How to Troubleshoot a No POST Issue on a Dell Notebook PC

How to Troubleshoot a No POST Issue on a Dell Notebook PC





This article provides information on how to identify and troubleshoot a No POST issue on a Dell Notebook PC.


Table of Contents:

  1. Is This a No POST Issue?
  2. Identifying the No POST Codes
  3. Confirming the Error
  4. Troubleshooting Using the Error Code
  5. Troubleshooting Without the Error Code

1. Is This a No POST Issue?

Is your system having Start up issues?

If so there are several basic questions to ask so you can troubleshoot the issue further.

  • Is there any damage or has any liquid spillage occurred? If so contact your Technical support to ascertain the warranty status of your system. You can also check your warranty status on our Support site www.dell.com/support/warranty, if you have your Service tag. Unless your system is covered for Accidental Damage you will probably need to pay for a chargeable call to resolve this.
  • Is the start-up issue power related? i.e. there are no signs of life on the machine, no visible LEDs and no noises heard. If so please proceed with this article: How to Troubleshoot a No Power Issue on a Notebook PC.
  • Is the start-up issue giving signs of life but not getting to or past the Dell Splash screen? If so then it looks like you experiencing a No Post issue. POST stands for POWER ON SELF TEST. Your computer does this every time it starts up. It goes through a series of hardware checks and reports any faults. Please proceed with this guide to troubleshoot this further.
  • Is the start-up issue with your Operating System (OS) not loading after the Dell Splash screen goes away? If so it looks like a No Boot issue. You should check the No Boot troubleshooting guides for the system not starting up: Computer Does not Turn on or go Into Windows and Understanding and Troubleshooting Your Hard Drive.
  • Can you hear the operating system starting and the LEDs on the system are showing the computer has booted, but you haven't seen anything on the LCD display throughout? If so then it sounds like a No Video issue rather than a start up issue. You can have a look at the How to Troubleshoot a Dell Notebook LCD Panel issue. If that doesn't help then you should contact your local Technical Support.
Note: For Dell Latitude laptop PCs, you may try to recover the PC using the forced ePSA method. For more information, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article How to Use Forced ePSA to Recover from POST or Boot Failure.

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2. Identifying the No POST Codes

If you have ruled out the other issues then we are left with troubleshooting a No POST issue. The first thing to do is to confirm the status of the machine and what it is reporting to you. You can get a list of the No POST LED and Beep codes here:
Diagnostic and Battery Indicators for Notebooks (If you require information on Desktops please see Understanding Beep Codes on a Dell Desktop PC )

The Power LED

Does it remain lit, does it flash or does it power off after coming on for a time?

The Diagnostic LEDs

All Dell Latitude systems are supplied with diagnostic LEDs that can advise at which point during POST the system has encountered a problem.

Any Audible Beeps

There are several beep codes possible with a No POST issue, these can advise at which point during POST the system found a fault as with the Diagnostics LEDs.

Onscreen Error Message

If the system has gotten far enough through POST you may get an onscreen error about keyboards, hard drive or Video and such.

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3. Confirming the Error

Please ensure there are no peripherals plugged to the notebook and that it is out of the Docking Station. If there was anything plugged up, disconnect them and check the POST again. Is the issue the same on either the battery or the AC Adapter fitted individually with the system off the Dock?

  • If it boots ok, plug each peripheral back until the fault returns. That last part is most likely the root cause. Try another similar part to ensure it isn't the connector on the system and then contact your Technical Support.
  • If it still shows the same condition then proceed with the guide.

If the LEDs come on and then the system powers off before you can see or hear a code, then hold down both the <Fn> key and the Power Button at the same time to start the machine up. As long as you hold them down together the machine should cycle through so you can get any codes or beeps. If you let go of the key and the power button it should try to boot to the onboard diagnostics. The PSA (Pre-boot System Assessment) is accessed by pressing the F12 key at the Dell logo screen, and selecting Diagnostics from the menu

  • If you have an LED or Beep code you can either call in to your Technical Support who will troubleshoot this further with you or you can proceed to Section 4.
  • If you cannot make out any LED or Beep code then proceed to Section 5.
  • If the diagnostics run do they report any error codes? Please contact your Technical Support with any error code you receive, they may need to take you through additional steps.

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4. Troubleshooting Using the Error Code

If you received a particular error code showing a particular type of issue, it can speed up the troubleshooting considerably by narrowing down your focus. If for example you got a memory error code, this would allow you to skip straight to troubleshooting the memory in the unit. If it was a Video error, again you would skip to troubleshooting the video. The easiest way to troubleshoot your fault further is by two procedures Removal and Substitution.

Removal

This just means removing the affected part and seeing if it changes what is reported by the notebook on startup. Keeping with the example above. If you remove the memory, does the error change to report no memory detected? If you reseat it does the fault come back?

Substitution

This means either moving the part to another slot or replacing the part with a part from a similar model to see if the issue is repeated or resolved.

NOTE: The best place to find guides on parts removal for your system is in your manual or from the System Guide pages for your system type or you can get an online copy at www.dell.com/support/manuals

By removing possibly faulty parts and replacing with either known good working parts or by checking them in other ports, we can narrow down whether the issue is with the part or where it connects to your system. You can report this troubleshooting to your local Technical Support and it should speed up a resolution for you.

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5. Troubleshooting without the error code

If you are not getting a No POST code and the diagnostics are not running, then we have to fall back to general troubleshooting to isolate the fault. Try removing as many parts from the system as possible and power the machine on with those parts removed.

i.e. Hard Drive, CD/DVD Drive, Memory, WiFi card, 3G card, Bluetooth card and any additional parts added to the unit such as removable media and flash memory.

  1. If it still shows the same issue with all the parts removed then your Technical Support can use that troubleshooting to help resolve your call.
  2. If the fault changes, then it's a case of adding parts back one at a time until all the parts are fitted or the fault has returned. If the fault returns at any point then it's the part or port that just been replaced that is causing the issue. If all the parts are replaced and the machine POSTs then it was probably a miss-fitted part that was causing the problem.
NOTE: Notebook components can sometimes move out of position due to the mobile nature of the machine, causing parts to shift in place

This troubleshooting should hopefully achieve at least 1 of 2 things. It should either get you back up and running or it should narrow the fault down far enough, that it can help your Technical Support resolve the problem as quickly as possible and cut down on the chances of any secondary faults.

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Related Information

Latitude Systems - Self Heal from No Post / No Power / No Video
Resolve No Power, No POST, No Boot or No Video issues with your Dell Computer.
How to Troubleshoot a No Power Issue on your Dell Notebook

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If you require further assistance, please contact Technical Support

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Article ID: SLN151805

Last Date Modified: 10/08/2018 03:32 PM


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