I have the same problem with my 1.5 year old e6420.
I have tried removing static charges. Still behaves the same.
I am able to go to BIOS settings. But, unable to boot from any of the bootable partions.
Also, seemed like it is not able to boot from any device.
Tried booting from a bootable CD and also a bootable USB. Nothing works.
When tried to run Diagnostics, many a times it stay endlessly on the menu where we select the option for Diagnostics.
But, sometimes I see that it actually go to Diagnostic and run the tests. It show me no error.
When I say it stuck on Diagnostic menu option, I have to force shut it down (by pressing power button) to again try for menu options.
Please help me how can I recover my laptop.
I did not see any proper solution in this post or any other post on internet for the same issue to other people.
I would suggest you to reset the BIOS to factory defaults. To reset, follow the steps below:
Hope this helps. Feel free to reply for any further assistance.
Thanks & Regards
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Same exact issue im dealing with over here. Obviously a common issue with these dell e6420. Still no solutions guys? Anyone try upgrading the BIOS? Removing the CMOS Battery? Anything?
I am going to try removing CMOS battery, then I will try upgrading the BIOS. I will report back if i find an answer.
And if anyone has found an answer please post for all of us to save our computers! Thanks.
Ok, So I went and upgraded the BIOS to A19 (originally was A05). Before i did that, I unplugged the CMOS battery with no success at all. Then I upgraded the Bios. Luckily this computer occasionally boots up. Once every 50 tries or so.
I was also able to do full extended diagnostics on the hardware and it found absolutely no problems.
However when I rebooted it went to black screen right away. (no matter which media i try, USB boot, CD/DVD boot, HDD boot, Diagnostic boot, NOTHING WORKS! (except for on rare occasion).
Dell and their defective motherboards.. really sucks sometimes to have an expensive laptop turn to be absolutely worthless no more than year and half old. same thing happened with an xps i had a couple years back. no more than a year and half old and stopped turning on (motherboard issue)and a inspiron like 5 years ago died and would not turn on. each time motherboard issues.(designed to fail after warranty period? idk...)
ANY ONE FIND A SOLUTION YET? I am going to buy another board as i see this is my only solution.
Luckily, now everything works well on my machine.
I guess, it could be the Master Boot Record issue. Below is how I came to this conclusion.
The suggestion (from Dell Support) to reset BIOS to defaults did not work.
My case was same as yours. After about 50 tries, once it used to boot properly.
I saw that, once it boots, if we just leave the laptop in suspend/sleep mode, then it can come back quickly.
The issue come back only if we go for a shutdown/reboot/hibernate mode where the OS has to be loaded again into RAM.
In case of sleep, the power to RAM is always ON, so the boot process does not come in picture.
During these issues, once I thought that it could be related to Windows.
So, I installed Ubuntu on one of the partitions and then I had dual OS on my machine. After this, I always tried to boot into Ubuntu.
I still had issue of once proper boot after about 50 tries.
Meanwhile I got an update for Ubuntu (13.10) which upgraded the whole OS along with the "grub" or Master Boot Record.
And this seemed to fix the issue.
Now, I never boot into Windows. And I think it got corrupted somehow. I don't care of it anymore.
I would suggest you to first take backup of all your data on the machine and then try to google if you can find any program which can fix the boot partition.
Or, wipe the Hard disk and try to install the whole of OS again.
I don't know if this is a correct solution. Because once I realized that this was not a software issue at all.
I remember one more thing I did during all these experiments.
I identified the SATA drive to which my HDD is connected (SATA1).
Then in the BIOS, I disabled all SATA drives except SATA1 and boot into OS.
I was still seeing the same issue though.
Now, after everything works well, I enabled all SATA drives again in BIOS and still it works well.
I don't know what could have solved the issue. But this is what I did (tried my best for correcting both Hardware and Software).
And now, it works.
As you are anyways thinking to buy a new board, try everything you can (if you have time and patience).
See if anything works.
And if you find anything specific, please update the post.
So that the Dell support guys will learn something from our experiments and the same could be helpful for others.
happy to hear you got your computer working again. however, i dont think this fix applies to my issue. I am unable to boot to anything other than Bios setup. (cant boot from bootable windows dvd, bootable flash drive, not even diagnostics). except for the rare occasion everything works.
and i notice its kinda weird when it does happen to finally work. the computer seems like it shuts itself off before the dell splash screen, then 2 seconds later it comes back on automatically then it loads splash screen then boots into windows. which is very odd. this seems like a completely defective board just by the way it behaves (comes on turns off, then comes on again this is when it boots). every other time i press the button and it comes right on as it normally should however, once it passes the dell screen, the screen just stays black. you can tell it stopped responding because when you press the caps lock button the light does not turn on/off. which means the machine freezes at this specific spot.
and like i said before it will not boot to any device. i did everything possible to try to isolate this issue....and it is pointing to either motherboard or cpu. (99.99% of the time it is the motherboard, cpu rarely goes bad).
Hi to everyone in the community,
I have this same model E6420 as work laptop from my company for about 1 3/4 year. In this time twice the hard drive failed (Windows problem, recovered all my files with a Knoppix boot disk) every 1/2 half year and as I write this email just recovered from the described error above. I tried all the steps as mentioned to no avail. Then I downloaded the BIOS A21 update and used Knoppix to copy the file to the hard drive. Next step was booting with a Ultimate windows boot disk and run the BIOS exe file to update the BIOS. Restarting the laptop and voila it works again. Just to point out, it's not only the Dell quality shown by the number of BIOS up dates (from A05 to A21) but MS windows xp to 7 is a main culprit as well. This is experience over the last 12 years with different Dell desktops (more then 30 units)
This is the reason that I privately bought for my wife an Toshiba which came with Win7, after half a year it played up and I installed Opensuse 12.3-64bit since then (over two years) there has been not one problem. Interestingly my wife didn't have any problems with the new system either.
I myself privately throw out windows many years ago and use on my 2 desktop PC's Opensuse which is running now on 13.1-64 bit .
Conclusion from the text above and my experience, Dell and Linux are a far better combination to a windows installation.
Harinder, you said you could choose diagnostics. Do the diagnostics run and you can see them run? (You confuse people when you added on "allso boot from Cd still blanck screen after that".)
Even if you can't see the diagnostics results the motherboard diags should run. One of them will display color bars and ask if you saw the color bars and it will be-bleep at you to respond and keep be-bleeping until you do respond. Did you in fact see the color bars? Does it be-bleep at you?
After asking about the color bars to which you should just say Y, after about 5 minutes it should ask if you want to run remaining memory tests. Say N (even if you can't see the question), then it will ask if you want to boot to the diagnostic partition. Even if you can't see this, say Y. (This assumes your hard disk has a diagnostics partition, I'm not sure all of them have one and I'm not sure what happens if you don't have one.)
If you do have a diagnostics partion and your hard drive is working with that partition, you will be given two choices. Even if you can't see anything on the screen, push the down-arrow once and press Enter which selects Test System. Then some drivers will load. Some drivers may actually be for video. Wait a minute or two for the drivers to load. Then push the down-arrow key once which will run Extended Tests. These are interactive so if you still can't see anything you won't be able to do much.
If after all the above you still can't see anything, it may be that the more advanced video driver/chip is bad.
I had the same problem. Computer was booting only after many tries... sometime 5-6, and sometimes much more. Diagnostics was not available at all!
I found the solution in my case.
One USB port , the one next to VGA port, was damaged. and the USB wires inside where touching the USB ground - tin.
I just moved USB wire not to touch ground, and all worked fine.
Well, i think that contact has done some damages : USB ports are not wortinkg, VGA, HDMI port is not working also. But computer now boots every time, and all the rest (CD, Wifi, screen, keyboard, bluetooth ect) works fine.
I hope this will help someone! Cheers!