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  #1  
Old February 2nd, 2008, 12:07 AM
brandoc brandoc is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3
Laptop won't boot unless I press the bottom really hard

Hi all,

This is a really strange problem - maybe some genius can put together the clues and figure out exactly what's happened. First of all, here are the specs:

Dell Inspiron 2600 Notebook
Celeron Processor
256MB RAM (I KNOW!)
OS: Windows XP Home


More detailed specs here: http://support.dell.com/support/edoc...cs.htm#1119395



This is a five-year-old work laptop which I'd never used before this weekend, so unfortunately I have no idea what its history is. However, all of yesterday and most of today, it was working great. Then I removed the battery and the RAM to see what kind of RAM it was (there isn't much, and I thought maybe I'd get some more). Then I put the RAM and battery back and tried to start it up again, but it wouldn't even begin to boot up (no lights, sound, anything). I took the RAM back out and it booted up fine (there is more RAM built in to the laptop farther in). I thought maybe I hadn't seated the RAM right before, so I put it back in and pressed it in a little harder. Again, wouldn't boot. Took the RAM back out, now it wouldn't boot even without it. No booting no matter what.

Then I incidentally happened to push on part of the base and I heard a sound. I pushed harder, and lo, it started to boot up. But I had to push really, really, hard, and even then it only got to the first boot-up screen before it petered out. It's a very specific spot I have to press - I don't know what's under it, but I know it's basically right where the socket for the hard drive is, and where the socket for the battery is. This happens whether the RAM is in or not.

Only other clues I have are:

- normally all three front lights are out (battery/power, data, power on). When I squeeze hard I can get the batter/power light to go on, and then it stays on when I stop squeezing. If I then unplug the power cable, the light goes out, and doesn't go back on when I reconnect the power cable unless I squeeze.

- when it was working fine, the battery worked really well (it didn't need to be on mains power)

- when I push really hard and let go, it keeps whirring for a minute, like it's deciding, then shuts down


Anyone know what's going on? Is it anything I can fix without taking it to a technician? It's just so frustrating - I feel like if I had never taken that RAM out it would still be working fine. Thanks a million for any help anyone can offer.
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  #2  
Old February 2nd, 2008, 02:58 AM
zercsi zercsi is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
O/S: Windows XP Pro
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I can tell you what I had happen with my dell 2600, as it was doing the same thing as yours. There is a small socketed board that the processor is mounted to inside your laptop. Over time, heat from the processor damage the contacts. By pushing down on the bottom of the case I was able to boot up. But soon after I let go, the laptop would shut down. This may sound odd, but the way I fixed it was I open the case, placed a folded up piece of tin foil, folded until I got the right thickness, and I use tin foil because of the heat, and a piece of foil tape to hold it in place while I reassembled the case. The tin foil sits between the case and the processor board to hold pressure on it. The processor board is shielded, so there was no risk with the foil making contact with anything else. I put the laptop back together , and it is still working to this day. That was two years ago. I don't know if you are comfortable with opening your laptop, but I found it to be easy, and it went back together just as easy. I hope this helps
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  #3  
Old February 2nd, 2008, 04:05 AM
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oink oink is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2003
O/S: Windows XP Pro
Location: S. Fla, USA
Posts: 1,776
It's likely the button itself. I have taken the buttons apart and fixed them before, but it's iffy and a real pain. It wasn't really made to be taken apart and repair involved contact cleaner, a circuit tracing pen, eye strain and it was very tedious. On the ones I did the button was attached to (as in part of) a small circuit board. Just replacing them would have been easy. I would guess you could get the whole thing for $25 or so. Try ebay.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 11:44 PM
brandoc brandoc is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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Cheers, Zercsi!

Wow, I really found it hard to believe that putting a piece of tinfoil in my computer would fix it, but so far so good! Thanks so much for taking the time to help me out, Zercsi. Thanks you too, Oink.
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