Student-Contributed Wiki

Student-Contributed Wiki

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Computer Will Not Turn On ¶ 

The computer will not turn on.

Bad Power Cable ¶ 

There is a possibility that you have a bad power cable. To make sure your power cable is properly working plug your computer into a wall outlet using the power cable. After you have plugged in your computer, the battery light on the right-hand side of your computer should be on or flashing. If the battery is not being charged and the computer will still not turn on, it is possible that you have a broken power cable. In this case, you need to purchase a new power cable.

Bad Battery ¶ 

If the laptop will turn on and run while plugged in, but not on battery power alone, the battery either needs to be charged or is broken. Leave the computer off but plugged in to charge the battery. If the computer will still not work on battery power alone, then the battery is broken. If the battery is broken you need to purchase a new battery. After you have purchased a new battery please follow our Battery Installation Guide to install it.

LCD Display Shows No Image or a Bad Image ¶ 

The computer turns on, but the screen is blank or does not work properly. It may show a jumbled image, or only part of an image with part of the screen blank.

Bad Display Settings ¶ 

Windows display settings may be set wrong. To fix this, start your computer in safe mode (see user's manual) and adjust the display settings.

Loose or Broken Internal Cable ¶ 

The internal cable connecting your computer to the LCD screen might be broken or damaged. If the cable is properly connected but broken, you need to replace the whole screen to resolve this problem. Instructions on getting to the cable and/or replacing the LCD screen can be found in our LCD Display Installation Guide.

Broken LCD Display ¶ 

The LCD display itself may be broken. In order to install a new LCD Screen on your laptop please follow our LCD Display Installation Guide.

DVD Drive or CD Drive is Not Properly Reading Discs ¶ 

The laptop can not read information from CDs or DVDs, or does not recognize that a disc has been inserted.

DVD/CD Drive Driver Not Installed Correctly ¶ 

If your DVD/CD drive is not working, it might be caused by a poor installation of the driver. You will need to find the right driver installation package. To do so, go to www.dell.com, and click on technical support at the top of the page. Under "Support for home users", click on start here. Under "Driver's and Downloads", click on "Find Drivers, BIOS, and other updates". You will then be prompted to enter your service tag, which is on the back side of your computer. Locate the DVD driver, and install it.

Broken DVD Drive ¶ 

If you have successfully installed the driver, and the problem continues, your DVD drive may be broken. To replace it, refer to our DVD Drive Installation Guide.

The Computer Is Slow ¶ 

The computer slows down. Programs take a long time to load and may become unresponsive.

Too Many Programs Are Running ¶ 

Running too many programs or programs that require large amounts of memory can slow down the computer. Shut down programs you do not need, and disable programs from starting when windows starts. You can also uninstall programs you never use.

Tip: You can see how much of your RAM and CPU are in use by opening the Windows Task Manager (Press and hold Ctrl + Shift + Esc) and clicking on the "Performance" tab.

Computer Virus ¶ 

You may have a computer virus. Viruses are known to run in the background and slow down a computer. There are several free anti-virus programs like Microsoft Security Essentials, Avast, and Malwarebytes that can help find and remove a computer virus.

Not Enough RAM ¶ 

Installing more RAM for your laptop will speed up your system. The Dell Inspiron 1521 comes with 1 GB of RAM, but can use up to 4 GB (2 sticks x 2 GB each) If you would like to add RAM to your computer please follow our RAM Installation Guide.

Computer Will Not Boot from the Hard Drive ¶ 

The laptop turns on, but Windows will not start. You may see a black screen with some text, a Windows or Dell logo, or nothing at all on the screen.

Broken Operating System ¶ 

If you computer is not booting from the hard drive, it might have a broken operating system. The operating system, Windows, can be re-installed from the Windows DVD that came with the laptop, or the computer may have a recovery partition that can be used to re-install Windows without a disc.

Caution: Re-installing an operating system will typically delete everything that has been saved on the computer. If possible, back up your files before re-installing Windows.

Broken Hard Drive ¶ 

If your computer is still failing to boot from the hard drive, you might need to replace the hard drive. Please refer to our Hard Drive Installation Guide if you want to install a new hard drive.

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