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I have a much loved Dell E6530 laptop that is gradually getting harder to boot. When you press the power button the power light comes on (nothing from the HDD light) and the DVD drive clunks, then that's it. The screen stays blank. If you press the power button again there's a brief whirr from the cooling fan and the laptop turns off again.

This used to happen occasionally but over the last few months has got worse. Now you have to repeatedly turn the laptop on and off again and after around half a dozen goes the laptop will POST then boot Windows 7 and work perfectly normally. (I'm currently getting round the problem by just leaving the laptop permanently on. :-)

When the problem first started the laptop was still under warranty and Dell fitted a new motherboard. However that didn't make any difference and the laptop is now out of warranty so I'm on my own. What's puzzling me is that there isn't much in the laptop apart from the mobo and I can't see what else could be causing the problem. I've tried it with and without the disk and DVD drive, with and without the battery and connected or disconnected from the charger and none of this makes any difference.

So my question is can anyone suggest what could be causing this, and specifically could it be the CPU (an i7-3720QM)? I've been toying with the idea of buying a replacement CPU on eBay to see if this makes any difference, but it's a somewhat expensive test if it doesn't work.

I haven't tried changing the memory or WiFi cards (right now I'm using the laptop every day and I'm reluctant to risk breaking it) but neither seem likely to cause this sort of problem.

  • It does sound like a cpu, you can buy a cheaper (less powerful i3) CPU that fits the socket and would still be good to test with. – Moab May 15 '16 at 18:39
  • @Moab: thanks. I know the E6530 BIOS supports 3rd generation i3s (maybe even 2nd gen) but even they aren't cheap. I'd sooner wait and see if someone can confirm they've seen a faulty CPU cause this. – John Rennie May 15 '16 at 18:45
  • I think you have eliminated everything but cpu and memory, new mobo, disconnect hardware etc. – Moab May 15 '16 at 19:03
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I don't know if you have your Dell E6530 fixed buy mine did EXACTLY the same thing. What fixed it was an update to the BIOS. I now have current BIOS as of May 2017. Did it through Dell website. Has booted perfect ever since then. Good luck.

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Updating my BIOS also solved the problem, however it took like 20 attempts before the laptop would successfully reboot to complete the procedure. Laptop would stay it was getting ready to update and reboot. But the Laptop just set there with the power button on with nothing on the display. I tried just waiting for nearly 10 minutes before giving up. The update took like 25 minutes. Not sure it waiting longer would have made a difference...?

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