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Dell XPS 410 will not boot


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#1 Goldenvoice

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 04:27 PM

My son gave me his computer: Dell XPS 410, Vista Home - dual Hard Drives
Said his wifes 'simple' sister surfed the net unsupervised, and crashed the system.
So I brought the unit home.

When I turn it on, the fans start, and I hear an on again, off again 'gentle buzzer' sound. It's aprox 1 second intervals, for around 6 cycles, then just the fans run.

Nothing ever shows on the screen. He has a dual monitor card installed, and I've tried both connections, each to no avail.

Is there even a place to start for an 'end user' such as myself?

Thanks much, Joe

Edited by hamluis, 10 November 2010 - 06:45 PM.
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#2 Crazy49er

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 07:35 PM

I would first take the side panel off of the desktop. You don't need to do anything more than that. Being a dell, there is most likely a black latch on the upper rear portion of the case that will pop off the silver panel. Most of the time (annoyingly so) its the right side panel that will pop off.

Then try turning it on again. Don't move or poke or remove anything just look and listen to see what fan(s) are spinning, and where that buzzer sound is coming from. I suspect it is the hard drive (where data is stored) but the computer should at least show other signs of life unless there is a short in a power cord or issue with the motherboard.

Report back your findings here, however we can probably only speculate as to the source of the problem, being an "end user" you may be forced to have it repaired somewhere.

#3 the_patriot11

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 07:54 PM

Unfortunatly, taking the side panel off will not fix the problem, chances are that will do nothing at all unless it is overheating, which it is most likely not. Is the computer making any beeping noises on startup? if so, what are they? (2 beeps, 1 long beep 1 short, etc) and once you look inside the computer, is there any LED lights on the motherboard (its the big flat piece that everything is connected to) Also, check that the memory and video card is seated properly, might even remove both, blow out the connections, and reseat them both. If you have thermal paste such as arctic silver 5 laying around and are comfortable doing it, remove the heatsink from the CPU, clean all old paste from both the heatsink and CPU die, and re apply a small amount (about the size of a grain of rice) and smooth evenly over the die (dont get any on the CPU itself, only on the silver die of the heatsink) and reeattach the heatsink. If your not comfortable doing it, or don't have any thermal paste (or both) do not mess with the heatsink.

I would also try resetting the CMOS. Most motherboards have a jumper setting to reset this, but if you can't find it simply locate the CMOS battery (its the circular silver watch battery) remove it for a minute remember which sides positive and which is negative, and put back in.

Try these and get back with us the results.

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#4 Crazy49er

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 08:24 PM

Yeah I wasn't meaning the removal as a solution, merely as a continuation of the diagnostic. Finding out where that buzzing noise was originating. The CMOS battery came to mind but in some cases those are hard to get at and remove without a pair of tweezers or the right tool. I didn't want to start down that path just yet. My definition of the term "end user" is one of (knowing how to download files and install programs, everything that happens in the box is techno-voodoo)

Also words to live by, Goldenvoice if you do start poking around in the Desktop please first make sure to unplug the computer from the wall. I don't want you typing responses back while in the hospital with missing fingers.

#5 Goldenvoice

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 09:38 PM

OK, after I whoop up some dinner, I'll get started with your suggestions.

I consider myself an "end user" for the most part, as I'm nOt a technical guru; I did, however, do a custom build for my studio (DAW) last year, and have done basic 'blow-out' cleaning and such for friends. I simply don't assume much about computers...

Anyway, I do notice the second screen in, in the front (intake = ps?) is about half plugged with dust - I'll give her a once over, and try what you've suggested - then happily report back :)

#6 Goldenvoice

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 12:06 PM

OK, wow, that was the dustiest machine I've ever cleaned!
Part of the cleaning included removing the graphics card for thorough cleaning, and check of contact cleanliness.

When I plug in the AC cord, a green led lights in the center of the motherboard. The main cooling fan kicks on (as if for a system check), as does the fan on the graphics card. I also see the LEDs on the keyboard light for a moment.

I tried unplugging the 115v cord, waiting for the led to go off, and plugged in again, and noticed one short 'beep' (probably did it the first time too, just missed it).

When I push the 'on' button, the fans (Main, PS, graphics card) all come on, and the "gentle buzzer" sound (I believe is a 60 cycle) seems to be coming from the Power Supply. Perhaps as if it's trying to do something, but failing.

The lights on the front panel:
Both CD/DVD drives light for a moment
Below those, digits "3" and "4" light and stay lit.
Just above those digits, something which resembles a graphic of a cylinder lights, then goes out.

When I turn the computer off, I can hear at least one of the Hard drives wind down.

I then removed the CMOS battery from the MB, and let rest 4-5 minutes, then replaced.
No change.

I should mention the monitor comes on with the Dell logo, then displays an auto detect / analog input, and gos into power save mode.

At rest (turned off, but plugged in, the green led on the MB stays lit...

Edited by Goldenvoice, 11 November 2010 - 12:14 PM.


#7 Goldenvoice

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 12:39 PM

After reading: My link, and realizing you'd recommended doing so, I removed the RAM (which didn't feel fully seated), and replaced it in the same sockets it was in.

NOW: I get something. A red-backed screen full of info:

Port-04: No device detected
Port-05: No device detected
AHCI BIOS installed
Intel® Matrix Storage Manager option ROM v6.0.0.1022 ICH8R

RAID Volumes:
ID Name Level Strip Size Status Bootable
0 ARRAY RAID1(Mirror) N/A 298.1GB Normal Yes

Physical Disks:
0 ST3320620AS -serial- 298.1GB Member Disk(0)
1 ST3320620AS -serial- 298.1GB Member Disk(0)
Press <CTRL> to enter Configuration Utility...
Drive 0: Disk Drive
Drive 1: Disk Drive
Drive 2: CD-ROM Device
Drive 3: CD-ROM Device
Floppy diskette seek failure
Time of Day not set - please run SETUP program
Invalid configuration information - please run SETUP program
Alert! Previous fan failure.
Strike the F1 key to continue, F2 to run the setup utility.

***good to see something - awaiting instructions :)

First thought: since it was plugged badly with dust, could this be why it's saying there was a fan failure?

Oh, 9:40am PST here. I'm going to my parents for the core of the day. Is it OK to shut this machine down from where it sits? Or do I have to leave it on? (I'd rather not, just knowing it's not stable - I worry about fire)

Thanks! Joe

Edited by Goldenvoice, 11 November 2010 - 12:45 PM.


#8 Crazy49er

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 07:00 PM

I would hit F1, and see where that takes you... It should take you to windows, F2 should take you into BIOS settings to change your time and configure the drives and boot order.

If I'm wrong I defer back to the-patriot09

#9 AustrAlien

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 07:48 PM

Physical Disks:
0 ST3320620AS -serial- 298.1GB Member Disk(0)
1 ST3320620AS -serial- 298.1GB Member Disk(0)
Press <CTRL> to enter Configuration Utility...

The RAID setup appears to be OK, so no need to do anything here.


Port-04: No device detected
Port-05: No device detected

...........................................

Drive 0: Disk Drive
Drive 1: Disk Drive
Drive 2: CD-ROM Device
Drive 3: CD-ROM Device
Floppy diskette seek failure
Time of Day not set - please run SETUP program
Invalid configuration information - please run SETUP program
Alert! Previous fan failure.

Strike the F1 key to continue, F2 to run the setup utility.

You need to enter the BIOS Setup Menu by pressing F2 and carry out the following steps:

:step1: If you do not have a floppy disk drive, you should change the setting to "Disabled" or "None", or what-ever the appropriate setting is in your particular BIOS.

:step2: Set the date and time to the correct values.

:step3: If you have no devices attached to your SATA ports 04 and 05, you should set the value to "Disabled" or "None", or what-ever the appropriate setting is in your particular BIOS.

:step4: Check that all fans are now functioning correctly (after being cleaned).

Having completed the above steps, in the BIOS Setup Menu, choose to "Save and Exit" and then allow the system to re-boot into Windows normally.

Does Windows now start normally?
AustrAlien
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#10 Goldenvoice

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 02:44 AM

OK, went through the BIOS set-up, and jumped through the hoops.

The computer then went into Startup repair /System restore.

To cut to what I believe will be the chase (as I'm currently looking at a dark blue screen...)

Here's some excerpts from the log:

Report: startup cannot repair this computer automatically.

Root cause found
Unknown Bugcheck 124
Parameters=0x0, 0x87385020, 0xb2000040, 0x800

Repair Action: System files integrity check and repair
Result: failed Error code=0x2

These were the only 2 in the long list which failed...

?

#11 Goldenvoice

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 03:00 AM

I, just out of curiosity, restarted, and hit F12 for set-up.

I note under "Boot Sequence", the Onboard SATA Hard Drive is listed as (not present).

Says the same thing for USB device.

#2 is Intel ARRAY - it is present, as is the #4 Onboard or USB CD-ROM Drive...

#12 AustrAlien

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 04:17 AM

under "Boot Sequence", the Onboard SATA Hard Drive is listed as (not present).
Says the same thing for USB device.
#2 is Intel ARRAY - it is present, as is the #4 Onboard or USB CD-ROM Drive...

That looks OK to me.

I am in unfamiliar territory with Vista and a RAID array, as well as the "Unknown Bugcheck 124". Googling the "Unknown Bugcheck 124" does bring up a lot of results, so it may be worth having a look at that while you wait.

We might have to wait until someone else can bail us out of this one? I will holler for help. Sit tight for awhile.
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#13 hamluis

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 09:35 AM

I've seen varying causes for this particuular STOP error...including a couple of bad motherboarda, outdated software installed, etc. Lots of guesswork and no continuity regarding perceived fixes.

I would start with the obvious items first...replace the CMOS battery, run a diagnostic on the hard drives.

<<Time of Day not set - please run SETUP program
Invalid configuration information - please run SETUP program>>

Those, IMO, point to the CMOS battery.

Louis

#14 Goldenvoice

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 11:05 AM

I did take the battery out for several minutes, then replace.

I'll sit tight. (Actually, I'll be adjusting the valves on the ole' Benz:)

#15 hamluis

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 01:46 PM

Putting a failing battery back in...is like replacing a blown light bulb with another blown light bulb.

CMOS batteries cost less than $5, available anywhere. Even if it doesn't solve anything, it's not a great loss of revenue or time.

Louis




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