Trying to fix an older Dell Inspiron m5010 laptop; basic questions; error = 3 blacks and black screen
I know I'm going to sound very ignorant and what I'm doing is probably a bad idea but live and learn
A close friend of mine is having a problem with his mother-in-law's laptop. It's an older Dell Inspiron m5010. I'm not sure of the specs but it looks to be a few years old.
Apparently his child spilled water on the laptop, at least that is what his mother-in-law claims. He took it to Best Buy and was told it'd be cheaper to replace then fix (I'm sure that's actually correct based on what they quote for prices).
I told him I'd fool around with it and at the very least see if I could salvage the hard drive. He has money, and I'm sure I could find a comparable laptop for about $350, but I am curious if I can fix this.
I have a little experience playing with laptops but not much. Basically I've replaced hard drives, added RAM and small components like an internal bluetooth chip. I've dismantled older computers before for fun and am aware of how things connect (ribbons, plastic teeth, etc.) but do not know the correct terminology for these things nor can I easily tell what is what but I have a general idea.
To start, when you try and power the laptop on you get three beeps a pause and then three beeps again. This continues to infinity. The laptop tries to power on but the screen stays black.
According to dell three beeps means the following:
Quote :Beep codes can be used as diagnostic indicator.3 beeps indicates system board failure.
It may involve any of the following failure :
Chipset Error (North and South bridge error, DMA/IMR/Timer error)
Time-Of-Day Clock test failure
Gate A20 failure
Super I/O chip failure
Keyboard controller test failure
I tried this and it did not fix the issue.
Others have suggested washing the motherboard (what????) and/or wrapping the laptop in a towel and applying heat from a blowdryer.
The thought is, that Dell used defective paste on these motherboards, similar to the problems people had with the OG PlayStation 3 (Fat) consoles.
The setup of the internals on the Dell laptop is ass backwards. I had to remove the keyboard, and about two dozen screws to get far enough to even access the hard drive (unlike most models that have a trap door for easy access).
Furthermore to access the battery on the mother board I had to remove the motherboard because it's on the reverse side.
This means about a half dozen plugs and ribbon cables had to come undone but thankfully I took before/after pictures and was able to match everything (accept for one piece that was left over that I accidentally forgot to put back, but I found it's home eventually (I think it was the internal bluetooth dongle).
I had a tough time getting the motherboard battery out and a small piece of plastic broke that I'm guessing helped keep it in place since I could not get it to look back in. I used a thin piece of electrical tape and I hope that solved the problem.
Anyways, I put everything back and unfortunately had the same error.
[I wanted to double check and see if the hard drive was salvageable but could find my SATA to USB cable, I think it's at work so I'll try later].
Can anyone think of any other things to try? Could the heat work? Or as someone else had mentioned would "washing" the motherboard gently do any good?
P.S. this is more of me just curious if I can fix a problem versus NEEDING to fix a problem.
Thanks for any suggestions and/or criticism! It's always helpful!