Dell laptop won t turn on caps lock light on

If your computer doesn't turn on when you press the power button and you're met instead with flashing lights on your keyboard, this is generally indicative of a few different types of hardware-related problems. Your work environment can affect your computer in many ways, especially if it is hot or dirty, or if your computer is ever moved or jostled. A blinking "Caps Lock" key typically means that there is a power-related issue, such as an error with your power supply, or that your computer cannot properly ventilate itself. However, this can often be resolved without needing to take it in for repairs.

In order to run efficiently for long periods of time, a computer needs to be well ventilated. If dust is clogging the vents and weighing down the fans, the computer can overheat. In some cases the computer may not turn on at all. This is part of its design to help it avoid any physical damage. Take your computer outdoors and use a can of compressed air to clear your computer's vents and fans of dust. Open your computer's frame if possible so you can be more thorough.

A power reset can fix many issues causing a computer not to start up. Shut down your computer, disconnect all connected cables and devices and unplug the power cord. Remove the battery, then press and hold the power button for 15 to 20 seconds. Reconnect the power cord, then try to turn your computer on. If it works properly, you can then reattach the battery and continue using it normally. For desktop computers or other computers without batteries, unplug the power and all devices, press and hold the power button as mentioned before, then plug it back in and attempt to turn it on.

RAM is the memory your computer needs to run, and if your RAM ever gets jostled or unseated, your computer will not operate. Reseating the RAM requires physical access to it, so you will need to be able to open your computer case. Shut down your computer and disconnect everything, then carefully remove your RAM completely. Place it back in its slots, making sure it snaps in snugly. Close your computer frame, then try to turn it on again.

For some computers, different blinking lights refer to specific issues. A blinking "Caps Lock" key can sometimes mean that there is an issue with your battery or AC Adapter. If your battery LED and "Num Lock" button are also blinking, this can mean the same thing. If the power reset and clearing your computer's ventilation does not work, you may need to take your computer in for servicing or attempt to replace your battery, AC adapter or power supply.

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When your computer monitor goes black, it could be a simple problem with the power settings or a more complex problem with the computer hardware. When you're trying to determine the cause of your display problems, start simple and work up to the more complicated problems. It helps to have extra cables and monitors on-hand; for laptops, connecting an external monitor can work both to troubleshoot the display and to use temporarily until it's fixed.

The most likely problem when your computer screen goes black is that your computer or display has gone into sleep mode. Windows power settings will first kill your display after so much time of inactivity and then put the computer to sleep after a longer period of inactivity. These settings don't turn off the monitor. You can wake a sleeping display by pressing the space bar, or press the power button on your computer to wake it from sleep mode. The screen will also go black if the computer loses power.

Check the connection between the monitor and computer. If the cable has come loose or gone bad, it may cause the display to go black while you're using the computer. If the power indicator on the monitor -- usually a small light by the button -- indicates that the monitor is turned off, turn it back on; you may have bumped it. If that doesn't work, check that the power cable is securely connected to both the monitor and the outlet.

Overheating can cause the graphics card or motherboard to stop functioning. You can check for overheating by touch or by using a system temperature monitor. If it's overheating, turn off the computer. Clear the vents of dust, and ensure they aren't obscured by walls, desks, curtains or other common household objects. If you feel comfortable doing so, open the computer and install more fans. If you're using a laptop, there's not much more you can do than keep the fans clean and avoid obscuring the vents during use.

If the computer boots but you're getting no display, open the computer, or take it to a repair shop, and ensure that the graphics card is seated tightly in the motherboard. If the computer isn't booting at all, the problem may be with the hard drive or RAM. Listen for beep codes when the computer starts; these codes are determined by the motherboard manufacturer. Beep codes indicate problems based on the pattern of the noise. Look up the computer manufacturer's beep codes to see what the noises may mean.

When testing components, make only one change at a time to root out the precise problem. Start with the easy things, like making sure that the cables connecting the monitor and computer are secure and that both the computer and monitor are turned on. If you have extra cables around, connect the monitor with a different cable to rule out cable defect. Likewise, if there's another monitor available, connect the computer to a different monitor to conclude if the problem is with the monitor or the computer. If you're using a laptop, connect to an external monitor to see if the problem is the display or the computer.

LukeStamm-6381 asked Nov 8, '21 | Docs-4663 answered Nov 16, '21

I have a Dell Inspiron 3780 laptop and the CAPS lock light won't turn on when Windows is running (it works fine during startup). I recently did a clean install of Windows 11 (the latest Insider Preview version in the Developer channel). I'd really appreciate any thoughts on how to start troubleshooting. Thanks!



Hi iluvs2fish, With permission I would like to add a few points here. Most of the latitude notebooks have diagnostics indicators such as `Lock LEDs' (caps, num, scroll lock) and beep codes. These indicators help us determine some of the common failures in the notebook. You have mentioned the caps lock is always on. For most of the Laptop Models Caps Lock light constantly ON indicates `Storage device error'. This might be different for different Laptop Models. Before suggesting the troubleshooting steps, I would like to know what is the exact System Model Number of your Latitude Notebook.

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Dell has been building machines that are more picky about RAM since Haswell with DDR3L, so you need to stick to using quality RAM in anything newer than Ivy Bridge if you aren’t working with original modules (usually Samsung if factory installed). I usually recommend Crucial (Micron) or Kington in the Dells for aftermarket, as it seems to be accepted the best. They aren’t as picky as HP (will reject with a POST error if the timing is inconsistent on Elite and Z), but Dell has clamped down on the tolerances with the newer computers since you can’t get away with as much when the tolerances got as tight as they are on the voltages (1.3V for DDR3L, down to 1.2V for DDR4).

It sounds like you may have spilt something on the motherboard since you mentioned IPA - if you’ve already tried to repair it at the board level, then usually that means there’s serious damage somewhere that will not easily be repaired. Might be time for a new motherboard or laptop, since the boards can be quite expensive.

Look at it this way, especially on the RAM tolerances Dell has pushed on: I miss the days when you can get whatever is cheap on eBay as long as it works with 1.5V DDR3, but they had to do it because the voltage tolerance between DDR3 and DDR3L was reduced by .2V; DDR4 bumps that to .3V, so it was unavoidable. You can’t get away with accepting anything that’s in the slot when you went from 1.5V down to 1.2V! Even then, it was better to use good RAM but if you got it cheap and were okay with the very real risk of a no POST, it usually worked.