Question about Dell Inspiron 6400 Notebook

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Dell inspiron 6400 won't power up

I am clueless, so I'll explain....
Awhile ago, II seen something on the laptop that said, a battery needs replacing. After sometime, my daughter told me her computer won't turn on.
Thinking that you can't run a computer without a battery, I finally bought a new battery. I plugged it in for apprx. 8 hrs, tried to turn the computer on, 3 green lights lite up for about 3 seconds, then the computer just turns off - Nothing came on the screen.
I have unplugged the computer, I tried to turn it on without a battery using the AC adapter, same thing happens. I don't know what is wrong, it is less than 2 yrs old.
[The AC adapter has a green light on]
Any suggestions would be greatful!

Posted by on

  • blueeyesjust Aug 02, 2009

    I changed the CR2302 battery, but nothing has changed, my original problem still exists!
    Thank You for the information, at least I have a new cmos battery, get to rule at least thatpart out as 1 cause. Do you have any suggestions?
    Thanks, I appreciate it,

  • dewey wyatt May 11, 2010

    was it the cmos battery? if so it's inside the laptop. you might replace it but it's tough getting a laptop apart and back together #1 curosity is does the battery charge it's unlikley the cmos would stop it from booting it usually asks for a reset or says memory checksum error. if the ac adapter is not putting the power in the laptop it won't charge and the battery probally wont be strong enough to power it.


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Believe that this is an indication about the CMOS battery. It shouldn't have gone bad though, as the average lifespan of a CMOS battery is 9 years.

Dell's terminology for this battery is, "Coin-Cell Battery". No matter what name it is being called, it is a round battery like the type used in a watch. It is a CR2032. It is about the size of a U.S. nickle. This battery is readily available in many places. (I have even found them at the pharmacy!)

How to change it?
This is Dell Support, and the Service Manual for the Inspiron 6400, plus more specifically the page on how to change the Coin-Cell Battery. There are photos, and information.

(Just copy and paste the above link into your address bar, then press the Enter key. Not trying to insult your intelligence)

1.Remove the AC adapter, (Charger), if plugged in.
2.Remove the battery from the battery bay.
3.Work on a table. It is recommended to buy, and use an ESD wrist strap. (Electro Static Discharge) This prevents static from your body, from frying out the delicate computer hardware components, inside your laptop.
(Example of an ESD wrist strap,

The ESD wrist strap has a strap that goes around your wrist, and in the strap there is an exposed piece of metal. This metal touches your wrist. The other end of the wrist strap has an alligator clip. This clip is attached to a good ground source.

The 'Good Ground Source' for many techs, is one where the alligator clip is attached to a ground in a house, or shop's, 120 volt electricity supply. In otherwords, that round hole on the bottom of a receptacle. (Wall socket. Two flat blade slots on top, and a round hole in the middle, on the bottom)

For me this = NO! You're not going to catch this kid, plugging my wrist to anything that has to do with high voltage electricity! Yes, it would be safe, but I have this thing that if lightning strikes a transformer on the utility pole outside, and follows the power wires to the house, or shop, then to the Service Panel, and finally to the LEAST possible source of resistance, Ummm,.....that would be ME!

Do you have a desktop computer? Unplug it from the surge protector. Open the computer case, clip the alligator clip to the metal frame.
(Or use an empty computer case like I do)

In 20+ years of repairing computers, I have never had a problem with this method.
(Sorry about the 'windy' explanation!)

The Coin-Cell Battery is under your keypad. However to remove the keypad, you must remove the Hinge Covers.
You have to remove the Hinge Covers, that are for the hinges of your LCD screen.
It's real simple.

Now remove the keypad, then the Coin-Cell Battery. The Dell Support link shows you, and give clear instructions.

Posted on Aug 01, 2009

  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Aug 02, 2009

    Then I suggest it's a sensor circuit on the motherboard that is bad. It's not letting power be 'seen', nor go through. This circuit determines when the laptop is to use battery power, or the AC adapter power, and also when the battery needs a charge.

    Suggest you consult a respectable computer shop, and see what their findings are. If you find that this circuit is bad it will require replacement of the motherboard. You may want to be seated when you learn the cost of a replacement, and labor.

    Since you have familiarized yourself with the internals of this laptop so far, you may want to go ahead, and replace the motherboard yourself. I would suggest Ebay for a possible replacement motherboard to hold down costs.
    You may find that replacement of the motherboard, vs buying another laptop is too costly.
    You may not.
    IF, you do proceed, Suggestions;
    1.Take digital photos as you disassemble. You'll have a record. Make legible notes, and drawings. It may be some time before you return to this project.
    2.Use a clean egg carton, and label each egg holder for the various screws, and what area they came out of. There are as many as 12 different screws, and 50 of them.
    3.Use the ESD wrist strap I mentioned.
    4.You have the Service Manual.

    Quick search for motherboard for Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop on Ebay,
    Search in, Laptops for Parts in Ebay, for Dell Inspiron,

    I apologize that my solution didn't solve your problem. Hope you will use FixYa again.


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