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Dell XPS 14 L401x Troubleshooting

This troubleshooting page will help you diagnose problems with the Dell XPS 14 L401x. Laptop released in the summer of 2011.

Laptop Fails to Charge ¶ 

The laptop won't charge, or won't hold a charge.

Faulty Power Adapter ¶ 

Ensure that your laptop charger is not broken or damaged, that it is fully plugged in, and the charge light on the adapter is on. In the case that the adapter is plugged in but the charge light is not on, the adapter may be faulty or the outlet you are using may be faulty. First, check if the outlet is faulty by plugging in the power adapter to another outlet. If that does not fix the issue, you may want to purchase a new power adapter.

Faulty Battery ¶ 

If the laptop only powers on when the adapter is plugged in, regardless of how long you have charged it for, then the battery may be faulty. Replace the battery with this guide: [GUIDE LINK]

Laptop Fails to Boot ¶ 

When turning on, laptop does not load operating system and fails to boot .

Hardware Interference ¶ 

Hardware may be interfering with Windows' normal boot process. Unplug all devices from your laptop and remove all CDs or DVDs from optical drives. Then unplug the laptop power cable, remove the battery (see this replacement guide: <-----line to guide here) and hold the power button down for 15 seconds. Afterwards, return the battery to the laptop, plug the laptop power cable back in (if desired), and restart.

Computer Does Not Finish POST ¶ 

The computer may have not given control to the operating system and does not complete POST (Power On Self Test). To test this, power on the laptop and look at the Dell logo with a bar on the bottom. If this bar does not fill up completely and disappear, then the laptop has not successfully completed the initial power-up.

RAM Failure ¶ 

Dell's "Beep Code" alerts users of RAM Failure on startup. A beep code in groups of 2 indicates either a memory or memory slot failure. Shut off the laptop and try re-seating the RAM memory sticks into their sockets, then turn the computer on again. If problem has not been fixed, new RAM may be needed. A beep code of 4 indicates memory failure, and new RAM is certainly needed. See this guide on how to replace RAM memory: [GUIDE LINK]

Damaged System Files ¶ 

Damaged or missing system files may prevent Windows from starting correctly. Launch startup repair to scan laptop for problems and fix them accordingly. See this guide to learn how to launch startup repair:

You may also launch system restore to revert your laptop to a previous state and potentially correct any issues. To launch system restore:

1. Restart laptop

2. Tap F8 during startup until Windows Advanced Options menu appears

3. Press down arrow until Repair Your Computer is highlighted and then press Enter

4. In System Recovery Options window, select language and then click Next

5. Log in as a user with administrative rights and click OK

6. Click System Restore from Choose a recovery tool menu

7. Click Next in System Restore window

8. To show a complete listing of restore points, click Show restore points older than 5 days

9. Click to select a restore point

10.Click Next and then click Finish

11. Click Yes in confirmation Window

12. Click Restart after System Restore successfully completes

(if you encounter any errors during restore process, follow the on-screen instructions to correct it.)

Screen Display is Black or Unresponsive ¶ 

The screen on your Dell XPS 14 L401x does not show anything, even though the laptop is turned on.

Laptop is in Projector Mode ¶ 

The laptop may think it's display is currently connected to a projector. Hold down the "Fn" and press "F2" to toggle projector mode. If that does not solve the issue, hold down the "Windows" key and press "P" to again toggle projector mode.

Cable to Display May Be Damaged ¶ 

The cable connected to the Laptop's LCD may be damaged from fraying or it may have been disconnected during movement. If this is the case, the laptop would have to be disassembled in order to access the LCD connecting cable and reattach it to its proper socket.

Laptop Shuts off Randomly ¶ 

The laptop shuts off during use even when the battery still has a charge.

Overheating ¶ 

Air may not circulate within the laptop during prolonged use. The Laptop will shut off before the CPU reaches critical temperature. To combat this issue, ensure that the cooling fan and the heatsink assembly are kept clean. For more information about what to do when your laptop overheats, check further along in this troubleshooting guide.

Battery Issue ¶ 

After long usage of your laptop, possible heat damage, or excessive charging, the laptop may shut off randomly due to a battery issues. The battery may no longer be holding a charge, or the power adapter you are using to charge the battery may not be supplying the correct voltage. Try changing power adapters, and if this does not fix the problem, you may need to replace your battery.

Hardware Failure ¶ 

A hardware component may have failed. If you have recently added any new hardware, and you are having this problem you should check if you installed the new components correctly. If this does not fix this issue, you should check the following components of your laptop for issues: RAM, CPU, your motherboard, and video card. One or more of these components may need to be replaced. Check this guide for assistance replacing your RAM: [GUIDE LINK]

Computer Virus ¶ 

Some computer viruses will shut off your computer and then turn it back on. They are often activated by a certain thing you do on your computer, such as a keystroke or opening a particular program. To prevent a virus from attacking your computer, install an anti-virus program and ensure that your virus scanner definitions are up to date.

Laptop Overheats ¶ 

The laptop becomes extremely warm to the touch and the fan is running at maximum speed

Blocked Ventilation Ports ¶ 

The exhaust ports for the laptop's cooling fan may be blocked. Use laptop on a solid, flat surface with adequate airflow around the laptop during use. Avoid using the laptop on surfaces covered in fabric, such as a bed, or a tablecloth covered table. The blockage may be within the heatsink assembly itself, in which it will need to be cleaned carefully to remove debris and dust that may have accumulated over time.

Laptop Running Too Many Programs ¶ 

You may have too many programs open on your laptop during use, causing your computer to strain and work extra hard to keep everything running. Manage your open application carefully and close any that are no longer in use to reduce stress on components during use.

Inadequate or Deteriorated Thermal Paste on CPU ¶ 

If you have recently replaced the CPU on your laptop, ensure that the proper amount of thermal paste was applied between the CPU and the heat-sink assembly. If your laptop is old, the existing thermal paste may have started to deteriorate over time, preventing the CPU from being properly cooled.

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