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Do I Need A New PC?

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3 replies to this topic

#1 seeka1


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Posted 14 May 2016 - 10:24 AM

Hi guys,


New poster here.


I have a 5 year old Dell XPS 8300. Its still nice and quick but over the last year I've been putting off doing a re-format and fresh install of Windows 7. So today I went through the usual steps of backing up everything and cleaning it out for the new install. 


However, upon re-install from Windows CD/DVD it freezes at the 'Windows Is Loading Files' screen, and my monitor goes in to stand-by. I've tried two different discs and even an old XP disk but it still freezes and sends the monitor to standby.


Now, after much searching on google and re-setting BIOS defaults etc I decided to check my RAM sticks by using Memtest, but that too went in to standby. So everything I try sends the monitor to standby mode.


I'm now thinking my motherboard might be dying and its time to buy a new desktop, but I'd rather not do so. 


Any thoughts?



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#2 Fascist Nation

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 11:39 AM

My first question would be, "Was there a reason you did the 'fresh' installation?"  Was it really slow?  Having other symptoms that you were hoping a clean install would fix?


Did you unplug from the Internet, unplug any peripherals, unplug any secondary hard drives before doing the upgrade?  While possible it is unlikely a re-installation of the OS would freeze.  The fact that this is happening with other OS disks and even memtest's boot disk does however suggest a coincidental hardware failure.  Are you using the optical drive to install.  My first thought is maybe the ODD has gone bad.  Might try installing via a flash drive to rule out...but since you likely do not have an ISO but a restore disk you could try running memtest86+ from a flash drive. [Alternately memtest86]


Did you do anything before the update like update the BIOS, add memory?

Edited by Fascist Nation, 14 May 2016 - 12:03 PM.

#3 cmptrgy


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Posted 14 May 2016 - 12:08 PM

"I have a 5 year old Dell XPS 8300." Was the Windows 7 you have now the original OS?


"I've been putting off doing a re-format and fresh install of Windows 7." Can you tells us why?


"However, upon re-install from Windows CD/DVD it freezes at the 'Windows Is Loading Files' screen, and my monitor goes in to stand-by. I've tried two different discs and even an old XP disk but it still freezes and sends the monitor to standby."

On the "Windows CD/DVD", is it the original one for your Windows 7 OS?

On the "two different discs", I think we'd need to know what that means.

On the "even an old XP disk", what does XP have to do with your computer?


"everything I try sends the monitor to standby mode"

Did you have monitor troubles before?

Are there manual push buttons to check its settings?

Can you try another monitor?


"I'm now thinking my motherboard might be dying"

Let's hope not but ...

#4 gpearman


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Posted 14 May 2016 - 09:26 PM



Generally speaking, motherboards do a POST prior to boot. That is, Power On Self Test. The various beeps and/or lights signal what might be wrong , or if there is a problem with the mobo. Search your docs or the web for the service manual and determine:

  • If the board passes. this would indicate a different issue.
  • What part of the board has a problem

This sounds like maybe a disk or an optical disc drive problem. We really can't trust them past 5 years. In my world, an image would have been done with "dd" and that image could be "dded" back to the original or a new, larger disk. I'm not sure which back up method was used here. Windows, in general, has the ability to refresh from a manufacturer disk or the recovery partition. If that is intact. This "repair" install leaves your files and settings in place and refreshes the system files. "chkdsk /f /r" and sfc /scannow are commands that could come handy if you have an OS. You can buy the original OEM OS that shipped with your unit from Dell. You need your serial number and it can only be done once.


An option is to boot from a "KNOPPIX" USB stick or other "live" OS and see if the motherboard hangs.

One more thing, the simplest things first. Open the unit (use a guitar pick) and check for dust bunnies. This means good grounding (ESD kills) and NOT spinning the fans with canned air. They don't like that. The older the computer is the more likely the need for cleaning. Dust, dirt, fuzzes, and smoke can short stuff or change component parameters.

If you believe it is memory, pull one stick, test, try the other, test.


More study is required. Find your POST codes. Start there.


A reformat and fresh install is a drastic measure.


CompTIA A+ Certified, AAS in Information System Technology, Mechatronics Specialist, Electro-mechanical Designer, 40 years cussing computers.



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