Solved Dell Latitude laptop D820 won't startup

May 6, 2012 at 09:38:35
Specs: Windows 7, 4Gb
When starting up my Dell Latitude D820 absolutely nothing happens: no cmos check - screen remains black. Can hear HDD spinning. LED's for power, HDD and battery charge light up, only power remains. When starting up and meanwhile pressing Fn-key, Num-Lock blinks, Caps-Lock and Scroll-Lock permanently light up. Replaced CMOS battery, tested with/without batterypack, removed, reseated and switched (both - 2x2Gb) memory banks, also removed and reseated keyboard connection.No result. DVD drive opens normally, Dell Diagnostics CD spins but nothing happens. Any suggestions would be welcome - what does the described flash code mean, can't find any info about this.

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May 7, 2012 at 04:34:36
The caps and scroll lock on, and num lock flashing means that there is either an error with the processor or the main system board.

Contact Dell for further advice.

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May 7, 2012 at 08:23:38
✔ Best Answer
"When starting up my Dell Latitude D820 absolutely nothing happens: no cmos check - screen remains black. Can hear HDD spinning. LED's for power, HDD and battery charge light up, only power remains. "

That sounds like it's starting up fine - you just have no video.
Do you normally hear a beep when the POST completes successfully while booting ? If you do, if you're still hearing that, your only problem may be with the video.

No video or a problem with the video on the built in display on laptops and netbooks are COMMON problems.

The computer may be working fine other than the video problem - you just can't tell that it's working fine because you're seeing nothing on the built in screen.

The led that indicates the battery is charging will not stay lit if the battery is fully charged.

The hard drive activity led will go out shortly after Windows reaches the Logon screen, if you normally have to Logon to you user in Windows.

Try connecting an external monitor to the laptop.

Laptop no video (or video problems), and battery, AC adapter, power jack T shooting.

See response 1:

DO NOT plug in or unplug a monitor's video cable into / from a video port while the computer is running. Doing so can damage the monitor's circuits and/or the video adapter's circuits.

Some laptops will display on an external monitor without you having to do anything.

If you get no video on an external monitor, some laptops have a key combo that you must press to toggle the display to external video only / built in display video only / sometimes both - see the Owner's or User's manual for the model (e.g. press both Fn and Fx ; x is a number).

If that doesn't help....

Have you, or is it possible someone else who had access to this computer...
- dropped it, or dropped anything on it, or otherwise exposed it to a physical jolt ?
- spilled liquid on it, or sprayed it with liquid, or exposed it to liquid such as rain ?

Since the video last worked properly all the time, has there been a power failure event that happened while the AC adapter was plugged in ?

Those things are the most frequent reasons something inside the laptop has been damaged.

Dell™ Latitude™ D820 User's Guide

User's Guide - Troubleshooting

There's nothing in there about your status led symptoms indicating errors, other than a discharged main battery.

Your computer may produce the same status led symptoms when you hold down only the Fn key while booting when there's nothing wrong with it. Usually if not always, you press a combo of keys - e.g. hold down Fn and then press another key, let go of both keys.

Manuals (all of them)
Dell™ Latitude™ D820

The Service manual shows that the video adapter for your computer is built into the mboard and cannot be removed.
If you get no video on an external monitor, the mboard, or some other essential component that plugs into it, must be replaced

The Cmos battery has nothing to do with a video problem on a laptop (or on any compute, for that matter, unless the main chipset supports hybrid video on a desktop mboard).
Incompatible ram can cause no video and no boot, no beep codes if that applies, but if the ram installed in the mboard is the SAME ram it had in it when the video last worked fine on the built in display, the video should work on at least an external monitor even if the Cmos battery is too weak, or dead, or is installed d so it's polarity is backwards, if that's possible )if it's a button cell you must see the + on top of it when it's been installed), or if the Cmos battery is not installed at all.

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May 7, 2012 at 12:01:44
Thanks for your answer!
I have tried an external monitor, no result. Neither did the Fn-F8 (toggle external monitor). Since the problem occurred some time ago its hard to tell what may have happened, no spilled drinks or heavy force apllied that's for sure.
Perhaps the AC adapter may have caused the problem, I recall that it repeatedly wasn't recognized anymore and at times didn't recharge the battery. I replaced the adapter but may have switched it back again by accident.
Anyhow I think replacing the motherboard may become too costly, so it all ends here. Fortunately I made a backup of the HDD just before the laptop broke down.
Again, many thanks for your time!

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Related Solutions

May 7, 2012 at 19:06:02
Out of curiousity, I searched on the web for: Dell Latitude D820 motherboard

I found that there are at least two different possible motherboards

- one with an Intel main chipset, Intel integrated video - e.g a new mboard for ~ $150 plus shipping ?
- one with NVidia integrated video, an Nvidia main chipset ? - e.g a new mboard for ~ $160 plus shipping ?

If you
Go here for how to find the Service tag "number":

Tell us what it is, then we may be able to tell you which version is in your specific model.
Or - you may already know which brand of video you have (had).

I've heard that some Nvidia main chipsets have chips that eventually fail, particularly the chip that has the integrated video - sometimes it works to "reflow" the chips.

Here's an example of the Intel main chipset mboard having failed, and a guy, a technician I assume, got it working again by "reflowing" the main chips.

IR based laptop BGA reflow of a Dell Latitude D820 motherboard to fix a no video and no power issue.

If you're willing to try it, there may be a local place that repairs laptops that has the equipment to try "reflowing" the main chips on your mboard - phone around and ask.

To minimize the labour cost, you could remove and install the mboard yourself.

See the Service manual, at the Manuals (all of them) link above


How to Replace the Motherboard on Dell Latitude D820

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January 15, 2013 at 07:40:19
Hi Paho,

I want to ask you, if you solved that problem, I have the same problem,

Please tell me,
My email is

Best regards

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