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  Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power 
 
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nathan h Oct 31, 2010, 03:31am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
Hi again, solved my problem. I have a Dell latitude d400, and was trying to install ddr pc2700 333mhz module, but this laptop maximum speed is 266mhz! very annoying.

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Greg Baviera Jan 15, 2011, 03:20am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
I was offered a Dell brick to see if I could get it running. What a piece of junk these things are compared to a ThinkPad! So my Latitude D800 is getting stuck on the memory test.

Theoretically, both "trick" fixes could work on the same machine... Pushing on DIMM A with a piece of rubber (which, btw, will not burn you whimps) or paper or foam.... And using the spring action on DIMM B by not seating it properly in the spring catch but shutting the cover on it with a piece of card stock (business card).

But here's a FAQ for everyone:
1. There are really just 9 flashes of the Caps Lock LED, not 10. The first flash is actually the scroll lock LED as it passes the boot sequence control to the CPU. "The Microcontroller is handing control of the system to the processor." on the first flash.
2. There is a complete description of this in Dell's "Portable LED Diagnostic Code Information - Technical Assistance Bulletin (TAB) - 131642" at http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/kcs...&s=gen
3. For some other Dell flash codes, see Latitude 2100 No POST, No Video Troubleshooting - KB Article - 357640 http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/kcs...doclang=en
4. What does this code mean? From the 131642 doc, "The memory is believed to be good, but it's about to be exercised. Such as shadowing the BIOS and zeroing all the memory."
4.1. Reseat the memory.
4.2. Replace the memory.
4.3. Replace the system board. (motherboard)

As for my issue, I will say that I tried everything in the book with the memory I have, so I will continue on to replacing the memory if I follow the Dell textbook. Take this as a "what do I do if reseating doesn't work" FAQ. Here are my likely next steps:
1. read the service manual (Which is free at Dell, but horrible. It is just a "how to replace" manual, which in most service manuals constitutes one chapter out of about 10 on how to troubleshoot, obtain part numbers, how the thing operates, error codes, BIOS settings, etc.)
2. Get down to motherboard and look at CPUs and other chips for heat damage.
3. Test the RAM or try other RAM.
4. Buy a motherboard on eBay.

Luke Up Apr 08, 2011, 05:10pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
Firstly I have an old D600 that I wanted to run some kind of Linux on.

I was able to fix the memory issue that has been described in 2005 posts with flashing caps light and shutdown, with the following method.

I received the right 2 light flashing with a memory stick in DIMM B and nothing in DIMM A.

I received the cap light flashing (I didn't count them but I bet it was 10 times) and shutdown, with a stick in DIMM A and nothing in DIMM B.

I put a 512 stick in DIMM A and a 256 stick in DIMM B. Pushed them down till they locked. Then I put a 1/2" piece of fish tank air hose in the center of both sticks and put the lid back on. Voila, BOOT.

If you don't have fish tank air hose, grab something non-metallic about 1/2" x 1/16" or 3/16", maybe a tooth pick. Put it in the center near the top of each stick. Put the lid back on. It puts enough pressure on the memory sticks to give them a good seat against the slot.

Also, what started this, my computer, Dell D600, would not power up at all. I found another post that described removing the CMOS battery to reset the 'end of life' bit that apparently Dell put in their old PCs. Unbelievable!!! In the D600 it is plugged into the sound board behind the battery to the right of the center lock (in the corner). The post said that some Dell's might have a secret compartment covered by a sticker or something. It's a little door with a clip on the top. Hope this helps folks. It helped me. Thanks, Luke.

Luke Up Apr 08, 2011, 05:52pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
Okay, you might have to experiment. I tried this method on another D600 and it did not work. Try putting the wedge or tooth pick (or rubber fish tank air hose) on the DIMM A stick. One laptop I removed the screw next to the memory compartment. Good Luck.

Richard Hartman Apr 28, 2011, 02:40pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power

Interesting thread. Started years ago, most recent postings only days old.

I have only one thing to add here. Be careful about the size of the rubber bits you put on top of the memory cards. Too thick and when you screw down the memory hatch door you may put too much pressure on the cards, cracking them and/or the slots.

I like the business card idea better than the rubber feet. Less likely to overpressure the cards. Although I might have some concerns about heat, but I don't the memory cards get hot enough to worry about ignition of business card stock.

Russ Ault May 04, 2011, 01:49pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
I'd been having this problem for about 6 months with a D600, but mine's a bit different in presentation. Not just the CL light, but all four of the LEDS (CL, NL, other_lock, and power) flashed for a bunch of times quickly (I think it's 10, but won't swear to it.) Early on, I tried swapping out RAM and other components with another D600 (I have three) but that never moved the problem or changed it. However, I discovered that for this unit, pressing firmly on the keyboard in the vicinity of the letter "I" key during power-up got past the problem every time. Once it is running, the unit never exhibits any other symptoms. I suspect a sheared solder joint on an SMC that's only used during POST, and I'll most likely swap out the mobo at some point, but for the moment it's tractable with a "special procedure", and stable otherwise. (I'm posting this from it.)

Scott Hibbeler Jun 14, 2011, 06:18pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
I joined to post up my resolution to the problem.

We replaced the DC power jack on my Dell B130 (1300) Laptop, and everything worked fine before I took it apart (I had two 1GB DIMM's installed, and Windows 7 recognized all 2048mb (2GB) of memory). When I put it all back together, I was getting the "Flashing 10 caps-lock lights". So I tried only one DIMM in Slot "B" and it booted fine with just one Dimm...but If I put one into Slot "A" or into both, I got the flashing 10 caps-lock lights.

I tried the "pressure" and "rubber" tricks as stated earlier, to no avail.

Turned out, there was a small piece of solder that dropped onto one of the contacts, and it was causing the malfunction. We took a small eyeglass screwdriver and removed the piece of solder, put it back in, and VOILA! Boots and recognizes everything.

There was also a piece of hair and some dust that was in that same contact area, which also may have been part of the cause.

It is a shame that Dell won't recognize the problem (or even know what the "10 blinking caps lock light" means).

Jason C Jun 24, 2011, 11:43am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
Reseat the hard disk. That worked for me!

Roger S Jul 19, 2011, 08:08am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
Solution for a Dell Precision D630;

1. Followed instructions on http://ahwee.com/how-to-disassemble-laptop-dell-latitude-d620 for disassembley.

2. Removed both DIMMS.

3. Tried each DIMM in the DIMM B location (back of laptop) with DIMM A empty. With one the same problem occurred, with the other the laptop booted no problems (prompted by BIOS to confirm changed memory configuration).

Will run with a single DIMM and source a replacemnt for DIMM A.

Jeffery Rowan Aug 11, 2011, 08:30pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
I can probably summarize all of the problems found and solutions applied for this problem.
First of all the post of Greg Baviera on Jan 15, 2011, 12:20am PST is the most informative as far as troubleshooting the problem. Here is his FAQ for t/s:

1. There are really just 9 flashes of the Caps Lock LED, not 10. The first flash is actually the scroll lock LED as it passes the boot sequence control to the CPU. "The Microcontroller is handing control of the system to the processor." on the first flash.
2. There is a complete description of this in Dell's "Portable LED Diagnostic Code Information - Technical Assistance Bulletin (TAB) - 131642" at http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/kcs...&s=gen
3. For some other Dell flash codes, see Latitude 2100 No POST, No Video Troubleshooting - KB Article - 357640 http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/kcs...doclang=en
4. What does this code mean? From the 131642 doc, "The memory is believed to be good, but it's about to be exercised. Such as shadowing the BIOS and zeroing all the memory."
4.1. Reseat the memory.
4.2. Replace the memory.
4.3. Replace the system board. (motherboard)

As far as the nine versus ten flashes goes on the Latitude C840 I am working on I noticed that the first flash is slightly longer than the other nine leading credence to Greg's first point.
As to the options that Dell gives for the solution to the problem first of all contains a huge disclaimer indicating that the possible solutions should not be considered the solution to your problem. Although this looks like Dell is only guessing as to the problem, I believe that your own (hopefully) two eyes are a much better troubleshooting tool than any t/s matrix. But extrapolating from DELL's possible solutions here is a as neat as possible compilation of problems and solutions.

problem solution
1. Memory card(s) has a poor connection to motherboard Reseat the memory card(s)
2. Memory card(s) has a hard failure Replace bad memory card(s)
3. Motherboard has a hard failure Replace motherboard

Alternative to solution to 1. Use non-conductive spongy material on top of memory card so that pressure is applied to the card when cover is in place (be careful not to use too thick or hard of a material that might damage a memory chip or circuit card). I would suggest if your problem is intermittent that this solution might work as well.

My troubleshooting method, since I am accountable to the computer's owner, is to replace the cheapest and/or easiest to obtain part first. So replacing the motherboard is my last choice (I'd hate to eat a motherboard on a system I'll probably never work on again). So even when discovering bloated or oozing capacitors on a visual inspection of the board, I will try the memory first (much better possibility of reusing so-dimm ddr ram than motherboard). But, if all else fails, purchase a NEW FACTORY motherboard. It may cost more than a reconditioned or a used board but the only way you can be assured that board doesn't have the same problem as your's is to go with a new one.

If you are interested in my fix: I removed the 256 factory memory card and replaced it with a new kingston 512mb memory stick in Dimm slot A and the upgraded 512mb memory in slot B with a folded business card carefully placed at the top of the card so there was good socket pressure and as small amount of chip and board pressure as possible.

Greg Baviera Aug 15, 2011, 01:12am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
Well, I fixed it by buying a motherboard on eBay and replacing it. To each his own... but this was as cheap as new memory or more so due to the age of this Dell. I think I ended up selling the laptop for about $200 or something like that and I paid roughly $30 for the motherboard.

Good idea, however, looking for a piece of solder or trash. I had already cleaned and sprayed and rubbed on the memory contacts, but it is good to hear that such an easy fix is possible. Changing out a laptop motherboard is such a pain, especially when you have to mess with the CPU.

Bob Cat Sep 05, 2011, 09:46pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
Putting folded paper in to press down the SIMMs is working on my Inspiron 600m now for the past day. It hadn't run for more than a few minutes before trying that.

Thank you all for figuring this out.

Dell, if you're reading this - and you're not - when multiple people ask you about years-old problems and you don't even know that there exists BIOS blink codes, you lose customers. Like me.


Mario B Oct 04, 2011, 09:37pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
I am really glad I found you guys, i got overwelmed by the fact that i just didn't got a Latitude D600 running even as I swaped the RAM cards whit another couple that i had....!!!
My luck... they where damaged as well. As I was reading this post, another computer came to my little shop and tried the cards that came in it and the freaking computer just workked fine............
I almost lost it.... thanks for your points of view.


Fred Klein Oct 13, 2011, 07:47pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
I am impressed with this forum. I have a Dell Inspiron 9300 and I had the caps lock problem and followed what others on this forum did and it worked. I took out the battery, then took out both memory modules. I cleaned the slots with compressed air and then cleaned the contacts on each module. I replaced the modules A first, then module B last, replaced the battery and turned on the laptop. Wonderful!!! It works just fine now and has been on for hours without a problem. Thanks you people for adding your knowledge to the rest of us.:cool:

Justin Wilford Jan 12, 2012, 11:54pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
I had the same problem and after messing with it I took out one of the RAM chips and it worked and I also tried switching the chips to make sure they both worked(and they did) but when I put one in the other slot(even with just that slot used) it did the caps lock thing again.

Bill Jacobs Jun 12, 2012, 03:07pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
This applied to the Latitude d531 I worked on.
2x2GB PC2 5300 DIMMs gave the 9 CAPS LOCK blinks.

Took one out of DIMM slot B, given this web discussion's gist.... booted fine.
Slipped a 1GB chip in slot B. Still booted.

Good enough, it's running 32bit Win XP so it maxes out at 3.25 GB anyway.

Charles Moore Apr 29, 2013, 07:29pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Caps Lock flashes 10 times in series, no display power
Old thread, but still some of these problems crop up. This solution was a winner for me!

Thanks!

I also removed one 512 MB DIMM and replaced with two 1024 MB DIMM and got the ten-flash code. Following the advice posted by Thom Schotman, I reconfigured back to the single 512 DIMM and checked the BIOS setup. Boot POST procedure was "Minimal" which is the factory default (according to a statement on the POST screen). I set the behavior to "Thorough" and booted. All normal.

Then, with the POST still set for "Thorough" I replaced the single DIMM with the two new ones. Immediate gratification is always a good thing! The screen quickly displayed a note that Memory amount had changed and recommended I run Setup.

Once I got the thing cranked up, I booted to Diagnostics just to satisfy myself the new DIMMs were good.

All is well and I offer a hearty Thanks! to Thom and to this Googleable forum!

Chuck

envewayingemi envewayingemiRH Jun 18, 2013, 12:17pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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