Author Topic: Dell Precision M4600 doesn't start properly  (Read 1653 times)

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Offline SaabFAN

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Dell Precision M4600 doesn't start properly
« on: November 24, 2015, 11:37:34 am »

My Dell Laptop is seriously acting up at the moment.
I have already asked in the Dell-Forums (no answer by the way) and reflashed the BIOS several times, as well as the BIOS of the graphics card, which now leads me to believe that this is not a Software-Related issue, but something caused by a hardware-fault.

The symptoms are the following:
When the Laptop starts or reboots, it shows the Dell-Logo and when it should start to load the operating Systeme from the SSD it just freezes (after the HDD-LED flashes for a short moment). To get the computer to boot properly, I have to remove the battery and the AC-Adaptor and try again. It often takes 3 or even 4 attempts before Windows starts.
Once the computer has started into Windows or the integrated Diagnostics-Software, there are no problems. Even programs like the Furmark and Prime95 (programs that are designed to utilize the Hardware at 100% capacity to find faults) cannot produce any errors.
Another quirk the laptop has developed is that it won't boot at all if started just with the battery.
Also if I remove the BIOS-Battery, the Laptop requires up to a minute before it reacts to pressing the Power-Button.

I don't know if it is the root-cause, but I suspect that all of this is somehow related to me dropping my backpack with the laptop inside it roughly 2 weeks before the problems started.
Interesting in this context: The problem is not temperature related. It doesn't matter if the laptop is cold or warm.

Has anyone had similar problems with a Dell-Notebook, or suggestions where on the Mainboard I should check?

Offline Srbel

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Re: Dell Precision M4600 doesn't start properly
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2015, 11:58:35 am »
Cracked solder joint from the fall, somewhere?

Online MarkL

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Re: Dell Precision M4600 doesn't start properly
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2015, 08:18:05 pm »
I have a couple of Dell M4400, and I've noticed that if the BIOS thinks the memory configuration has changed, including if it lost the memory configuration because of a dead battery, it will sit there with the progress bar at the bottom of the Dell Logo imperceptibly moving.  So slow that I thought the machine was dead.  Eventually it would boot after several minutes.

I suspect it's performing a full memory test, but I don't really know.

If you can get to your BIOS setup menu right away then it's not the above problem.

Offline SaabFAN

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Re: Dell Precision M4600 doesn't start properly
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2015, 09:46:26 pm »
I have changed the BIOS-Battery btw. and I completely disassembled the laptop. No change in behavior.

Measuring voltages showed a dip from 12.3 to 10.8V for a short moment when powering on, then the voltages went back up to 12.5V.

I cannot get into the BIOS and I also have turned it on a few days ago to see if it had booted to Windows when I came back from work. It was still sitting at the BIOS-Screen.
It either starts, or is just freezes once the status-bar is completely fillen. Sometimes the Dell-Logo screen even partially vanishes (it sweeps from Logo to black-screen from the top to the bottom and then freezes, which results in only parts of the Logo being shown).

Could this be the result of the SATA-Controller failing? I remember that there was a problem with early versions of Sandy Bridge Chipsets that caused the SATA-Controller to degrade over time.

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