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  1. #1
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    Question Laptop boots only if CMOS battery is removed, then replaced

    this Dell Latitude E6400, win7pro, began to show a problem of spontaneous rebooting when the lid repositioned during operation, several days later it finally failed to boot. The power button 'l e d' stopped lighting and the laptop was unresponsive. I thought the power button had failed but I tried removing the cmos battery and replugging it and the laptop booted. It will warm boot but will only cold boot if the cmos is unplugged and replugged. Hopefully this is not a motherboard failure...any ideas about repair???
    Last edited by do2; 2014-01-04 at 13:08.

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  3. #2
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    Have you tried running Dell's Diagnostics on it to see if it finds anything http://www.dell.com/support/Diagnostics/us/en/19/

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Sudo15 For This Useful Post:

    cmptrgy (2014-01-02),do2 (2014-01-02)

  5. #3
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Do2,

    Have you tried a new battery?
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    VBA Rules!

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    do2 (2014-01-02)

  7. #4
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    This is a very interesting topic to me and that Dell PC DIagnostics site looks like a great suggestion

  8. #5
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    Yes, a new CMOS battery from Dell was installed and no change in problem.
    Last edited by do2; 2014-01-02 at 13:46.

  9. #6
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    Great reminder, thanks, numerous attempts in the past to run the diagnostic via firefox failed but thanks to your suggestion i tried IE11 and ran the complete test. All hardware passed except the usb test could not run. The diagnostic overall score was 'could not run' which i found a little confusing. I think I may have an hardware failure of some item that runs on cold boot but not on warm boot...but I have no idea what that is or if the usb test means anything. The usb ports recognize flash drives when inserted.

  10. #7
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    DO2,

    Have you checked the Dell site for a BIOS upgrade?
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    VBA Rules!

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  11. #8
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    You may need to have an USB plugged in for it to run its test.

    Because of the nature of your problem, having reset the CMOS, the system is working and if nothing is broken at the time of testing then it's going to come up clean, but thought the Diagnostics were worth a shot.

    If the BIOS is having problems telling Windows what to load without first being refreshed, it could be sticking over a particular driver and checking to see if it will boot up okay in Safe Mode with Networking without it needing to be reset, could be a pointer.

    If that works then go Start, type msconfig and press Enter then under the Boot tab check Boot log - Apply - OK to see if it's having problems with any.

    To view the log, navigate C:\Windows - scroll down to and double click on ntbtlog.txt and it will show if it didn't load any (you may have to open it in Notepad if that isn't default).
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2014-01-02 at 17:27.

  12. #9
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    There are certainly great ideas to refer to and I would certainly follow up on them

    I tried to find the manual for your computer but cannot find it but you should be able to get it by entering your service tag
    I was hoping to find your motherboard design to try to figure out how replacing the CMOS battery recovers from whatever power problem your computer is having

    In doing a little more research, I’d like to mention some observations even though I can’t find the manual for your pc

    In one type of Dell Latitude E6400 manual
    ftp://ftp.dell.com/Manuals/all-produ...nual_en-us.pdf
    there are diagnostics light codes during post beginning on page 7
    So if you do a cold boot look for the diagnostics light codes to see if it helps narrow down the area you need to work on
    --- If you go and get the manual for your computer, it wouldn’t surprise me if it has diagnostics like codes during post to help you out
    --- Then you can post back us what you found

    On your Dell Latitude E6400, is win7pro the original OS?
    According to http://data.manualslib.com/pdf/4/367...f8&take=binary it might have been a Vista computer
    --- If this is so, there could be a driver issue
    --- Also the computer has DDR2 memory and may have been ok when it was Vista but maybe there’s an issue when upgrading to Win7 Pro
    --- Is the Win7 Pro OS 32-bit or 64-bit
    ------ If it’s a 64-bit OS, DDR2 might be a factor

    Please note those are rough observations but if you can point us to the correct manual for your computer it might help us all out

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  14. #10
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    @ cmptrgy - DDR2 is fine and this is a recent problem on an otherwise working machine.

    @ do2 - Can you be more specific about what you mean by repositioning the screen ?

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  16. #11
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    Do you really mean the CMOS battery (a small disc shaped battery located on the motherboard) or do you mean the laptop battery that plugs into the rear of the laptop.

    Jerry

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  18. #12
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    First, thanks for your help, feedback and time. I can try a warm boot into safe mode, if that will suffice. Let me try to be clearer about this unusual problem. The laptop power button is 'dead' unless i unplug and replug the cmos bat. If i reinstall the cmos bat the power button will activate only if i move the screen "up&down" until power restores at one point in the movement. Cold booting will not occur without cmos bat repositioning. I did update the bios from vA19 to vA34. no change in problem except i did try several other updates that I need to uninstall.

    Now, added to my problem is another workaround, for rebooting I now must <F12> to get an option to boot from the harddrive. I believe a Dell update for the laptop needs to be uninstalled to correct.

    I did receive a new error on the latest cold boot after cmos bat reposition: TPM not initialized. Unhandled exception for "Gdip" A generic ereror occurred in GDI + Stack trace at System Drawing. SafeNativeMethods.Gdip.GdipCreateFontFromLogfrontW (HandleRefhdc, Object If, IntPtr & font.. The error description continues another 41 lines and I can't get it to copy to anything save typing it.

    Another oddity upon last cold boot the time&date came up 6/4/2013 1:06am rather than the 2009 origin date, I suppose the BIOS update caused that change.

    I understand how odd the cmos battery unplug/replug sounds. I do think I am totally confused by it.

    my Dell Diagnostics results attached file.

    Motherboard: System Board
    Chipset: Intel GM45/PM45/GS45/GL40/GS40
    Southbridge: Intel 82801IEM (ICH9M-E)
    Manufacturer: Dell Inc.
    Product: 0U695R
    Last edited by do2; 2014-01-04 at 11:04.

  19. #13
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    yes sir...kinda hard not to find it. it's a common 2032 button in a plastic sock with a 3 wire connect via female push plug right next to the system fan. Dell sells it for $12.95 plus $7 shipping. I was tempted to make my own from a 2032 on hand, but thought better.
    When I got the new cmos battery and installed it, there was no change in the boot issue.
    Last edited by do2; 2014-01-04 at 12:14. Reason: added last sentence

  20. #14
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    Thanks for your help and feedback...more than mighty confused, I'm lost in this problem. Yes, Win7 Pro OS 32bit is original. I had read about the light code but I don't see the code at my oddity of a cold boot. Next cold reboot i will watch the light array closely. The motherboard is
    System Board Chipset: Intel GM45/PM45/GS45/GL40/GS40 Southbridge: Intel 82801IEM (ICH9M-E) Manufacturer: Dell Inc. Product: 0U695R
    Last edited by do2; 2014-01-04 at 12:10.

  21. #15
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    Thanks for this reminder. Apparently Dell updates the BIOS regularly. I updated from the A19 to the A34 but no change in boot oddity that requires unplugging and replugging the cmos battery. I live about 10 miles from Michael, reckon he would help solve this issue?

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