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Dell Inspiron 15-3521 Laptop Troubleshooting
Trying to figure out what's wrong with your computer? This troubleshooting page will help you identify common problems and offer variable solutions to save your computer instead of scrapping it.
- Computer Will Not Turn On
- Screen Is Working Improperly
- Keyboard Does Not Work
- Track pad Is Unresponsive
- Laptop Is Overheating
- CD Disk Tray Malfunctioning
Computer Will Not Turn On
Either the computer's power indicator is on for a few seconds then shuts off, or the computer does not boot up whatsoever.
Battery Is Not Charged
Your computer could not be turning on because the battery is dead. Plug in the computer's power adapter, and plug the other end into an outlet to charge the battery. After this has been done, either retry starting up the computer or check that the computer's "charging" LED is turned on.
If the problem still persists you may need to replace the entire batter which can be ordered online via Dell Replacement Parts and replaced using our (URL for Battery guide).
Bad Power Adapter
Your adapter may be broken, which would cause no power to reach the laptop or battery. You can check if power is being supplied by using a voltmeter on the laptop-side plug. You can also see if a similar power adapter from another computer works. If other adapters work, yours may need to be replaced.
If you are sure the battery has been charged but the computer will still not turn on, the battery may need to be replaced. To check if the battery needs to be replaced, remove the battery then plug in only the computer's power adapter. Retry starting up the computer. If it works, you have a bad battery. Replacement batteries can be purchased on multiple websites (Amazon, eBay, etc.). Please refer to our replacement guide (URL for Battery guide).
It may appear that your computer is not turning on because the display is bad. If the screen remains black upon startup but the computer's LED's are on and you can hear it making noises, then the display may need to be replaced. Please refer to our (URL for Screen guide) or see the section heading "Screen Is Working Improperly."
Screen Is Working Improperly
The display is completely black, flickers, or is discolored and difficult to read.
Backlight Is Off Or Does Not Work
If you can only see very faint images on your screen, your backlight may not be turned on or could be broken and in need of replacement. Check to see if the backlight is turned on by going to Power Options in the Control Panel.
Screen Completely Black Or White With Colored Lines
Your screen may be broken and in need of replacement. Try plugging in an external monitor to your computer, then pressing F1 to toggle screens. If your computer display works for the external monitor, its own display needs to be replaced. Please see our (URL for Screen guide).
Discolored Or Flickering Images
If your screen is prone to flickering or has single or entire lines of unresponsive pixels any of the following problems could exist:
- Your display has gone bad and needs to be (URL for Screen guide).
- The cable connecting the motherboard and the display has a crack or is loose. If moving the display back and forth helps, this is the likely reason.
- The graphics chipset (on motherboard) has issues.
Keyboard Does Not Work
The keyboard does not respond or does not work properly.
Disconnected Keyboard Cable
Although this problem is rare if the keyboard does not work at all it is likely that the keyboard cable came loose or disconnected. If this is the case, follow the (URL for Keyboard guide) and simply ensure the cable is completely disconnected and then reconnect it. Follow the guide steps in reverse to reinstall the keyboard. If this does not solve it, the keyboard sub-assembly may be bad and need to be replaced.
Track pad Is Unresponsive
The track pad does not work or respond to my touch properly.
Buildup Of Dirt Or Contaminant
If the laptop is dirty on or around the touchpad, an accumulation of dirt could be causing the touchpad to not work properly. Follow the (URL for Track Pad guide) and clean the track pad with ammonia-based cleaner or a screen cleaner. Replace the palm rest and reboot the system to see if the problem has been resolved.
The touchpad may have been inadvertently disabled. On the laptop, go to “Device Manager” and find “Mice and other pointing devices.” Under this tab should be “Dell touchpad.” Select this and ensure the touchpad is enabled. If “Dell touchpad” is not there install the driver by going to: Dell Drivers
Laptop Is Overheating
Your laptop constantly overheats and may shut down because of overheating.
Laptop Ventilation Is Blocked
Often when people use their laptop they forget that there fans are on the bottom. Using your laptop on a bed or similar surface will often cause laptops to overheat. To solve this simply move to a more appropriate surface or purchase a laptop cooling pad.
Air Vent Appears To Be Blocked
In this situation it is most likely that your laptop is overheating due to a buildup of dust or other particles in your fan, causing it to work at an impaired rate.
Heat Sink or Fan Failure
It is possible that your laptop has a broken fan or the heat sink is not properly drawing out heat. In this case it is best just to replace the entire fan or the heat sink. Please refer to our heat sink replacement guide (URL for Heat Sink guide).
CD Disk Tray Malfunctioning
"The external drive button is not ejecting the drive from the laptop"
Software may be interfering with the usual operation of the laptop. Reboot the computer and tap the F2 key while at the Dell logo screen to enter System Setup. Then attempt to eject the CD tray using the button on the drive. If the drive ejects properly, there is a software conflict that needs to be resolved.
Drive Firmware or BIOS Is Not Configured
In some instances the firmware of the drive may become corrupted or the BIOS may 'lose' the drive. Visit the Dell Product Support and input your Service Tag to get updates specific to your computer. Refer to the Dell Knowledge base article FAQs- Drivers and Downloads information on how to download and install drivers.