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Dell Vostro A860 Troubleshooting

Dell Vostro A860. Released in August of 2008. A business class notebook for the everyday user.

Does not respond to any buttons pushed and doesn't power up at all

Many noted problems with the A860 derive from a faulty AC Connector. Using the AC Cord, plug your Vostro A860 in as if you were charging the laptop and look for signs of the computer trying to maintain or produce a charge. If a light is not shining to indicate the laptop is charging the problem lies with your AC Connector.

If you plug your laptop in and see a shining light indicating it is charging then in this case your problem lies with the power button itself. Here is where you would be able to purchase a replacement. For instructions, see the Power Button Replacement guide.

Flickering screen, black screen, lines or colors across monitor

During startup press F2 and leave your laptop sitting on the BIOS screen. If your screen does not go dark during this process the software is more than likely at fault. At this point you could format the hard drive and rid it of the unresponsive software, however at the cost of losing all your saved data on the drive.

If you are afraid it is the monitor itself you can plug an external monitor into the laptop. Once powered up this external monitor should display exactly what you would expect to see on your laptop, per instance your start up screen. If the external monitor displays an image you now know the problem lies with your monitor. See the Screen Replacement Guide. However, if the external monitor displays no image it may be another part on the device causing the laptop monitor not to respond.

No response on screen when keys are pushed

Using the laptop's mousepad go to control panel and check the settings for the keyboard and mouse. Make sure that nothing has been turned off for the keyboard or is preventing it from responding. If no settings are changed and everything looks OK for the keyboard, then the keyboard itself is most likely why there's no response. Continue to check the keyboard.

Using an external keyboard plug it into the computer and see that it responds when keys are pressed. If the computer responds to keys pressed on the external keyboard then there is a problem with the laptop's contained keyboard. Continue to the Keyboard Replacement Guide.

No response when mousepad is clicked, random clicks and scrolling on screen without contact

Using an external mouse plugged into the laptop go to control panel in the laptop's settings and check the options for the keyboard and mouse. Make sure that nothing in this section is set to off and that it will respond when buttons are clicked. If all settings check out and there is nothing changed for the mousepad then the mouse itself is probably what is damaged, continue to troubleshoot the mousepad.

Using an external mousepad navigate throughout the computer and test the functions of the mouse. If the computer responds to all actions and clicks using the external mouse then the internal mousepad needs to be replaced.

Go to the start menu and click on My Computer. Check the C Drive to make sure that there is still sufficient memory on the drive. If the drive still has a good amount of space, a hard drive update is not necessary, if space is sparse then a hard drive update is needed.

Hold crtl+alt+delete to open up task manager. Go to the performance tab and look at the Physical Memory tab. If the "free" or "available memory are low numbers, out of the thousands, the computer is low on memory. Programs will need to be closed and less run at a time or a memory replacement/upgrade is needed.

Test the speaker using different sounds and media. Turn the volume all the way down and then back up. This will test different ranges of the speaker. If the noises do not change the speaker may be blown and will require replacement.

Plug in an external speaker and play different audio sounds from the computer. Turn the volume up and down to different settings to test the sound. Between playing the media sounds unplug the external speaker to see if the same sounds come from the internal speaker. If no sound is still heard the speaker may be dead and will need to be replaced. It is possible that the wires for the speaker simply come unplugged but opening up the laptop will still be required to check. For detailed instructions, see the Speaker Replacement Guide.

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