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dell latitude C540/C640 Need Help

 
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gamerguy



Joined: Jul 23, 2008
Posts: 3



PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:18 pm    Post subject: dell latitude C540/C640 Need Help

My dell latitude will not turn on it use to work fine and then one day it quit working, I took out the Battery Pack and tried running just off of the ac adapter only and still nothing. It turns on for three seconds and shutdown but there is one way that I can get it all the way to the desktop and that is by taking out the memory and putting it back in the slot. When ever it gets to the desktop I can do stuff for about 30 seconds and then it locks up I can't move the mouse or clt+alt+del or anything like that, what is wrong with the laptop, could it be that the stick of memory is bad. also I had a new wireless card installed but it was working good with it after.
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goretsky



Joined: Dec 07, 2002
Posts: 9845

Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 5:05 am    Post subject: Re: dell latitude C540/C640 Need Help [Login to view extended thread Info.]

Hello,

Perhaps the battery which backs up the the real time clock (RTC) and CMOS memory has failed? From looking at this page on Dell's web site, it can be accessed by partially disassembling the computer, but before you do that, I would suggest contacting Dell's technical support department and see if there are any troubleshooting steps they recommend to isolate the problem first, especially if they do not first require you to take the computer apart.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky
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gamerguy



Joined: Jul 23, 2008
Posts: 3



PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:33 pm    Post subject: Re: dell latitude C540/C640 Need Help [Login to view extended thread Info.]

I took it out and left it out and then started my computer and it still does exactly the same thing i still have to take out the memory/dimm and put it back in could it be that i need more ram I have 256mb right now. if it could be the battery you said how can I test it to see if it is good. I know it holds a charge because when I touch the wire to my tongue it gives a little shock i am talking about the one under the keyboard after i took it apart. the dell people won't help me out because i bought it from someone else and not a store.
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zlim



Joined: Mar 11, 2005
Posts: 2747



PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:13 pm    Post subject: [Login to view extended thread Info.]

It could be that the plug in the laptop for the adapter is no longer working. That means, it won't run off the electric and it also won't run off the battery because the battery is not getting recharged.

You get nothing more than 30 seconds whether you are using just the battery, the battery and the electric or just the electric.

Even if you don't have enough memory, the computer would still run...slowly but it would at last load windows. So I don't think memory hs anything to do with the problem.
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gamerguy



Joined: Jul 23, 2008
Posts: 3



PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 12:37 am    Post subject: [Login to view extended thread Info.]

That looks like it could be, because I was using it as a desktop and left it on for long periods of time. but it seem like it will be to hard of a fix so I will just take it to the shop. Thank you for your help.
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bktom



Joined: Jul 27, 2008
Posts: 3



PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 3:41 pm    Post subject: Good possibility that the CMOS battery needs replaced. [Login to view extended thread Info.]

I have 2 Dell C540 laptops running Windows XP. One of them suddenly died last year. Just shut down on its own, and wouldn't re-start. I left it alone a while, then tried to restart. It booted up, told me the date and time was not set (pressing f1 clears that screen) asked for my password, then died again after I entered it. I used my other PC to look for answers on the web and found that the CMOS batteries only last about 2-3 years, and this type of behavior is typical when the CMOS battery dies. I ordered a new one off Ebay, went to the Dell website and downloaded a repair instruction manual. You have to 1. unplug it, 2. remove the regular battery, 3. remove the hard drive, 4. remove the key board (You don't really have to remove it entirely. just remove the screws, lift it & flip it down over the palm rest to get access to the CMOS battery pack. Be gentle! the keys are a real pain to re-install if you knock one off!), 5. replacing the battery is pretty straight forward from there. It is a small battery pack (See picture) connected to the motherboard via a plug, 6. Re-assemble following the instructions. They recommend flashing the BIOS, which requires booting from a set of floppy disks loaded with a BIOS that you will need to get from the Dell website. Since your laptop died suddenly like mine, you most likely won't have a spare copy of your BIOS on hand, so the generic one you get from Dell may necessitate re-configuring some basic personal system configurations like display settings, etc. The only way I can think of to check the CMOS battery would be to remove it, and if you are going to go through that much trouble, why not replace it anyway? The batteries are relatively cheap (under $20.00) compared to buying a new laptop.
Good luck!
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bktom



Joined: Jul 27, 2008
Posts: 3



PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 3:51 pm    Post subject: Checking the regular battery. [Login to view extended thread Info.]

If you want to check the main battery, just remove it & press the white spot on the rear. If all 5 green lights are lit, it's good! Also, here is a link to the PDF file containing the repair manual: C540/640 Manual
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zlim



Joined: Mar 11, 2005
Posts: 2747



PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:58 pm    Post subject: [Login to view extended thread Info.]

bktom, your situation isn't the same. Your computer booted up and told you the date and time were wrong. The OP can't get the computer to stay on for more than 30 seconds so this indicates something other than the onboard battery needing replacing.
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bktom



Joined: Jul 27, 2008
Posts: 3



PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 2:32 am    Post subject: well, maybe... [Login to view extended thread Info.]

Zlim, my computer did exhibit much of the same issues. ONE time it got all the way to the sign on screen. one time it quit way before that. one time it did nothing, another time it slightly flashed the power lights, but did nothing else. I suspect the CMOS battery pack (There are actually 6 watch-type batteries in the casing connected in series) recharged slightly while I let it rest or recovered enough to keep the BIOS working long enough to get me to the sign on screen. Eventually it stopped responding altogether, and once the CMOS battery was replaced, it worked like a champ. This is a known issue with the Dell C540. The BIOS depends on the CMOS battery. If that battery is dead, so is the PC. The CMOS battery is not set up to recharge during operation, and eventually WILL die, no doubt about it. If he has taken it to a shop, it's probably already been repaired. Perhaps we'll get an update.
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