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Dell Inspiron 17R-N7110 Troubleshooting

Released 2011, identified by module number P14E.

Laptop shows blue screen

Laptop shows blue screen on startup and will not proceed.

Faulty/Insufficient RAM

RAM is memory used to perform basic computer functions, so if your computer displays a blue screen (crash error message), the RAM may be faulty or there may not be enough installed to perform basic OS function. To check how much RAM is installed, click Start > Control Panel > Performance and Maintenance. Then, double-click the System icon to go to the System Properties screen. On this screen, find the section labeled “Installed memory (RAM)”. The amount of RAM will be listed to the right in gigabytes (GB). The recommended minimum RAM for this laptop is 4GB, so if your installed RAM is less than 4GB, you do not have enough RAM installed. If your installed RAM is greater than or equal to 4GB, but less than 8GB, you may wish to add more RAM to improve your laptop’s speed. You can buy more RAM from computer parts sellers online and install it using this replacement guide. If you have more than 8GB of RAM installed, your laptop has more than the recommended maximum RAM installed. Having too much RAM installed may be putting stress on the other hardware in the computer, and excess should be uninstalled. You can disassemble your laptop using this guide and remove one of your memory (RAM) sticks to uninstall it. If you have 8GB of RAM installed, then you are running the maximum amount recommended for this laptop, and the problem is likely with your hard drive.

Hard drive error

If RAM troubleshooting has not solved the blue screen, the hard drive may be to blame. If the computer was previously shut down using the power button rather than the operating system menu, there may be an error on the hard drive that is causing it to be unable to load the OS. In some cases, the blue error screen will contain steps to resolve this error. Simply select “Automatic Repair” from the options and follow along with the system. In some cases, the OS corruption may be too severe for the system to repair on its own. In this case, you will need to obtain a Windows DVD or flash drive with a copy of your operating system. These DVDs and flash drives can be purchased online or from most retailers selling electronics, such as Walmart or your local computer repair shop. If you created a backup of your operating system on a flash drive or DVD prior to the hard drive error, you can use that flash drive or disc in place of a new copy of your OS. Boot to the disc or flash drive (follow on-screen prompts to do this) and follow along with the disc’s prompts to repair or replace the corrupted OS on your hard drive.

Faulty hard drive

If OS repair does not solve this crash error screen, a faulty hard drive may be to blame. The hard drive will need to be replaced. See our hard drive replacement guide.

Touchpad cursor movement is delayed

When using the built-in touchpad, cursor movement on the screen is lagging or delayed.

Dirty touchpad

If the cursor is not responding to the touchpad properly, the simplest cause is a dirty touchpad. Thoroughly clean the touchpad and your hands before proceeding with troubleshooting. Start by washing your hands with warm water and soap. Dampen a clean cloth and wring out excess water. Using light pressure, wipe the touchpad in circular motions to remove oil, dirt, and any other substances. If the touchpad still appears dirty, add a small amount of mild soap to the dampened cloth and repeat. If using soap, be sure to use a new dampened clean cloth to wipe soap residue off of the touchpad after cleaning.

Improperly calibrated touchpad

If the cursor seems to be responding to touchpad input, but it is delayed or slow, the touchpad may be improperly calibrated. During startup, the laptop goes through a calibration process for the touchpad. It is possible that this process was interrupted or malfunctioned. To resolve this, power the laptop off and then back on, making sure not to touch the touchpad during startup.

Insufficient RAM

If the cursor is responding to touchpad input but is slow or delayed and recalibrating the touchpad did not work, you may not have enough RAM installed. First, unplug any devices not currently in use, such as printers, external webcams, etc. and close out of any unnecessary programs to see if the problem is resolved. If the problem persists, you may need to install more RAM to support your needs.

Won’t power on

When plugged in and power button is pressed, the laptop shows no signs of powering on.

Faulty power adapter

Test the outlet you will be using for the adapter by plugging in a different working item and checking the power flow to that item. Next, make sure the power adapter is plugged in to the laptop and the tested outlet, and the light on the adapter and the computer’s charge light are both on. If the adapter light is not on, and the adapter is plugged in, the adapter is faulty. Consider purchasing a replacement adapter.

Faulty battery

After following the same steps as above, if the light on the adapter is on, and the laptop does not show any signs of response when the power button is pressed, the battery may be to blame. Replace the battery using this guide.

Shuts down when charger is disconnected

Laptop works normally when connected to the charger, but the battery does not hold any charge and the laptop shuts down when the cord is removed.

Faulty battery

This symptom indicates that the battery is unable to hold a charge and needs to be replaced. Replace the battery using this guide.

Loose DC power jack

If replacing the battery does not solve the issue, then the DC power jack will have to be replaced by following this guide.

Laptop beeps twice during start up

When power button is pressed, the laptop makes two loud beeps and fails to proceed with startup.

Faulty RAM or RAM slot(s)

If the laptop beeps twice when the power button is pressed, but shows no other signs of booting up, it is possible that one or more of the RAM sticks or slots in your laptop are faulty. To diagnose the exact cause, you will need to partially disassemble your device using this guide. Remove both RAM sticks from their slots and label them for your own reference. It is helpful to keep track of what stick you inserted into the slot to know if it is faulty or not. For example, if you inserted stick 1 into slot 2 and it didn’t boot up, make a note of it. Insert the first stick in the first slot and attempt to boot the laptop. Next, remove the first stick and insert the second stick in to the first slot. Attempt to boot. Then, remove the second stick and insert the first stick into the second slot. Attempt to boot. Finally, remove the first stick and insert the second stick into the second slot. Attempt to boot a final time. Refer to the notes you have made about when the laptop would or would not boot. If the laptop was unable to boot when only stick one or two was inserted, that stick is faulty. If the laptop was unable to boot only when a RAM stick was inserted into slot one or two, that slot is faulty. If the computer was unable to boot at all during this process, the problem is deeper than RAM.

Faulty motherboard

If the above RAM troubleshooting does not solve the problem, the motherboard is faulty. Replace the motherboard using this guide.

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