2 In Progress Guides
These are some common tools used to work on this device. You might not need every tool for every procedure.
Common hardware faults ¶
This machine is known for multiple failing components that have a known failure pattern. Here are the more serious failures this systems suffers:
- dGPU (AMD 8790M)
These parts do fail, but not constantly:
- Power supply (130W) (On some of the older chargers, the sense line is known to fail. When this happens, the charger does not communicate with the computer correctly and charging may be blocked. A temporary workaround to use the charger until you can get a new charger is to drain the charger once in a while, which should get it going again until it happens again. Replace the charger as soon as you can once this starts to happen with a 0VJCH5 adapter. If a newer adapter is available, buy that instead.)
Some parts that fail but are somewhat accepted are:
- Hard drive (Mostly Seagate equipped systems)
- Battery (Usually due to wear and tear)
I believe the GPU problem this system has is related to the cooling in the system. Dell did not design the cooler for this machine very well, and it shows with how hot the system runs when in use. The heatsink design problem is amplified on machines equipped with the Core i7 48XXMQ processor, which is a large chunk of the systems available.
If your GPU fails, this is soldered to the motherboard. In order to repair a failed GPU properly, you will need a replacement motherboard to fix it. However, if you have GPU rework equipment and are confident in your ability to change the bare chip, you can potentially save some money here. However, I would only do this if you absolutely have to, because of the subpar cooling in the system. The chance of another failure seems to be abnormally high, if the constant GPU failure complaints are anything to go by.
Repasting the processor and installing a copper shim or a high conductivity thermal pad on the AMD GPU help, but be warned this is a band-aid fix. It's something you can do to help the machine cool the components, since there really isn't much you can do to keep the CPU and GPU temperatures under control.
If you are buying one of these systems used, it is recommended you try and get a service history, to make sure you are not buying a bad machine (or at least have some warning). If you can't get it this is fine, but tell the seller you'd like a small price break because of a unknown service history. I also suggest learning how to repair the system yourself so you do not have to rely on a shop when something breaks.
In a Windows environment, this machine has issues with properly hibernating. The fix to this is to reset the S2 hibernation mode, which will fix the problem until it comes back. Unfortunately, this is the only way to fix the problem as there is no BIOS release that cures the issue permanently to the best of my knowledge. If you see volmgr errors in Event Viewer, you are having this problem.
Power adapters ¶
Note: You can use stronger adapters then the computer came with. However, downgrading is not an option.
- 45W (Core i5 4300/4310M)
- 65W (Core i7 4600/4610M)
- 130W (Core i7 4800/4810MQ)
Background and Identification ¶
The Dell Latitude E6540 was introduced in 2013, making Dell one of the first companies to have a Haswell business laptop available for sale. This gave Dell an edge with Haswell.
This machine has shipped with many processor, video card and screen configurations. The best advice I can give you to determine the factory specs is to look up the service tag, which can be found on the bottom of the computer.
Locating the serial number ¶
The Service tag and Express service code is located on the bottom access panel under the primary air intake vent, and can also be read in the BIOS. To look in the BIOS, the best way to get into the BIOS is to press the F2 key. Once you are in the system BIOS, find System Information under General.