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I was using my computer at the airport the other day and it suddenly powered off as though the plug had been pulled. I unplugged its AC plug, plugged it into a different outlet and the computer functioned fine. A couple days later, it did it again, I did the same thing, and it was fine.

Two days ago, I use the computer at home. I’m sitting on the couch with it, and I shift my weight slightly and the thing powers off (it has no battery in it, as the battery died 2 months ago and won’t hold a charge – gives the “Battery is defective, contact Dell” sequence of light flashing). No amount of plugging in, wiggling of cords, checking the connections in the power cord, holding down the power button on the laptop, etc would bring it back. There was no sound, no sparks, no smells. To check if there’s power going into it at ALL, I plugged in the dead battery. The battery light showed that it was trying to charge it, and then settled into its usual error flashing sequence. I don’t know anyone else with a Dell laptop, so I haven’t been able to swap power cords and see if that was the problem. The computer shows no signs of life at all unless the battery’s in there, and it’s telling me the battery’s toast.

I was told to do a hard reset on the machine, but I don’t know how to do one other than the “hold the power button down” trick on the Inspiron 8200. Does anyone have any ideas, or does it sound like my little senior finally kicked it (it’s five years old this year).

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Last Post by saren
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It sounds like a connectivity issue in the power supply, not necessarily the PSU. I don't think it is you cord, but you can eliminate this by shorting the AC plug and using an Ohm meter to read continuity at the other plug. Having the computer shut off after moving it suggests that this is a physical problem, and taking the laptop apart can be bear if you are not familiar with it. Unfortunately in order to effectively trouble shoot the power supply you will need to get to different points of reference to see where it is breaking down.

Can you demonstrate any repeatability by moving it and having it shut off?

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No, I cannot, because it will not turn on at all at this point.

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My 8200 also has (or had) the same problem. Mine lasted about 2 months after it first started. I called Dell, changed memory, new batteries and then then finally it stopped. Now it won't turn on all the way- all four green lights come on (power, Num lock, Alpha Lock & lock with the down arrow) for about 3-5 seconds and then everything shuts off. I took to a local repair shop and just got back today because they replaced the motherboard and still could not fix the problem. Have you made any head way with yours?

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You know what? I've basically given up on it. I was given a new laptop by a family member who was very generous, and now the Dell's just sitting on the floor flashing and being a burden on my utility bill. I'm thinking of stripping it for parts and selling it for all it's good for (screen, RAM, etc) on eBay. Before I do that, though, I'll take it apart and check all its solder connections.

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I would suggest to first try replacing your battery or taking it in to have some one like Best Buy's Geek Squad to check the integrity of your Laptops Battery.
You may still pay less then what you would if you sell parts.

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You might want to ensure that all of the cards in the machine are all connected. I recently had an issue where mine wouldn't power on at all, and it seems one of the cards just below the video card had come loose during transport. Your computer will not power on if it's disconnected. It's not that big either.

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No, I never bothered to get it fixed, as I was given another (old) laptop for free. I just stripped it for parts, kept the RAM and HD for the next machine and sold it for parts on eBay.

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