I tried to occasionally boot since then many times. Initially the logo appeared and it would just freeze there like the first time. Then later it would start blank and after some delay the logo would appear. Then one day I somehow managed to make it into BIOS and ran diagnostics which came back fine. Then I did something that might be really stupid, I reset the BIOS. And right after that it pretty much started on its last gasps, with a logo only like 1 out of a dozen times.
I have tried a bunch of things because my experience with Dells in the past is they are very power sensitive. So you might disconnect something on a USB port and then like magic it starts, but nothing. I tried disconnecting the DVD and hard drive and fingerprint reader. Also tried disconnecting CMOS battery but no change.
I'm trying to make this a DIY if possible because I don't want to spend any money on it. I've read somewhere that in the Dell Laptops there is a chip that stores hardware information and it can be corrupted, and resetting the BIOS does not wipe that chip. Does anyone have any idea what chip I'm talking about or the technical specifications for this laptop? I found the service manual but it doesn't have any information about that.
Any ideas? I have a multimeter, if that helps. Thanks