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I have a 7 year old Dell Inspiron 600m laptop that has started giving me headaches in the last two days. I've searched around for solutions, but can't seem to find any.

When I try to turn it on, sometimes it POSTs, other times just the power light and HDD light turn on for a couple of seconds, then it turns off.

When I do get it booted up, it is only a matter of a few minutes until the mouse and keyboard stop responding. I can plug in a USB mouse, but that too stops responding shortly. If I wait long enough, sometimes the mouse comes back briefly, other times it's just frozen. Sometimes I push the power button and it hibernates, other times nothing - I have to remove the battery to turn it off.

I have checked it with two hard drives - my old Windows XP installation (from the Dell laptop) and my new (less than a month old HDD) Windows 7 installation and I still get the problem.

I have run memtest with no errors (although it does freeze during the test after an hour or so of running). I have swapped in memory modules (I have 1.5 GB total RAM).

As I have said, I've checked the hard drives. I've blown it clean with compressed air. It doesn't seem to be overheating since it's reported 44°C then freezes.

I have the most recent BIOS update which has been running fine since December 09.

I am now out of possible solutions and before I run a chop shop on it to get what ever I can on eBay I was wondering if anyone has any ideas? A new laptop is not exactly in the budget so I'm hoping to bring this one to life again.
 

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This could be one of two possible issues... It could in fact be the power supply intermittantly causing this or it could be the mobo if I had more on what was happening with this system I could help diagnose this issue as I am acctually a part of an outsourcer for Dell if you could reply to this post and let me know what actions are happening on the power light if it is solid amber/green or blinking amber/green as well as the HDD light is on or off that would be a great spot to start
 

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When it turns on, then off right away the power light and HDD light are solid green for a second or two, then the computer powers off. The three LEDs for caps, scroll and number lock are on at the same time too.

I have also received a message once in a while that says something about an incompatible device in the D-Bay. (see this picture: http://picasaweb.google.ca/lh/photo/tEBYTTJirW7VZbHr4eYG9A?feat=directlink) This happens after it boots and I am in the OS for a few minutes.

The battery is a "clone" that is only a few months old and worked perfectly up to now. The AC adapter is fairly new as well. The DC power jack was replaced on the mobo only a few months ago as well.

Thanks for the reply.
 

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If you could boot it up and tap f12 and enter into the diagnostics and run those then if you have A) the diagnostics after the first set option or even better if you have the system drivers and resorce cd and boot into the cd and run the 32 bit diagnostics on the system board as I think it might have to do with something on the system board and hopefully it comes up with an error as I do not think that has anything to do with memory, hard drive..... on another note it could also be the docking station that you have so if you could disconnect all accessories except needed items such as (keyboard, mouse, power, monitor) unless you are just using the system ones
 

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Thing is I don't have a docking station. I tried running diagnostics and nothing came up. It looks like my next step is to burn a CD of the diagnostics - I used the built in diagnostics (don't know where my original is) and try that.

Thanks again for the help.
 

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Tried the diagnostics. Suprisingly it got though the memory tests without freezing. It froze during the comprehensive test at various points.

The only other thing I have is that if I press the F12 key right after turning it on (when the power and HDD LED's are green), the battery light turns red, then the system "powers on" with a blank screen. The DVD drive spins up, the fans spin up, the LCD stays black (off) and the only way to turn the system off at that point is to remove the battery and AC adapter. I've tried this with AC only, battery only, combination of the two and get the same result.

This is the absolute last ditch effort with this thing. I'm getting ready to pull the sheet over it and declare it dead unless this tells you something about what is wrong. If I hadn't spent money on it lately, including 3 week old RAM, I'd have given up already.
 

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markf

next step is the dell will just blink the 3 leds at you when you hit power then do nothing.

my 600 behaved just as yours till it got worse. it now sits in a box waiting for me to do something...shame as it was a decent machine.

anyway, from what I read it's possible some caps on the m/b died or are dying. makes sense from my electronic knowledge.

let me know if you turn up a fix. thanks
 
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