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Dell Studio 540 not starting


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#1 Professorbed

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 10:54 AM

Hi

I have a Dell Studio 540 which is not starting. When you switch the PC on firstly it gives this low intermittent beeping noise. Then rather then go into Windows Vista as per normal it brings up a screen which reads.

PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable
PXE-M0F: Exiting PXE ROM

No boot device available
SATA0: Installed
SATA1: Installed
SATA2: None
SATA3: None
SATA4: None
SATA5: None

The beeping stops and the screen stays like this.

It started the previous day when browsing the internet quite normally there was a loud noise which i can best describe as 'a shelf with books on falling down', at which point the beeping started. I could do very little on screen so shut the PC down and what i have described before occurred. im wondering whether there may have been a power surge or overheating as i was using an electric heater on the same extension plug. Hope somoene can help and shed some light.


David

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#2 dc3

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 11:55 AM

Have you looked inside the case to see if anything has come loose?

This type of error usually is the result of either a bad boot sector on the hdd, a bad hdd, or a problem with the boot order in the BIOS. I don't think it's the boot order, unless you have made a recent change.

I would look at the connection of the hdd to the motherboard.

This is where we are at a disadvantage, we can't see what's inside the case.

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#3 Professorbed

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 12:49 PM

Thanks for your reply. In all honesty, i know nothing about how a computer works, so i couldnt tell whether something was out of place. I have taken a couple of pics, hope this helps, if not, please direct me what would be more useful to see.Attached File  pic 1.jpg   59.36KB   3 downloadsAttached File  pic 2.jpg   66.89KB   3 downloads

#4 dc3

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 04:19 PM

The only thing that I could accurately see was the accumulation of dust in the fan and heat sink assembly on the CPU. The picture is too out of focus to see any detail. The first thing that I would do would be to clean that out with a can of air. Try that and see if there is a difference.

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#5 Professorbed

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 06:36 PM

Im afraid no change. I got rid of much of the dust as possible and also just made sure the connections were pushed in properly but to no avail.

As before when i switched on, i had the low intermittent beeps and then the screen which i mentioned in my first post. Wouls you like me to try and take pics again for you when it is daylight here.

When the problem originally happened there was a very loud noise from the machine, which didnt sound good at all and frightened the life out of me. Im guessing some major damage happened, do you think thats the case? and do you think it would be just the hard drive that needs replacing?

#6 Professorbed

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 06:50 PM

I just switched on again and counted the beeps, they may be significant. There were 4 long beeps then a pause and 8 long beeps

#7 dc3

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 08:06 PM

There are only seven possible beeps, so I'm wondering if you are hearing four beeps repeated.

Four beeps indicates a problem with the RAM. Look at the motherboard in the area around the RAM module/s for scorch marks. Can you smell burnt electronics inside the case?

Can you boot into Safe Mode? Start tapping F8 as soon as you turn on the computer. A black screen with choices for Safe Mode and other advanced boot options should open.

If you can boot into Safe Mode try running Memtest86.

***** A. If you have more than one RAM module installed, try starting computer with one RAM stick at a time.

NOTE Keep in mind, the manual check listed above is always superior to the software check, listed below. DO NOT proceed with memtest, if you can go with option A

B. If you have only one RAM stick installed...
...run memtest...

1. Download - Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip)
2. Unzip downloaded memtest86+-....iso.zip file.
3. Inside, you'll find memtest86+-....iso file.
4. Download, and install ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/
5. Insert blank CD into your CD drive.
6. Open ImgBurn, and click on Write image file to disc
7. Click on Browse for a file... icon:

Posted Image

8. Locate memtest86+-....iso file, and click Open button.
9. Click on ImgBurn green arrow to start burning bootable memtest86 CD:

Posted Image

10. Once the CD is created, boot from it, and memtest will automatically start to run.

The running program will look something like this depending on the size and number of ram modules installed:


Posted Image

It's recommended to run 5-6 passes. Each pass contains very same 8 tests.

This will show the progress of the test. It can take a while. Be patient, or leave it running overnight.

Posted Image

The following image is the test results area:

Posted Image

The most important item here is the “errors” line. If you see ANY errors, even one, most likely, you have bad RAM.

Edited by dc3, 27 November 2010 - 08:09 PM.

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#8 Professorbed

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 05:31 AM

Morning

I had a look inside the machine and could find no evidence of scorch marks anywhere, and no smell of burning.

Counted the beeps again and definitely 4 followed by 8 (from what you are saying that doesnt sound good)

I tried booting into safe mode using F8, unfortunately all it did was bring up the screen i mentioned in my first post, however many times i tapped F8. Therefore, could not follow your further indstructions.

Thanks, David

#9 dc3

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 11:51 AM

The only other thing that I can think to do would be to use a installation disk to access the recovery console and hope that this isn't totally hardware related.

Do you have or have access to a installation disk for your version of Vista, eg. Home or Proffesional?

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#10 Professorbed

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 03:16 PM

No unfortunately the computer had everything pre installed by the pc shop i bought it from.

In your opinion looking at the evidence, what do you think occurred, just to help me in what i do next either getting a new hard drive or new machine

#11 hamluis

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 06:04 PM

<<PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable
PXE-M0F: Exiting PXE ROM>>

That's a default BIOS message, indicating an attempted network boot.

It's often triggered when the CMOS battery needs to be replaced and Winodws was installed via network.

Costs less than $5 to check it out.

Louis




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