Troubleshooting a Power Failure

Occasionally, you may experience a power failure in all or part of the computer. A total power failure is indicated by the absence of electrical activity (such as status indicators and sounds) from the keyboard, display, hard-disk drive, and diskette drive. In a partial power failure, one or more of these indicators shows that there is power to a part of the computer.

To determine if there is any power to the computer, make a copy of the Diagnostics Checklist found in Chapter 5 and fill it out as you perform the following steps:

1. Connect the AC adapter to the computer and to an electrical outlet.

2. Remove all peripherals, including internal devices such as the diskette drive, hard-disk drive, and battery.

3. Try turning on the computer.

4. Does the computer turn on properly? Yes. The problem is resolved.

5. Turn off the computer. Does the power status indicator, to the right of the display latch, light up?

6. Remove any installed batteries and disconnect the AC adapter. Then reinstall the batteries, reconnect the AC adapter, and turn on the computer. Does the power status indicator, to the right of the display latch, light up?

7. Turn off the computer, wait a few seconds, and then turn on the computer again. Does the power status indicator, to the right of the display latch, light up?

Yes. Your computer is receiving power. Go to step 8.

No. Your computer is not receiving power. Go to step 9.

8. Does the computer boot successfully? Yes. The problem is resolved.

9. Reseat (remove and reinstall) any installed batteries, and check the AC adapter connection. Does the power status indicator, to the right of the display latch, light up?

Yes. The problem is resolved.

No. If the computer is powered by the AC adapter, see the next subsection, "Total Power Failure When Using the AC Adapter." If the computer is using battery power, see "Total Power Failure When Using a Battery" found later in this section.

Total Power Failure When Using the AC Adapter

If no signs of power are present in the computer when using the AC adapter, make a copy of the Diagnostics Checklist found in Chapter 5 and fill it out as you perform the following steps:

1. Turn off the computer and peripherals and disconnect them from the electrical outlet. If you are using a surge protector, remove it.

2. Make sure the AC adapter is connected to the computer, and then verify that the power cable is firmly attached to the AC adapter and to the electrical outlet.

See "Checking Connections" found earlier in this chapter.

3. Does the LED on top of the AC adapter turn on? Yes. Go to step 4.

No. The AC adapter may be defective. Go to step 5.

4. Turn on the computer. Does the power status indicator, to the right of the display latch, light up?

Yes. The problem is resolved. No. Go to step 5.

5. Call Dell for technical assistance.

See Chapter 5, "Getting Help," for instructions.

Total Power Failure When Using a Battery

If an AC adapter is not connected to your computer, the computer's power source is its battery. If the computer does not turn on when a battery is installed, the battery's charge may be depleted. To troubleshoot this problem, make a copy of the Diagnostics Checklist found in Chapter 5 and fill it out as you perform the following steps:

1. Turn off the computer and peripherals. Disconnect the peripherals from the electrical outlet.

2. Reseat each installed battery by first removing and then replacing the battery in its bay.

3. Press the power button. Does the computer turn on?

Allow one minute for the computer to initialize its components before checking for signs of power.

No. Use the AC adapter to connect your computer to an electrical outlet. If the computer operates normally when using AC power, go to step 7. If the computer does not boot when using the AC adapter, see the preceding subsection, "Total Power Failure When Using the AC Adapter."

4. Is the battery status indicator blinking, indicating that the battery is charging? Yes. Go to step 6.

5. Does the battery status indicator remain constantly lit (not blinking)? Yes. Go to step 7.

No. The battery is defective. Call Dell for technical assistance. (See Chapter 5, "Getting Help," for instructions.)

6. Use the AC adapter to fully charge the battery.

For instructions, see the topic titled "Charging the Battery" in the system Help. The battery charges in approximately 2 hours, using an electrical outlet, if the computer is off; the battery charges in approximately 3 hours if the computer is on.

7. Does the battery status indicator remain constantly lit (not blinking), indicating that the battery is fully charged?

Yes. The problem is resolved. Turn on the computer.

No. You may have a defective battery. Go to step 8.

8. Disconnect the AC adapter. If a fully charged spare battery is available, install it in the computer.

9. Press the power button. Does computer turn on?

Yes. Your original battery is defective. Call Dell for technical assistance. (See Chapter 5, "Getting Help," for instructions.)

No. Call Dell for technical assistance. (See Chapter 5, "Getting Help," for instructions.)

No Power to a Part of the Computer

If the power status indicator shows that your computer is receiving power, but the display remains blank, part of your computer is probably not receiving power. To troubleshoot this problem, make a copy of the Diagnostics Checklist found in Chapter 5 and fill it out as you perform the following steps:

1. Turn off the computer and peripherals and disconnect them from the electrical outlet. Disconnect any attached peripherals from the computer.

2. Make sure that the AC adapter is connected to the computer and to an electrical outlet, or confirm that a fully charged battery is properly seated in the MegaBay or the media bay.

3. Turn on the computer. Is the display on?

Allow one minute for the computer to initialize its components before checking for signs of power.

Yes. The entire computer is receiving power; the problem is resolved.

No. Adjust the brightness of the display. If the display still does not show an image, call Dell for technical assistance. (See Chapter 5, "Getting Help," for instructions.)

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