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  Inspiron 5150 - Power cuttoff, shutdown, crash when lapto...*FIX IT** for FREE 
 
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MaviceUK May 14, 2005, 09:58am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Hi

There alot of threads on this and MANY people with this problem on their 5150.

In short, there is a design flaw between the motherboard and case. The mini pci cover underneath (below DVD/CD drive) and labelled 'C' has plastic tags in the centre and any pressure applied to the underside of the case - for example when picking up the laptop by the front left corner - causes this cover tab to press on a motherboard IC (chip) and eventually fracture the solder connections or maybe damage the chip itself.

See this site for the hundreds of people with the same problem. Much of my info came from here.

http://delltalk.us.dell.com/supportforums/board/message?board....mp;page=42

IF YOU HAVE A 5150 - FOLLOW THESE GUIDLINES

Within Warranty Period

1. Remove the cover labelled 'C' and using a sharp Knife, remove the centre plastic tabs flush to cover. This will stop them pressing onto the motherboard chips and damaging your MB!!

2. If it's too late and you have the power cutout problem already then send it back under warranty, get your MB replaced and cut off the cover C tabs to prevent it happening again


Outside warranty period

- you probably have a useless lump of 5150 plastic that wont start or when it does the slightest knock or pressure to the front left side of case causes it to crash and screen go blank.

1. If your 5150 is working OK then just remove the tabs on cover C as above - presto, you should not get the problem.

2. If you already have the power cut problem when you move it, or it has got worse and now wont start, see below - YOU CAN PROBABLY REPAIR YOURSELF AND DO NOT NEED A NEW 400 MOTHERBOARD


FIXING THE PROBLEM - you have nothing to loose if it's not working and outside warranty

a) Remove power and battery, harddisk and DVD drive, mem chips etc., make sure you are well earthed to prevent static.
b) Remove all screws from the base and remove screen - start by unclipping blue power button strip with screen flat open and removing keyboard, unplug screen cable, take off screen, etc etc. You will need to undo the nuts on the vga port as well as all visible screws, plus 1 screw under keyboard.
c) when case open, remove all the components and metal bits, graphics card etc. Just keep pots for all the screws so you know where they go back. - It really is not as daunting as it all sounds, you just need a clear table and a bit of care with the parts.

d) now, you have full access to the motherboad. Under the mini pci bus connector, which is positioned under the case cover labelled 'C' there is a plack plasic sheet stuck to the motherboard to insulate. Peel this back to reveal the components. See the photo (thread sheet 42) on the link above which shows this clearly.

e) the IC (chip) which will have been dislodged by the pressure is an LVC14A with 14 pins, surface mount. It has really small pins and you prob wont see any damage (but you might see the marks on the black plastic sheet where the cover was pressing on it. - see the photo in link above.

f) With a very fine electronic soldering iron (with a pin point tip) touch each of the IC legs for 1 second to remelt the connections that have likely fractured by the pressure. It is not that difficult - just needs a very steady hand. do not add any solder, you may burn the board or join two pins together - they are v. fine !!!

g) Put it back together - AND IT WILL BE FIXED

h) ENJOY YOU NEW LAPTOP and the fact you just saved 400 - Remember to remove the C cover tabs to stop it happening again.


hope this helps someone like it helped me - cheers to NILLION on the thread above as his picture proved the clincher for me finding my problem and subsequently fixing it.

Good luck

PS - this was written on my 5150 and it didnt crash once - even though I am leaning on it whilst typing !!



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varun rao May 16, 2005, 01:23pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Inspiron 5150 - Power cuttoff, shutdown, crash when laptop moved or pressed - **FIX IT** for FRE
dayamn.. these Dell folks really mess up now dont they.

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Brendan Falvey May 16, 2005, 06:47pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Inspiron 5150 - Power cuttoff, shutdown, crash when laptop moved or pressed - **FIX IT** for FRE
At least they have posted a fix they could say all too hard go buy another. how many have been binned?

JP Venter May 19, 2005, 07:29am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Inspiron 5150 - Power cuttoff, shutdown, crash when laptop moved or pressed - **FIX IT** for FRE
For all who haven't yet seen this board, check it out...

http://p068.ezboard.com/fi5150usersfrm2

My Dell Inspiron 5150 doing the same thing. Thanks for the DIY repair advice, will try it out :)

Pathik Thakkar May 28, 2005, 07:44pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Inspiron 5150 - Power cuttoff, shutdown, crash when laptop moved or pressed - **FIX IT** for FRE
Hi guys,

I am also a victim of this Dell Hell. I bought mine around Dec 03. Now I am out of warranty and have no where to look for help on this.

My Inspiron 5150 machine is not recognizing the AC power adapter. I have tried to re-soldier the IC under the cover "C". I am not able to get it to work that way.

However, when I try to move the power cable after inserting it in the socket in the back of the laptop, for a fraction of a second the power seems to work. Any guess? would you guys suggest me to try with another adapter?

Any reply is greatly appreciated...

Pathik

David Vorobeychik Jun 07, 2005, 07:50pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Inspiron 5150 - Power cuttoff, shutdown, crash when laptop moved or pressed - **FIX IT** for FRE
I'm going to try and rework this LVC14A part. Does anyone know exactly the package/case or manufacturer number of this? I found a website that gives me a bunch of different packages for this LVC14A part.
http://www.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Criteria?Ref...t=31785715

Thanks for the help

Brad Lipovsky Jun 09, 2005, 03:18am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Inspiron 5150 - Power cuttoff, shutdown, crash when laptop moved or pressed - **FIX IT** for FRE
**Jumps hapily around the room proclaiming "It worked! It worked"**

It dosen't have to be as involved as taking your 5150 all the way apart. Upon taking mine entirely apart, I realzied that the effected IC can be reached by removing the C-Panel.

-Brad

Franki Hauptle Jun 10, 2005, 07:47am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Inspiron 5150 - Power cuttoff, shutdown. Simple 10 minute instructions to repair.
Brad is correct, it is not necessary to pull the laptop appart.

Here are the steps I took which worked flawlessly and took me less then 10 minutes from beginning to end.

1. Removed the C panel from under the right hand side of the laptop. (remove your battery and unplug the laptop first)
2. Snap off the little tab on the inside of the cover that would be towards he middle of the latop if the panel was installed.
3. Remove the wireless card if there is one.
4. Peel back the black plastic sticker that goes under where the wireless card would be so it is away from the chip that is half exposed in the middle of the area exposed by the removal of the C panel, under the long edge closest to the center of the laptop. That chip will probably have the writing half worn off. It is the only chip under where the Tab mentioned in step 2 is located so you can't miss it.
5. Find a magnifying glass and a fine tipped soldering iron and a bright light.
6. Run the soldering iron slowly down the length of each of the legs on the chip pressing down gently, being careful not to heat anything else. To do this you must be careful because as I mentioned previously the chip is only half exposed by the removal of the C panel and you will have to angle the soldering iron to get to all the pins. (One end of the chip pokes out from under the edge the case, the other end is under the plastic case but there is enough gap to get the soldering iron in there without trouble.)
7. I used sticky tape to stick a sewing needle to a toothpick and i then used the needle end to make sure I hadn't got any solder between any of the pins. (probably wasn't necessary but I'm paranoid)
8. Reinstall the black sticker insulator, the wireless card (if any) and the C panel, put the battery back in and turn over the laptop, power it up and if you didn't mess anything up it should fire up without problem.

As I said, it took 10 minutes and worked perfectly, I used to have to take multiple attempts at starting the laptop while pressing on the front to get it to boot and any bump would shut it down. Now I can actually rest my palms on the palmrest and pick the laptop up without it shutting down.

This is the second laptop I've had with a design flaw, the first was a Toshiba Satellite Pro 6000 and it has a similiar problem that is much harder to fix as the pins are about 1/4 of the size and in the middle of the laptop.
http://www.berick.com/toshibapower.html is where you can find instructions to fix that problem if you have the nasty Toshiba but you'll need a finer soldering iron and much stronger magnification.

I'm sick of paying such big bucks for laptops that can't even last for 2 years due to flaws like this, I've had 3 modern laptops and all three of them died from problems like this not long after their warranties ran out.

I was so annoyed that I did up an article on the subject which you can find here:
http://htmlfixit.com/?p=665

I'd appreciate it if any of you guys that have had any similiar problems would post comments explaining them on that article because it might one day be used as part of a petition towards the manufacturers (or who knows maybe even a class suit.) and some comments in a similiar vein will give it some "street cred". :-)

Hope thats of some use to people.
Remember: YOU DO NOT NEED TO STRIP THE 5150 TO FIX THIS PROBLEM.

rgds

Franki
http://htmlfixit.com

Ken LaDere Jun 15, 2005, 04:46pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Inspiron 5150 - Power cuttoff, shutdown, crash when laptop moved or pressed - **FIX IT** for FRE
ISO-TIP 60 and a microtip are excellent for doing these repairs..Just a sugggestion for the DIY'ers...

Ken LaDere
http://www.ikenfixit.com
231.539.8779
231.758.0529 (message)
ken@ikenfixit.com
MaviceUK Jun 15, 2005, 05:45pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Inspiron 5150 - Power cuttoff, shutdown, crash when laptop moved or pressed - **FIX IT** for FRE
I Disagree about stripping the laptop

it's fiddly enough when you have clear access to the chip

I Would still recommend stripping down to the MB before soldering.
Will also reduce any risk of melting any plastic on the case too.

Glad this info has been of help though...my 5150 still going strong

Franki Hauptle Jun 16, 2005, 05:45am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Inspiron 5150 - Power cuttoff, shutdown, crash when laptop moved or pressed - **FIX IT** for FRE
Well, I didn't have a micro fine soldering iron, I actually used a fairly chunky butane soldering iron and I didn't strip the laptop and it worked fine for me.

There is a decent gap between the case and the MB. (otherwise the Tab on the C panel door would have been unnecessary in the first place.) You can get an iron in there with no great diffficulty. Once I have my digital camera finished I'll take a heap of photos of the process and make it into a web page. but seriously, many people don't feel at all comfortable stripping their laptop and the potential for messing something up is high for non techy people. I've been repairing laptops for years and I don't particularly like doing it myself.

If you can avoid stripping it, then even if it is slightly more fiddly to get the soldering iron in the rigth spot, it is worth it. (I may be a programmer now, but I studied electrical engineering at uni so you could say I am quite familiar with such things.)

but to each their own, I just don't feel comfortable recommending that newbies should strip their laptop when they can avoid doing so. Heck you could take your laptop to a electronics repairer and show them what to do and have it done for you if you are not up to the task.

I'd rather not have someone strip their laptop, mess it up and blame me. With my method there is much less chance of that happening.

rgds

Franki

MaviceUK Jun 16, 2005, 01:09pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Inspiron 5150 - Power cuttoff, shutdown, crash when laptop moved or pressed - **FIX IT** for FRE
so simply, you should way up the effort and risk of taking the laptop apart to get better access, to that of applying too much heat or joining the pins of the small IC.

The laptop strip only involves unscrewing and unplugging items, no mods or hot work so no special skills required, just good housekeeping to track all screws and parts and good electrostatic practices.

If you overheat the chip, melt the board or join pins, youre pretty fooked.

SO, Each person should just remove cover C and then decide for themselves if they have clear unrestricted access to all chip pins to apply a small remelt heat for a short time.

Either way - it's a very satisfying fix when you get a fully functional PC from what was an unreliable lump of plastic.

#########################################

Franki - the idea of posting photos is a good one, especially if you can magnify. - go for it.

Ian Chennell Jul 03, 2005, 09:48am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Inspiron 5150 - Power cuttoff, shutdown, crash when laptop moved or pressed - **FIX IT** for FRE
I've also had this problem, starting last week. I performed the suggested surgery on the IC and panel C tabs this morning, and it now works like a new one!

Hints for those trying the repair at home...

1. Use a fine-tipped soldering iron and clean the tip with fine sandpaper before starting. You need a sharp, clean chisel point with no residual solder on it to work with surface-mount components. Buy a new soldering iron tip if you need to - it's worth it for the job.

2. Use light pressure to apply the tip of the iron to each tag of the IC. Don't stay in contact with the tag for more than 2-3 seconds at a time, or you'll fry the device. Do 3-4 tags, then wait a few seconds to let the device cool down.

2. Use a bright torch or desk lamp to illuminate the board, and a good magnifying glass to do the soldering. It's far easier to guide the tip of the soldering iron if you can see the IC terminals clearly. Doing this with the naked eye is too risky - there are seven tags on each side of the IC in only about a 3mm length.

3. The plastic tabs on panel C can be filed down diagonally across the tab to ensure clearance between the tab and the IC, if you don't want to remove them completely.

This fault is the result of a poor design process, in that it looks like the Inspiron body design wasn't considered properly in designing the 5150 motherboard. Components should not have been placed where those plastic tabs sit, and in other Inspiron models there are no components near the tabs. Basically, if you have an unmodified 5150 sitting on your lap with the weight of the laptop bearing on panel C, then the corner of that little IC is taking the entire weight of the machine on an area less than 1mm square. Unless you always use the 5150 on a desktop, then it is destined to fail with this problem at some point in its life - solder just isn't that strong!

On a different matter, I also "regooped" the CPU to heatsink bond with heat transfer compound while I was inside the machine, and my processor is running a good 5C cooler than it was before - it's currently idling along at 52C, when it used to sit at around 57-58C. I suggest Dell may have been a bit light on with the HTC during manufacture, and many 5150 owners have reported thermal shutdown/throttling problems, as well as the panel C problem. You can't use too much HTC, but not enough is no good either...

Good luck with your Inspirons!

Jarred Jarred Jul 08, 2005, 10:08am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Inspiron 5150 - Power cuttoff, shutdown, crash when laptop moved or pressed - **FIX IT** for FRE
I know I am retarded but on the instructions can someone give me a picture of what thing I need to snap off

2. Snap off the little tab on the inside of the cover that would be towards he middle of the latop if the panel was installed.

Also if anyone has a complete picture instruction list that would be great too!

Thanks

Brian Tomkins Jul 09, 2005, 10:20pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Inspiron 5150 - Power cuttoff, shutdown, crash when laptop moved or pressed - **FIX IT** for FRE
My wifes laptop was powering off with the slightest disturbance.

At risk of a lifetime of marital suffering - I pulled it apart and got a profesional with a much steadier hand than mine to do the heating of he pins. He said that were visible cracks and one pin required some solder. He said he checked the gaps between the pins and was satisfied that it was all fixed.

I have put the laptop back together and it will not boot up. The powerlight comes on the fan starts for less than a second then nothing apart from the power light flashes around one beat per second. Now I have a real problem.

Have I damaged some other component in the disassembly ? How do I tell if I have zappped someother component? Do the flashes have some diagnostic meaning?

Does it mean that I just havnt seated something in properly?

Do I just buy a new mother board for it and hope the other components are still good?

Do I do as my techo suggests and take the board back to him and let him have another go at it?

My feeling is that the LVC14A chip has been damaged in the repair job and a new motherboard is called for. (you cant just buy the LVC14A chip seperatly can you?)

Thanks

Brian Tomkins Jul 14, 2005, 08:15am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Inspiron 5150 - Power cuttoff, shutdown, crash when laptop moved or pressed - **FIX IT** for FRE
We got the chip refixed to mother board and it worked. However we have damaged the touchpad and a couple of keys on the keyboard.
Thanks

Bob Severns Jul 26, 2005, 10:05am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Inspiron 5150 - Power cuttoff, shutdown, crash when laptop moved or pressed - **FIX IT** for FRE
Performed the procedure as described by Mavice and I now have a fully functional 5150. Thanks for putting this post together. I would agree that stipping the PC all the way down (although a daunting task) is the best way to access the IC chip. Although, I may not have the fanciest of electronic tools--just a $9.00 15-watt soldering iron from RadioShack

Thanks again

Tricia Sewell Aug 02, 2005, 11:11pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Inspiron 5150 - Power cuttoff, shutdown, crash when laptop moved or pressed - **FIX IT** for FRE
Please, oh please tell me that this fix will work for the i4150 as well. I am having the same exact problems and would love such a simple fix.

Thanks,

Trish

Dan Perry Aug 07, 2005, 08:45am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Inspiron 5150 - Power cuttoff, shutdown, crash when laptop moved or pressed - **FIX IT** for FRE
Has anyone heard of the same problem with a Dell 1150? Do they use the same MB as a 5150?

Jerry Prawiharjo Aug 08, 2005, 07:28am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Inspiron 5150 - Power cuttoff, shutdown, crash when laptop moved or pressed - **FIX IT** for FRE
Hi, I haven't got any problem with my Inspiron 5150, but better safe than sorry.
However, I cannot identify the "centre plastic tabs" mention here.

"Remove the cover labelled 'C' and using a sharp Knife, remove the centre plastic tabs flush to cover. This will stop them pressing onto the motherboard chips and damaging your MB!!"

There are metal tabs, but they are at the side, not in the middle of the cover.

Can anyone send me a picture?

Thank you in advance

MaviceUK Aug 08, 2005, 01:40pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Inspiron 5150 - Power cuttoff, shutdown, crash when laptop moved or pressed - **FIX IT** for FRE
Jerry

no need for a picture.

The Plastic C cover you removed (the piece that removes, not the remaining case/cover) has 2 plastic tabs in the centre of it's long edge about 4 mm long - cut these off and you wont have a problem

If you dont have them, then Dell or someone has already removed (an admission of guilt maybe ??)

hope this helps


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