I have been working on a friend's laptop over several power issues. The first was that the AC brick died. Fortunately, his wife had a "compatible" brick. His brick that died was a 90W and his wife's was a 65W but it claimed it was charging and worked for some time. Eventually, the laptop stopped charging and wouldn't come on at all. I determined that the power jack on the motherboard was broken off and got a replacement then desoldered/resoldered the jack. I can't be sure I did the job perfectly but I think I did. Now the laptop won't power on. When I press the power button, the battery charging LED blinks orange 4 times (I think 4 times, it's pretty fast) and then green once. It does this pattern roughly four times. Sometimes it doesn't finish the fourth repetition, sometimes it gets through part of a fifth repetition, and sometimes it stops exactly after four reps. Here are the ideas I have:

1) The battery can't charge from completely discharged with the meager 65W power brick.
2) The battery was damaged in this mess and needs to be replaced.
3) I wrecked the motherboard/power circuitry by taking the laptop apart and reassembling it.

What do you guys think? Are any of these likely? Is there anywhere I can find out what that blink code means? Thanks for your time.

Chris Showers

There is an inherent design flaw in the Dell Inspiron 1150 that has been widely published. Suggest you do a Google search for "Inspiron 1150 problem" or "Inspiron 1150 failure".
I would call Dell tech support on this one. It is my understanding they have some fixes, and some replacements.
Beyond that, there are locations on the Dell website where you can find the "Beep Codes" and "flash codes" to find out which error this computer is reporting. Looks like memory for sure, but Dell has a very long list of error codes for each model, and for that 1150 specifically.

Any chance you could link me to the error code/beep codes pages? In a quick glance, I couldn't find them. I've always had trouble navigating Dell's site!

I have been working on a friend's laptop over several power issues. The first was that the AC brick died. Fortunately, his wife had a "compatible" brick. His brick that died was a 90W and his wife's was a 65W but it claimed it was charging and worked for some time. Eventually, the laptop stopped charging and wouldn't come on at all. I determined that the power jack on the motherboard was broken off and got a replacement then desoldered/resoldered the jack. I can't be sure I did the job perfectly but I think I did. Now the laptop won't power on. When I press the power button, the battery charging LED blinks orange 4 times (I think 4 times, it's pretty fast) and then green once. It does this pattern roughly four times. Sometimes it doesn't finish the fourth repetition, sometimes it gets through part of a fifth repetition, and sometimes it stops exactly after four reps. Here are the ideas I have:

1) The battery can't charge from completely discharged with the meager 65W power brick.
2) The battery was damaged in this mess and needs to be replaced.
3) I wrecked the motherboard/power circuitry by taking the laptop apart and reassembling it.

What do you guys think? Are any of these likely? Is there anywhere I can find out what that blink code means? Thanks for your time.

Chris Showers

I think I know what it might be (if you haven't already drop-kicked it through the window.) Mine was the same...turned out to be (1) bad battery AND bad power connecter. The blink code is 3 amber to one green. Buying a new battery and adapter worked like a charm for several months, until it completely, flat out DIED. At that point, we found out that the bad connector is endemic with Dell laptops in the 1150 series and the 5100 series also. Worse yet, when it gets so hot, sometimes it melts the motherboard at the point of contact (or perhape vice versa) so it goes from a relatively cheap fix to a repair worth several times more than the laptop itself. Needles sto say, mine is not gathering dust in the closet. The problem was occurring - but never diagnosed - until just after warranty espiration.
I hope you are a better negotiator than I! If you score a repair or replacement - please let us know how. BTW - Dell does offer a One-Time out-of-warranty service you can buy which costs much less than the cost of an off-warranty repair. Good luck

You cannot get away with using the incorrect adapter for very long... because the result is the problems you report.
The 5100 and 1100 series are the same computer... one marketed to business, the other to home and home office.
Wattage means little to nothing. Voltage and Amperage are the specs that matter.
16-20 Volts with 3.5 Amps, and a 90 watt unit, depending on the Dell...

Right you are! I only wish somebody had known more about this problem and told me yhe details before I threw good money after bad. But, back then, no matter how much digging for answers I did, very little information was available. Now, it seems that enough units have gone bad that the issue has become better understood. So, fair warning, all you prospective Dell purchasers. In fact, if y'all do your homework, there is a repair shop near Chicago which lists a slew of laptops of various brands which are prone to premature connector/power jack failure.

Liz

There is no way to know in advance, except that the IBM Lenovo have been the tops fro reliability since 1992. All laptops are made by only seven manufacturers in 17 countries. The way you tell is by what you pay... The Dell 1150 was a low priced unit.

The Dells are quite reliable as a group, for reliability

Apple Macintosh first
Thinkpad T-series are the best Windows machins
Thinkpad X-series next
Thinkpad R an A and 3000 tied for third.
HP Pavilion upper priced ones next
Dell Latitudes next
Dell Inspirons high priced half next
Toshiba Tecra
Dell Inspirons low priced half next
Toshiba Satellite and other non-Tecra
HP lower priced Pavilions
Compaq Presarios upper half of price range
Acer
Alienware
Compaq Presariou lower half of price range
Sony VAIO... and the poorest performer for Dollar spent
WinBook
eMachines... just like their desktop cousins... bad motherboards

There is no way to know in advance, except that the IBM Lenovo have been the tops fro reliability since 1992

I have an IBM thinkpad R30 (circa 2000) and it has the same issue as the dell mentioned. Other thab that though, its indestructable.