Dell Inspiron M5010 Motherboard Problems.

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Dell Inspiron M5010 Motherboard Problems.

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This is my first post on a Dell community boards. I have a Dell Inspirion M5010 that I purchased from Bestbuy on November 30, 2010. The laptop is not used that hard, since I have an iPhone and tablet as well, and the laptop is well taken care of (meaning never dropped, no spillage, have a laptop cooling pad to keep it from overheating, ect) so I have done all the right preventive measures. Well about 2 weeks ago, I go to turn it on and I got a black screen and it just beeped at me 7 times. I knew this was not good, usually its a motherboard failure. So I took it to a repair shop to get diagnosed just to make sure that I was right, and I was and it was going to be about a $400.00 repair. 

I did some looking online, and on the Dell community boards and it seems I am not the only one with the M5010 model that is having this same exact problem. Their motherboards are fried after just about 2 years! I think that is ridiculous, when we pay about $800.00 for a laptop and it doesn't last 2 years! And of course the warranty is up (go figure). 

Anyone else on these threads having the same problem with there Inspirion M5010's motherboard after just 2 years? I just don't think its right that a laptop's motherboard should be fried within 2 years. 

My family and I have been loyal Dell customers for years, all of our laptops are Dells and they are all great, except for the one I have (M5010). I bought Dell (and paid more) because I thought that the Dell laptop would be reliable. But I guess that I was dead wrong on that. 

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  • I have the M5010 too, and it just died. Was working great, and even had the a laptop cooling pad running. Then, without a symptom at all - it died. 

    All I have is a power light and a fan. No post beeps, no video, no nothing else. It doesn't enter BIOS. 

  • Having the same issue here at the shop. a client purchased the model on 2/11/2011

    no post, no display.

  • I got my Inspirion M5010 in December 2010 and had no problems until May of this year......it has been back to Dell to be repaired 3 times since May of this year and I am sending it back again for the exact same problem that has happened the last 2 times.   The 7 beeps is a CPU issues and I had the same thing, they had to replace the motherboard the last 3 times. Got it back yesterday from the 3rd repair and used it this morning for about an hour  trying to back up my hard drive before doing anything else, and the exact thing started all over again....the black screen and 7 beeps!!!!!  My warranty was expired in May but I paid the $168  for the expired warranty renewal, so thankfully these last 3 times sending it back have not cost me anything except lack of my laptop for 2 weeks at a time. I too have been a  loyal Dell customer and we have a desktop we got in 2001 that is still plugging along (minus the CD not working), but I would definitely not be thinking about purchasing another Dell laptop with all the problems over the last few months!!  Might be worth it to you to renew your expired warranty and have Dell repair it, although might not fix the problem permanently unfortunately.....as in my case. 

  • I'm new to this forum and decided to join because I too had the same problem with my laptop.

    I was hoping to get in contact with Onlinealias you publicly posted his despair and the fact that when he contacts DELL he feels like he is talking to a brick wall.

    My problems started when I was working in Spain, When I used my laptop (M5010) on it's cooling board, it smelt hot, and on my last morning, I turned it on and it beeped 5 times an resumed with the starting process, but I turned it off, not knowing what it meant (Battery pack Failure). The next day I returned home and I turned it on to show my parents, 7 beeps, Processor Failure.

    "It's your fault! You have too many photos on it! You've fried it!" Despite my age (19) I have quite a successful photography career...  I do/did look after it, and it had no prior symptoms apart from it suddenly getting extremely hot.

    I have sent it to PC world (in the UK) but the repairs are going to cost me more than what I payed for it!

    I bought it straight from DELL thinking that I would get a Reliable company to send me a reliable computer, but no. It also died at just after it's 2nd "birthday".

    Are DELL actually doing anything about this? And what is happening to us "victims"?

  • Hi Marlinsfan017,

    This problem is well documented with Dell. Mine died just after the warranty ran out also. This is a problem with the solder process when they made the motherboard. I was able to fix mine with a ghetto re-flow process I found on another forum. If Dell wont assist you then this may be your last resort to bring it back to life (mine has been working a little over 3 months after I did this re-flow process).  If you do this exactly as it says you have a pretty good chance of fixing it.

    DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK.... Here is the steps

    For those of you out there who have the technical expertise to disembowel your laptop and repair it yourself.  There are abundant websites that document the 7 beep problem as well as similar problems with other makes and models.  The 7 beep error states that the problem is either a failed processor chip, failed motherboard or both.

    In some cases it is neither; therefore, ordering a new motherboard and processor chip may not solve it because you will only get another flawed motherboard that may work for awhile, then fail again.

    Being a computer repair guy for more years than I want to recall, my guess is that the problem appears to be a flawed process in building the M5010 motherboard where a lack of sufficient heat and, or solder, results in the solder connections breaking loose over time from repeated temperature fluctuations on the motherboard.

    Based on tips gleaned from other web sites, here is how I repaired my  Dell M5010.

    This is called "Re-flowing" the solder connections:

    Remove the motherboard from the laptop.  This is the easiest laptop to disassemble that I have ever encountered.

    Remove every removable component from the motherboard.  That is, memory sticks, processor chips, wifi, battery, etc.

    Again, EVERY pluggable item that can be removed.  Don't forget the motherboard battery.  It will explode in the oven if left on the board.

    Heat your oven to 385 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Get a round pizza pan, wad up 3 balls of aluminum foil to a 2" diameter.

    Place the aluminum balls on the pizza pan, then place the stripped motherboard, with component side up, on top of the aluminum balls.  This allows for proper heat circulation around the motherboard.

    Once the oven is heated to 385 degrees Fahrenheit, place the pan with motherboard on the middle rack.

    Allow the motherboard to "bake" for precisely 8 minutes.

    Turn off the oven and open the oven door, but DO NOT remove or move the pan and motherboard.  The solder is still hot and flowing.  It needs to cool and set.

    Leave the motherboard untouched and let the pan, motherboard and oven cool for 1 full hour, then remove the pan with motherboard and again, without moving the motherboard, let it cool for another hour.  This will guarantee that the solder has flowed and cooled properly so that no "cold" solder connections should exist.

    Reassemble the laptop, hit the power button and hope for the best. It will beep for a few minutes after it powers up, don't worry about this. It will stop when the BIOS resets.

    This process worked flawlessly for me on the first attempt.  At the specified temperature and limited time in the oven, nothing melted or softened.  All ports tested and worked as expected.

    This process may not work for everyone, but if your laptop is dead and out of warranty, you are looking at an expensive repair, so you really have nothing to lose.

    Be patient, follow the steps carefully and don't over heat the oven or exceed the 8 minutes

    This should be attempted only as a last resort and only if you don't want to invest big bucks in repairs or another laptop.

    Good Luck. Hope this helps.

  • Thanks for the fixit, I tried it but when I reassembled my PC it was dead, dead. It would not even light-up the power on lights in the front, So I guess I have messed up the power circuit when heating it in the oven. but it was worth a try.
  • You might want to re-check your connections. The process of heating shouldn't have done anything to the power circuits (They get pretty hot while in use), unless the board was heated a little too long. I fixed a Compaq laptop that had the same problem a month or so back. I had to do the heating process 3 times before the soldier would flow enough to fix it. Just make sure the pan is larger than the board and the temp is right and no longer than 8 minutes. Good Luck