Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dell Inspiron 1501 - Dead, No Power, Won't Charge

Picture 1
This is a common problem with the Dell Inspiron 1501/E1705/6000 series. Most of the motherboards use the same general layout and design. You can tell by the white and silver cases used. From my guess, the solder on the leads of FL1 [filter] tend to lose contact after regular use. Perhaps eating away at the Filters pad, due to the current it is carrying.

Sometimes it may be years before it finally lose contact, other times only months pass. In this instance the laptop was a couple of years old before it failed.

How to fix it:
Picture 2
Remove FL1
Clean contact area

Replace FL1
Solder back onto clean surfaces.

Click picture to see larger image

Picture 2
Shows another failed NO Charge issue. FL1 cannot handel the surge when plugged in and eventually arcs then lose contact with the solder pad.  In this case if you cannot find a replacement, you can simply turn the coil [FL1] upside-down, and make sure you have positive voltage on  the circuit.  Try to test pad contact area and not just the coil. If you check the coil only, sometimes you may not have contact to the pad, which is the original problem.   The silver dots on the motherboard in a circuit are test points. The white dots are only Pin 1 indicators or orientation markers. In picture 2 voltage was checked at pins 1,2,3 to see if voltage reached the MOSFET. This FET sends power to the RUN circuit.

If you wiggle the jack with the adapter plugged in and the lights come on briefly it is a  failed POS circuit.  [Top side]

If you get no lights or anything with adapter plugged in- it is usually a failed negative circuit.  [Typically bottom side]


  1. Another one today Mar 23 2010

    Same problem, same coil

    1. Thank you very much for posting this solution. I have a dead Inspiron 1501
      (second time, first was under warranty) and it does not power up at all. Since you have had this problem at least twice, I would be willing to try your solution- but I am unsure which part
      I would order. Furthermore I have never repaired a computer at the component level and was wondering if there are good soldering resources I could be pointed at. Again- your site is greatly appreciated, thank you.

  2. Just got the same problem on a dell vostro 1000

  3. Shane were you able to fix the problem? Tell us your experience

  4. i have a insp1200, completly dead..
    is it the max1999 or a fuse issue also. like the 1501?

    cause i have a second faulty board wich at least turned on and off
    so i de-soldered several ic's and powerfets from it but he kept powering on..(and off)
    as soon as i de-soldered the max1999 -->> dead also


  5. Frank: The MAX1999 is the power output/charge controller. If that is removed nothing much will have power.

    In the 1200 series it is typically the positive terminal on the DC Jack (bottom side) or the coil in the front end near the DC jack (looks same as the coil on 1501 but wider). The bottom of the coil usually loses contact. and the DC Jack usually forms a cold solder joint.

    As far as the one turning off/on it could be memory (check first) or could be the CMOS chip which holds the BIOS settings, or the BIOS chip itself.

  6. thanx for advice!
    but if the coil doesn't get contact, can he get power from the battery? or is this circuit near the jack the epicentrum of all power up issues?

  7. The coil is not in the battery power path. So if you have a charged battery it should at least light up, provided the problem is not another circuit.

    And in most cases the power is drained before one realizes that the DC Jack don't work/won't charge.

    The coil loses contact because the bottom of the pad cannot really handle the current, and the heat generated. So, hot/cold/hot/cold tend to expand and contract the metals of different types and will separate from each other.


  8. i see,
    thanx a lot for taking your time..

    but if i put the charger, one light goes on (battery is charging)
    i press the button..the light goes out for 3 seconds and again the light goes on..
    with only (full) battery..nothing, no light at all

  9. You have a short in the charge section, or the battery 'gauge' mosfet may be shorted. Something like MAX17xx series IC.

  10. I have a 1501 here also that has no power but if i drain the laptop (hold on button for 30 secs) i will get power. I turn it off and no power againI have to drain to get power. I didnt have a FL1 chip so i removed FL1 and cleaned and reapplied new solder but problem still there. Any Ideas?

  11. Jay yours maybe a simple solution. When you press the PWR ON for 30 seconds you are drain the CMOS settings. Then they have to be reloaded from BIOS or a buffer in the KB controller chip. So you have either a bad CMOS battery or CMOS Chip. Those are relatively cheap to replace.

    Skill needed: Average
    Availability: High
    Time needed: 1.5 hrs

  12. Also, let me know your results. It's good to hear when one is resolved since it may help others reading this.

  13. Yes it turned out to be cmos chip. thanks for your help. I have another dell inspirion 1525 that when you plug the charger in the light on charger goes out.There is a short somewhere but I cant find it, any ideas

  14. I use an old standby jack on wires and using a generic 19v power supply. The jack with wires leading out, I solder the wires to the POS and NEG pads on board during test phase.

    The little inside and outside brass tangs can slip out from a bad Power plug and when the plastic white tip is broken, missing or cracked it will grab the tangs,rather than sliding out of the way. So not contacting inner or outer contact but shorting them.

    If you have another 1525 power board, substitute and check it. It's usually that little board.

  15. same problem with me for dell inspirion 1525 that when you plug the charger in the light on charger goes out. pls help

  16. same problem with Inspiron 1150, i tried everything,
    Reseat the RAM, battery, drive,

    if insert CD,can hear cd spin, see backlit,but no picture ,nor on flat or CRT external monitor

    after goggling for hrs, seems its motherboard ,and the video chip is bad

  17. hi.. i use your recommendations to fix a dell 1501. but when i connect the power source this causse power down the ac adapter.
    is there a circuit near of it that can be damaged after the short?


  18. Sounds like your DC jack is shorted. That would be the least expensive hardware check.

    Also find a charged battery and see if the unit fires up. If so, it is the Jack. Sometimes the inside brass connectors short out.

  19. I use another charger and present the same issue....then i checked with a multimeter in continuity mode and looks good. now i will try removing the dc jack and isolate to test
    about the other circuits like mosfets near this Ac jack can fail and affect?

  20. Hi ... thanks for your help..
    the lap was fixed... at the end the problem was with the core that cover the AC connector on main board, it was in short, that cause that never power up.

  21. Several questions were asked directly and I will post/answer here so that everyone will benefit.

    I would like to know if a continuity test is sufficient to tell if the filter is good, and when you say replace do you reuse the original filter or is it a new part? Also, does the pin in the barrel of the dc plug of the power supply carry any current?

    Question 1: Can you test FL1 in circuit? Yes but the filter may not be the exact problem, it is whether the filter is passing voltage. Many times you may place the meter leads on the filter 2 soldered ends, but the main pads where the Filter sits has the gap. So you will need to check the pads, or circuit directly before & after the filter. When replacing, you can use an old part from a dead laptop, just make sure it has the soldered ends. Sometimes when removed, the previous arcing my had eaten the contacts solder ends, so you would not be completing the circuit. Essentially the coil FL1 is just a jumper, but the nature of coils is to push voltage forward.

    Question 2: Does the center barrel carry any current. This sounds more like a quick question. Voltage is carried over the POS circuit of electronics, and Current is pulled up from the NEG circuit. So the question is ambiguous.

    Negative electrons are 'pulled up' from Grounded circuits (NEG).

    Imagine this- Lightning is POS charged clouds arcing to NEG (Earth/Ground) not jumping from ground to the clouds.

  22. Typing too fast- Correction*

    in Answer 1:
    the previous arcing my had eaten the contacts
    should be------>
    the previous arcing may had eaten the contacts

    in Answer 2:
    This sounds more like a quick question
    should be------>
    This sounds more like a trick question

    [End Correction]

  23. Did a simple google search and stumbled across your blog. My mom's 1501 just decided it didnt wanna charge or run off the ac adapter. Removed the board, checked for voltage at the board first thinking it was a bad jack. Then i took a finger nail to the Filter and it lifted right off the board. Resoldered it and she's back in business! Thanks for the heads up!! That saved at least 100 bucks!

  24. I have the same exact issue, but my FL1 fuse is missing, where can I get this fuse? what's the name or specs of the fuse so I can buy it somewhere.


  25. Hi,
    I've an Inspiron 1501 which charges the battery but doesn't power up.
    The fan comes on & off, the green power light comes on with the battery charge light, however the screen is blank.
    When you remove the memory & HD the BIOS POST beebs aren't heard.

    Initially you could boot the machine if you left it on for 15 minutes before turning the power off then on again. Now this doesn't work.

    Any advice would be appreciated?

  26. PhilShack: sorry I cannot be specific, but you have a draining/shorted capacitor somewhere in the power IN/RUN section. That is the reason it will stay on after running for 15 min. When the cap is discharged, whatever FET it closes is now open.

    You will not get a P.O.S.T. beeps because POWER ON SELF TEST never gets tested, because there is no power to initialize

  27. Daniel: If you cannot identify chips or parts, you may want to turn it over. as long as it will have continuity after it is reinstalled.

    FL1 is not a FUSE, it is a Filter Coil. try cleaning the contacts and turning it upside down if you cannot find a replacement. Sites such as Digi-Key and Mouser have all the parts you may need.

  28. hello, i also have a dell inspiron 1501 that is seemingly dead. but after finding this blog I wonder if it can be brought back from the dead. Here are the symptoms of the laptop. When i plug in the dell power adapter the Led on the adapter turns off immediately after plugging it in. I have also tried turning it on with a fully charged battery also no go. Is this the FL1 coil or the power jack or something else entirely. I am thinking it has a short somewhere on the board but not sure. any advice on this issue would be awesome. thanks

  29. Sounds like a shorted DC jack. This happens time to time from Dell laptops, and you wind up exploring the board rather than the jack.

    How to test.
    With a charged battery before starting. Remove the jack.
    If the laptop runs without the jack. That was the culprit.

    If it does not run with the jack removed and immediately shuts off, there is a short in the run circuit. Usually a MOSFET but which one, I cannot say from memory.

    The FL1 filter simply acts are a filament, allowing voltage to pass through it. It usually becomes cracked on one side from not being able to carry the current. Or the copper pad too thin. Then you have an open circuit. That type of failure will usually run on battery, but not on AC, nor charge the battery. Example in this post is that condition.

  30. Suggestion:
    The two MOSFET on the front end behind the jack are relatively inexpensive. Check the numbers I think they are Si4435 or Si4425 and cost about 69 cents each. Replace both if it still shorts after the jack is removed.

  31. thank you for the advice. i am going to try that as soon as i can. Also i have another dell inspiron 1501 motherboard that powers on, but no video. it comes on with all of the lights, the fan winds up for a second and then nothing. was just wondering if you know what could be causing this. thanks

  32. Hi. Exactly what I have on a Dell 1501, but mine actually looks burnt. Can I buy the F1 filter somewhere to just replace it? If so, where would I find it and what exactly do I call it/or search for? Thanks.

  33. Geekster: There are no numbers on the part, so I usually get one off an old board. It is an inductor, but what uH I have no idea.

  34. Hey, I have an inspiron 1525.

    (1)With power cord plugged in, charging light blinks orange & fan comes on, but not computer. If i hold power button down, fan will go off, and conversely, if i press it again, it'll come back on.
    (2)WithOUT power cord plugged in, absolutely NOTHING happens, no lights, no fan, nothing.

    What i've done:
    Changed power board.
    Changed cmos battery.
    Changed battery.

    What i have NOT done....yet:
    Tried charging with different power cord.

    (1)Does this laptop have an FL1 filter?
    (2)If i change the FL1, MOSFET & CMOS chips, would that definitely fix the problem?
    (3)Would it just be easier to replace the motherboard ($140 on ebay)??

    Thanks bunches!

  35. Tavarus: This is not a question board. I simply post the repairs I have done. The number of questions and models of laptops would overwhelm me. But in your case it seems that it may be the diode behind the Power in/DC Jack on that model.

    Test the Power board (pretty cheap) or replace that first before the motherboard

    The models change from one to the next. Never assume one fix will solve another. Especially when there are so many models.

  36. Ok, sorry.
    As i listed before, i've changed the power board already with no change.

  37. Hello, I have a Dell Inspiron 1501. It wont start up on AC only anymore, the battery has to be in for it to power on, and the battery also doesn't get charged anymore either (the battery is perfect, it charges on other inspiron 1501 just not on mine anymore)... When its up and running with charger still plugged in it gets detected as running on battery power, when I remove the batter it stays on but OS says no battery detected and the battery indicator light keeps blinking( green, orange, orange, orange, orange). It can restart without putting in battery to start up again but once the laptop has completely shutdown battery has to be in to start up again.. Any solutions??

  38. Franklyn: If you do not get lights (even briefly flashing) you may have a blown FET. I had not taken pictures of the bottom side of the 1501 because I had no plans at that time to start a blog. But see picture 2 it may give you an idea as where to look for the problem.

    Typically it is in the area of FL1 [filter coil]. Test the leads on the back of the battery and on the Source side of the SI4835 MOSFET. With the AC adapter plugged in. You should have 19v there. Follow the voltage and you will find the open/shorted part.

  39. Thank you for this reply..., I will carry out the test and soldering ASAP and let you know how it goes...

  40. hello,
    i have a dell 1525 (intel based, no nvidia) that turns on, but no POST, nothing on the screen.
    replacing the memory and the cpu helps nothing, athough the iagnostic mode (holding FN+power on) shows one led blinking and two on, which decodes as CPU problem (seen such a decoding somewhere on the net).
    what shall i doto diagnose ?
    thanks !

  41. Thanks man! Before coming across your blog I had read a bunch of other posts regarding the Dell XPS M1330 "no power/works only on charged battery" problem. I even purchased a couple of dead motherboards on eBay to try different things before working on mine. I then read this post. I checked the filter coil on the Pos circuit and, voila, problem solved. I had checked across the coil (there was continuity) but did not check for contact at the pads. I put it under the microscope and sure enough, the side closest to the jack had cracked the solder in half. I think on the M1330 the jack is on such a flimsy part of the board that through wiggling and jiggling the filter loses contact over time. I removed it, cleaned the contact area and resoldered. It now runs of ac charger and is charging the battery again. This amateur owes you a beer!

  42. Beer donations gladly accepted- donation button on right. This allows me time to fix on the bench rather than going to a bar. As well as helps keep this site running until the domain is completed.

    1. Done! Thanks again and keep them coming. What's the name of your tech website?

  43. sDeivis: Not all 'Beep Code' CPU errors are in the CPU itself. Many are related to voltages or signals that the CPU recieves to initialize the P.O.S.T. sequence. I have not experienced that problem, but it could very well be a ceramic capacitor shorted. Just last week I found a shorted cap on the bottom side on the far corner away from the DC jack. When it was shorted the laptop would not even power on, charge or have lights.

  44. =======Chris =======================
    Actually I have repaired over 30 of the 1501s but...

    The information posted here is primarily for technicians and skillied individuals. Not for intended for general public. There are reasons for this- safety and costs. there is no way you can adequately learn electronics online. It is a hands on course of 18 months to 2 years. And covers many aspects of electronics. And cannot be learned by YouTube or reading "HOW TO's" if you have no training.

    Please take to qualified repair center.

  45. Thanks,
    how do you determine, which ceramic cap might be shorted?

  46. I start in the power section, then follow the Positive side.

    Since parts fail usually by product line. I start with DC Jacks, MOSFETS then Caps. The ceramic caps will fail before electrolytic caps in laptops.

  47. The power jack on my Vostro 1500 broke. I soldered on a new one and now it works fine on AC, fine on battery, but with both AC and battery the battery isn't charging (Windows status is "plugged in, not charging"). Did I mess up the soldering job, or does the problem lie elsewhere (e.g. the battery itself, or some other part of the motherboard)?

    1. Most likely too much solder or part shorted. Replacing a jack on Dell requires a delicate touch. More techs are using heat guns now rather than soldering irons. But still that requires care...

  48. Looking at picture #1 you will see a thin brownish quartz peice at the upper right corner next to the DC jack. Anyone here have a clue what this is and the specs to order a new one?

    From pics of some other boards online all I can make out on the top is 25.000

    This was busted on my board and was missing the top half.

  49. Howie, it is a 25mhz crystal oscillator.

  50. It works! I had exactly the same problem as described. No mains power, but the 1501 ran from battery. Tried what was suggested, took out the FL1, cleaned it up and re-soldered it back to the board. Checked the voltage was correct as described earlier – all okay. But it did NOT work. Took a couple of days off the problem and then did exactly the same procedure again. This time it worked! My 1501 now charges its battery off the mains and also runs off the mains without a battery. The earlier failure was probably because of my inept soldering, as I am an amateur. It was a tricky job. But with a bit of perseverance I got it to work.

  51. hello dude

    please help , i am having issues with inspiron 1501 i.e when i plugged the charger, the charger light goes off.
    when tried the same thing with different charger giving the same error..

    plese help

  52. Hi , I have inspiron 1501 no power at all I checked the tip of the charger with a multimeter got 18.5 volts..
    Opened the laptop up checked the brass prongs on the back of the dc jack just before they reach the motherboard it is 9.5 volts is this right or should it be 18.5 ??? Could really use some help

  53. I have a 1501 I was given because it stopped working. I get no lights when plugged in and it doesn't power on. I did notice the light on the CD drive was on although nothing else was. The charger light on the power cord stays on when plugged in. I opened it briefly but didn't notice anything that didn't look right. I was wondering what you think it might be.

  54. Hi,
    My 1501 LED flash for a moment when I press the power button and nothing go on.
    Can I just replace the FL1 with a thin wire so it can pass the current?


    1. K CY: The LED flash is because the battery is low or not enough power to turn it on. You must first address the charge problem. Verify that the laptop is charging. Check the DC Jack, then test the circuit at F1 to see if power is going through to the MOSFETS.

      You are putting the cart before the horse.

  55. Hi friends, My dell latitude d620 suddenly shut down without any error or beep & then when the power button is pressed , the caps lock, num lock, scroll & the power led light up & remain steady only for 3 secs & then shuts down again without any beep or error. During the brief 3 secs the lights come up, there is no fan movement, there is no battery or charging led light.

    I farntically searched for all possible trouble shooting like hard reset, took all components apart from the motherboard & then reseated all. Still the same issue powers on , gives no beep then shuts down.

    I have checked the motherboard for possible issues with blown chips or capacitors. I saw that on the motherboard just under the power jack there is a very small brown colored on the top inductor/resistor is swollen on both sides. I am not sure if that is the culprit which is stopping the computer from powering on.

    I initially thought that the issue could be with the dc jack but i do not see any visible signs of jack being loose or anything, otherwise i guess the system would not even try to power on...I am a novice & cant pinpoint on the exact cause of the problem. I request forum members to help.

    1. LapGuy: This is a blog and not a forum- Forums elicit too many posts that are unrelated, or totally incorrect. I try post information on what I know from experience, (not suspect).

      During the startup process the BIOS does checks of the P.O.S.T. when one item fails it cannot continue. Sometimes the event occurs before the BIOS portion is read from CMOS (or vice versa depending on the laptop). You get no beeps because the code to tell it to beep did not load. So this points to a failure in that area. What to look for:

      1: Check the BIOS battery - if it is dead or don't have enough power to save settings to BIOS/ So they are never read.
      2: The Jack can be loose internally- not making contact with one side of the inner ring connector. RE: The two sides of the ring- One side takes power to system, the other takes power to the charge section.
      3: It could be a solder ball disconnect in the GPU- this nVidia GPU uses a combined CPU and Power controller chip.

      This can typically be fixed with a correct reflow method. I've found those on Youtube will sometime KILL a laptop, so I put the correct method in a video that is sold on the site. Usually should be done by a tech, but if you can follow directions almost anyone can do a proper reflow. What the YouTubers don't understand is the chemical and heat properties that are needed for a successful reflow, so they just think you can put it in an oven and be done with it. Those usually last about a week then the same problem or a different problem pops-up. So be cautious about what some techs are doing, because they have no accountability nor training. And I did not want to get into that fray or be associated with bad info, so I rarely put my videos there for that reason. I just use Youtube sometime to host my videos, but they are not in the search index.

      If you could send me a picture of the brown spot that is swollen- (Clear and closeup) I could tell it is the problem or not.

  56. Hi, I have this same problem, no lights ... All dead. I think it could be that coil, can anyone give me information about what should I ask for at the electronics store? Because i know there are different kinds of coils and different sizes of smd components. I've practiced desoldering smd components with my soldering station, but I've never ordered smd components and I don't know what to ask for.

    Thanks for the solution bytheway, It's the best info I've found!!

  57. Hello Everyone,
    seems i've finally hit the right place for my problem with my good ol' Dell Vostro 1520.
    The battery won't charge. When i plug the AC adaptor, it charges for 5 seconds then stops. If i replug it it will do the same: charge for 5 seconds then stops.
    My son dropped the computer of the couch, problems seems to start from there.
    I tested 2 different AC adaptor = same behaviour.
    Tested a new battery = same behaviour.
    wiggling the AC plug does nothing.
    when the pc is off, it won't charge either

    opened the PC didn't see any broke components but not sure i would recognize one without knowing what i'm looking for...
    I see two options :
    - software problem
    - electrical problem (like a capacitor charging and not allowing the battery to charge)
    any help is much appreciated since there is nothing wrong about that computer... except this charging problem.

    1. You most likely have a cold solder joint, or broken joint on the Power In section. There are a few diagnostic checks to verify, before guessing.

      The blog is intended for technicians, because there is no way to train via blog available.


I cannot repair laptops for you via the internet, I can only answer questions related to posts. This is because I have not had experience on every motherboard that is out there. Bear with me.

If you do need it repaired. Contact me for quote (US/CDN Only)

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