A series of 15" media laptops manufactured by Dell.

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Turns on using Media Button not power button

I have reloaded the OS without the media portion of the Dell installation, but unlike my other studio 15, this one only "powers on" after touching the "media" button. The power key does nothing. It will not power the laptop off or turn it such as on my other studio laptop. The Bios is the same and OS installation is for Vista, no special selection are made during installation so why would this PC not use the power button? Mind you the Dell Media software is not installed. So it should not be in play...

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the BIOS has a special setting for a "media function". This means you can listen to a CD without starting up the PC.

Maybe some settings were made in the BIOS so that the laptop only turns on when the media button is hit. You can try to set the BIOS settings to factory default.


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I consider this more of a feature rather than a problem. For instance, I received a Dell Studio 15 from a friend that would not power on with the power button, seeing as the cord was internally ripped. It did however, boot with the media button once the battery was charged. Usually it was a combination of the network button and media button however.

Anyway, I'm not sure what started the media button power on, but if the power button does not power it on all I can think of is that the laptop recognizes the power button is malfunctioning and somehow allows you to power on with the media button.

I also know there is no setting in the BIOS that turns this on, so I also find it a little strange. You might want to try contacting Dell Support to see if they have a solution. Best of luck, if you find out what the issue is, please let us know!


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The power button board is bad. That is a small, PC board behind the power button that connects to the motherboard. I have had to replace several of these. They are small, surface-mount boards with three wires on them that come loose with the slightest tug. Unfortunately, on my Studio 1558, the power button is up by the right hinge, which when opened and closed, flexes the wire for the power button board. You have to remove the top portion of the laptop (the palm rest bezel, the keyboard/speaker bezel, and keyboard itself) along with the screen bezel. Then you have to loosen the hinge screws on the right to have the hinge move freely, so you can get to the power button board. One screw holds it in place plus a tab that goes into a plastic slot on the power button frame itself. Once you undo that, follow the cable and unhook it from the board. I got a new power button board from an eBay seller for under $10.00 and installed it. When installing, hook the power button board back in behind the power button, secure with the tab and screw, attach the connector to the motherboard and start routing the wire from the connector forward to hinge. Make sure there is plenty of slack in the wire up at the hinge so it has room to move without disconnecting the 3 small wires on it. Once they disconnect, you cannot reconnect them unless you do surface-mount work. Then put the hinge back together, replace the bezels, and you are done. Your power button should start working again.


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Check this out as permanent fix to power button problem described above:


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