Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Computer stopped working - need serious help!


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Dreams

Dreams

  • Members
  • 7 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:08:57 PM

Posted 06 August 2009 - 08:18 PM

Well... I've had a Dell XPS 400 for several years now (no, no money for anything better), and in the past year or so it started having startup problems - infrequently, it would start with a beep code (usu. 1-3-2). A couple of times, I had blue screens of death, which I had never experienced at all with this computer. The stop code was 0X0000008E, and the message was "win32k.sys - Address BF82C36E base at BF800000". Suddenly, yesterday, my computer turned off in the middle of me working, and now I can't get it to start back up again.

When I first tried to reboot it, it started up, then sounded like it failed (shut back off), then started up again... it gave me a BIOS message on the screen intermittently (X300XT BIOS P/N 113-A33437-102), and that was it - after that, the screen would go black and all I'd hear is this horrible, neverending beep. Now, it's not even doing that if I try to start it up. Either one of two things happens - it does the start-fail-start routine again, and it sounds like it's running fine, but the monitor remains black and unresponsive. Or, it does the start-and-fail thing continuously.

I know that the 1-3-2 beep code refers to a memory/DIMM error, but my RAM seems to be seated properly. How can I test for sure if they're causing the problem? Does the stop message have anything to do with this... a hardware incompatibility or driver issue or BIOS issue? I tested the computer with a different monitor, different cables, changed the battery, and even removed the smaller non-essential boards (sound card, video capture card, etc) to see if anything made a difference. I'm obviously not at the level where I can dismantle a computer like a pro, so I only tried to make sure everything was connected and seated properly. Other than that, I don't know what else to do.

So ignoring the fact that I waited this long to do anything about it, can someone help me? At least please give me some direction as to how I can figure out what the real problem is? I'm so afraid I'll need to do something like replace the motherboard, and I have absolutely no money to do so...

Help is very much appreciated.

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 Vroom125

Vroom125

  • Members
  • 10 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:05:57 PM

Posted 06 August 2009 - 10:39 PM

If this happened to me, I would go out and buy new memory. I do know that memory has a lifespan, so maybe you just need to get new memory sticks. That will probably solve the problem.

#3 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 55,246 posts
  • ONLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:07:57 PM

Posted 07 August 2009 - 09:44 AM

You can run Memtest86+ to check out the RAM.

Memtest86+ - Advanced Memory Diagnostic Tool - http://www.memtest.org/#downiso

Icrontic Diagnose with Memtest86+ - http://icrontic.com/articles/diagnose_with_memtest86

Basic testing methodology summarized at MemTest Manual - http://hcidesign.com/memtest/manual.html

Louis

#4 Dreams

Dreams
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 7 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:08:57 PM

Posted 07 August 2009 - 12:14 PM

Everything I download from that memtest link tells me this when I try to open it:
"The Compressed (zipped) Folder is invalid or corrupted."

My computer has two sticks of 512 mb of RAM... would it be okay to exchange them for a couple of older sticks of 256 mb and see if the computer boots up? (Excuse my n00b question)

#5 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 55,246 posts
  • ONLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:07:57 PM

Posted 07 August 2009 - 12:29 PM

You are not supposed to use the .zip files (I really don't know why they are there), download the .iso file and burn it to CD.

In all honesty, I guess that the .zip files are there for those who still use floppy drives :thumbsup:.

Louis

#6 Dreams

Dreams
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 7 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:08:57 PM

Posted 08 August 2009 - 12:21 AM

Well, I think I know why that zip error is happening, because it's happening with all zip files I download. Unfortunately, Microsoft's workaround suggestions don't work, and I think the real problem is that this computer doesn't have SP2 installed. And this computer isn't mine. So even if I download the ISO file, I still can't burn it to CD from this computer without getting a program like ISO Recorder, which is, naturally, in zip format online. This is beyond frustrating.

Regardless, I appreciate you guys giving me some direction. At least now I know I can (try to?) test the memory in that computer if I can get the program - I'm hoping it's going to still work even though I haven't been able to get my computer to show me anything on a monitor?

Going to sleep now to forget all my troubles...

#7 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 55,246 posts
  • ONLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:07:57 PM

Posted 08 August 2009 - 10:14 AM

Options available, Active@ ISO Burner - http://www.ntfs.com/iso_burner_free.htm

Download the .exe file, I use this program to burn CDs from .iso files.

Louis

#8 Dreams

Dreams
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 7 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:08:57 PM

Posted 09 August 2009 - 12:24 PM

Okay, after fixing this computer and so on... I burned memtest to a CD, but it's no good - my computer won't let me open the CD drive, and it's still doing the start-fail-start-fail thing. So after a minute or so of running, it fails and goes through that cycle. Out of desperation, I did try the floppy version of memtest, but nothing's working because the computer won't send out any data to a monitor (I've tried three different monitors). Does this mean something's wrong with my graphics card as well?

#9 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 55,246 posts
  • ONLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:07:57 PM

Posted 09 August 2009 - 12:44 PM

From what you've written...it sounds as if you need to consider investing in either a new/different system...or trying to troubleshoot everything than can negatively impact system functionality.

Beep codes that historically have been ignored...could mean any number of things that may have required immediate attention that was not given.

There are plenty of inexpensive systems available that have better components, IMO.

I love it when people say that they "don't have the money for a newer system" but they do have money for cigarettes, alcohol, movies, candy and a lot of other transient experiences that I consider a bit inferior to providing yourself a decent system to enjoy.

Example: I smoke 3 packs of cigarettes a week, approximate cost $15. 15 times 52 = $520 + $260, total $780 if I just stop wasting money on cigarettes.

Since it's a Dell, it wasn't built to last forever...it may be time to move on to a newer model...or even adventuresome and possibly satisfying..try assembling a desktop at bargain basement prices.

It's very hard to troubleshoot issues on a system that doesn't run and is not directly in front of the person attempting to find out what's wrong and what's right with it.

Louis

#10 Dreams

Dreams
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 7 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:08:57 PM

Posted 09 August 2009 - 03:36 PM

I love it when people say that they "don't have the money for a newer system" but they do have money for cigarettes, alcohol, movies, candy and a lot of other transient experiences that I consider a bit inferior to providing yourself a decent system to enjoy.


When I say I have no money, I mean it. It's outrageous that asking for computer help has to turn into a commentary on personal finances. Unfortunately all of my paychecks go toward school loans, bills (no, no such thing as a cell phone or cable TV here), medicine, bus fare (don't even have a car), groceries, and other essentials. Yes, it was stupid of me to not do something about my computer sooner, but it was likely I couldn't have done anything anyway if I had to spend money on replacing something. It's also doubly unfortunate that I didn't have enough money for an external hard drive or something else large (and reliable) enough to back up 80 GB of files.

Well, whatever. Thanks anyway for some sort of direction. I'll look for more help elsewhere.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users