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Dell PC not booting, black screen


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#1 cap2587

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 04:25 PM

I have a Dell PC that is not booting into windows and you can't even see the Bios screen. It is just a black screen on boot. I tried another hard drive in the computer, but the same result happened. Tried the H.D from the faulty computer in another PC and it wouldn't boot up either. Unsure of what to do or what could be the problem. Any suggestions? Thanks.

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#2 joseibarra

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 07:42 PM

What are the system particulars? Desktop, laptop, manufactuerer, model...

If there are any beeps when you power up (or zero beeps), describe them as best you can:

Zero beeps
One short
One short, one long
Two shorts
.
.
.

Since you know how to unhook the HDD, if it is not plugged in at all and you power up, do you hear or see anything encouraging or complaints from the system?

Does your monitor power indicator look normal?

What do you think happened to the system since the last time it booted properly? New RAM, video card, devices, - anything that plugs in, etc.

Edited by joseibarra, 16 November 2009 - 05:56 AM.

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#3 cap2587

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 10:45 PM

Thanks for the reply. When I get home from work tomorrow night I will give you the rest of the information. I forgot to get a Video Card connector from the person I got the computer from.

It is a Dell Precision 470. I was able to get the data off the hard drive from this computer by using a Hard Drive docking station. Talk soon.

#4 Ken-in-West-Seattle

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 09:11 AM

FYI Service manual for that model WS.
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/syst...g_en/before.htm

If you don't get inside a lot of Dells they can be a bit confusing.

#5 cap2587

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 05:29 PM

It is a Dell Precision 470, running XP. The guy that I am fixing the PC for said that nothing unusual happen just prior to the machine going south.

Thanks for the good tips. I will try and follow your advice and read through the links you sent me. When I turn on the computer I get 7 consecutive beeps. The screen is completely black with no Motherboard screen options. Then after 5 sec the screen shows me a message to check the analogue signal. Could the Graphics card slot have become corrupted. It looks like the monitor is not connecting with the graphics card. I tried another graphics card in the same lost, but the same result occurred. Any other ideas would be appreciated.

#6 techextreme

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 05:48 PM

This manual may help you sort out the problems with your computer.

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/syst...l.htm#wp1058075

This is the "Dell Precision™ Workstation 470 and 670 Computers User's Guide"

Hope this helps,
Techextreme

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#7 joseibarra

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 06:11 PM

Beeps are so helpful :thumbsup: ...

1 short beep is generally good. Anything else is (usually) a HW problem. I have seen one system with zero beeps which I found most peculiar since it worked.

7 beeps is bad.

These are from the POST (Power On Self Test) and have nothing to do with XP - it isn't that far yet.

Aren't there some LEDs on that motherboard to interpret or something?

Here is a bad copy/paste, but I am in a hurry.

Of course you don't want to replace your motherboard or CPU, so if it was me, I would ground myself to the metal frame of the chassis by touching it with my hand and carefully remove/replace the CPU. If that doesn't do it (still beeps the same), I would remove/replace the RAM, video, and remove any unessential cards until you can get to one short beep.

You may not be able to get to one short beep. Is there any history of power issues with this box?


1 Short beep - System is operating normally.
1 Long beep - Memory refresh circuitry has failed which indicates a problem with the motherboard. Try reseating the memory DIMM or SIMM modules. Make sure if you have added memory that it is rated at the correct speed for the system.
1 Long 2 Short beeps - The video adapter has failed, or the video memory is having a read/write failure. Try reseating the video card. If the video card is a PCI video card, try moving it to another slot.
1 Long 3 Short beeps - The system does not detect a monitor. Verify that the monitor cable is properly attached to the video card or the onboard video and to the monitor (if the monitor has a detachable cable). If possible, try another monitor on the system to verify that the video adapter is operating properly.
2 or 3 beeps - There is a problem with the system’s memory. Reseat the memory DIMM or SIMM modules.
4 beeps - This indicates a non-functional timer. This indicates a problem with the motherboard.
5 beeps - This indicates a CPU (Central Processing Unit or processor) failure. Try reseating the processor.
6 beeps - This indicates a keyboard controller failure. Try reseating the keyboard connector.
7 beeps - Another indication of a processor problem. Reseat the processor.
8 beeps - This indicates a video memory read/write failure. Reseat the video card (if any) and memory DIMM or SIMM modules.
9 or 10 beeps - This indicates a ROM (Read-Only Memory) checksum error or shutdown register failure. This indicates a defective BIOS chip(s). Reseat the BIOS chips.
11 beeps - Indicates an error in the cache memory. If the system has a Pentium class processor, reseat the processor. If the system has a cache memory module, try reseating it. These beep codes will vary depending on the system

Edited by joseibarra, 16 November 2009 - 06:13 PM.

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#8 cap2587

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 07:15 PM

I tried the memory in different slots, individually and even a different module altogether, but there was no change. I wasn't aware that the beeps could give me an indication of the problem.

There is 6 beeps in total.

1 long, pause, 3 quick beeps, pause, 2 more quick beeps.

When I shut down the computer via the power button it takes 15 sec to turn off. What do you think it is? Appreciate any other ideas?

#9 techextreme

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 07:33 PM

1-3-1 through 2-4-4 Memory not being properly identified or used

I would try one memory module at a time in one single slot. Try booting each time you move/replace the stick of memory.
Techextreme

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#10 cap2587

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 08:10 PM

Techextreme, your advice was very good.

I had a major breakthrough! Scary when your calling a BSOD and hard drive not detected a breakthrough. This is what happened. I fiddled around with the memory modules some more. I had success with one of the 512 MB RAM sticks in the 1st bay. I am assuming the closest to the outside case is the 1st bay. It only worked with this particular module and only in this bay. This is what came up. Your operating in debug mode, please put memory in pairs for normal operation, press f1, f2 for set up. I pressed F1 and it took me to another screen, normal boot, safe mode, last known config. I pressed any of these options and it took me directly to a BSOD. The error code is 0X0000007B. I was able to get the Boot option screen to start by pressing F12. Then I used an XP CD to boot from. I got part of the way into this and it says hard drive not recognized. I also ran a hard drive diagnostics test and the hard drive passed. I hoping this all means the computer is not dead, but I know there is alot of work to be done. Stay with me on this please. Awaiting your advice.

thanks joseibarra

#11 techextreme

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 09:00 PM

Ok... the 0x7B error refers to Inaccessible_Boot_Device.

Now, with the computer asking you to have both memory modules installed, it's possible that the 0x7B is cause by this.

Some Dell's must have both memory modules installed for it to run properly.

With that said, you will need to replace one if not both sticks of memory in your computer. I would recommend replacing them in a pair if that's what your computer requires.

more to come....

As far as the Hard Drive not recognized, it's very possible that when the XP CD is booting, are you trying to run a repair install and this message is coming up?
With all the moving around in the case and moving memory modules, it's also possible that the IDE cable has come partially dislodged from the motherboard or the hard drive. Make sure all the cables are firmly seated and try again.

Note I'm sorry for the cryptic message but I was trying to help you and fix a compute ron the phone at the same time. If anything is not real clear please ask.

Edited by techextreme, 16 November 2009 - 09:21 PM.

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#12 rosiesdad

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 09:09 PM

If there are 4 memory slots, Usually two white and two black. Put the Ram in the one closest to the Processor (white?,and the second white[same color] also) A pair of Ram is usually not the one next to it, its every other one to make a pair. Its in the dell manual. (mine is a Dell Dimension)

#13 cap2587

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 09:40 PM

Thanks so much. My fingers are hurting so much from trying to push in this Damn RAM. I will let you know how I go.

#14 joseibarra

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 10:00 PM

Sounds like you're on the right track :thumbsup:.

The beeps depend on your BIOS. Maybe I did not ask the question right.

http://www.nullamatix.com/dell-diagnostic-...shooting-chart/

Stupid beeps!

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#15 cap2587

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 11:10 PM

Thanks for all of your help! I am tired, my fingers are killing, but it was all worth it as I learnt alot of new things. This is where I am at. Am I right to conclude that it is definitely my systems RAM that is at fault. I have one 512 MB RAM Stick that works and that is only in the 1st slot. In any other slot this doesn't work. All the other RAM I tried from other systems doesn't work despite it matching the specs of the other RAM stick. Why would perfectly good RAM from another system not work. I can't believe DEll would make you have two matching RAM pairs in order for your PC to boot. One time when I booted just before I got the BSOD i saw the windows screen for 1 sec flash up. I really don't want to buy another stick of RAM, because what about if that doesn't work. I guess it's hard to know exactly if it is going to work. I tried another Graphics card in the PC and that made no difference. Any other suggestions?




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