Student In Progress
This wiki is being worked on by hardworking students.
Dell Inspiron 15-3543 Troubleshooting
Released in December 2014. Identified by part number i3543
- Touchpad not working
- CD's and DVD's Are Not Being Read or Played Properly
- Computer Freezing
- Error Messages
- Noise Coming From Device
- Computer Opening or Running Slowly and Crashing
- Blue Screen of Death
- Keyboard Key/s Not Working
Touchpad not working ¶
Your touchpad is unresponsive or sticking down.
Dirty Touchpad ¶
Make sure your hands and touchpad are clean. To clean your touchpad, dampen a clean cloth with water, use light pressure to gently rub the dirt off, and then wipe dry with a clean cloth. You can also use a few drops of rubbing alcohol on the edge of a thin card and put it between the edges of the touchpad to clean out anything that could be stuck in there.
Drivers or Windows out of Date ¶
If you are able to use a previously installed bluetooth or USB mouse, make sure windows is up to date. To do this, click the "Start" button and type "update" in the search box. In the results list click "Windows Update". If your computer is due for any updates, click install updates. If that doesn't help, check that your drivers are up to date. To do so, click here. Watch the second video under "Informational Videos" showing you how to use Dell Drivers & Downloads.
Computer Needs Restarting ¶
If nothing is helping, restart your computer. If you have any programs open, save them using a USB or Bluetooth mouse that is already installed. Use a previously installed mouse to shut down your computer. If no other mouse is installed, hold the power button for 15 seconds, or until the computer turns off. If any data isn't saved it will be lost. Before turning your computer back on, ensure everything is unplugged, except a power cord. Retest the touchpad once the computer turns all the way on—while it is turning on, the touchpad goes through a calibration process and should not be touched before the computer turns all the way on. If external devices were attached to the computer, reinsert them one at a time and test the touchpad after each one to make sure it wasn't an external device causing your touchpad not to work.
Faulty Touchpad ¶
Your touchpad may need to be replaced. Follow [(link to guide) | this guide] on how to replace your touchpad.
CD's and DVD's Are Not Being Read or Played Properly ¶
Your Inspiron 15-3543 will not read or properly play any CD's or DVD's or causes your computer to overheat.
Scratches or Dirt on Disks ¶
Check if there are any deep and wide scratches, dirt, or any other foreign material on either sides of the CD or DVD's you are trying to play. Unfortunately, if scratches are deep enough to damage the lasers ability to read the disk data, it can not be read or repaired. If there is dirt on the CD or DVD, apply a teaspoon to a teaspoon and a half of rubbing alcohol on the disk and use a soft, microfiber cloth to gently wipe the rubbing alcohol on the disk using outward swipes from the middle of the disk to the outside. Only wipe the disk a few times and allow any excess rubbing alcohol to dry/evaporate.
Heat-Sink Needs Cleaning ¶
Dust can get trapped under your disk drive's heat sink. The heat sink has the job of keeping the disk drive cool. If excess dust is compressed in the heat sink, it may cause the heat sink to stop working as properly as it should. This would cause your disk drive to overheat, which could cause your computer to overheat. [(link to guide) | This guide] shows you how to change a disk drive, but also will show you how to access your heatsink to to blow the dust out with compressed air.
Broken/Defective Disk Drive ¶
If your device still isn't reading CD's or DVD's properly and/or causes your computer to overheat, your disk drive may be broken and needs replacing. Follow [(link to guide) | this guide] for instructions on how to do so.
Computer Freezing ¶
Your computer keeps freezing—or the computer system is unresponsive.
Make sure your device is not overheating. There are many ways you can prevent this. First, make sure your laptop is sitting on a hard, non-cloth surface. If it is sitting on your lap, pillow, blanket, or any other type of cloth, this will block your fan which will cause it to overheat. Second, use your device somewhere that is room temperature. It is not recommended that your device be used in temperatures exceeding 35°C or 95°F. Third, used compressed are to blow out dust from the vents and fans of your computer. Lastly, you can download an additional program to monitor the temperature of your laptop to determine if it is overheating and what is causing it to overheat.
Drivers or Windows Out of Date ¶
Refer to the first section titled "Touchpad Not Working" for help on updating drivers and windows.
Computer Virus ¶
Your system could be infected by a virus. Make sure your antivirus software is up-to-date. If your anti-virus software is up to date, perform an antivirus scan on your computer with your software.
Third-Party Software Issues ¶
If you have third-party software installed, ensure that they are up to date.
Hard Drive Failure ¶
If your computer is still freezing, your hard-drive might have failed. Follow [(link to guide) | this guide] for instructions on how to replace your hard drive.
Error Messages ¶
You are receiving error messages on your laptop, such as "read or write failure," "operating system not found," "drive not formatted," or "primary drive or device not found".
Various Part Errors ¶
You first need to identify what kind of error message you are receiving. To determine the type of error you are receiving, follow this link.
Noise Coming From Device ¶
You are hearing a grinding, screeching, or humming sound coming from your device.
Dust in Fans and Vents ¶
Try cleaning out your fans and vents using compressed air to blow the dust off and out of the vents and fan.
Hard Drive or RAM Issues ¶
Run a Dell Hard Drive Diagnostics Test to determine if the issue is with your hard drive. If the issue is a failed/failing hard drive, follow [(link to guide) | this link] to replace it. If the issue is a lack of RAM or failing/failed RAM, follow [(link to guide) | this link] to replace it.
Computer Opening or Running Slowly and Crashing ¶
Your applications and/or computer is crashing or running slowly.
Full Disk Space ¶
Delete temporary and unimportant files. To do this, click the "Start" button and type "disk cleanup" in the search box and click "desk cleanup" in the results. You may be prompted to select which drive you want to clean—is so, this drive is usually the C: drive. Select the C: drive, if prompted, and your computer will scan for files that you may not want/ need. Select the files you want to delete and click ok.
Computer Virus ¶
Your system could be infected by a virus that is making it run slowly. Make sure your antivirus software is up-to-date. If your anti-virus software is up to date, perform an antivirus scan on your computer with your software.
RAM issues ¶
If your computer is still running or booting slowly, applications are running or booting slowly, or your computer keeps re-booting on its own, you may have to replace or upgrade your RAM. Follow [(guide link) | this link] on how to access and replace your RAM.
Blue Screen of Death ¶
Your computer is displaying a blue screen.
Memory/RAM problems ¶
Check your device to see if it has and memory/RAM problems, click "Start," type "mdsched.exe" in the search box, and press enter. Select the option to restart your computer and run the tool immediately (make sure any files on your computer are saved). Your computer will restart and you'll see the test results when you log in. Make sure you have a minimum of 10% of your disk space free. If you don't have 10% free, refer to the section earlier on this page titled "Full Disk Space". If you need to upgrade or replace your RAM, follow [(link to guide) | this link] showing you how to access and replace your RAM.
Keyboard Key/s Not Working ¶
One or more of your keyboard keys are not working.
Dirty key/s ¶
If your keys are stuck down you should clean your keyboard. Begin by turning your laptop off. Use compressed are to try to blow any crumbs out from your keyboard. Next, pop the key off by pulling up on one side of the key with something flat. Carefully wipe the inside of the button and key with a Q-tip. If there is any dust/ debris you are unable to get out with the Q-tip, use tweezers. After cleaning dust and debris, use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to clean off the key. Do not soak the Q-tip in rubbing alcohol to the point that rubbing alcohol drips off. Let the keyboard fully dry and insert the key back on.
Faulty Keyboard ¶
If keys still are not working, or if the entire keyboard isn't working, it may need to be replaced. Follow [(guide link) | this link] for instructions on how to access and replace your keyboard.