[Resolved] Dell XPS M1530 Dead boot issue

By | March 1, 2011

I had purchased my first ever laptop in April 2008, the XPS M1530 from Dell. The laptop had been working great for almost 2.5 years without much issues (barring the battery replacement). One fine morning, when I pressed the start button, the buttons on the media strip lit up like normal, but the screen stayed dead. I checked the power LED, it was flickering, indicating the laptop had been started, but just wasnt displaying anything.

I tried to check it with the diagnostic test specified in the dell manual. Press and hold the “D” key while pressing the start button when you bootup. The test succeded, the LCD started displaying different colors indicating the LCD in itself was alright. I then tried the other diagnostic test, which was, press and hold “Fn” key while pressing the start button. With this test, I had the numlock LED blinking with the other LEDs solid blue. The discription for that reads:

“The microcontroller is handing control of the system to the processor. This code persists if no processor is detected.”

I couldnt figure out what this message meant, and hence, I called up Dell tech support. He diagnosed it as a motherboard issue the fix was to replace the motherboard. As the laptop was out of warrenty, it would cost me, almost 18K. I had no intention to invest that kind on money on this laptop, hence I tried looking over the web for people facing similar issues and what they did to fix it.

During my search, I found out, it was a common problem with a lot of people and had something to do with the faulty GPU from nvidia that Dell had been using. There had been a class action lawsuit for the same and dell had actually extended the warranty to one more year for all such computers globally. But this wasnt helpful for me, as I was way out of the extended period too.

I kept looking, hopping from one forum to the other, reading comments on the posts etc. Some of the forums suggested that such issues can be fixed, by baking the GPU chip on the board. The theory said that over a period of constant usage, the metal contacts which hold the chip to the motherboard,  get loose and develop minor cracks in them. A extended exposure to heat would fill the cracks and reinforce these metal contacts on to the board. Although, it sounds bizzare, but there were a hell lot of comments recommending it with thier success stories.

Initially, I rejected the idea, I felt excessive heat would rather damage the chip or might melt the contacts. But on second thoughts, I actually had nothing to loose, the laptop was already a dead investment. So, I decided to give it a try. I didnt have an oven to bake the board, but had a hair dryer, which I felt might do the trick. 

To start off with the new plan, I carefully removed the battery, unscrewed the back-plate and removed the RAM slits. Dell XPS m1530 has a common heat sink arrangement for the CPU and the GPU chips, so I had to remove the heat sink too. Here, one has to be careful to disconnect the power supply wire for the heat sink fan before lifting up the heat sink. After the heat sink was gone, it was easy to spot the nVidia GPU. 

With the hair dryer set to max heat, I started to blow over the GPU, focussing on the edges. I blowed over it in short spans of 4-5 minutes, letting the components cool off a bit in between. After almost 20-25 minutes of heating up the GPU, I left it to cool down and re-set all the components one after the other.

The process was done, and it was time now to see if it was successful. I connected the battery to the laptop, and pressed the start button. I was hoping to see the screen lit up, but on the contrary, nothing happened. Not a single LED even blinked. I almost cursed myself for messing it up before I realised, it wasnt the laptop, but the battery which was dead. I then connected the power supply, pressed the start button, and voila!..   It started working!!!  The laptop booted up like nothing had ever happened.

Yes, the issue has been resolved and its been more than 15 days, since it has been working perfectly. I still have no idea about the actual science behind it, but whatever it is, it resurrected my dead XPS.

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Sunny Luthra on March 2, 2011 at 12:10 am.



Dinesh k on March 17, 2011 at 9:57 am.

I dont know why this problem all of a sudden comining up after ~2.5 years only. I had received mine in july 2008..something not right with d chip ..may be they have set gpu life expectency to this much only..byw im searching 4 a hair dryer for now. did u heated mobo also??


danish on March 17, 2011 at 8:49 pm.

Well, the chip is faulty for sure, its just a matter of luck when it goes bad :(

For the hair dryer, I just focused on heating the GPU, but due to the hot air, the adjoining areas on the motherboard also get hot.. but that should not be a problem.

You can search youtube to get some videos demoing it using a hotgun.


Ryan on April 23, 2011 at 12:52 am.

I was skeptical but this worked for me too! I only had to blow dry for about ten minutes. Part of the problem with mine failing I think was that one of the screw posts that holds the heatsink onto the GPU had broken. Going to get some JB weld to glue it back on. Also I protected the surrounding circuitry by laying a piece of aluminum foil over the top and cutting out a square for access to the GPU while blow drying.


Jakub on June 20, 2011 at 10:31 pm.

Incredible !!! It worked for me to. Thanks a lot !!! :-D btw it took me only 5 minutes with a hot air blower. Then I re-set RAM and cooler and it worked. Thanks again.


CB on July 4, 2011 at 3:58 am.

This worked for me too – THANK YOU!!!!!

I bought mine in May 2008, it failed yesterday – 2nd July 2011, I repaired it today following your instructions above. I used a 2000W hairdrier for 10 minutes, focusing on the edges of the GPU as suggested. I allowed it to cool for 10-15 mins then put it all back together to find it working perfectly!!

Thank you once again!!!!!



Amulio on September 26, 2011 at 7:37 am.

Wow!!! I’m so thankful and impressed. I was seriously doubting I would be as lucky as you all were. But I tried that today, blowing hot air for as long as the 6:32 min “Anthem” song lasts (Deep Purple). AND IT WORKED :). I got this laptop in 10/14/2008 and it stopped working in August 2011. Now it will live longer hopefully!.



JPinNC on June 25, 2011 at 8:35 am.

I just tried this on my sons laptop and it worked for me as well. Five minutes with a hair dryer. I told him it was probably a temp fix but this was so easy if we have the same problem again I’ll just get the hair dryer out again. Thanks a ton Danish! Before I saw your post I was on ebay pricing motherboards! -JP


Blueraiu on July 23, 2011 at 5:30 am.

Thanks guys this was very helpful, the operation was pain & successful.

-Time spent on researching the bug: 1hr
-Time spent waiting for dell rep, only to confirm the expired warranty, and have a price for a diagnostics shoved in your face: 30mins
-Time spent disassembling, heating, cooling, reassembling, & testing: 15 mins.

Here is a link with pictures, anybody with a small screwdriver can do it :)


Dan on August 3, 2011 at 12:11 am.

Wow! This is the second time I’ve had this happen over the past three years. The first time I sent it out to a guy I found on eBay who fixed it for $120 (new GPU installed). Today I tried the hair dryer trick–and it worked! You’re a life (and wallet!) saver!


Fred on August 9, 2011 at 6:25 pm.

Incredible, worked for me as well. 5 min with the hair dryer 1600-1800w.


Akram Quraishi on August 16, 2011 at 1:05 pm.

Sounds good.. I’m facing the same issue with my XPS M1530.. Will give this a try..

And I have also noticed that letting the laptop heat for a while when it is not giving any display like keeping the power on in its coma state for like an hour then power off / power on is temporarily fixing the issue and the laptop is booting.


Sachin Kumar on August 16, 2011 at 9:59 pm.

I can tell you guys an easy way to resurrect your XPSM1530 without unscrewing anything. All u need is a tape, scotch tape will do fine and a towel or a bubble wrap.
First of all tape the exhaust of the laptop which blows hot air out from the heat sink . then connect the charger and switch on your laptop, obviously you wont see any display but laptop will be running without the display now close the lid or screen and wrap towel or bubble wrap around it so that hot air can not escape. keep the laptop in this condition for about 15 – 20 mins then unwrap the towel and switch off the laptop by holding power button for about 5 seconds. Remove the tape and allow the laptop to cool down for another 20-25 mins. After that u can switch on your laptop and it will work fine.
This Procedure is very handy and less painful and works great.

Just give it a try..


Guy Hurst on March 21, 2013 at 12:50 am.

Thanks for posting this alternative approach. It worked for me.

I tried this with packing tape on the vent and scarves for wrapping and let it sit for an hour. When I unwrapped it and went to turn it off, pushing the button caused it to turn on (must have turned off on its own) and it booted up without even cooling down first. However, I shut it down to let it cool before turning back on again.

Glad I didn’t have to bother with disassembling it!


Shamirum on December 13, 2013 at 8:54 pm.

Wow. One of the best pieces of hardware resolution advice EVER. I was also skeptical (despite reading all of the comments of success), but hopeful that the exhaust block and towel wrap method would work. It did! We’re traveling and didn’t have scotch tape on hand, so I used band-aids to block the vent and wrapped in a bath towel. First time I tried I only left it like that for about fifteen minutes and I guess it didn’t get hot enough. Next time I meant to leave it for an hour but fell asleep and it was more like eight hours! It was VERY hot, so I suggest you don’t go to bed and forget about it! Thankfully though, when I went to check, the screen was working again!!! It was on the login screen. I shut it down immediately and will wait for it to cool down before using. Thank you again for such a great and easy resolution!


Rajeesh on August 30, 2011 at 11:14 pm.

Thanks a lot.

It worked for me.

First I tried with hair dryer for 10 minutes and was not successfully. Then I bought a cheap hot air gun for Rs 300 and heat it for less than a minute and it worked!!!


andrzej on September 1, 2011 at 3:04 am.

Alright, for more than two and a half hours I was thinking I killed it. A couple of days ago I changed paste on CPU and GPU as the fan was going crazy and I couldn’t hear my thoughts. It was switching off when the GPU temperature was too high.
It worked. It was nice and silent. GPU temperature dropped by 30 degrees! Today it was more than silent. It didn’t boot…
Thank you man for this post!!!


Hadster on September 12, 2011 at 8:18 pm.

To my biggest surprise, THIS WORKED!

I did not even disassemble anything. I took off the motherboard/RAM cover on the back of the laptop, unscrewed the heat sink portion sitting on the GPU, detached the heat sink cable and shoved it away, and heated the GPU for about 5 minutes. To cool off the laptop faster, I put it in a freezer for 5 minutes.

Moment of truth, I turned on the laptop, and there comes up the Dell boot up screen. Many thanks for your post.


J. Salazar on September 14, 2011 at 11:28 pm.

Wow. Amazing. This worked for me too. About 5-7 minutes using the hair dryer. I was hopeless in being able to revive my laptop. I am posting this using my dell xps m1530! :-) Thanks!


Irfan Butt on September 15, 2011 at 2:24 am.

Thank you so much, this worked for me too.

For the benefit of others: my laptop worked fine for a couple of years until yesterday (while playing World of Warcraft) the display became corrupted and the machine would no longer respond to keyboard, mouse (USB) or touchpad.

Turning it off and back on again, yielded similar symptoms to those above me, i.e. no Dell logo, no POST, no blinking cursor, just a blank screen. A short time after turning on, the DVD drive did make some noise in the same way it normally does during POST routines.

Did some diags by pressing “D” and powering on. Screen cycles through red, green, blue, grey(white?).

Fn + power on diags cycles through a load of flashing “lock” LEDs and settles on flashing CAPS lock.

I tried all the stuff that others did (removing HDD, removing battery, removing one/both memory modules) all with the same result as cited, i.e. no POST.

Ended up doing what was described here with the hair dryer on the GPU (I disconnected from mains, removed the battery, removed CPU, removed heatsink/fan (this latter is not as frightening as it looks)) applied the hair dryer as described and lo and behold, very next boot up works fine.

Regarding the heatsinks: there seemed to be a gross excess of what I can only assume is thermal paste on the GPU when I removed the heatsink. Soon as I get a chance I am going to disassemble this again and apply it properly.

That said, this laptop is now on borrowed time as far as I am concerned.


Lani R on October 11, 2011 at 3:05 am.

Thanks! It worked for me- heating the GPU for 10 mins, then putting the laptop inside a fridge for cooling for 5 mins… put all the parts back.. and my XPS M1530 was brought back to life.


moonsee on October 13, 2011 at 1:26 am.

I must say, I’m impressed!
Mine died nearly a year ago, and for some reason I decided to pull it out of my drawer and try to get it working again. Came across this article, opened the sucker up, borrowed a heat gun from maintenance at the office, and pointed right up to it for about 3-4 minutes. To my surprise, it booted up!
Thanks a ton!


Dan 123 on October 15, 2011 at 4:04 am.

I just fixed mine in a similar manner and my mind = BLOWN…. however has someone got experience how temporary the fix is? Laptop still reliable? Whats the life expectancy after a fix like that I can imagine I should be looking for a new one at this point in time.

Thanks a lot.


Mark Berger on October 19, 2011 at 7:17 am.

Sitting in a hotel room in Florida… Googled and came across your link. Thanks to your great advice and Blueraiu’s pictures I am back in business.

If there was a Nobel prize for tech advice, you’d have my vote.

Thanks a lot!


shobul on October 19, 2011 at 7:44 am.

I am having the exact same problem. I haven’t tried it yet. I am praying right now. I got mine Sept 2008 and it crashed just yesterday :sss


Avijit on October 21, 2011 at 5:22 pm.

thanks a ton….
it really worked for me too…
to be frank i was notat all hopeful before trying it out but it is really amazing
but will this process work again and again? or is it a temporary fix??
thanks again..
p.s. i am typing this from my revived m1530 laptop.


bdr on November 5, 2011 at 12:47 am.

It did not work for me. I spent total half an hour on 4 sides. Then I let it cool off. Still does not work.


Nick on November 18, 2011 at 2:44 pm.

I also was spectical about tryin this at first thinking it was bogus. But it worked to my surprise. You guys are awesome. My life was stored in that laptop. Anyone else who is about to try for the first time. Don’t rush and take shortcuts. Heat it and wait till it cools on it’s own. Don’t rush and put it in the fridge. I did it at first and it turned on then shut off. Take your time. It’s def worth it


Blyden on November 19, 2011 at 7:01 am.

A big THANK YOU to everyone who posted here, and double for the guy who said the hair dryer didn’t work but the heat gun did. I took your advice and gave it a shot. What did I have to lose? Tried the hair dryer first, unsuccessfully, but tried it again using a heat gun and that worked! My laptop is back from the dead. Thank you. Like many of you who already posted, I’m now wondering how long is the fix likely to last? Based on the lack of anyone posting about their laptop having the problem again, I’m guessing it must last for at least a few months.


PJ on November 22, 2011 at 10:33 pm.

Thank you very much, you are a life saver. You just saved 18,000/- INR for me . :)


Premkumar M on November 27, 2011 at 12:59 am.

Thanks for your blog.. It really helped me and worked perfecty.

But every 2 weeks, i am encountering this issue and need to heat my GPU again. It fustrates me.. Is there any permanent solution for this ?


sani on December 2, 2011 at 6:51 pm.

Hi ,
I have also the same problem as others with my DEL XPS.I followed the hairdryer method but after that now my system is not at all strating and the Heat sink fan stopping with in 1 min of start.
I think my Mother board need to replaced,as the NUM key is also not working.
Now i don’t know what to do,can anyone suggest me what should i do next.


Kumaran on December 20, 2011 at 7:17 pm.

Thanks a lot for sharing this information!.

I had the same issue after a week wandering here & there to find a cost effective solution, I came across this post. I followed the same steps (with 2000W hair dryer, 4-7 mins of heating the GPU and after 10-15 mins cooling the system) and it simply worked.

Now, I hope this is not a temporary solution.


Chris on December 24, 2011 at 8:59 pm.

I was skeptical of this fix – but it DID work for me. I had the same symptoms as described above, and I used a piece of tinfoil with a cutout just big enough for the nvidia chip – then I hit it with a heat gun. First time I used the heat gun sparingly – it worked immediately after that – but then would not start again. I repeated the heating and put the heat on a bit longer – and it worked and stayed fixed – at least through several power ons and offs.

I consider this machine on borrowed time…


Scott on January 3, 2012 at 3:43 am.

I was shocked, this worked for me too. I only ran it under the blow dryer for about 3 minutes, put it all back together and fired it up and it booted.


RB on January 9, 2012 at 12:21 am.

Awesome! This worked for me as well. Used a heat gun for just a few minutes. Am typing on my revived M1530 now!

For posterity: I had the same issues described above. My out-of-warranty Dell XPS M1530 shut off abruptly when a problem with the battery caused it to die (i.e., no power down – just died). It didn’t turn on again, and I thought it was the end of my beloved laptop. I did the “[Fn] + [Power Button]” start up, and one of the three lights was flashing (the left-most light was flashing; the other two lights were solid). I then powered on the computer while holding “D,” and the LCD screen showed the different colors, meaning that the screen itself worked. I did some research, stumbled upon this website, saw all the success stories, and tried my luck with a heat gun pointed at the NVIDIA GPU / video card for about 3 minutes (I think). After letting it (and the motherboard) cool all the way down naturally, I powered the notebook back on and it WORKED! Thank you!!


Josh on January 17, 2012 at 7:53 am.

I had this exact problem, and I was worried about “baking” my laptop, so I tried the method mentioned above where I just taped up all the vents and holes and let the laptop heat itself wrapped in a towel for 25 mins, then let it cool for 25 mins and then started it up and it worked. I’m sure it isn’t going to work for much longer, but at least I was able to get it to boot into safe mode and get all my files and programs off the computer before it dies for good. Thanks for the help.


Tim on February 14, 2012 at 10:21 pm.

Hair Dryer trick worked for me too!


John on February 23, 2012 at 5:16 am.

Took me three tries, worked on the first try but only until I shut it off. redid the whole process prabably less than a full minute . Alll seems well now. Saw a few bright flashes while heating the GPU all OK


Charity on February 24, 2012 at 9:23 pm.

WORKED! Thanks so much for taking the time to save so many computer lives, not to mention replacement/repair dollars!


Nick on March 30, 2012 at 2:40 am.

Thanks for this tip. I just fixed the M1530 of my sister using a hair dryer :) The heat sink was a bit tough to remove, because it stuck so hard on the GPU, but I got it off using my screwdriver :D I also used the dryer for 4 minutes and then waited for 10 minutes to let the components cool down. This procedure was repeated 4 times. Afterwards, I let the components cool down for an hour, put everything back together and it worked.
Thanks again!


Paul AM on April 26, 2012 at 11:57 pm.

Funciona! It works! Gracias!!! Thanks Danish!!!

Impressively it worked for my M1530 too :))

Just retired the HD, RAM and cooling-fan, heated up for 25 minutes with a hair dryer, let it recover the temperature on its own…. and now it works like nothing never happened (strange feeling: the laptop doesn’t know he’s been in comma for 2 weeks…)

I’m not sure if it’s going to happen again soon! Should I replace the thermal paste over the GPU and CPU? I think it looked too dry.


Vishwajeet on May 1, 2012 at 3:06 pm.

This Worked for me too!! Thanks a ton!!
I used the Hair Dryer for 6-7 minutes and also saw a very helpful video on laptop!
Thanks a Ton!!
Cheers !!


Galdo on May 24, 2012 at 11:05 pm.

Thanks man !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It works to me (happy)


XPS1530 - Owner on May 29, 2012 at 6:53 pm.

It worked for me too… but I have to do it daily to power up the machine. Once it is up, it runs without any issues. The good thing is, I don’t have to dismandle my PC. I just have to point the hair dryer to the airvents (at the back side) for few minutes and there it goes…


Eycmanbrandan on June 1, 2012 at 6:56 pm.

I have had the same issue with my M1530 about a year and a half ago. I pulled it out of a storage box when I was going through a storage unit and tried heating it throug the vents. Its working thanks a lot.

The next time this happens I plan on taking it apart and removing the GPU from the mobo and reattaching it myself. Im a computer tech by trade and from what I have been able to find out is that when dell assembled the M1530s they used the wrong type of soder.

I am hoping that removing the GPU and cleaning up the mobo then resodering it to the mobo with better soder will solve this issue permanently. I’ll try to keep this thread updated on my success or failure.


XPS1530 - Owner on June 6, 2012 at 2:56 pm.

Hi Eycmanbrandan,
Do you think that you can manually re-solder the GPU ?
Please update us on the progress.


XPS1530 - Owner on June 6, 2012 at 3:03 pm.

Since the issue is happening again and again, I think we will have to find a permanent fix. Can we not get a free service/replacement from Dell as this is a known issue for many customers ?


JUM on June 6, 2012 at 7:04 pm.

If powering up my M1530 having the D-key pressed, and then seeing the colored pages displayed, why do you still say that it is the GPU failure? Ok, the colors are more shades than colors, but that is because the backlight of the screen is off.
I think if really the GPU fails, one should not see these colored pages!
So may be the defect is at the CPU or the Northbridge or whereever on the mainboard and is only occasionally (and temporarely) repaired by heating the GPU? What do you think?


Michael on June 7, 2012 at 12:57 pm.

Works for me. I did the D button plus power on diagnostic. Showed colors so I knew that it wasn’t the display. Took the heatsink off, took a heat gun to it and everything works. I was already planning on a new laptop before I fixed mine. The screen did flash some pink lines today so I think it is breaking again. I will have the heat gun on stand bye this time. Thank you.


Michelle on June 9, 2012 at 10:45 pm.

I just wanted to say thank you. My XPS just died on me yesterday night with the same symptoms and its resurrected now, thanks to this article. I think it was the same problem which happened with this machine 3 years back (it was still on warranty then and Dell replaced the mobo). Leased life – yes. I figure just enough time for me to scout the market for a new one.


XPSM1530 on July 4, 2012 at 11:41 am.

+1 worked well for me.
Till now I was just opening the heat sink and put it back or keep on the laptop over night and reboot in morning and it start working again. This time none of it worked.
Not sure can blame NVIDIA, as Dell is the one who assemble it and attached to the mother board.
For sure next laptop wont be from Dell…..
Thanks for the Info


Nagarjuna Rao Dustakar on July 11, 2012 at 5:10 pm.

Great that exactly worked for me :D


Sheets on July 20, 2012 at 11:04 am.

This fix worked for me! Currently, I am backing up my files, a chore I’ve avoided for too long. I will try and update if I have any problems with the fix. I didn’t change the thermal paste, but hopefully will do so soon.


Arpit Mehra on August 10, 2012 at 11:40 pm.

dude…. thnx yaar…. i m feeling so relieved as my frnd had a similar prblm n he spent round 5k on this small prblm… n other folks who are reading this… this solution is very much real….


Ariox on September 14, 2012 at 2:37 pm.

This fix applies because from the heat that aply to the GPU. The balls under the chip melt. So by reheating, Reflowing the balls resseting to position so the laptop Works


Kenny Lok on October 1, 2012 at 8:32 am.

My son’s XPS died last night with same symptoms
I follow the suggested actions and its resurrected now, thanks to this article.
At the same time, we clean the fan and other dust.
Hope it can last longer.
Once again, thank you


Kenny Lok on October 1, 2012 at 8:33 am.

Oop, should be MPS 1530, not XPS


Mal Browne on October 12, 2012 at 11:39 pm.

My daughter had this problem, I’ve seen this fix several times but thought it simply can’t work, must be a ‘wind up’.
As her screen was OK (did your test) I thought what have I got to lose, so took it to bits, blasted the GPU with a heat gun and unbelievably it worked.
Thanks for the info.


Mal Browne on October 16, 2012 at 10:18 pm.


It started turning itself off after about 2 hours (the laptop not just the screen), I took it to bits again and put new thermal compound in and it’s working perfectly now.


Kenny_HORROR on October 17, 2012 at 10:58 pm.

Thanks a lot. You’ve returned my laptop to live.


hasnain shah on October 19, 2012 at 8:05 pm.

dell xps m 1530 Flickering difrent colours and Dots Across My Display


James Carroll on October 24, 2012 at 5:56 pm.

OMG – I thought I was in big trouble … same issues as everybody and this was the laptop I was using for my PhD. Have everything backed up but have worked with this through MSc etc so for 4 years. Took 10 mins with hairdryer and its back up and running.


Siddharth on November 3, 2012 at 12:27 pm.

Man you rock
Hair dryer thing really worked I covered all the components except graphics card and blowed up the dryer for like 2 minutes and laptop started
Thanks again for this


Alberto on November 5, 2012 at 11:59 am.

thanks alot!!! I have tried this solutions amd it works for me
I used the Hair Dryer for 8 minutes and mi lap is working now


Cheryl on November 11, 2012 at 5:04 am.

Another success! I never had this problem with my m1530 so I guess I should be glad–glad that I found this site and that the hairdryer fix (5-10m) directly on the chips worked. I’m in the market for another PC but am glad I don’t have to buy one under the duress of having a dead laptop. Am still considering a Dell since I want to buy from an American company. My other dells have always been very reliable .


Ray on November 12, 2012 at 4:05 am.

Same symptoms sudden by xps freezed then I turned off xps then
Screen total black
Led light up on power switch removed the heat sink the brown color element with a fan attach to it
Allowed to cool in open air reinserted again but no success

Should I bubble wrap and keep in freezer or cold air from ac is enough?
GPU is a small square shaped in the centre ? Right
Will get hair dyer tomorrow , sheilding with aluminium is essential?
Not getting any ColorS on screen by pressing Fn +D ?
Please as my laptop is still under warranty extended it
Bought in 2009
MB got replaced 2 twice and Hdd too
This year
Please help I am in chaos all my data and my medical Gp exams are near
never had any idea that this would happened


danish on November 12, 2012 at 11:11 am.


if you are not getting the colors on screen even after booting while pressing the ‘D’ key.. it might be an issue with the screen itself and not necessarily the same thing as faced by all of us..

Also, if its still under warranty, I would recommend getting it fixed by the Dell technicians rather than fiddling with it and voiding that warranty.


rayquest on November 12, 2012 at 10:55 am.

Led lights up and got white,gray and red screen flash ?


Mike Wall on December 7, 2012 at 12:19 am.

Thanks, OP. It worked for me, but only for about a week and now it’s back to square one. I guess I can keep doing it over and over, but I’m going to find a more permanent solution or buy a new laptop. Still, good to know I can get to those files and back them up.


RichardHC on December 9, 2012 at 9:32 am.

YES!!!! This works. The only thing is you should buy some Arctic Silver 5 Thermal paste and cleaner to be sure you get a good contact between the heat sink and the CPU after you finish. Nobody said how close to hold the hot air gun – I put mine on low power and held it about 150mm above the chip for about 10 minutes. Put it back together and it worked!
At least this allows me to un-register my adobe CS5 software so I don’t lose that, too. Everything else was backed up and one can always use an external drive housing to get anything else off the hard drive.
Thank you for this terrific solution to a very puzzling and frustrating problem.


Pepe on December 20, 2012 at 4:50 pm.

It works! Funciona!
Gracias! Thanks!
It works… I didn’t have a hair dryer (wish i had hair :-( and not a bald head) so I used my bathroom electric fan heater for 2 minutes and wait 5 to cool off… It didn’t boot the first time and I was so disappointed thinking the electric fan heater was not a good idea… but after 10 cooling of minutes I tried again and “voila”, working again…


Leroy on December 24, 2012 at 1:54 am.

Same issue. Make sure to hold the FN key on start up. You will notice 3 LED lights to the right of the power button. The far left button will be flashing and the 2 to the right will be solid. This does indicate a MB issue. I pulled the heat sink out and hit the NIVIDEA card with the hair dryer for 5 minutes. It booted the first time. Not sure how long it will last but at least I can get important files off of it. I will see what Dell will do for me but not holding my breath. Resaerching this online it seems that this is a systemic problem that they should cover!!


Vipin p Nair on December 25, 2012 at 5:20 pm.

Great idea. I will also do the same to my laptop. I’m also facing the same problem with my xps m1530.


saravana on January 15, 2013 at 3:06 pm.

my m1530 was purchased on july 2008. And I got the same problem 7th jan 2013(After4.5 years). I contacted DELL support and I was asked to pay Rs11,000 for a one time fix which will cover all parts other than battery. In my case i had problem with my DVD drive and speaker. So I was almost on the way to make payment but jus browsed abt this problem and got it working!!!!.

I used 1500 watts hair dryer for 5 to 6 mins over GPU. and cooled for 20 mins under fan. It works!!!!



Kilvan on January 19, 2013 at 2:51 pm.

So, this returned my xps from the dead.
1) thanks to the op for the idea and to everyone else for providing enough positive feedback for me to actually try this.

2) does anyone have a rough estimate of how long this fix will last?

I live abroad and would like to put off getting a new pc until I’m back in the states.


Kim on January 20, 2013 at 12:34 am.

My XPS M1530 is from September 2008. It recently stopped booting up so we tried this method. We used a blow dryer on it for five minutes and now have success. Thank you for this solution!


thomasero on January 25, 2013 at 5:38 pm.

Oh dear, just tried your method on my wife Dell XPS 1530. Yesterday my son played World of tanks and today was laptop dead. Same problem like guys above me. Tried everything but without result. Finally I used hair drayer 1400W for 7 min and now Dell does work.
Thanks a lot

Kind regards from Czech Republic



raghav on February 2, 2013 at 11:57 pm.

A ton thanks for the solution. i did not even opened the laptop,

just close the cooling fan exhaust with a paper and roll the laptop in a towel after switching it on. let it get heated for 20-30mins, and switch it off. let it cool and switch it on..bam!!! my dead laptop is alive :) :)


butters on February 13, 2013 at 1:23 pm.

I have a 1530 that I use as a dedicated pro tools system. This laptop is my Life… Other than having some random scan lines (pattern seems different every time) on my display, I have the exact same symptoms as everyone else. As well as the same diagnostic results. I am about to try this fix and I will try to post my results. I have noticed a few people talking about putting their laptops in the freezer or air conditioning. This seems to me to be an exceedingly bad idea. besides the obvious condensation consequences, the repaid cooling may wreak all sorts of havoc on solder points. Plus the problem itself may be a result of improper solder use/selection and the repeated heating and cooling of the system. I would also caution against the method of lazily just wrapping one’s computer up as this will SEVERELY overheat other key components and will in reality probably just shorten the life of the rest of the system. Once more condensation could also occur when using plastics. this seemed fairly obvious but I just thought I would point it out for those with less experience considering this fix. best thing is if your afraid to open the system try to find a friend who’ll do it for a 20spot. I believe the fix to be a sound (TEMPORARY EMERGENCY) fix. Thanks to the poster and all the great replies. I feel a little better already. Fingers Crossed!


Paolo Menico on February 24, 2013 at 3:02 am.

I had the same problem, with block num blinking and the m1530 not booting.
After reading your posts I tried with my hairdryer on for about 6 mins.
It works!

Let’s see how long it will last…
Thank you Guys!!


Abhilash on February 27, 2013 at 9:57 pm.

worked for me, used the lazy method of wrapping up the laptop and leaving it on for 30 mins and let it cool for 30 mins


Diane on March 8, 2013 at 11:50 pm.

I was at work when I read this, so I wrapped mine up in my down jacket for 30 minutes while it was turn on and it worked! What an amazing way to repair a laptop!


Jm cook on March 16, 2013 at 12:38 pm.

Well, it didn’t work for me. Even though the problem seems to be the same and it behaves in the same way, my xp1530 didnt respond. Aside from using the dryer for 20-25 min, and testing it, i also used a pen torch and baked the GPU as per the instructions of a youtube video, no kuck either. But glad it work for other people.


Victor onipede on March 20, 2013 at 3:26 am.

God bless you for this solution! it really worked. as I couldn’t find an hair dryer… I opted for the dry air of the exhaust pipe of my generator. tho dangerous but it worked. thanks and God bless you.


valentin on March 20, 2013 at 5:45 pm.

IT WOOOOORKS!!!!!!! YEEEEES !!! GENIAL!!!!i konw is only temporary but i’l do it again and again:)


Peter on April 17, 2013 at 4:18 am.

Wow! Awesome!! I was about to sell my laptop when it died, just before cash exchange. Seriously annoyed!! A little bit of research and I found this post. 25 mins later. WORKING LAPTOP!!!!


Mr. K. on April 28, 2013 at 3:09 am.

Amazing! I never really believe this works, but it did! Thanks for this awesome blog-post, it saved my life!


Kamil on April 30, 2013 at 12:46 am.

Normally I’d never believe that … but it really WORKS!! Another saved laptop.
Thanks a lot!!!


Lisa on May 17, 2013 at 8:56 pm.

Yes this is a good fix alright, I’ve been doing it for almost a year now. Unfortunately it doesn’t last. The time between it breaking again and having to get the heat gun or hair dryer out gets shorter until your doing it every few days I’m afraid. Sorry guys, just get everything off your laptop and look for a new one.
Also there is an inherent nvidia fault with the graphics card. Look it up, you might be entitled to a repair replacement or refund. Good luck.


Tom on May 20, 2013 at 10:22 am.

Well the heat gun didnt do it but a mini torch did! Awesome. All of a sudden the system great itself to 2008 and went thru a gammit of tests(like f5) and I had put windows 7 on it prior. Works great.


Tom on May 20, 2013 at 10:23 am.

Not great…meant system reset itself…works great


Zero on May 24, 2013 at 11:41 pm.

It works for me too. Finally my notebook come back to life.


griffin on May 25, 2013 at 11:13 pm.

hey thnx, used this about two months ago and it worked but alas the same problem returned and now neither blow dryer, heat gun wil help guess thats it 4 my dell..


danish on May 27, 2013 at 10:29 am.

Like I’ve mentioned, it’s just a temporary fix.. one should just use it to safely back up data and settings before it dies forever.


eby on August 11, 2013 at 11:43 am.

opss… any solution for permanent fix ???


Jelo on May 29, 2013 at 11:56 pm.

It worked as a charm on my Studio 1535…
Ty for this.


hrishi on July 20, 2013 at 8:35 pm.

Awesome awesome awesome
Really crazy trick . It freaking worked !!!!!


Aaron on July 24, 2013 at 6:20 am.

You are a god among men. This worked for me as well. Thanks!


Rajkoti Reddy on July 25, 2013 at 9:21 pm.

Thanks a lot for the solution bro, its worked for me too as usual :)
i just covered my laptop with a cloth to block all the vents and kept if for almost an hour then switched off it, did let to cool down for 15 min and it worked :)

still worry if it may occurs again, an some one elaborate why this occurs and what is permanent solution ?


Caesar on August 1, 2013 at 4:06 am.

Have not tried this fix, but since the computer boots when screen is black, and fingerprint is registered. I remembered I had Splashtop installed (vnc should also work). Anyway I could connect from my iPad and in the control panel disable the nvidia card (it was showed not working). Enabled the card again and was told to boot. After boot – everything was working. Had to do this twice in three weeks time.


eby on August 11, 2013 at 11:41 am.

Same issue but nothing shows when i press “D” but LED Lights wen i hold fn key, i connected one external monitor but no disply.
What to do. can i try heat with hair dryer.


zhora on August 23, 2013 at 10:23 am.

Mine had the same problem a half year ago. Thank to this post (and many thanks to Danish) i got my laptop works through this day. But recently i have to frequently heat the Nvidia chip with a hairdryer to get it work (though 4 minutes is enough in my case – with removing CPU, memories and hard disk). It’s annoying! So i tried to start up the computer with a finger pressing on the Nvidia GPU, and it helped! Need no more removing any chips and no more heating. Now had a second try this way and it works!
I’m waiting my new Lenovo T431s, no more Dells can bear anymore.


VU Rao on October 6, 2013 at 2:04 pm.

Thanks a lot for the wonderful solution for the problem. I used the Hair-dryer for blowing Hot Air for five minuted gave rest to my Hair-dryer for two minutes and continued the process for about 25 minutes. After assembling the system when I pressed the power button it would not start , there were simply blinking for a long time. however next had to shut down the system by holding the power on button for 10 seconds. Once again i started the system by holding the Fn key and the power on button. There it started with DELL logo and also the diagnostic of the Laptop. After the diagnostic got cleared the system started and has has been functioning for last one hour. Hope thisrejuvenation lasts for long time!!!!!

However during this time I find that the plastic panel just above the keyboard has come out from Left side of the Keyboard and would not go down to flush with the keyboard level. What can be done? does it mean that I heated the GPU for longer time?? How do I keep the plastic panel just above the Keyboard in its original place??? Can some one help me??


Abhishek on October 22, 2013 at 10:28 am.

Thanks a lot man. You are a life saver. I thought my GPU was toast as it was not getting detected and the laptop screen stayed dark.

I was able to connect an external monitor and see the problem though i didnt know how to fix it. While searching I came across this post and thought i would try it. Didnt have hair dryer so tried the lazy method of wrapping the laptop in bedsheet and kept it for 45 minutes.

After cooling down and turned on the the laptop (after a brief prayer to GOD ofcourse) and BAM…. its working !! Updated to the latest display drivers and it has been going well for a day now. Hope it stays that way.

PS: Laptop is 5 years old :)


Nilesh on November 10, 2013 at 6:59 pm.

I’ve been using this hair dryer trick since Jan 2013. Working perfectly for me. I normally keep laptop powered up on AC power for week or two before shutting it down or rebooting for updates. Actually I bought a 2000 rs hair dryer for this purpose and saved 18000 rs.

Just amazing. But I wont buy Dell anymore…..


Nilesh on November 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm.

The plastic panel covering the CPU/GPU/MEMORY has melted in my case. Extreme care to be taken not to heat the casing. else it deforms


Colin Massicotte on November 15, 2013 at 6:15 am.

This totally worked! I also only heated for 10 mins and added some thermal paste to each of the chips before replacing the heat sink. Thank you so much!!


Suhail Halai on December 9, 2013 at 4:44 pm.

Thanks a ton for this post! I can confirm this trick worked on my friend’s laptop which was a refurbished unit – kudos to Dell for making a product that worked great from 2008 till 2013. No one could have guessed or even anticipated that this kind of issue could crop up in the future. Just goes to show how fragile technology layering really is. In my case I didn’t even remove the heat sinks. Just opened the “reverse-L” cover and used a travel size hair dryer on all three chips under the heatsinks for about 3-4 mins each keeping a distance of 1 inch from the surface. They got really hot and I could smell a very slight “solder” fume. I resisted the temptation to overdo it. I would suggest doing only 1 mins at first. Just keep that cover open, and if the problem isn’t resolved, try again for another minute. Better safe than sorry.


Rajkoti Reddy on December 23, 2013 at 4:52 pm.

i am following the method of heating GPU since the problem has occurred. unfortunately the problem is repeating within one or two weeks after the fix :(


tito on January 6, 2014 at 12:15 pm.

Thanks a lot for this post. it really works.


Peace Love & Happiness on January 17, 2014 at 9:33 am.

Wow this worked!
Bought my XPS 1530 back in 2008.. screen went blank a few days ago, wouldn’t boot.
Way out of warranty, so I thought for sure was gonna be an expensive motherboard replacement.
I just popped open the heat sink/fan cover, used a heat gun on low directly on the GPU for ~5 minutes. Plugged ac power to laptop (battery died long ago).. and Voila! it Booted up and ran just fine!

Incidentally.. i bought the heat gun to reflow the mobo on my 1st gen PS3.. which only makes it run for a few weeks at a time :(

Thanks Danish!


Raj on January 24, 2014 at 6:29 pm.

Hi all, I’ve had the same issue with my laptop but it’s till does not seem to start up. I have tried heating with a hair dryer for about ten minutes 2 times and both times it didn’t resolve the issue. I had the cover open to expose the heat sink. Is there something that I’m doing wrong?


Fer on January 29, 2014 at 9:35 am.

Wow, impressive! It worked for me too. Thanks a lot. My XPS 1530 working as good as before.


Phil on February 7, 2014 at 6:45 am.

Before heat up the GPU with hair dryer make sure to wide open your laptop screen for the hot air comes through the key board. The first time I done it with laptop screen close my keyboard was melted.
Using hair dryer to blow GPU, this solution work every time but just for temporary fix (I use hair dryer daily now to keep my Dell XPS M1530 boot up) is anybody know the permanent way?


Darot on February 19, 2014 at 10:24 am.

Mine had the same issue two years ago and I went to a PC/laptop place to see what the issue was and they told me it was the motherboard. I found it stashed away in my closet a couple of days ago and thought I could fix it. Looked up some solutions online and it brought me here. I bought a new heat sink/fan cause the old one look liked it burnt out. I did the blow dry thing and at first it didn’t boot up. So I waited about an hour, with the adapter plugged in and everything but this time I tried to go into the bios system and voila it booted up! I was on it for about half an hour or so and decided to shut it down to see if I can reboot it again. To me disappointment, it did the same thing by powering up but still showed the black screen. So I’m going to see if I can clean up the GPU and excess thermal compound and put in some fresh ones. Wish me luck!


Reza on February 28, 2014 at 12:38 pm.

It worked for me too, thank you


paco on March 11, 2014 at 3:14 pm.

The problem is not the motherboard , the problem is the chip itself. There is not a final solution , so in maybe 2 month the problem will be back …

So never ever DELL .


Barteld= on April 8, 2014 at 5:21 pm.

After buying my Dell XPS m1530 in (maybe even the year before) 2008 the problems described above appeared.

I just found this thread after solving the problem the same way as described here. I really think it’s an amazing solution. If you had a good working XPS m1530 for years you really get attached to it. After it broke down I really hoped to resurrect it willing to try every method available.

I heated the GPU (removed the fan etc first to not heet the processor and that other chip) for only two minutes from a close distance using a hairdryer. Covered the rest of the laptop with aluminium foil.

What you can do to test the heat of your hairdryer by choice is to take some tin and heat it. Time how long it takes to melt and heat the GPU for the same ammount of time. For me 2-3 minutes was probably enough and I took the ‘saver’ option to only heat for 2 minutes.

This is only the second time I booted the laptop since, so if it fails in the future I made extent the period of heating to give it a try again.

Crossing my fingers hoping to be the lucky guy that extends his XPS-life with more than just some months!:)


hassan on April 13, 2014 at 1:39 am.

Thank you so much . it works for me . i am using dell xps 1645 .

thanx once again


Cody on May 2, 2014 at 3:50 am.

Hahaha, good to hear it fixed your problem, I would’ve done the same thing with the battery (thinking the computer was dead before realising it wasn’t getting any power) :’)


Christophe on May 17, 2014 at 5:06 pm.

Yeah Thanks. It works for me too on XPS M1530


Christophe on May 17, 2014 at 8:40 pm.

Only work one hour


Christian on June 5, 2014 at 12:58 am.

Thanks for the tip. I purchased my XPS m1530 Red with a beautiful 1680x1050px screen and a NVIDIA® GeForce? Go 8600M GT graphics card back in april 2008. I have been using it ever since. A few years ago I moved a ssd drive into the machine and it has worked really well for my purpose. Then all of a sudden the machine wouldn’t turn on. Via google I came across this site. I have to admit I was a bit sceptic about heating the chip with a hairdryer but thought “what the heck, it’s dead anyway”. And it worked. The m1530 booted right up like there never had been a problem with it in the first place.

I have previously had a look inside the machine a few years back when the fan started to run all the time. The m1530 go very hot and at times would shutdown itself due to heating. If anyone here has that issue I recommend this blog posting on how to clean the fan
chances are you have a hairball sitting in there. The blog post has good pictures on where the screws are placed, power cord etc.

Thanks Danish for the writeup here!


Pradeep Nagi M on July 13, 2014 at 3:16 pm.

It worked for me too… Danish Khan Thanks a lot.


Isotope on July 15, 2014 at 10:18 am.

Thank you so much for posting this – can I buy you a drink or send you some cookies or something like that?

Hair-dryer – about 15-20 minutes, and a bit of pressure did the trick.

Observational note that I didn’t take a photo of – when the GPU component is out of position it looks like a fine-toothed comb underneath, when you look at it from a side angle. I added a little pressure with the back end of a ratchet onto the heat-sink plate.


Custard on October 20, 2014 at 3:54 am.

Yep worked for me too on xps m1530 just as I had downloaded an update driver set for NVIDIA graphics board in xps (Oct 2014 now) I assumed that new driver set didn’t work. However, glad to see that (at least for a while) the xps appears to be working.


Gianni Barberi on March 19, 2015 at 11:11 pm.

Same for me, this damn fault appeared after linux updated the driver and every time i try this


Shmoo on January 28, 2015 at 7:30 am.

Thank you SO much! I just had my seven year old M1530 “die” when I tried to reboot it today. I was all set to buy a 2.5″ HDD enclosure so I could try to pull the data off, at least.

Then, I found your article (and a video as well).

I followed the steps and voila~ my laptop booted-up.

Now I can copy everything I need, as well as settings… just in case it dies again.


Krystof Kajanek on February 3, 2015 at 10:51 pm.

This is incredible, like from a Russian movie, it works!


Krystof Kajanek on February 3, 2015 at 10:54 pm.

Also guys underclock the GPU unit heavily using Nvidia control panel


FixItGuy on February 23, 2015 at 5:16 am.

Glad to see this post and that I am not alone. I will definitely give this a shot. Thought the cable was bad, replaced that no luck. Thought to buy a new motherboard when I saw others posts with the same issue on the GPU. I will post again if I successful. Cheers!


Gianni Barberi on March 19, 2015 at 11:08 pm.

I had the same experience like all of you, lately with incresing frequency.

I want to add that sometimes after the treatment the PC boots but after 3/4 of the bar progress shuts abruptely.

After a few hours rest, it may complete the boot, the last 1/4 very slowly.
( from other experiences a slow boot is when a change in the system is detected)

I wish a more verbose boot option


vijay on March 24, 2015 at 10:31 am.

Thanks you very much for sharing.. it worked for me.. used dryer just for 2 minutes..


linuxer on April 5, 2015 at 3:37 pm.

Same problem. But as an alternate solution y just start any linux from USB connected to an external monitor. 5 min of use to reach operational temperature and restart work from disk as usual.


Angel on July 15, 2015 at 5:15 am.

Mine did that 6 times.
2 time it was after turning off
2 of the times after installing new display adapter driver (once with linux and once with Win 7)
2 times – after changing the power settings

I applied the heating procedure only once and it worked, but every other time it didn`t.
But leaving the laptop with no power supply and no battery for few weeks does the job :) And of course I remove the last action – driver or setting.
And it works fine for few more weeks or months.
Thats why I think it is a software bomb that just makes the laptop “saying” change motherboard, processor or GPU which is a lie!!! . They work fine!

My theory is that DELL (as others) has a secret agenda to sell more laptops, parts and to apply more repair services by making a faulty software bombs (or even predictable hardware faults).

I had few DELL laptops and I was working as service technician few months.
I discovered that even the heating doesn`t last long - even done by professionals. And thats why technicians say "the time for replacement has come - it won`t llast long after reheating anyway".

I am going to try the first or the second released driver from DELL which hopefully is made to last at least 2 years just to prove the point.



Ed on July 18, 2015 at 2:45 am.

Thanks I am going to try heating the GPU. That is what I was thinking in the first place but it is really good to know that it did work and I appreciate you sharing this information. Thank you big time!!!!


Tushar on August 22, 2015 at 8:07 pm.

This does not work for me too….

I used the Hair dryer for 4-5 mins, and let it get cooled for 10 mins or so.

Manage to boot up, with the DELL logo coming up, however as soon as the boot happens, it just goes off. Something not right.

Any help is appreciated.



Lazza on September 8, 2015 at 4:36 am.

I am another victim of the DELL scam that was sold with defective Nvidia GPUs which were failing a bit after the extended (additional, extra-paid) warranty ended. Actually last year I got the motherboard replaced and they reballed the GPU. It worked for about 9 months (not bad) and then it did the black screen again.

Today I used the method described here and it worked perfectly (5 minutes of hair-dryer + 25 of rest, using the aluminium foil tip shown in the comments). I don’t know how long it will last, but I could use it again if needed. I still think it was a good deal to get it professionally repaired, since it lasted quite for a while… but this cheaper method is very very good to know.

Thank you for the post.


Max on September 25, 2015 at 12:21 pm.

Well done!
I’ve fixed M1530 laptop. Get hair-dryer 10mins, only above nVidia GPU, aluminium foil around GPU.. About 30mins rest and re-mounted radiator and cooling, RAM etc. Power on and computer starts every day now :)


Max on September 25, 2015 at 12:22 pm.

And greets from Poland!! :)


PacMan on October 24, 2015 at 9:57 am.

Many Thanks, as of today 24/10/2015 this technique still work!

Since 2008, lasted me long way.. just got this problem! and fixed it after 10minutes of google and 5 minutes of reading then 30min of working on it!


Ben on October 29, 2015 at 1:29 pm.

I am so grateful I found this post. My M1530 laptop had stopped working a few days and I wasn’t ready to discard it just yet. I did not have a blow dryer so followed the one approach that I read here here to block the vents, turned it on and wrapped it in a blanket. After 45 minutes, I unwrapped it, let it cool down for 30 minutes and when I pressed the start button, It did not work – same dead boot. I said to myself there’s nothing to loose. I repeated the same procedure ( at about ) and went to bed. In the morning unwrapped laptop. This time it was cold. Pressed the start button and viola it turned on. I typed this message on it. Today is the 29/10/2015 and the heating procedure works. Thanks to this post. So excited.


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