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Dell XPS 420 won't boot


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#1 Trigg

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 10:56 AM

I'm working on a Dell XPS 420 desktop that will not boot. The OS is Windows Vista Home Premium. Intel Core2 duo processor, and 3 GB 667 MHz dual channel dual DDR2 RAM. Hard drive is a WD but not exactly sure the capacity or model.

When the power button is turned on, the Windows logo screen comes up, but then the system hangs on the next screen - black screen with the text:

Intel® Matrix Storage Manager option ROM v7.6.1.1001 ICH9R
Copyright © 2003-07 INtel Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

I've tried several troubleshooting techniques but I have been unsuccessful so far.

First, I tried to boot into safe mode and was unsuccessful. The only commands it will recognize are F2 and F12 to enter into setup and the Boot Device Menu.

Under the boot menu, I ran the Diagnostics utility and everything passed. However, once the tests are finished a window comes up and says "Booting Dell Diagnostic Utility Partition. Press any key to continue." Nothing happens when I press a button. During the diagnostics, the 1,2,3 diagnostic lights were lit. I checked the light sequence list on Dell's website and it suggests checking all the cables to make sure everything is plugged in. I tried this but it didn't work.

After a Google search, I found where someone was experiencing a similar problem, and they resolved it by resetting the bios. This didn't work.

Another suggestion was to remove the CMOS battery for 30 seconds and then replace it. I tried this but it didn't work. I even tried replacing the battery but this didn't work either.

I checked all USB ports and memory card slots to make sure they are empty. The inside of the case was full of dust so I cleaned it thoroughly. I tried re-seating the RAM modules. There are 4 sticks of RAM, (2) 1 GB sticks and (2) 512 MB sticks. I tried using only one at a time to see if there was a problem with the memory, but this didn't work.

I tried changing the boot sequence and booting from the recovery disk, but it will not boot from a CD.

I've tried to disconnect all unnecessary components and use only the minimum to try and get it to start but still get the same thing.

I'm all out of ideas and I could use some help. Any suggestions?

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#2 rigacci

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 11:48 AM

You probably did not receive a disk from Dell, no?

You would want to boot up to the Vista DVD and try doing a Repair. On booting up the DVD it should see the Vista OS and ask you about it.

I do not know that machine very well so I can't help much more.

Good luck.

DR

#3 MrBruce1959

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 01:16 PM

Hi and Welcome to Bleepingcomputer!

I need to know what type of Western Digital drive you are trying to boot to, it is either a E-IDE/PATA or a SATA hard drive.

I will watch for your reply.

kind regards.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 21 May 2010 - 01:16 PM.

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#4 Trigg

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 01:31 PM

Rigacci - yes I do have the CD and I tried booting to it, but the system would not boot to CD

Mr Bruce - its a WD3200AAKS; 320 GB SATA

Thanks

#5 rigacci

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 02:03 PM

Hmmm, system would not boot to CD? It is a DVD player, no?


Did you try selecting it in BIOS? There is sometimes the option at Startup of choosing a Boot Menu or Setup.


I have seen some that would not boot to CD (or DVD in this case) no matter what you do.

DR

#6 Trigg

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 02:55 PM

It is a DVD drive, the one from the mfr...and I was using the Reinstallation DVD. I tried changing the boot sequence but got nothing.

#7 MrBruce1959

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 03:56 PM

First, for your trouble shooting pleasure, I am linking you to Dell's web site to the technical information pages for the Dell XPS 420.

I am downloading the PDF documents for your unit and I will be researching a solution for you.

Please give me a little bit of time to do some research and I will come back with hopefully a solution.

Kind regards.

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/syst...20/en/index.htm
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#8 MrBruce1959

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 04:09 PM

Here is something to take note of.

I F THE POWER LIGHT IS BLINKING BLUE —
• The computer is in standby mode. Press a key on the keyboard, move the mouse, or
press the power button to resume normal operation.
• USB keyboard and mouse wake up the system if these devices are configured as wake
up devices in the operating system devices properties. Otherwise, press the power button.
I F THE POWER LIGHT IS OFF — The computer is either turned off or is not
receiving power.
• Reseat the power cable in the power connector on the back of the computer and the
electrical outlet.
• Bypass power strips, power extension cables, and other power protection devices to
verify that the computer turns on properly.
• Ensure that any power strips being used are plugged into an electrical outlet and are
turned on.
• Ensure that the electrical outlet is working by testing it with another device, such as a lamp.
• Ensure that the main power cable and front panel cable are securely connected to the
system board (see "System Board Components" on page 103).
I F THE POWER LIGHT IS BLINKING AMBER — The computer is receiving electrical
power, but an internal power problem may exist.
• Ensure that the voltage selection switch is set to match the AC power at your location
(if applicable).
• Ensure that all components and cables are properly installed and securely connected
to the system board (see "System Board Components" on page 103).
I F THE POWER LIGHT IS STEADY AMBER — A device may be malfunctioning or
incorrectly installed.
• Remove and then reinstall all memory modules (see "Memory" on page 104).
• Remove and then reinstall any expansion cards, including graphics cards (see
"Removing a PCI Express Card" on page 121).
I F THE POWER LIGHT FLASHES AMBER AND THEN GOES OFF — It can be an internal
power problem.
• Ensure that the processor power cable is securely connected to the system board
power connector (12VPOWER). (See "System Board Components" on page 103).
ELIMINATE INTERFERENCE — Some possible causes of interference are:
• Power, keyboard, and mouse extension cables
• Too many devices connected to the same power strip
• Multiple power strips connected to the same electrical outlet
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#9 MrBruce1959

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 04:15 PM

Diagnostic lights :trumpet: :flowers: :thumbsup: lit.

Another failure has
occurred.
• Ensure that all hard drive and
optical drive cables are properly
connected to the system board
(see "System Board
Components" on page 103).
• If there is an error message on
the screen identifying a
problem with a device (such as
the floppy drive or hard drive),
check the device to make sure
it is functioning properly.
• If the operating system is
attempting to boot from a
device (such as the floppy drive
or optical drive), check system
setup (see "System Setup" on
page 178) to ensure the boot
sequence is correct for the
devices installed on your
computer.
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#10 MrBruce1959

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 04:23 PM

Starting Dell Diagnostics From the Drivers and Utilities Media
1 Insert the Drivers and Utilities media.
2 Shut down and restart the computer.
When the DELL logo appears, press <F12> immediately.
NOTE: If you wait too long and the operating system logo appears, continue
to wait until you see the Microsoftฎ Windowsฎ desktop; then, shut down your
computer and try again.
NOTE: The next steps change the boot sequence for one time only. On the
next start-up, the computer boots according to the devices specified in the
system setup program.
3 When the boot device list appears, highlight CD/DVD/CD-RW and press
<Enter>.
4 Select the Boot from CD-ROM option from the menu that appears and
press <Enter>.
5 Type 1 to start the CD menu and press <Enter> to proceed.
6 Select Run the 32 Bit Dell Diagnostics from the numbered list. If multiple
versions are listed, select the version appropriate for your computer.
7 When the Dell Diagnostics Main Menu appears, select the test you want
to run.
NOTE: Write down any error codes and problem descriptions exactly as they
appear and follow the instructions on the screen.
Dell Diagnostics Main Menu
1 After the Dell Diagnostics loads and the Main Menu screen appears, click
the button for the option you want.
NOTE: It is recommended that you select Test System to run a complete test on
your computer.
Option Function
Test Memory Run the stand-alone memory test
Test System Run System Diagnostics
Exit Exit the Diagnostics

2 After you have selected the Test System option from the main menu, the
following menu appears:
NOTE: It is recommended that you select Extended Test from the menu below to
run a more thorough check of devices in the computer.
3 If a problem is encountered during a test, a message appears with an error
code and a description of the problem. Write down the error code and
problem description and see "Contacting Dell" on page 200
NOTE: The Service Tag for your computer is located at the top of each test
screen. If you contact Dell, technical support will ask for your Service Tag.
4 If you run a test from the Custom Test or Symptom Tree option, click the
applicable tab described in the following table for more information.
Option Function
Express Test Performs a quick test of system devices. The test typically
takes 10 to 20 minutes and requires no interaction on your
part. Run Express Test first to increase the possibility of
tracing the problem quickly.
Extended Test Performs a thorough check of system devices. The test
typically takes an hour or more.
Custom Test Use to test a specific device or customize the tests to be
run.
Symptom Tree This option allows you to select tests based on a symptom
of the problem you are having. This option lists the most
common symptoms.
Built in Self
Test
Performs a thorough check on all LCD display related
functions. Based on the test results a green Passed or red
Failed message appears on screen. For items listed in red,
note down the error code and problem description and
contact Dell.
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#11 _V7_

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 05:11 PM

Computer tech in Tallahassee Fl. and I fixed this by looking under the CPU. There was thermal compound that managed to make its way under the CPU and block proper pin connections.

Cleaned the paste off of the bottom of the CPU placed it back in the PC and it booted up no problem.

Have a look. :blink:




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