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When trying to bootup my inspiron 1720, the blue light with a padlock and a 'A' inside of it is flashing, it then just shuts off after some time.

If I take out the battery with it plugged in, the same thing happens.

By the power button above the keyboard there are 3 lock symbols, and inside the lock symbol are: '9', 'A', and a down arrow.

The blue light with the 'A' is flashing.

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Thats your caps lock flashing BTW. the 9 is your numlock and the one with the down arrow is your scroll lock –  Journeyman Geek Dec 10 '11 at 2:57
    
What exactly is your problem? Can you clarify what "shuts off"? Is it the light, or your whole laptop? –  iglvzx Dec 10 '11 at 3:15
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1 Answer

Apparently this seems to mean it's a memory error or a motherboard error. The solution is to remove, press and hold down the power supply then reseat or replace the RAM. If you have two sticks test each one independently.

In addition see the user manual for instructions on RAM removal and this list of Dell error codes which seems to confirm it to some extent.

See this page for a graphic display of the blink codes and what they mean and possible resolutions.

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