I bought this Inspiron N5010 in its current hobbled condition. The laptop will not power on with battery inserted, simply no response to the power button. Only with battery removed and connected to mains with power adapter will the laptop power on. Only one of the three front lights will illuminate, namely, the hard drive light (white). Neither the Power light nor the Battery light will ever illuminate. After the laptop is booted up with mains power, the battery can be inserted, and then the mains removed. The battery will charge if the mains is left inserted. Running on battery power only, the laptop can be restarted, but if I shut down the laptop and wait over 20 seconds to power on again, it will not power on, and I must remove battery, connect mains to power it on again, that is, it reverts to the original error condition.
I replaced the I/O Board located in the back right corner. This did not fix anything. The I/O Board has a small wireless card on it DW 1501. I tried to install the Dell driver for this device, but no hardware was detected. Same detection failure for wired ethernet which also resides on this I/O board. No network has ever been detected.
The motherboard is DP/N 0Y6Y56. I am aware of at least three different mobos for this laptop, Y6Y56, 52F31, and BR0GW. It's common knowledge that the graphics chip has issues, due to poor solders and/or heating from heavy graphics. I was advised to buy the board with the ATI graphics chip. Then I learned I apparently misheard the advice and I should instead buy the board with Intel HD graphics chip. For this hard-to-find Intel HD Graphics chip I was directed to the BR0GW board, which costs around 120 USD. On closer inspection, however, the graphics chip on this board (BR0GW) is the same chip on the current misbehaving board (Y6Y56), namely, Intel BD82HM57 SLGZR. I have a feeling that neither of these two boards has the desired Intel HD Graphics chip. I'm thoroughly confused at this point. Is the Intel BD82HM57 a graphics chip, or does the graphics chip reside on the CPU processor proper?
What is wrong with this laptop? I think that replacing the motherboard would probably fix most of these problems. What is the best motherboard replacement for this laptop?
If you have a UMA (Intel video) system, you need another UMA board -- to make the switch between Intel and AMD/ATI video, you'd need to replace the heatsink.
In all honesty, a system this old and low-end isn't worth a board replacement at this point. You'd be better off putting the funds toward a replacement system.
In my case, old is relative. I have never owned a desktop with over 2 cores. I have never owned a laptop with more than 1 core. I have little interest in keeping up with the latest and greatest, basically because newer devices get more restrictive, financially and technically. I am a Linux enthusiast and stopped using Windows about 8 years ago. I have very little interest in Windows 8.1 and no interest in Windows 10. I would like a dual boot system with Windows 7 and Linux. Unfortunately, the newer UEFI makes that more difficult. I might want to acquire a system with a processor that runs cooler, but I am told that would be a board with a later generation i5, which I suspect would cost over $200. Frankly, I don't particularly like laptops, preferring a desktop or an Android device or Remix OS or even Raspberry Pi, so I would not be using this laptop every day. I'm not a gamer, so I'm not too concerned about overheating the graphics chip. I may want to set up a media center with this laptop, which has UDMI, but that isn't a big priority at present. My understanding is that most motherboard replacements for this laptop are flawed, in design and construction, hence the reason for my query. I don't want to have to replace this motherboard a year from now, which is a common experience with this model.
I'm having a problem with Windows 7 on this laptop. In my haste to find a solution, I installed Win 7 Home Prem (Digital River disc) over the old installation. Of course there is a Recovery partition on this hard drive. I followed a tutorial to inspect this partition for the presence of an OS image, and found no image (OS.wim) was present. Meanwhile, I have not been able to put this laptop online because it doesn't detect any network (including an ethernet adapter dongle), so the activation grace period has elapsed, and I am getting the usual negative feedback from Microsoft about the OS not being genuine. Were I able to connect to the internet, could I use the sticker product key to activate this installation of Windows 7, or does it need to be a Dell-branded Win7 for that to work? Please recommend a (inexpensive) course of action to restore Win7 on this computer. Know that I have installed all the drivers available from Dell support, but any driver related to connectivity did not install because hardware not present.
In order to be able to use the OEM key, you do need an OEM Dell install medium -- of the same version for which the key indicates support.
Once Windows is installed, there are many drivers that are required, starting with the Intel chipset driver. Once that's in place, you can install the network adapter drivers (don't guess which one you have - visually identify it or use the service tag to look up the exact model).
It isn't clear the problems you're having are mainboard-related, but remember -- you have a system that's on the order of six years old -- and any replacement board you buy will be of similar vintage. There are essentially two different boards - one uses Intel video (which is aboard the CPU) and the other has onboard AMD video. There are no doubt multiple part numbers for the boards, but feature wise there are just two of them.
If two of the three front status lights do not illuminate, that strongly indicates a hardware issue. Along with the behavior problems, I would say the chance of this being a software issue are very low. I replaced the I/O board in the back right corner, which has a USB, a SATA-USB, Power jack, and Ethernet port. Replacing the old I/O board with the identical (new) board had no effect on the behavior of the laptop. That almost eliminates everything except the motherboard, in my opinion. Apparently, you don't think so. What else could it be?
More evidence: The faulty booting behavior was observed using two Dell-branded batteries that hold a charge normally, so it's probably not the battery at fault. Linux is usually very good at detecting networks and auto-magically making them work. Running Linux as a live CD, no network was detected at all, ever. It's possible that the previous owner connected this laptop to the internet via Bluetooth and smartphone. I"m not familiar with that route as a workaround.
Since you are of the opinion I should get another laptop, please recommend a comparable model (Dell or HP) that rolled out with a late-gen i5 processor, that would be reasonably priced (under $300, new or refurbished). Please note that I avoid Sony, IBM, and Apple products. Thanks
HardInfo, the native system information tool for Linux, reports the laptop's graphics device as Intel Ironlake Mobile x86/MMX/SSE2, i915 Intel graphics. Is this the Intel HD graphics that was recommended to me? My source advised that there are two versions of the Intel board, one with nVidia graphics, the other with some Intel HD graphics. I guess it's irrelevant what the graphics chip is, if it resides on the CPU. One of the vendors selling N5010 motherboards includes the CPU and I/O board; it might be a good idea to get the extra parts.
I just read a forum post that informed that the above-mentioned HM57 chip is the graphics chip on this motherboard. And it also mentioned that the graphics chip requires a thermal pad or shim. Oh boy.