Fixing my beeping Dell Inspiron 3542

So, one fine day my Dell Inspiron 3542 started to beep. And what would usually entail a visit to the Dell service centre, instead started out a mini DIY adventure :)

The first step was to understand what the problem is. Now, modern laptops and desktops have beep code diagnostics built in for the startup process. These beep code can be used to identify anything goes wrong during the boot process.

So Google pointed me to this Dell webpage which gives a detailed description of various  beep codes and possible solutions. Another link with a little easier language is linked here In my case, it was 5 beeps repeating continuously with a pause in between. So, I am looking at a CMOS battery replacement.


What followed was an order on Amazon for a CMOS battery. They are pretty generic and I found one here.

The battery was delivered yesterday and I already had the required tools for the laptop dissection. (Click on images to look them up on amazon)

So, next up was finding a video that would run me through the laptop opening process. I really didn't want to screw up my laptop, just because I didn't know which screw to open first. And trust me there are too many of them screws.

The following was the video I used for refrence and they really have done a good job with crisp instructions and visuals.

And after an half hour worth of unscrewing, I had the laptop open. That moment is such a mixture of joy (that you didn't break anything YET. The prying open is the most difficult, since you don't know how much force to exert.) and the trepidation of whether you'll be able to put it all back together.

I can only imagine how doctors feel once they have cut a patient up.  😀

So finally the laptop looked like this and the culprit battery was replaced.

I hurriedly put everything back together and tightened up things. And then came the moment of truth when I pressed the power button, half expecting a shriller beeping. But thankfully, the welcome screen came up and the machine started up uneventfully.

So three cheers to the internet for saving me a trip to the service centre.

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