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Thread: Dell Inspiron 8000 will not boot

  1. #1

    Dell Inspiron 8000 will not boot

    My Inspiron 8000 won't boot up. The Inspiron flash page with "press F2 for setup" and 'press F12 for boot page, comes up and then just a cursor. The flash page won't respond to the F2/F12 keys and the blank page that comes up after the flash page won't respond to any key strokes.

    I was able to get the HDD diagnostics to run using Ctl - Alt - D but no reaction to F2, F8 or F12.
    When the HDD diagnostics ran it displayed the following:

    Primary IDE
    Drive 0: IC25N020ATCS04-0 Pass 00
    Secondary IDE
    Test Complete
    Press <Enter> to reboot.
    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    west Lothian, Scotland.
    Posts
    13,217
    How far do you think it gets in the following startup sequence without problems, and which step fails?
    Do you hear the single short beep?

    A typical and successful startup sequence
    1. Start of Boot Troubleshooting Walkthrough
    http://www.pcguide.com/ts/x/boot/walk/index.htm
    2. Yes: The system power supply is functioning
    http://www.pcguide.com/ts/x/boot/walk/power1.htm
    ------------------------------------------------------
    You should hear a single short beep at about this point indicating the successful running/completion of the POST. Some PC’s beep much later, possibly as late as just before step 12.
    ------------------------------------------------------
    3. Yes: Something is being written to the screen during boot up [This may be only a flashing cursor]
    http://www.pcguide.com/ts/x/boot/walk/video1.htm
    4. The video BIOS message is displayed on the screen for a few seconds and then clears from the screen, or more messages display under it
    http://www.pcguide.com/ts/x/boot/walk/vbios1.htm
    5. Yes: The system BIOS startup screen is appearing
    http://www.pcguide.com/ts/x/boot/walk/bios1.htm
    6. The memory test completes successfully
    http://www.pcguide.com/ts/x/boot/walk/ram1.htm
    7. The BIOS accesses the floppy drives and the boot continues
    http://www.pcguide.com/ts/x/boot/walk/seek1.htm
    8. The system is able to autodetect IDE devices successfully
    http://www.pcguide.com/ts/x/boot/walk/auto1.htm
    9. The system is not Plug and Play compatible, has no Plug and Play devices, or has PnP devices but identifies them properly
    http://www.pcguide.com/ts/x/boot/walk/pnp1.htm
    10. Boot sequence is A: before C: (floppy disk first)
    http://www.pcguide.com/ts/x/boot/walk/seqAC.htm
    11. The floppy disk makes a noise and the light comes on
    http://www.pcguide.com/ts/x/boot/walk/fd1.htm
    12. The floppy disk light goes off and the hard disk light comes on as it starts booting
    http://www.pcguide.com/ts/x/boot/walk/fd1hdd.htm
    13. The hard disk boot process will continue here, if you want to follow it.
    http://www.pcguide.com/ts/x/boot/walk/hd1.htm
    14. The system continues booting from the hard disk and the message "Starting MS-DOS" or "Starting Windows 95" is displayed
    http://www.pcguide.com/ts/x/boot/walk/hd1os.htm
    15. Operating System Loaded From Hard Disk. The system has found a boot sector on the hard disk and is now starting the load of the operating system. The hard disk is working. You have successfully completed the hardware part of the boot process. Any problems encountered after this point should be diagnosed by looking for a more specific problem with a component, or under the section that contains run-time error messages.

  3. #3
    Sylvander,

    right after step 5 the screen goes black and the cursor goes to the upper left hand corner.

    Notes:
    - No beeps. (Don't remember ever hearing any)
    - The fans are running.
    - The CD drive spins at start up.
    - The floppy drive engages at start up and after splash screen disappears when disk is in place.
    - Power light is on.
    - HDD light is on constantly.
    - When "function "fn""+ f1 is depressed states "Preparing to Enter Setup" - IT DOESN"T.
    - When f2 button is depressed states "Preparing to Enter Setup" - IT DOESN"T.
    - When f12 button is depressed states "Preparing one-time boot menu" - IT DOESN"T.
    - Pause button works.
    - When power button is depressed CPU shuts down immediatley.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    west Lothian, Scotland.
    Posts
    13,217
    Sounds like your POST is running, but doesn't complete; it halts part way through, but at what point?

    "No beeps"
    And yet you have a display. I assume you normally hear the single short beep AFTER you get an image on the monitor. But this time the POST doesn't get as far as the beep.

    "The floppy drive engages at start up and after splash screen disappears when disk is in place"
    Do you mean you can boot from a floppy, or do you mean that you hear the BIOS checking that the floppy is there and working? That's step 7 on the list; does it get that far?

    Can you remember your normal sequence?
    Mine is something like...
    1. LED's flash on the CD-drives as the BIOS communicates with them.
    2. I hear the FDD being accessed to check it's there.
    3. If I hit "Esc" the splash screen disappears to reveal various info on detected items like...
    a. Parts of RAM tested as ok.
    b. Drives detected and displayed.
    4. Then I hear the beep and the content of a drive is loaded into RAM.

    "The fans are running"
    You have power.

    Can you easily Startup with all RAM removed to see whether a warning beep is given by the BIOS POST?
    Can you try a bare-bones boot?

    Use these for background and assistance:
    Sylvander’s Diagnostic Flowcharts
    Download a copy of my diagnostic flowcharts from here
    http://www.erniek.eclipse.co.uk/down...anderdiags.zip
    and print them to leaf through.
    Begin on the STARTUP chart.

  5. #5
    "The floppy drive engages at start up and after splash screen disappears when disk is in place"
    Do you mean you can boot from a floppy, or do you mean that you hear the BIOS checking that the floppy is there and working? That's step 7 on the list; does it get that far?
    No can't boot from floppy just hear the cd engaging like it is going to boot but doesn't. No because as soon as the flash screen disappears nothing happens but the cursor going to the upper left hand corner.

    Sequence is the same.

    Can you easily Startup with all RAM removed to see whether a warning beep is given by the BIOS POST?

  6. #6
    Can you easily Startup with all RAM removed to see whether a warning beep is given by the BIOS POST?

    Nope the cpu turns on then off.

    Using your DF flowcharts I will need to check and see if a known good hard drive works. I will do that tomorrow. Thanks for your assistance.

  7. #7
    Thank you ... it is up and running now. I put in another hard drive and was able to access the bios to update it. Now I am running spinrite to check the hd just in case. I appreciate all the assistance. Hyprlord out!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    west Lothian, Scotland.
    Posts
    13,217
    EXCELLENT!

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