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Latitude E6400 Won't Start

Discussion in 'Dell Latitude, Vostro, and Precision' started by weirdo81622, Mar 21, 2009.

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  1. weirdo81622

    weirdo81622 Notebook Evangelist

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    I'm trying to switch out the processor of my E6400. When I put the new processor in and start the computer, the lights blink, sometimes the screen turns on (to black), but the BIOS never loads (or even starts). The computer then turns off, and the caps and scroll lock lights turn on, and the num lock light starts blinking.

    Does anyone know what that blinking code means, and more importantly, why the computer isn't starting?

    Thanks.
     
  2. sesshomaru

    sesshomaru Suspended Disbelief!

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    Seems to be the code for an unrecognized or faulty processor.. have you upgraded to the latest BIOS?
     
  3. Greg

    Greg Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Try reseating everything that you displaced while upgrading the processor, and then put the old processor back in if that doesn't do it.

    Sounds like you got a dead CPU there, but lets be sure.
     
  4. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    There's guidance on the Dell support site, such as:

    What is the new CPU? The T9600 in your signature?

    I suggest you go back to the old CPU and check everything boots with that.

    RAM not being seated properly can also cause a computer to not boot, but I presume you have not touched the RAM.

    John
     
  5. weirdo81622

    weirdo81622 Notebook Evangelist

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    I think the "unrecognized" processor is probably the most likely. Unfortunately, I have already sold my T9600. I wanted to check if the E6400 would play nice with the quadcore Q9100, but it looks like it won't.

    I don't have anything that also runs Montevina, so I can't test the CPU or check if it really is that the Q9100 is not supported. I heard that it works on the SXPS 16, so I decided to test.

    I'll keep looking for solutions and try all of the suggestions this evening. I'll keep you updated...
     
  6. kazaam55555

    kazaam55555 Notebook Evangelist

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    i thought that the quad cores did not work in the E6400. not being recognized in the BIOS or something to that effect.
     
  7. weirdo81622

    weirdo81622 Notebook Evangelist

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    In theory, they're not. I wanted a quad too much to care about "in theory". "In theory" they don't work in SXPS 16s either, and someone on these forums got a QX9300 to work on theirs...

    Update:
    After repeated attempts of starting the computer, one time, the BIOS loading screen just magically popped up. It loaded, and I was able to start the computer normally. However, much to my suprise, CPUZ reported that my processor had just two cores (!) but it was still a Q9100. Also note that it only shows 6MB cache vs the 12 it should have.

    After shutting down, I had to try to start the computer repeatedly again, and it took a few tries, but it did start (and does - after a few tries).

    Can anyone explain this part CPU use behavior? Even if the BIOS doesn't recognize the 4 CPU cores, shouldn't Windows be able to? Note: I dualboot to OSX, and it also detected only 2 cores. Or, do I have a faulty CPU (this is an ES)?

    Any expertise is appreciated.
     

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  8. weirdo81622

    weirdo81622 Notebook Evangelist

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    One more thing that may be worth noting. While my WEI has dropped in response to the lower clockspeed, Device Manager still lists 2 identical Intel T9600 @ 2.8GHz under the Processors tab (even after refreshing to check for new hardware).

    Odd.
     
  9. sesshomaru

    sesshomaru Suspended Disbelief!

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    This is interesting.. A computer that boots *sometimes*.. :p Perhaps it is shutting down two cores to save power.. and then it boots.. Does it boot both on AC power and battery?
     
  10. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    I'm not going to study the CPU socket pin configuration but I suspect that the E6400 doesn't provide power for all 4 cores. The power system is probably not built to meet the current demand of a 4 core CPU and the cooling system may complain about the heat under full load.

    As for mis-reporting the CPU, CPU-z has been programmed to recognise this CPU. The BIOS has not.

    John
     
  11. weirdo81622

    weirdo81622 Notebook Evangelist

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    I'm sure that the socket not providing enough power is a likely scenario. However, would the BIOS not recognizing the CPU still carry over to Windows and OSX? Also, this chip has a 45W TDP, and the X9100 has the same, and I've heard that someone had success with the X9100 in their E6400. And anyway, the E6400 electrical system should have enough juice to handle the Q9100 (consider that Dell sells a slim 65W travel charger and that powers it just fine - and I'm using the 90W standard).

    Originally, I thought that that was the problem. However, the computer does boot off of both battery and AC, so that doesn't seem to be it.

    It is also possible that the CPU is defective, right? Especially because the computer only starts sometimes. If it were only shutting down cores, wouldn't it technically start every time?

    Oh, and just a side note. Does anyone have any experience with flashing BIOSes with ones from other computers (by the same manufacturer)?
     
  12. weirdo81622

    weirdo81622 Notebook Evangelist

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    A few more things that I've found out.

    The BIOS correctly recognizes 4 cores.
    So does Intel Processor ID Utility.

    Is this typical of a BIOS not supporting the processor? After all, it does recognize all the cores. Or, is the processor faulty?
     
  13. sesshomaru

    sesshomaru Suspended Disbelief!

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    If the BIOS is programmed to recognize the CPU.. there is no reason it would fail to POST.. other than the fact that power requirements could be too high..
     
  14. weirdo81622

    weirdo81622 Notebook Evangelist

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    Maybe I'm missing something. The quad core processors have a TDP of 45W. As does the dual core X9100. A user here (yellowit4 or something like that) told me that he is successfully running a X9100 in his E6400. Is the TDP not indicative of the power draw?
     
  15. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    1. Does the BIOS really recognise all 4 cores and know that they all work? Or does it just see a flag which says it is a 4 core CPU? The Intel processor ID facility just checks a processor number against a table.

    2. 45W is 45W, but does the quad core chip have four lots of power connectors? It is quite plausible that Dell would have only wired up the connectors in the socket that are needed for a dual core, if that is all they planned to put into the E6400.

    I suggest you start studying some of the Intel datasheets.

    John
     
  16. weirdo81622

    weirdo81622 Notebook Evangelist

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    I'm not sure. The BIOS lists 4 under the number of cores (I'll post a photo later). Surely that means that it supports quads? I'm starting to consider 2 scenarios, both of which would explain the only 2 cores and the intermittent startup. A) Not wired for 4 cores (power, etc). B) because CPU is an ES, it has 2 cores disabled.
     
  17. K-TRON

    K-TRON Hi, I'm Jimmy Diesel ^_^

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    This is a strange occurrence for sure.
    When you swapped the processor, did you make sure that their was no dirt or anything in the socket?
    and did you make sure to lock the cpu in place with the screw on the socket?
    An unlocked cpu can result in no system activity, or rare occurrences when it will boot.

    You seem to have go it on, but only half of the cores work. I highly doubt that the processor voltage has anything to play in the game. I think the thing is the BIOS. The system BIOS reads cpu types. For example the entire 65nm santa rosa line of cpu's use the same HEX code for the series, so if one is supported all are. Their are only special coding for extreme processors.
    Your quad does have a different series than a standard dual core, so the problem is most likely bios support. It may be seeing the 4 cores in the BIOS, but the hex code for the dual cores can be resulting in that. I think your best bet is this. Download the BIOS for your system from Dell, and email BIOSMAN. Tell them the system you have, the processor you are using and the BIOS spec information on the actual BIOS chip in your laptop. What they need to do is basically insert code into the BIOS to fully support your processor. Afterwards they will send you the BIOS via email, or disc upon request. You have to pay for this, but I think its less than $50

    Give them an email:
    http://www.biosman.com/http://www.biosman.com/

    I am pretty sure this is the reason why it is not working properly,

    Other than that I see no other reason why it wouldnt work.
    Some of the laptops which support quads, are backwards compatible with dual cores, so I do not think their is any voltage requirements/pinouts unavailable to you if yours does not officially support the processor.

    K-TRON
     
  18. weirdo81622

    weirdo81622 Notebook Evangelist

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    For those interested, here is what the computer looks like when it does not start successfully. There are only 10 downloads on this, so if someone needs me to reupload, just say the word.When it starts correctly, everything is normal.

    I've also included a shot of the BIOS and what exactly it says about the CPU.

    K-TRON, I tried removing the processor, cleaning the socket with compressed air, and reseating the CPU (yes, I screwed it in). Didn't help. I'll look into the BIOS solution. If the BIOSMAN BIOS breaks the computer (e.g. corrupted BIOS), will they send a new chip?

    Thanks for the suggestions and opinions so far. Keep them coming!
     

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  19. K-TRON

    K-TRON Hi, I'm Jimmy Diesel ^_^

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    The flashing indicators mean that their is a hardware failure somewhere along the line. This can happen if the processor is not supported. As far as I know, with BIOSMAN, you need to have a working system to flash the BIOS. So you need it to power on to flash it. If you cant power it on, the only way to upgrade the BIOS, is to physically remove the BIOS chip with a soldering iron/heat gun, and resolder a properly coded bios which you would have to buy from BIOSMAN.
    I think as of now you are best off getting the cheapest processor for your system. Get a celeron or something for like $20 and have that on hand in case you need to flash your BIOS or do testing.

    Have you checked that all of the cables are connected in your system?
    Please make sure all wireless antennas are connected. If there are any extra, tape the ends off so that they do not short the motherboard.

    Also, try booting with one memory card at a time, chances are one card may have a corrupt kernel causing the system to not boot sometimes. This happens just before a memory cell dies. Try one card at a time and see if any difference occurs.
    Have you tried booting solely on battery?

    K-TRON
     
  20. weirdo81622

    weirdo81622 Notebook Evangelist

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    It does start sometimes. 9 out of 10 times though, it does what was on that video. But I have gotten it to start with the Q9100 though, thats how I got the shot of the BIOS and CPU-Z.
    I sent in a request to BIOSMAN, we'll see what he (they?) can do.

    All of my cables are connected - I taped them down earlier when I was installing a 2nd wireless card (so I would have wifi support in mac osx). When I get home, I'll try to systematically disconnect parts to see if there's a bad connection somewhere, but in BIOS diagnostics, the error code shows "CPU".

    Oh, and I have tried booting off of just the battery. There seems to be no real difference between just battery, just AC, and both.
     
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