Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have a Dell 6400, and the power button has trouble working sometimes, I was wondering if there is anyway to swap its function with a some of the buttons I don't use, like the front media buttons or the MediaDirect button (which also turns the laptop on but in a low-level media-only mode). Or to fix the laptop power button itself?

Thank you so much, I tried to google this one out and looked for software, but I guess this is more of a hardware issue? Any help with this would be greatly appreciated : )

This is what the laptop looks like:

enter image description here

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I agree with the osther comments from Molly and Niek but would add one thing.

I have seen some Latitude D820/830 that get some dirt or something under the power button and then work sometimes and not others. Have you removed the cover that runs just below the screen (assuming it is same, can't find a parts diagram)and had a look at the actual button that is usually at the top of the main board?

share|improve this answer
1  
this is actually the right answer. laptop buttons (well, most computer/gadget buttons) are two-piece: the button itself is soldered to a PCB, and the thing you press is actually a cover. it's often that cover that's damaged or not making contact correctly. if under warranty, let the repair shop handle it; if not, find a service manual, disassemble the case, and clean it out good. (if it's the actual button that's broken or worn-out, yes, soldering will be involved...) –  quack quixote Jan 15 '10 at 21:59
    
I've had this problem with many many Dell laptops. The Precision M60 and Inspiron 8600 have also had this problem. –  Macha Jan 15 '10 at 22:00
2  
THANK YOU O_O wow i fixed it under 10 minutes : ) for people having this problem, this is what i did-> i used this procedure to open the power button cover support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins6400/en/sm/… then with two very small watch screwdrivers i rubbed off the oxidized contacts of the green electronic board and the corresponding antler like contacts on the case itself. Of course very carefully so that i wouldn't break them. Now not only the power button works but the led lights, WiFi blutooth and Numlock turn on as well :D thank you so much! –  Mohammad Jan 15 '10 at 23:15
1  
just to clarify, you should turn your computer off while doing this, and i used two screw drivers because i would position one under the antler like contact and use the other to scrap it, this way making sure the pressure wouldn't cause it to break. Be Careful! –  Mohammad Jan 15 '10 at 23:18
1  
And, of course, remove the laptop battery, just to be on the safe side ;-) –  Niek Bergman Jan 15 '10 at 23:19

there is no software solution, your only hope is soldering.

share|improve this answer
    
go on then, do it! and get a move on, less than 300 karma points and you can sort out all the little annoyances yourself :) –  Molly7244 Jan 15 '10 at 20:51
    
Done. <3. Keep up the good work, and ty. –  RJFalconer Jan 16 '10 at 11:25

As Molly said, there would be no software solution for this.

Is this laptop still under warranty? If so, please do consider sending it in. In most cases, they should be able to fix this for you for free. (However, please do make backups of all your important data before sending it in. Some factories format all machines (or even replace the harddrives) by policy before even beginning on hardware work)

Otherwise, I am afraid the only way would indeed be by soldering.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 for the warranty suggestion. –  JMD Jan 15 '10 at 19:15

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.