1 Copper

Precision M6700 No-POST issue

Dear Dell Community,

I just can't tell you how happy I had always been with my Precision M6700 mobile workstation!
That is, until recently, when it stopped working. I am now stuck at No-POST. The problem is that I don't observe a stable No-POST behavior and deal with conflicting interpretations of the same diagnostic information. Because of that, I need your help to be able to repair it.

Here is what happened.

While the laptop was running, the screen went completely dark, with a slight sign of being back-lit. It happened during a routine task that was not at all resource-intensive (I had Firefox and an office app running). The laptop was powered through a power surge protector, and when it happened, there were no thunderstorms or any other signs of possible power surge, anyway.
It has never happened before.

After a while, I switched it off and tried switching it on again but wasn't able to get to BIOS screen. Since then, I haven't been able to start the computer. I am stuck at the no-POST stage and need some directions on how to repair my laptop. Here are the two issues that I need your help coping with.

#1 Not stable behavior

The no-POST start-up behavior is not stable. Sometimes the screen is a little bit back-lit and sometimes it is completely black. After querying the devices the laptop gets stuck with nothing going on --- that's the stable part. In a while the fans would kick in, if the temperature has increased enough.

The diagnostics is not stable, either. While I never had a problem starting the LCD test by pressing 'D' while powering on, the other test, launched by pressing 'Fn' while powering on, is much less stable. Sometimes I am able to launch it and sometimes I am not. And when it starts, it sometimes shows only the blinking diagnostic LEDs (blinking-blinking-off) and sometimes, after they stop blinking, continues with a more elaborate sequence, including the LCD cycling through red-green-blue-white-black colors (very much like during the 'D+PowerOn' test but with accompanying single-time beeps) and then, after the LCD goes off, just firing beeping the 3-3-3 sequence forever (each 3-3-3 beep sequence is separated by a longer pause and melody beeping with a varied pitch).

The only stable variant of 'Fn+PowerOn' test is when I remove all the memory modules, in which case it always starts and consistently shows solid-blinking-blinking.

#2 Conflicting interpretations of the diagnostic information

Different sources on dell.com provide conflicting interpretations of the diagnostic information that I have. Thus, the table located at


interprets the blinking-blinking-solid LED combination as "The keyboard is preventing the system from completing POST".

However, M6700 Owner's Manual, located at


interprets the same LED combination as "System failed on hard drive initialization OR System failed in Option ROM initialization."

Finally, the beep codes reference guide located at


interprets the "3-3-3" beep sequence as "System board, Chipset Error, Clock failure, Gate A20 failure, Super I/O Failure, Keyboard controller failure"

Given the above discrepancies, I have difficulty in deciding what shall I do to repair my beloved machine.
Service tag and exact system cofiguration are available in PM.
Thank you in advance.

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