Very nice forum here, btw. Learning quite a bit. I've been reading for the past few days trying to resolve my system issues myself - I think it's time to post.
on Boot -- computer completes Post, brings up windows XP Media Center Edition Splash, then goes blank. (yes, I've read the sticky post on boot issues... video card/drivers is my next check, but I don't know how -- plz read on why.)
Windows Xp, MCE05U (Media Center Edition 2005)
Processor, 6300, 1.86, 2M, Core Duo-conroe, Burn 2
Dual In-Line Memory Module, 1G 533M, 128X64, 8, 240, 2RX8
Hard Drive, 320GB, S2, 7.2K, 16M Unleaded, Seagate
Dvd+/-rw, 16, Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology Serial Ata
Graphics, 7300, Low Encryption, MRMGA10
No PS/2 PCI for mouse or keyboard -- only USB
System is in warranty for 20 more days as of post - I am helping out a friend - it is not my computer.
Detailed Description of problem and current attempts to troubleshoot
User says no new software was loaded on machine prior, says problem never occurred before. Does run windows automatic updates in the background) I asked him to boot to safe mode and run virus scan. He did, no viruses reported.
I now have the machine.
Attempted to boot in safe mode without networking, get the safe mode 4 corners on black screen, then log in page. Neither mouse nor Keyboard function (though both are clearly getting power - light indicator on keyboard - laser on optical mouse illuminates.)
Reboot and checked BIOS settings -- no "legacy" setting for USB, but there are USB settings and they are all set to "on"
I've read many places that windows Safe Mode doesn't support USB -- so I'm not sure how owner was able to run safe mode the first time.
Attempt all the other safe mode options:
-Safe mode w/ networking: blank screen
-Safe mode to command prompt: blank screen
-Last known configuration: blank screen
-Normal: splash then blank screen.
User was not supplied WIN XP MCE05 disk -- so no recovery option -- searched the net and can't seem to find any win XP MCE specific recovery tools.
Checked dell OEM Manual on line - found out how to do a factory restore from boot (off the partition)... want to save that option for close to last. (and if hardware ruled out -- will want to attempt to recover any data first - move drive to another PC as slave if needed)
Tried booting from a spare (legal, unused) XP-pro disk to bring up recover. Disk booted, started, after attempting to go to recover- got an error about incompatibility - not able to go any further w/ cd.
Attempted the same from a spare (legal, unused) Xp-home disk. same issue as above.
Attempted to use an old ERD disk to boot. An error came up that it was incompatible. (it was ERD 2003, doh, to me.) (I love ERD by the way.)
Started playing with the diagnostics built in - F8 during boot brought up an additional "debugging mode" option. Came up: volume clean - done checking.
Under boot options (you don't control the boot sequence in the Bios/set-up directly, you press F12) there was "boot to utility partition" This opened another set of hardware utility diagnostics -- ran them all, all came out good (test memory, test system, test hard drive ...) keyboard and mouse run fine here.
Dell manual also has 4 indicator lights on the front for diagnostics, at the place where the boot fails, all are off, not an indication of a problem, but not the ideal state.
Downloaded Ultimate Boot CD -- Able to boot the machine on that. Keyboard and mouse work fine here.
(Yeah!!!!) except -- it's a little overwhelming the amount of diagnostic tools. Completed an extended memory test - came out fine. Still a little overwhelmed with all the tools - going slow with that. I don't want to run something if I don't know what it's supposed to do.
Downloaded SeaTools from Seagate to test the hard drive (I did test HD under the boot utility, but thought I'd try this too.) Quick test completed, no errors. Long test is just wrapping up - maybe 10 more minutes. edit - just completed - all ok.
My current questions:
Do I have any options for getting the OS into recovery mode short of calling the manufacture and asking them to mail the OS disk??
Can someone point me in some direction for HOW to test the video / video drivers w/o safe mode nor recovery mode? Is there a way to remove the drivers working from another boot?
How about running something like chkdisk /f? (I understand it's MS prod and not floating out there -- is there something open source that will fit this bill?)
I might have a spare PS/2 pci card in an old pc... is it worth it to install it in this machine to see if mouse and keyboard would work in win XP MCE05 safe mode? Any other suggestions on how to get safe mode to see the USB keyboard mouse?
other thoughts / suggestions?
Sorry for being long winded -- I'm hoping more is better than less.
Edit - found a set of vido card tests in the "boot to utility partition that had not been run, it's running now - it seems to be hung up on one test... but I'm not sure, I'm going to let it do it's thing over night and check it in the morning. If it is hung up still in the morning I will try re-running it when I go to work. The next question is, if it does just hang... what does this likely mean? a bad video card? or just a driver issue? (I'm guessing card, but don't know for sure.)
thank you again! -Rachel
Edited by Rachel_01, 09 November 2010 - 10:41 PM.