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Dell Inspiron Duo Troubleshooting

Released June 2010

Dell Inspiron Duo Won't Turn On

Pressing the power button does not turn the device on.

Power adapter is connected

Before checking anything else, make sure that the device has power. Ensure that the power cable is properly connected to device, and plugged in to an outlet. If necessary, disconnect, then reconnect the power cable from the device. Also ensure that the adapter is working, and wires are not frayed or worn.

Bad/Dead Battery

If the device won't turn on while on battery power, there could be an issue with the battery. Visually check the battery by removing the cover and ensuring there is no corrosion. If there is corrosion, the battery will need to be replaced, and the connectors cleaned. Click here to access step-by-step instructions for replacing the battery.

Bad display

If the power light comes on, but the screen is black, then it is likely that there is an issue with the display. If faint images are appearing on the screen, or you can see the display only by holding a flashlight to the screen, then the screen will need to be replaced.

Keyboard keys are not working

Pressing the keyboard keys causes them to repeat, or nothing happens when keys are pressed.

Repeating Keys

Check the keys for any sticky residue or dirt underneath, and remove keys to clean if necessary with soap and water.

Keyboard Unresponsive

If the keyboard is unresponsive, the keyboard might need to be replaced.


Device is hot to the touch, or shutting off intermittently.

Dust Buildup

If dust is visible on the outside fan ports of the device, dust buildup inside of the device is likely. Use compressed air to blow the dust out of the device.

Fans Not Functioning

If the device is warm to the touch and fans cannot be heard while device is on, the cooling fans may need to be replaced.

Not Enough or Old Thermal Paste

If there is no dust, and the fans are functioning, remove the CPU and check to see that the thermal paste is not dry, and that there is enough (there should be a pea-sized amount). If it is dry, or there doesn't appear to be a pea sized amount, completely clean remove thermal paste and add new, pea sized amount of thermal paste.

For further guidance on recognizing, removing, and applying new thermal paste, please see this guide.

Device Won't Boot

Device has power and lights, but fails to boot into operating system

Hard Disk Drive Error

Remove the back cover and ensure that the hard disk drive is not loose and is properly connected. If drive is loose or out of alignment with its cradle, completely remove the hard disk and then re-insert the drive into its cradle, ensuring that it's secure, and properly lined up with its cradle before reconnecting it. Click here for step-by-step instructions.

Malfunctioning RAM

Remove the back cover and check to make sure that RAM is secure and properly inserted. If it appears to be loose or improperly lined up with its cradle, remove it and re-insert it into its cradle. If connections appear to be dirty or dusty, clean with compressed air. Click here for step-by-step RAM replacement instructions.

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I just bought a dell 1090 and already saying that windows crashed.

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