How to Troubleshoot a Dell Inspiron Motherboard That is Not Working

Written by jennifer moore
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How to Troubleshoot a Dell Inspiron Motherboard That is Not Working
Repair a dead laptop and give it new life. (laptop image by Ewe Degiampietro from

There are several things you can do to test your Dell Inspiron motherboard. Troubleshooting the problem will help you make a more educated guess as to whether it really is a motherboard problem or some other hardware issue. Before doing anything else, you should check for the simplest and most obvious solution, as this is usually the easiest problem to fix and the one that is often overlooked.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Electrical tape
  • Voltage meter
  • New power cord
  • External monitor
  • Set precision screw drivers
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Lint free clot

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  1. 1

    Check the power cable for any problems that it might have. Make sure there are no cuts or nicks in the cable and that it is securely plugged into the wall socket and properly connected to the laptop. This could be the reason why your laptop won't charge or turn on any longer. Tape cuts or nicks with electrical tape to prevent electrical shorts.

  2. 2

    Press the start button and look carefully at the led lights on the front. If none of the led lights turn on, try changing your power cord, or test your current power cord with a voltage meter. Insert the voltage meter pins in the plug that connects to the computer and take a digital reading. Check this reading against the voltage, amps and ohms that the cable should have. This will be on the label of the power cord. If you replace the cord and the Dell still does not power on, then the problem is the motherboard and you should either replace the DC jack or the entire motherboard.

  3. 3

    Check your video card and monitor, if the Dell Inspiron led lights turn on. Listen to the computer for beeping noises that may indicate a bad video card. Connect an external display to the video port on the laptop if you don't hear beeping noises. This is an indication that it is a screen, or backlight problem. If you have video with an external monitor, disconnect the external monitor and cup your hands and look as close as you can at the laptop monitor. You want to detect some light from the screen. If there is a dim light, you probably only need to change the backlight to restore video.

  4. 4

    Restart your computer and listen to the machine. Listen for seven recurring short beeps as the computer starts. This indicates a RAM problem. If this is the case, remove the power cord and the battery from the laptop. Remove the RAM cover screw from the underside of the laptop. Push the slot levers slightly outward so the RAM pops out at a 45-degree angle. Wipe the RAM with a clean cloth dipped in alcohol. Try to move RAM memory to another slot. If it still doesn't work, you need to replace the RAM with another module.

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