we were told where the problem is. I twist mine on by twistiing or lifting the front left corner while looking at the HD light. As soon as it flashes I let go and it powers on. I have had the whole system totally disassembled and can't find anything obvious.
My onboard NIC does not work as a result of this MB failure. Should be a clue Dell. Are you listening? I tried to get a used MB from Ebay, but got stuck by a scammer.
The world is full of evil, irresponsibility, greed, corruption, lack of a conscience, well I better not get going on that. We all know the story.
My suspicions on this failure is the socket attached to the MB that the poweron board plugs into. Lots of fine connections close together.
Also I believe this problem was initially caused by a heat buildup in the laptop causing an open that twisting the case closes. Possibly that socket I mentioned.
Don't feel to bad. You have just joined the thousands of Dell laptop owners with the poweron symptoms you described.
The problem is on the MB. I believe it was caused by a heat buildup. See my post on this issue. I have been dealing with it for over three years.
It seems to be a progressive issue. In my case, I started seeing the odd blinking of the LEDs for NumLock, CapsLock, and ScrollLock LEDs. According to Dell, blinking indicates hardware problems. More specifically, combinations of blinking and static lights indicate specific problems--unfortunately, arbitrary in my case.
One year later, the power button on my 600m started to misbehave. It would not start my system immediately. Several months later, the issue became worst. Particularly after automatic Stand By and Hibernate, it would fall into a long sleep mode. Today, leaving it plugged in for a while, i.e. next morning, it will respond.
I have observed that the power and battery LEDs are also indicating a problem rooting to capacitor issues. A few days ago, I was trying a number of things to recover from this irreverent silence. After removing the battery and unplugging the laptop, I observed that power LED was still on and stayed on for a little over one minute. Now, my understanding is that the backup battery only supports the BIOS ROM. Seeing the power light on for such a timeframe without power into the laptop can only point to a hardware issue.
I am not an expert in electronics, but I would really appreciate any direction that would get my computer back.
It could be anything from a cap to faulty solder traces - the system is relatively old and yes, parts do fail due to thermal cycling.
The cost of a replacement board is about $200 for this model - so it's cheaper than having a shop do a repair.