Question about Dell Inspiron 9100 Notebook

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Trusty Inspiron 9100 died suddenly, now won't power up...

I have an Inspiron 9100 that has served faithfully for about five years. Although now demoted to backup use, I was using it the other day when, suddenly, with no warning or prior indication of any kind, completely shut down. Although it restarted and ran again for a period of time, it shut down again and will no longer restart.

The only symptom I can describe is that when I press the power button, the power LED comes on, and the bezel status lights illuminate normally, but the fans/hdd never spin up, and no display of the system even attempting POST occurs. After a few seconds, the lights extinguish.

The battery indicates a full charge, and the charge LED on the back of the case indicates it is taking charge as if all is normal, so that leads me to believe at least the basics of the power subsystem are intact. My first guess is that one or both fans have failed, and such a failure will prevent the system from even attempting a start to prevent heat failure.

I have removed and reseated both RAM sets, removed both fans (both of which seem to spin freely, and there is no aura of burn odor that one might associate with a worn bearing), blown out any apparent dust, all to no avail.

As noted, this is a secondary system, but I would sure like to squeeze a bit more life out of it if possible. Any suggestions appreciated.


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  • soonerdew Feb 20, 2009

    This system is long out of warranty, and I am entirely willing to explore and attempt repair myself. This has been an excellent system and would be worth the expenditure of a few dollars on some 2nd-hand/refurb parts before I declare it deceased. I've torn down other laptops before and had some success in the past, so I'm willing to try on this beast.


  • swiftgc1b Mar 15, 2009

    I have 9100 xps and when power button is pushed nothing happens except light next to power button lights up for about three seconds and goes out.   Help please.

  • Anonymous May 10, 2009

    I have the exact same issue. I really want to get this system up and running again. Today after getting the HD out and putting it back in it started up again but after a couple of minutes just as I saw all my icons appear the screen went black and nothing responded. Hope anyone can help.



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This could have been a overheating issue thats damaged the components already.

I'm sorry but over the internet I can see what the problem would be, Would need to inspect and test it closely.

I would suggest you get it looked at by a professional, if you only get a recommendation to replace the motherboard and a 200-500 repair estimate I suggest trying another professional.

there are people out there who repair motherboard. I've seen some deals on ebay for repairing a motherboard and it might be cheaper to get the motherboard repaired if its indeed faulty instead of getting it replaced.

Replacement is obviously the easyer process and thats what most professionals offer.

If you are fimiliar with electronics, you could test the fans yourself by taking them out from the computer and giving the required input voltage on the red and black wires. and see if it spins properly.

If it does spin fine but not on the computer, that would suggest a hardware issue on the computer possibly motherboard or other component failure.

But again this is just guessing over the internet without inspecting the laptop.

I'd suggest to find a professional who is willing to look into it in detail without a huge bill.

Let me know if you need anything else.


Posted on Feb 20, 2009

  • Ekse Feb 20, 2009

    I suppose the warranty is out?



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