Knowledge Base

A reference guide to the Latitude Notebook and Tablet Diagnostic Indicators



This article details the Diagnostic LED codes for Notebook and Portable systems. The sections below provide details by model - please select the one relative to your system to view the information within.



Dell portable systems have various built-in visible and audible diagnostic tools to help pinpoint possible failed hardware components causing specific symptoms. The majority of these symptoms are related to the system not being able to boot to Windows displaying a black screen from startup. Various reasons for this can be found in our Resolve No Power, No Post, No Boot or No Video article in addition to the information and solutions offered below.

Note: Some notebook systems use a sequence of audible beeps to give and indication as to possible failed hardware components. Please see Beep Codes table to help troubleshoot your computer for further information on how to diagnose and troubleshoot these codes.

Battery Status:
LED's

Power/battery light - Turns white or amber to indicate the power status and remaining battery charge. See the tables below.

LED Light Description
1
Power Light
2
Hard drive light
3
Battery status light
4
WiFi light

Battery light state:

Battery State LED Behaviour Next Steps

An unauthenticated or unsupported non-Dell AC adapter is attached to your laptop.

Alternately blinking amber light and white light

Try reseating the AC adapter or try a 'known good' adapter - if the fault follows the adapter if may need replaced.

Temporary battery failure with AC adapter present.

Alternately blinking amber light with steady white light.

Try re-seating the battery. If same try the swapping the battery with another system and see if the fault follows the battery. If the fault follows the battery it may need to be replaced. For more info on battery warranty support please see article Notebook Battery Warranty Support.

Fatal battery failure with AC adapter present.

Constantly blinking amber light.

Try 2-way swapping the battery with a 'known good' one and see if the fault follows the battery. If same the battery will need to be replaced. For more info on battery warranty support please see article Notebook Battery Warranty Support.

Battery in full charge mode with AC adapter present.

Light off.

No further actions required.

Battery in charge mode with AC adapter present.

White light on.

No further actions required.

Note: See article How to resolve Battery and AC adapter issues on my Dell computer? for more information on troubleshooting battery or battery changing issues.

If the laptop is connected to an electrical outlet, the power/battery light operates as follows:

Power State Charging status LED Behaviour

On

Any (0-100%)

Solid white

Standby

Any (0-100%)

Breathe white (slow increase/decrease in illumination)

Off, hibernate

>90% charge

Off

Off, hibernate

=90% charge

Solid white

If the laptop is running on a battery, the power/battery light operates as follows:

Power State Remaining battery power LED Behaviour

On

=10% charge

Solid white

On

<10% charge

Solid amber

Standby

=10% charge

Breathe white (slow increase/decrease in illumination)

Standby

<10% charge

Solid amber

Off, hibernate

Any (0-100%)

Off

Note: See article Guide on Checking Notebook / Laptop Battery Health Status for more information on battery health. Also see our Resolve Hardware Issues using eSPA Diagnostics article to run automatic tests on your system. For more info on battery warranty support please see article Notebook Battery Warranty Support.

Currently Shipping:

The three LED indicator lights are located near the front right-side of the system as shown below:



Diagnostic LED:

These notebooks rely on the Battery LED light blinking amber/white pattern to determine failures listed in the following table:

Note:

The blinking patterns will consist of 2 sets of numbers being represented by (First Group: Amber blinks, Second Group: White blinks)

First Group: The LED blinks 1 to 9 times followed by a brief pause with LED off at the interval of 1.5 seconds. (This is in Amber color)

Second Group: The LED blinks 1 to 9 times, that would be then followed by a longer pause before the next cycle starts again at the interval of 1.5 seconds. (This is in White color)

Example: No Memory detected (2,3), Battery LED blinks two times of amber color followed by a pause, and then blinks three times of white color. The Battery LED will pause for 3 seconds before the next cycle repeat itself again.

The following table depicts the amber and white blinking patterns with possible troubleshooting resolution:

LED Flash Sequence Fault Description Fault(s)
2,1 CPU Possible CPU Failure
2,2 Motherboard BIOS Motherboard, Covers BIOS Corruption or ROM Error
2,3 Memory No memory / RAM detected
2,4 Memory Memory / RAM failure
2,5 Memory Invalid Memory Installed
2,6 Motherboard Chipset Motherboard / Chipset Error
2,7 LCD LCD Failure
3,1 RTC Power Failure CMOS Battery Failure
3,2 PCI / Video PCI or Video Card / Chip Failure
3,3 BIOS Recovery 1 Recovery Image Not Found
3,4 BIOS Recovery 2 Recovery Image Found But Invalid
Note: If your error code is diffferent than those listed above, please contact Dell technical support or also see our Resolve Hardware Issues using eSPA Diagnostics article to run automatic tests on your system.

Legacy:

LED's

LED Light Description
1
Power Light
2
Hard drive light
3
Battery status light
4
WiFi light

Here's how to read the notebook LED codes when a possible error occurs:

Storage LED
HD LED
Battery LED
Battery LED
Wireless LED
WiFi LED
Fault Description Next Steps
Blinking
Solid
Solid
A possible processor failure has occurred. Contact Dell Support
Solid
Blinking
Solid
The memory modules are detected but has encountered an error. Troubleshoot Memory
Blinking
Blinking
Blinking
A system board failure has occurred. Contact Dell Support
Blinking
Blinking
Solid
A possible graphics card/video failure has occurred. Troubleshoot Video
Blinking
Blinking
Off
System failed on hard drive initialization OR System failed in Option ROM initialization. Troubleshoot Hard Drive
Blinking
Off
Blinking
The USB controller encountered a problem during initialization. Check ports for damage and remove any USB devices. Troubleshoot Ports
Solid
Blinking
Blinking
No memory modules are installed/detected. Troubleshoot Memory
Blinking
Solid
Blinking
The LCD encountered a problem during initialization. Troubleshoot Video
Off
Blinking
Blinking
The modem is preventing the system from completing POST. Try reseating or removing any Modem cards.
Off
Blinking
Off
Memory failed to initialize or memory is unsupported. Troubleshoot Memory

Note: See article How to resolve Battery and AC adapter issues on my Dell computer? for more information on troubleshooting battery or battery changing issues. Also see our Resolve Hardware Issues using eSPA Diagnostics article to run automatic tests on your system.

Battery Status

If the computer is connected to an electrical outlet, the battery light operates as follows:

  • Solid Green — The battery is charging.
  • Flashing Green — The battery is almost fully charged.

If the computer is running on a battery, the battery light operates as follows:

  • Off — The battery is adequately charged (or the computer is turned off)
  • Flashing orange — The battery charge is low.
  • Solid orange — The battery charge is critically low.

Note: See article How to resolve Battery and AC adapter issues on my Dell computer? for more information on troubleshooting battery or battery changing issues. Also see our Resolve Hardware Issues using eSPA Diagnostics article to run automatic tests on your system.

For more info on battery warranty support please see article Notebook Battery Warranty Support.

LED Error Codes

The following table shows the possible LED codes that may display in a no-POST situation.

Flash Code Description Next Step
CPU Code The microcontroller is handing control of the system to the processor. This code persists if no processor is detected. 1. Reseat the processor.
2. Replace the system board.
3. Replace the processor.
Memory Code The memory has encountered an error. 1. Reseat the memory module(s).
2. Replace the memory module(s).
3. Replace the system board.
System Board A system board component is faulty. Replace the system board.
Video LED The video card is preventing the system from completing POST. 1. Replace the video card.
2. Replace the system board.
Keyboard LED The keyboard is preventing the system from completing POST. 1. Reseat the keyboard cable.
2. Replace the keyboard.
3. Replace the system board.
USB LED The USB controller encountered a problem during initialization. 1. Remove any USB devices.
2. Replace the system board.
No Memory No SODIMMs are installed. 1. Install the memory module(s).
2. Reseat the memory module(s).
3. Replace the memory module(s).
4. Replace the system board.
LCD LED The LCD encountered a problem during initialization. 1. Reseat the LCD cable.
2. Replace the LCD panel.
3. Replace the video card.
Modem LED The modem is preventing the system from completing POST. 1. Reseat the modem.
2. Replace the modem.
3. Replace the system board.

Note: If your error code is diffferent than those listed above, please contact Dell technical support or see our Resolve Hardware Issues using eSPA Diagnostics article to run automatic tests on your system.

Beep Codes:

The computer may emit a series of beeps during start-up if the display cannot show errors or problems. These series of beeps, called beep codes, identify various problems.

Beep Code
(repetitive
short beeps)
Fault Description Suggested Remedy
1 BIOS ROM checksum in progress or failure System board failure, covers BIOS corruption or ROM error
2 Memory No memory/RAM detected
3
  • Chipset Error (North and South bridge error, DMA/IMR/Timer error)
  • Time-Of-Day Clock test failure
  • Gate A20 failure
  • Super I/O chip failure
  • Keyboard controller test failure
System board failure
4 RAM Read/Write failure Memory/RAM failure
5 Real-time clock power fail.
  1. Reseat the CMOS battery connection.
  2. If the problem persists, possible CMOS battery failure or system board failure.
6 Video BIOS Test Failure Video card/chip failure
7 CPU-cache test failure Processor failure
8 LCD LCD failure

LED Error Codes:

Diagnostic LED code communicated via the Power Button LED or agreed upon alternate LED. The Power Button LED shall blink the corresponding LED codes for the corresponding fault condition.

Note:

Example: No Memory detected, Power Button LED blinks two times followed by a pause, blinks two times, pause, etc. This pattern continues until the system is powered off.

Power LED - Top View

LED Code Fault Description Suggested Remedy
1 System Board: BIOS ROM failure System board, covers BIOS corruption or ROM error.
2 Memory No memory/RAM detected.
3
  • System board failure
  • Chipset Error
  • Clock failure
  • Gate A20 failure
  • Super I/O failure
  • keyboard controller failure
System board failure.
4 Memory Memory/RAM failure
5 Real-time clock failure.
  1. Reseat the CMOS battery connection.
  2. If the problem persists, possible battery failure or system board failure.
6 Video BIOS Video card/chip failure
7 CPU Processor failure
8 LCD LCD failure

Diagnostics Indicator Guides

Note:

What to do next? - If the status lights above point towards possible failure of the battery see article How to improve your laptop battery's performance for further troubleshooting steps. Also see our Resolve Hardware Issues using eSPA Diagnostics article to run automatic tests on your system.

If your error code is different than those listed above, please contact Dell technical support.




Article ID: SLN309632

Last Date Modified: 04/23/2018 10:02 AM


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