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Dell From Hell


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21 replies to this topic

#1 TheYoda

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Posted 23 April 2006 - 06:24 PM

:thumbsup: Wow.... In all my years of fixing computers NEVER have I seen one this bad. I know how to fix it, but I can't. I'd really like to be able to boot from the CD-ROM, but the BIOS is password protected and the password long forgotten... Here's what I need to do:

1. Access BIOS
Tried getting rid of the password using following measures:
a. Move PSWD jumper on mobo.
b. Take out CMOS battery.
c. Percussive maintenance
All failed, and is stopping me from doing what I want.
2. Run Windows XP Pro Repair Console and Fix the HAL.DLL file.
Well this can't be done until 1 is complete because it won't boot from CD.
3. Rid the computer of malware.
Can't be done until 1 and 2 are done.

It's a Dell OptiPlex GX110. 3, that's right, 3 Harddrives of varying size (not really sure of all specific sizes). I've tried taking one out, but the system ONLY boots with all three (It has separation anxiety). Tried percussive maintenance when patience ran out... :flowers:

"A coward dies a thousand times before his death. The valiant never taste of death but once." -William Shakespeare

Fold for your future...Help us find a cure.


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#2 Albert Frankenstein

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Posted 23 April 2006 - 07:30 PM

Hello. I know you said you reset the PSWD jumper on the mobo, but did the follow all of the instructions found HERE exactly?
ALBERT FRANKENSTEIN
I'M SO SMART IT'S SCARY!


Currently home chillin' with the fam and my two dogs!


#3 TheYoda

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Posted 23 April 2006 - 08:19 PM

I most certainly did, a few times, too. It's still a no go.

"A coward dies a thousand times before his death. The valiant never taste of death but once." -William Shakespeare

Fold for your future...Help us find a cure.


#4 Herk

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Posted 23 April 2006 - 10:01 PM

How about this one?

Common passwords:

password
pass
comp
name of kid
enter
owner
dell
God
sex
money
love
secret

#5 ThorXP

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Posted 23 April 2006 - 10:20 PM

Wait a minute, it was suggested to short out the CMOS to clear the password and you did and it did not work? Is that true? If so this is an absolute first. I would say it is really the Dell from Hell. I really think you need a new Motherboard. Shorting the CMOS junper always works. There is no way it can not work if the Motherboard is good.

#6 acklan

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Posted 23 April 2006 - 10:48 PM

Have you tried just removing the battery for 1 minute?
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#7 usasma

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 08:25 AM

I just love this!:

c. Percussive maintenance


When you removed the CMOS battery, did you unplug the power from the wall? Also, leave it for at least 10 minutes before replacing/plugging it in.

FWIW - the hal.dll error happend to me yesterday on my son's HP. After a few rounds of percussive maintenance (and many reboot attempts), it did manage to login.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

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#8 Albert Frankenstein

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 09:46 AM

Ok, sorry if this sounds too obvious, but I want to ask:

You said:

a. Move PSWD jumper on mobo.

But that is not what the instructions from Dell say to do. See my link in post #2 in this thread.

The instructions say to REMOVE the jumper and reboot. From the Dell instructions:

"Booting your system with the PSWD jumper plug removed erases the existing password(s). "

Edited by Albert Frankenstein, 24 April 2006 - 09:47 AM.

ALBERT FRANKENSTEIN
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Currently home chillin' with the fam and my two dogs!


#9 Enthusiast

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 10:54 AM

Most users who buy Dells or other manufacturer assembled systems do not ever set a bios password. It does not come factory preset, and there is no good reason for the average user to enter the bios setup when the computer is new to set one up.

When the bios asks for the password - just press enter, or type administrator if it isn't already there and press enter.
Chances are it will then continue.

Edited by Enthusiast, 24 April 2006 - 10:54 AM.


#10 TheYoda

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 02:42 PM

Ok, I'll go down the list:
Herk: Tried them, none of them work.
ThorXP: Yes, believe it or not. I try several times.
aklan: I removed the battery overnight (9 hours!!) and not plugged in.
usasma: Me too, it's my best method. :thumbsup:
Albert: Yes, I took that into consideration and tried it, still a no go. I completely removed it started it, shut it down, than put it back on the off setting and still a password.
Enthusiast: The last person who fixed it did and now that person is no where to be found. I tried clicking enter and I get into the BIOS, but I can't change anything. I tried many different passwords (obvious and non-obvious)

The people who I'm helping already bought a new computer, this is just for my ego. I refuse to be defeated!! :flowers:

"A coward dies a thousand times before his death. The valiant never taste of death but once." -William Shakespeare

Fold for your future...Help us find a cure.


#11 acklan

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 05:05 PM

Last thing I can think of is flash the BIOS. Maybe corrupted, or maybe not. I have run out of ideas, sorry. That is if you can boot floppy or USB.
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#12 Herk

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 06:13 PM

The people who I'm helping already bought a new computer, this is just for my ego.


I know that feeling. Some consolation.

Edited by Herk, 24 April 2006 - 09:39 PM.


#13 Albert Frankenstein

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 06:22 PM

Herk, got a 404 error with your link.
ALBERT FRANKENSTEIN
I'M SO SMART IT'S SCARY!


Currently home chillin' with the fam and my two dogs!


#14 Herk

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 09:38 PM

Darn, it won't link from here. I wonder if you have to be a Lockergnome member? I used a search query to find it, and it's this phrase: "Welcome to a tech's best kept secret:" and the result is: Feeling Daunted By Tasks Beyond You? You’re Not Alone! (Business) And that link takes me right to it. The page of the 404 is the same page, with the "Heart Diagram" in the corner, but the rest isn't blank.

#15 Enthusiast

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 12:22 AM

Follow Dells instructions - per albert's post.




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