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  Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power 
 
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Will Adams Oct 21, 2005, 05:20pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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While using my laptop yesterday, the screen suddenly froze. As this is quite unusual for my Dell Latitude C640, I didn't think much of it. After I allowed sufficient time for the system to free itself, I hard cycled the system.

At next boot, I received some gobbledygook error message while still in pre-windows that contained some information about memory errors, and how it expected one memory block and instead got another. I had noticed lately that Windows XP_Pro took a little longer than usual to hibernate and quickly put one and one together to conlcude my memory had just lost its last leg. Subsequent efforts to power up the machine resulted in the caps lock blinking 10 times without reaching display power. The hard drives and system fans spun until the diagnostic LED ran its series, then the system falls silent.

Today, I installed 1GB of newly purchased Samsung DDR into the system, and to my dismay, I am still experiencing the flashing LED syndrome. It seems clear that the system is attempting to tell me something else beside the memory subsystem is faulty. Dell has no documentation hosted on their servers that explains the various LED troubleshooting codes for my notebook (or for any others, as far as I can tell). Anyone have an idea of what it means?





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Tim Tye Oct 27, 2005, 07:53pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
Have the exact same problem. Cannot seem to figure it out, the documentation on Dell's site is useless.

It seems sometimes the computer works, but after it locks up it will power up with the caps lock flashing and shut off. Have to wait some time for it to boot again.

Maybe overheating? Have you tried posting on Dell's forums?

Michael Scott Nov 07, 2005, 10:45am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
On Thursday, November 3d, my Dell Latitude D600 Laptop did not hibernate when I packed it up for the short trip back to my hotel. When I arrived and immediately pulled it out of my backpack, it was very hot. It was also frozen (it was so hot, it froze, such are the realities of the computer world). After hard-booting the system, and ever since, I get the 10 blinking Caps Lock LED followed by shut-down. As stated, there isn't anything on the Dell site to explain this error. Has anyone solved this on their machines?

Mike

Jim Johnson Nov 23, 2005, 11:25am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
I ran into the same problem earlier today (23 Nov 2005). I had been having problems with my Dell Inspiron 600m for about a week, getting BSODs left and right for now apparent reason. It got to the point that I would physically move my laptop and it would crash. Also, I was getting boot errors stating that the system memory has changed, which it hasn't.

My latest BSOD was about the win32k.sys file. These are some of the errors that I have seen in my BSODs lately:
- PAGE_FAULT_IN_NON_PAGED_AREA
- DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL_TO
- IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL_TO

I wiped my hard drive and reinstalled everything the other day, but now I am faced with the dreaded blinking caps lock LED, so I do not believe that it is a fault in the OS. The LED reminds me of the Check Engine light codes that vehicles use as a diagnostic utility (which will also save you about $100 if you find the problem yourself instead of letting a machanic run the test). I haven't found anything yet as to why this error code is going off, and I'm not surprised to find that Dell's 'knowledge base' is completely useless.

Nothing shows up on my screen, just 10 flashes and then it's off again. I'm inclined to believe that there is something shoddy or there is a short in the memory, maybe even in the slots themselves, not so much the memory itself. If anyone comes across anything that might even remotely work, please let me know or just reply here.

Tim Tye Nov 23, 2005, 01:44pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
Here is what I have found. I had two 256 modules in the machine. I removed one of the chips and the system has worked fine since. Of course it has half the memory - but at least it turns on and stays on.


Silent Noiz Dec 08, 2005, 11:39pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
Not sure if it's a sure fix or not, but it worked for me.

I have a Dell Latitude c640 and when powering up, the caps LED would blink roughly 10 times, things would spin up, but after the 10 or so blinks, it would power down without anything having been displayed. This happened just after I had the laptop going on batteries, and it went into hibernate mode automatically after the batteries got low. When I plugged back up to a power supply and turned on, the computer started to exhibit this problem.

All I did was removed the bottom panel, removed both memory modules, put the memory modules back in the slot, rocked them at least 7 times before locking them back in to place to ensure a good seat, and completly seated them (clicks into place), closed up the panel, and powered up.

After doing this, the system booted up normally. I hope this fix works for the rest of you. I'm a bit concerned that it may not as someone posted that they had bought another memory module and installed, and that didn't solve the problem.

Good luck!

Silent Noiz Dec 09, 2005, 12:22am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
Let me add onto that, I guess I spoke too soon, it blue screened on me saying something about a memory conflict/issue.

So I went in and removed one of the memory sticks, and now it has booted up and seems (slow but) stable.

James Douglas Dec 09, 2005, 03:16pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Dec 09, 2005, 03:25pm EST

 
>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
What BIOS do these Laptops run?



Just as a bynote , the old IRQ_LESS_THAN_OR_EQUAL_TO post and related BSODS is a common occurence in three main occasions, Faulty RAM, damaged motherboard affecting the RAM (ie cracked RAM slot where it was maybe forced in with a bit too much pressure) and lastly cooking the chip although this is a lot more rare.
Easiest way to check is get another laptop and swap YOUR RAM INTO IT if it affects that laptop then RAM, riskier is to switch ITS RAM into yours, still does it - generally MoBo.
there are also other problems that cause these errors, but in my experience these are the most common

David Heinen Dec 20, 2005, 12:45pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Dec 20, 2005, 12:50pm EST

 
>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
I work at a TSI, LLC in Canton, GA. Today I've been trying to fix one of our engineer's laptops that's having the same problem. He moved from a Dell Latitude C840 to a C640 and both have the same weird caps lock blinking problem.

I read in another forum that the problem was the RAM not being seated properly, but I've tried reseating the RAM and it works... for a little while, then crashes again. I tried cleaning the contacts on the RAM modules, I've tried pushing them in and wiggling it in and it all seems to work for a little while. The closest I've come is the C640 is running on one module of 256MB, instead of two. It's been stable for a little while, but it's not a long term solution.

Anyone else had any luck troubleshooting this problem? Has anyone called this in to Dell and had them do anything besides replace the motherboard?

Edit: Oh, and ive got the latest BIOS on each, A10 on the C640 and A13 on the C840

Christos Gekas Dec 29, 2005, 07:25pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
Hi all!

Well, it seems as I'm joining the 10-flash-CAPS-LED-club... I've had this problem since november, which I explain in detail in http://forums.us.dell.com/supportforums/board/message?board.id...379#M35379

basically I have experimented with all kinds of trubleshooting solutions for months now and came up to this:

When I get the 10-flash-death I:
1. remove AC power
2. remove battery
3. remove flea power (press and hold power button for 15 seconds)
4. take out memory slot, and reseat it (I know run only in one slot)
5. put AC back on
6. power up (battery not needed)

Heat seems to be an issue, since I normally have better luck in the morning (or after a longer period of computer rest) running the comp, and yesterday I took the computer out (it's currently snowing here in Sweden ;)) and I even managed to enter Windows... So I recommend running on the Maximum Battery mode (not Maximum Performance) since this helps the temperature from spiking fast.

Most of the times my system still dies, nowadays even during early POST. I've narrowed down the problems to HDD-failure for the sudden computer hang-ups (this is an 0F00:0244 error) but probably RAM-connector failure/glitch as well to account for the inability to even bring the computer to boot (which is HDD-independent)... IĘ've ordered a new HDD, but should probably change the MOBO as well... As far as BSOD's are concerned, I haven't got any lately...

My system by the way is:
Dell Inspiron 8500, (BIOS A08)
Pentium M4 2.4GHz
1GB DDR-RAM Samsung


Also, I was thinking... : I see a LOT of these errors nowadays in many forums - could it possibly be a virus of some sort causing this?

I'd be happy to see the end of this problems - Good luck to you all!
/christos






Shaun Howard Jan 05, 2006, 09:10am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Jan 05, 2006, 09:16am EST

 
>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
From Dell's Website:
http://premiersupport.dell.com/docs/Systems/pcpxhj/en/ug_a02/e...lash_codes

System Flash Codes
When errors that occur during the boot routine cannot be reported on the built-in display or on an external monitor (if attached), the Num Lock, Caps Lock, and Scroll Lock indicators (see Figure 1) may flash together in a pattern of lights (or flash code) that identifies the problem. For example, one flash, followed by a second flash, and then a burst of three flashes (code 1-1-3) means that the computer was unable to read the data in nonvolatile random-access memory (NVRAM). This information is important to the Dell support staff if you need to call for technical assistance.

The Num Lock, Caps Lock, and Scroll Lock indicators flash briefly when the computer is turned on. The flash codes, if needed, occur after the boot routine.

Figure 1. Flash Code Indicators



1
Scroll Lock
2
Caps Lock
3
Num Lock

When the computer emits a flash code, write it down on a copy of the Diagnostics Checklist and then look up its cause and meaning in Table 2. If you are unable to resolve the problem, use the Dell Diagnostics to identify a more serious cause. If you are still unable to resolve the problem, call Dell for technical assistance.

Table 2. Flash Codes and Corrective Actions

Message Cause Action
1-1-3 NVRAM write/read failure. Run the System Set tests in the Dell Diagnostics. If the program does not load, call Dell for technical assistance.
1-1-4 ROM BIOS checksum failure. Run the System Set tests in the Dell Diagnostics. If the program does not load, call Dell for technical assistance.
1-2-1 Programmable interval timer failure. Run the System Set tests in the Dell Diagnostics. If the program does not load, call Dell for technical assistance.
1-2-2 DMA initialization failure. Run the System Set tests in the Dell Diagnostics. If the program does not load, call Dell for technical assistance.
1-2-3 DMA page register write/read failure. Run the System Set tests in the Dell Diagnostics. If the program does not load, call Dell for technical assistance.
1-3-1
through
2-4-4 An installed memory module is not being properly identified or used. Make sure that a memory module is installed in one of the memory module sockets on the system board. The computer will not function unless at least one memory module is installed.
3-1-1 Slave DMA register failure. Run the System Set tests in the Dell Diagnostics. If the program does not load, call Dell for technical assistance.
3-1-2 Master DMA register failure. Run the System Set tests in the Dell Diagnostics. If the program does not load, call Dell for technical assistance.
3-1-3 Master interrupt mask register failure. Call Dell for technical assistance.
3-1-4 Slave interrupt mask register failure. Call Dell for technical assistance.
3-2-4 Keyboard controller test failure. Run the Keyboard Controller test in the Dell Diagnostics.
3-3-4 Display memory test failure. Run the Video Memory test in the Dell Diagnostics.
3-4-1 Display initialization failure. Run the Video tests in the Dell Diagnostics.
3-4-2 Display retrace test failure. Run the Video tests in the Dell Diagnostics.
4-2-1 No timer tick. Call Dell for technical assistance.
4-2-2 Shutdown failure. Call Dell for technical assistance.
4-2-3 Gate A20 failure. Call Dell for technical assistance.
4-2-4 Unexpected interrupt in protected mode. Call Dell for technical assistance.
4-3-1 Memory failure above address 0FFFFh. Run the System Memory tests in the Dell Diagnostics.
4-3-3 Timer chip counter 2 failure. Call Dell for technical assistance.
4-3-4 Time-of-day clock stopped. Call Dell for technical assistance.
4-4-1 Serial port failure. Run the Serial/Infrared Ports tests in the Dell Diagnostics.
5-1-2 No usable memory. Run the System Memory tests in the Dell Diagnostics.

Ok...This error is interesting...now how does Dell even expect us to attempt this test?

5-1-2 No usable memory. Run the System Memory tests in the Dell Diagnostics.

System won't already boot, how are you supposed to run the Diagonostics Utility?
No usable memory; assuming the memory that came with the system is still fastened to the motherboard; and they give no instruction to swap the memory...the average person wouldn't know that. Anyway, I hope this helps resolve any issues directed to these problems being experienced.


Tim Tye Jan 05, 2006, 09:44am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Jan 05, 2006, 09:45am EST

 
>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
But, that really doesn't help. Which lights are we talking about flashing? The codes are for the times of the flashes but not the lights themselves.

In the example it says a flash, followed by another flash and then 3 quick flashes is 1-1-3. But which light ?!?!

Then it lists the lights as scroll lock 1, caps lock 2, num lock 3. Yet they cannot be referenced in the chart because we are talking about the number of flashes.

A little bizarre.

Christos Gekas Jan 05, 2006, 10:03am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
Yes, I totally agree. This whole "documentation" is inconclusive to say the least.

For example - the only thing I see happening in my computer is that the capslock, and only capslock, LED flashes 10 times in a row -neither bursting or anything. Looking at the list there are many different flash codes containing 10 flashes: 3-3-4, 4-2-2, 4-2-4, 4-3-3 etc.. Not very informative!!

Actually I'm currently chatting with Dell technical support. this is what they say about the flash codes:

4:04:56 PM Dsouza_0185816 Did you try to run a hardware test Christos?
4:05:31 PM You hard to run a hardware test when your computer doesnt boot, wouldnt you agree?
4:05:46 PM Dsouza_0185816 That is true Christos
4:05:58 PM Dsouza_0185816 but how are you able to see that error?
4:06:40 PM You the computer tries to tell me something. because the, as I stated 3 times already, the CAPS LOCK LED flashes 10 times upon pressing the power button
4:06:57 PM You and then nothing happens.
4:07:24 PM Dsouza_0185816 The caps lock flashing could mean that there is a memory error, maybe a motherboard or a fan too

Not very informative either. So one has to conclude that Dell has no idea whatsoever what 10 flashes means!! Quite striking considering they're supposed to have built these computers.

So the only solution is to replace the motherboard (which costs a LOT!!) and don't ask questions. Nice system they have huh? ;)

//C

Michael Scott Jan 05, 2006, 11:55am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
I had this problem starting back in November 2005, and I finally got tired of it and replaced the motherboard. With the same hard drive and same memory chips, my Dell has been running fine. A technician told me that the cause was excessive heat causing damage to a processor somewhere.

So, I have to agree, replacing the motherboard works. Fortunately, my laptop is company issue and they paid for it.

Good luck.

Shaun Howard Jan 05, 2006, 03:54pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
Dell - D600

My problem dealt with the CAPS Lock blinking with a strike through mark ten times; previously stated above. The first thing I did was to check the RAM. I simply removed the RAM from the memory bay, then craddled it back and forth into place making sure it was securely fastened. Closed the memory bay door, and powered the D600 on, booted up as normal. I'll make a follow up post to let you know how the system is holding up.


William Rillo Jun 29, 2006, 12:18pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
I know this was a while back, but for future readers:

I've gathered that this problem is caused by heat damage to one or both of the RAM slots on the motherboard. If you shut the computer down and reseat the RAM, yes, it might work.... for about 2 minutes. Try taking RAM module 2 out and boot with just RAM module 1 in the computer. If the problem persists, replace the RAM 2 and remove 1 and boot. Hopefully that fixes it, you're up and running with half the RAM, but its better than nothing... Just buy a bigger module, much cheaper than a motherboard. If this doesn't work, you're SOL, and need a new motherboard.

t b Aug 15, 2006, 04:45pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
Hey All,

I was tinkering around with d600 today and after removing and reinserting both RAM chips i got the same problem: 10 flashing Caps locks. When i removed both chips the error message was the 2nd (caps lock) and 3rd (scroll lock) lights (no flashing, constantly on). This latter message must indicate no system ram.

I figured i had reseated the RAM chips wrong, and it looked like i had. The notch was not completely in, but after many attempts i couldnt do much better. Be very careful when you're reseating the RAM. The white part should fill up all of the notch, the way that seemed to work best for getting the RAM all the way in was to lift up the white attachment part while pushing inwards.

My problem was due to my taking out the RAM for kicks and reseating incorrectly, it seems some of your all problems may have to do with a bad motherboard, but i definitely recommend trying this too. i'd be curious if you get the Caps & Scroll Lock error code by removing both RAM chips: if not, your problem is probably motherboard related.

My d600 is back up and running, good luck to everyone who's still having issues.

No Hackr Sep 05, 2006, 01:34pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Solved on my system: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
The post is a little long, but if you run through the troubleshooting same steps as I describe below, you can tell if you have the motherboard with the problem I'll describe later in the post.

User at our corporation requested (2) 1GB sticks for crunching SQL stuff. After removing the 512 MB OEM RAM and putting in the dual 1Gb sticks of 333mhz Dell Certified RAM, I got the 10 flashing caps lock light routine and no display, immediately shuts off after the 10th flash.

Laptop is a Dell D600 series, shipped with 512MB of 266mhz RAM. I ran into the same problems as other posters have asked about (no power to display, caps lock flashes 10 times) when new RAM is inserted. Here's what I did to troubleshoot before calling Dell's Level 2 Tech Support.

* Upgraded the BIOS to current level (A05 to A16). Rebooted, shut down. Inserted the dual 1GB sticks of 333mhz RAM, 10 flashes, shutdown.
* Turned off the Intel SpeedStep in BIOS (has caused trouble before). 10 flashes, shutdown. Turned it back on in the BIOS.
* Inserted one 1GB 333mhz stick into DIMM A - 10 flashes, shutdown.
* Removed same from DIMM A and put in DIMM B - immediately ran the POST, happily booted to WinXP.
* Removed and inserted back into DIMM A - 10 flashes, see ya later....

OK, it works only in DIMM B, 1GB max, with 333mhz RAM. Let's try this:

Take the old 266mhz 512MB memory stick, throw that in DIMM A, and put a 1GB stick of 333mhz RAM in DIMM B. It'll only run to the slower speed of 266mhz, but what the heck. Booted the system, it ran right through the POST sequence and straight into WinXP. BIOS check shows 1.5GB RAM, 266mhz.

Huhmm-m-m-m. Just might be onto something.

Swapped out the sticks to the other DIMM slot. 333mhz 1Gb in DIMM A, 266mhz 512MB in DIMM B. Same result - booted just fine, straight to WinXP without a belch.

Now I call Dell, ask for Level 2 Tech Support (we have that option). Talk to a very knowledgable young gal who listened to me tell her the history of the problem, the troubleshooting I'd done so far, and was there anything in Dell's non-public documentation that covered this?

After about 25 minutes of searching her documentation, she found a tech bulletin that described this problem to a T. There evidently is a byte missing (instruction) from this type of motherboard for the D600 series. It will not handle 333mhz RAM over 1GB in the system. It can be run at 2GB, but with 266mhz memory. If you're running only 1GB, put the stick in DIMM B slot as I've described earlier in my troubleshooting.

Not much sense sending out another motherboard, as the replacement will be the same as what you have in it now. Only workaround is 266mhz RAM if you're going to max out the system memory.

Hope this helps alleviate some headaches....my Advil supply is running low....

Paul Acerra Jan 08, 2007, 01:53pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
I have a Dell D600 Laptop. I was also getting the Cap Lock blinking 10 times and then finally shutting down. I replaced both memory DIMMS(256MB). The laptop is now functioning normally.

Try replacing memory first.

-Paul

khalid wahidi Jan 08, 2007, 08:57pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
hello everyone, first and foremost my system is a Latitude D810 Pentium M Dothan, 1.86GHZ with 512mb memory and 80 gig hard drive.
this is how this problem started
my brother had left my laptop on my bed one afternoon while it was powered on, when i came home, i recieved the message that the computer had shut it self off because the temperture was too high. now im guess this was because it was on my bed and the fans are on the bottom of the laptop so they had no way to release the heat. anyways the laptop loaded up fine and i thought nothing of it till the next day when i had the laptop on just batteries and it shut off without cause. the battery still had half charge to it but it shut off anyway. i thought maybe i read the battery readings wrong so i plugged in the laptop. it loaded up fine but after about 5 mins the computer shut down again without warning. i tried to load it up again but all i got was the CAPS LOCK light flashing 10 tens. non of the other lights flash, just the caps lock. so i remove the ac adapter from the computer and i tried to load it up on just the battery and what do ya know, it works perfectly. so i plugged the ac adapter back into the laptop and the screen went into a thousand colors and shut down. so my problem is that when plugged in, all i get is the flashing caps lock light, but it charges the battery, when the laptop is on pure battery, it works fine and both memory sticks show under my system. i don't know what the problem could be, the adapter is brand new and worked fine for about a month before this happened. any ideas anyone? thank you

Tim Tye Jan 08, 2007, 10:28pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
Have you had it with the AC adapter in, but the battery out ?


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