Akom's Tech Ruminations

Various tech outbursts - code and solutions to practical problems

Hardware Hacks Upgrading Dell laptop memory and the blinking CAPS LOCK led

Posted by Admin • Wednesday, January 18. 2012 • Category: Hardware Hacks
Apparently if you have the power-on self-tests set to "Minimal" or "Fast" or anything besides the "Let's check everything for 5 minutes every time the machine boots", you'll have a brick with a blinking CAPS lock instead of a laptop once you upgrade memory.

The only way I found to fix this (other than clearing the BIOS) was to put the old memory back in, go into BIOS, and enable thorough self-test. With that on, the laptop notices the memory size change and does not freak out - merely tells you about it. Once you're done you can disable the self-tests.

(I experienced this on a Dell Precision M4400, but googling seems to indicate that this affects the Inspiron and Latitude lines as well, probably others).