The Dell XPS series of laptops is one of the best machines for the working professional who needs a monster laptop for all their productivity needs. With its gorgeous display and sleek design, the XPS remains one of the best mid-tier laptop choices.
Despite all that power and the big brand name, this is still a consumer-orientated product, which means any issues the machine suffers from are felt by many users worldwide.
One problem we hear about is that the laptop won’t turn on. Of course, when you have work to do, this is understandably very frustrating! So today, we’re going to explain to you both what causes this problem and how you can go about fixing it.
Why your Dell XPS won’t turn on?
While at first glance, hitting the power button and getting absolutely nothing back from the Dell laptop can appear like a catastrophic failure, it’s usually caused by a simple power supply issue or a software setting-related issue.
There are very few cases where a physical hardware failure requires a visit to your local Dell laptop repair shop. So don’t panic just yet; there are some fixes we can do from home first.
Let’s now walk through all the primary things that will cause your dell laptop not to turn on, and then we’ll look at how to fix it!
Power supply issue
Sometimes, even when your battery is inserted and the power cord is plugged into the wall socket, it might not provide power to the dell XPS laptop.
Sometimes this can be due to something simple like a faulty cable, which is relatively inexpensive to replace. If it’s the section going from the wall to the power cord brick, this is a typical main lead that you’ll use for things like a kettle, so you may already have a spare lying around at home.
In rarer cases, the power brick itself will have experienced an issue, in which case a new one will need to be sourced from Dell or your local computer store.
Problematic Windows registry or operating system files
Windows can run into issues where system-critical files needed to boot the dell XPS laptop up have become corrupted and non-functional.
This isn’t quite as dramatic as it sounds, and Windows has some handy in-built tools we can run to scan for harmful files and correct them easily.
Full power cycle
When we turn off a laptop, it doesn’t completely drain the machine of power. Residual energy is still being stored in both the battery and the capacitors.
This can cause issues that will prevent the dell laptop from powering on. What we need to do in this scenario is perform what’s called a ‘hard reset’ or ‘power cycle’ of the laptop.
This will completely drain the laptop of residual energy and can often fix the laptop’s problem of not booting up.
Unplug and insert the CMOS/BIOS battery
The CMOS or BIOS battery is responsible for storing system critical settings within the laptop even when it’s not plugged in.
Some users have reported that removing the BIOS battery and reinserting it into the motherboard has allowed the laptop to run the boot process successfully.
This is a relatively quick and easy process, but it will require you to open the machine to access the battery, which is stored on the motherboard, so make sure you have a screwdriver handy!
In some rare cases, a particular laptop component may have failed. This could be something like the hard drive or even the motherboard.
In this scenario, Dell support will need to be contacted to assist you in repairing your machine.
Virus or malware
If your machine becomes infected with a virus or malware, they may introduce processes that prevent your laptop from starting.
So we need to thoroughly scan the machine for viruses and then remove them for you to regain access to the device. This will also require you to boot the laptop in safe mode.
Unrepairable Windows error
It’s the Windows repair did not yield successful results, a slightly more dramatic fix is to reinstall Windows completely.
This will result in all data on the laptop being erased. So we recommend first backing up the entire disk (as a clone) onto an external device. You can later pull your essential files back onto the laptop once it’s working.
How to fix a Dell XPS that won’t turn on
As you can see, outside of a genuine hardware failure, this issue is usually just a software or power problem that you can easily solve.
Let’s take a look at how to fix this issue, be sure to follow through with these steps so you can get your laptop back to a working state as quickly as possible.
Unplug from power supply
If your battery is experiencing an issue or the power cable is not correctly providing current to the laptop, we can take a few steps to try and kick it into action again.
The first thing to do is remove the AC power supply from the laptop and the battery and leave them disconnected for about 30 seconds.
Once that is done, plug everything back in and try to power it up again. It’s a simple solution, but multiple users have reported that this solved their issue.
Windows Startup Repair
If the cause of your laptop not turning on is due to corrupt Windows registry entries or a bad update preventing startup. We can run a diagnostic and repair tool within the Windows Recovery Environment, automatically scanning and correcting any problems within your operating system, allowing the laptop to boot up.
Here’s how to get to the Windows recovery environment:
- Turn on the laptop while holding down the Shift key.
- This will take you to the startup repair menu; click the troubleshoot icon at the bottom.
- This will open a new screen; click Advanced options.
- Once in the advanced options menu, click the startup repair icon in the bottom left.
This will automatically scan your machine and fix any harmful files preventing your computer from booting.
Power cycle the machine
As we mentioned previously, simply turning your machine off does not completely drain it of power.
We first need to remove the battery and unplug the power cable to perform a complete power cycle on the machine. Once that’s complete, hold the power button for 30 seconds, then release the button.
This will completely drain the laptop’s capacitors of residual power and allow your dell pc to perform a completely fresh boot, which may solve the issue.
Then you can reinsert the battery and power cable and turn the Dell pc back on.
Reinsert the CMOS or Bios battery
The BIOS or CMOS battery is responsible for storing essential Windows and BIOS settings.
Some users have reported that simply removing the battery and reinserting it into the motherboard fixed the issue and allowed their machine to boot.
To do this, we will need to remove the case of the Dell computer and locate the battery. Then you can remove it from the motherboard and wait about 10 seconds. After that, reinsert the battery and power the machine back on.
Remove virus or malware
If your laptop becomes infected with viruses or malware, it may prevent it from booting up.
In this scenario, we need to first boot the dell computer in safe mode, bypassing these virus-related processes by loading a version of Windows in which only the most basic services are running.
This will allow us to run a virus scan to detect and remove the virus, which, in turn, will enable the machine to boot.
Here’s how to enter safe mode:
- Turn on the laptop while holding the shift key.
- This will bring you to the same boot menu as before.
- Click on troubleshoot > advanced options > startup settings.
- Then click the small restart button.
- You will then be presented with several startup options; you need to press number 5, Enable Safe Mode With Networking.
- Networking MUST be enabled here, or the antivirus will not be able to connect to the internet.
Once you are presented with the desktop, you can run your antivirus software of choice. Which will detect and remove any malicious viruses.
Once that is complete, restart your computer as usual, and it should boot without issue.
Factory reset of the machine
If you are confident that there is no hardware issue and no viruses present, another solution may be to perform a complete factory reset of the machine.
Please note that this will remove all data from the machine, and we recommend you first clone or backup the hard disk, so you don’t lose any data.
To perform a factory reset, you need to download the Dell Operating System Recovery Image onto an external USB and boot the laptop while it is plugged in.
Follow the on-screen commands to reinstall Windows completely.
You can alternatively use the System Restore feature within Windows to revert the OS to a state when it was working. To perform this, type ‘System Restore’ into the Windows search bar while in Safe Mode.
If none of the above solutions have solved the issue, it may be due to a component such as a motherboard experiencing a critical hardware failure.
Unfortunately, this is not something that you will be able to repair by yourself at home. So your final solution is to contact Dell support, who will ask you some questions to ascertain the problem. They will most likely request the laptop be sent to them for repairs.
This should be free if the machine is under warranty. However, if it’s not, you may also want to consider a local repair shop as their fixing times can often be much faster than a large company like Dell.