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Lightning Strike. Bizzare Laptop Issues. HELP!

Discussion in 'Dell XPS and Studio XPS' started by sickXPS, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. sickXPS

    sickXPS Notebook Enthusiast

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    Well to start off lightning actually hit my house on 8/19 (it burned a hole clean through my rain gutter). During the strike i was on my M1530 actually checking the weather believe it or not. The storm had mostly passed and i didn't hear thunder for about 15 mins at this point. Then BOOM. Laptop shuts off. :eek:
    I had her plugged into a Belkin Surge Protector rated at 500 VPR. Which did NOTHING to stop the surge. I'm currently waiting to hear back from them after filing a surge protector claim.

    After a LONG reboot, this is whats going on...
    -HDD is OK! all data is there is seemingly ok, :)
    -CPU is good (swapped my old T5250 to get the same results.)
    -No LAN device recognized. (Marvell 88e8040) Even when ethernet cable is plugged in ,the LAN lights (on the side) do not light or flash. no LAN detected in Device Manager or Network Connections. WHERE DID IT GO???
    -No WIFI. the wifi switch on the side would no longer turns on the blue WIFI LED, or detects any wifi networks. But the icon IS in Network Connections, and is recognized in Device Manager, just not working.
    -Laptop boots as soon as i plug in the AC adapter with or without the battery inserted. not pressing any power button, it just automatically boots itself. If i insert just the battery when off, nothing happens (like normal)
    -After shutdown, the CPU (and heatsink) and wireless chip (intel 4965agn) get extremely hot to the touch. I mean BURNING hot. No fan running, because it's off. I have to unplug and remove battery to prevent damage because it gets so hot. After i unplug it continues to heat until i remove the battery. why!? :confused:

    What Ive Tried:
    -Resetting BIOS, removing the CMOS battery and reinstalling. nothing.
    -Checked all BIOS settings for any "auto-on" or "alarm" feature after power failure.
    -BIOS Diagnostics found no Errors
    -Purchased a refurb motherboard on ebay (part# RU477). This got my LAN connection back. So now i have a good internet connection. but wireless is still out and all other symptoms still exist.
    -Endlessly messing with wireless drivers, uninstalling, reinstalling.......
    -Purchased new AC adapter on ebay, still waiting for the mail to arrive.....


    Can ANYONE please shed some light on my situation??? This is soo frustrating im going crazy trying to find similar situations online.

    Might i need a new wireless chip? (4965agn)
    Why does my PC auto boot when plugged in?
    Why does it try to melt itself down when it's off?!?

    Dell tech support is pretty bad, one person says I'm still covered till 2012 and the next tech says my warranty has expired and they can't help me, just pass me back and fourth. The only advise they give is to "try removing the battery hold power button for 30 seconds, then reboot" :mad:

    Oh yea. The lightning also took out our refrigerator and the a/c unit in the house. :eek:
     
  2. voostro

    voostro Notebook Evangelist

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    a lightning strike like you had fries, and I mean FRIES electronics

    you are lucky your laptop works at all lol

    imho even though some things work on the lappy parts of your mobo and hardware are zapped-a-roni

    I would push dell as best you can to get a replacement/fix, if you can

    .........

    I had a good friend who had lightning strike his house and besides the cool effect of watching the blue streaks go all across his living room like very present ghosts, every single electronic device his the house was toasted

    fridge, microwave, computers, etc. etc.

    good luck
     
  3. Sam_A_1992

    Sam_A_1992 Notebook Deity

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    I would claim for it under house insurance tbh as i doubt dell will touch you as "acts of god" aren't covered in your warranty.
     
  4. micman

    micman Notebook Evangelist

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    Can't some or most of those problems be traced to your power supply? Especially the heating up of your battery and some icons showing but not working and such. It's the same as on a desktop computer, if the power supply is sending incorrect voltages the hardware exhibits strange behavior.

    BE WARNED. If it is your power supply like I've described then every time you plug in your laptop you could be damaging it. So at the very least, stop plugging it in and swap out the power supply, see if it helps.
     
  5. sickXPS

    sickXPS Notebook Enthusiast

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    ^ I haven't booted up in 2 days waiting for the replacement adapter for fear of just that. Hopefully the new adapter gets here soon. And hopefully my new mobo is ok after a few test boots. Grrr

    Homeowners would cover it but at a $1000 deductible it's hard to file a claim, even if the fridge was ruined from the strike as well. My a/c unit might be covered under my electric providers Smart Service contract, basically a insurance policy that covers ANY HVAC problems in your home that i pay $20 a month for on my electric bill. .....so waiting to hear from them, as well as BELKIN for getting me into this mess in the first place!

    ......just desperately trying to salvage my wonderful m1530. :mad:

    Appreciate the replys.
     
  6. zackor

    zackor Notebook Consultant

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    Go to Dell website and register an account, after that add the laptop service tag, you will be able to see the correct warranty information.. maybe this would clear up the warranty issue and hopefully it will cover but I doubt they will..unless you have the complete care or ( accidental damage warranty)
     
  7. Falco152

    Falco152 Notebook Demon

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    I don't think the standard warranty apply to this case. As Sam said.
     
  8. sickXPS

    sickXPS Notebook Enthusiast

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    Well a quick update:

    Got the new AC adapter, makes no difference. Still boots as soon as the plug touches the pc. Tested the voltage on the old one and it reads 19.65, just like the new one.

    I'm actually writing this post from the lightning tainted laptop (via LAN, which sucks). Most everything seems ok. The fingerprint scanner even works fine. All except the wifi not working and it trying to melt itself after shutdown. :confused:
    EDIT: webcam took a crap too. "webcam failed to initialize please reconnect your camera."

    Belkin says they are currently "testing" the surge protector. If they find it faulty, they said they either payout the "fair market value of the damaged items" or the repair bill, which ever is lesser of the two. Whats the fair market value on a 3+ year old m1530, $200-300 if I'm lucky?
     
  9. micman

    micman Notebook Evangelist

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    fried chipset/mobo. possibly a short in some existing wiring or ac adapter that caused your second mobo to fry also, or it was doa. Only things I can think of, sorry.
     

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