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Dell Dimension won't boot


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#1
karen58

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Hi, I have a Dell Dimension 2400 computer that I fear has taken a pretty hard knock, but the kids aren't talking. When I power up the computer, it gets to the Dell page & as the little boxes go across the screen(as in starting up) the computer beep, beep, beeps constantly for a couple of minutes then the screen goes blank. The 2 lights in the middle of the tower are green & then the one on the right goes out when the monitor goes blank. I can't get into the BIOS or nothing, just a blank screen. Any Ideas? :) Hard Drive??????? Any one? Thanks in advance for your time.
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#2
Rousha

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When you say it has taken a pretty hard knock do you mean the kids kicked it over in which case perhaps something like a memory module has been dislodged and needs reseating. Disconnect it from the mains electricity circuit , open the side panel (may need a screw driver to unscrew one or two srews at the case end and then it should slide out backwards or fall out sideways), earth yourself to get rid of any static electricity and then press the components into their slots. Replace the side panel and try booting up again.

If that fails when it starts up and before it gets to the Windows start up screen do you hear a single short bleep? If so it is POSTing OK. If you have a Recovery CD insert it and try booting up from that - when it gets to the part about installing windows click the Repair option which should take you to the Recovery Console and type in chkdsk/ r and it will check the HDD and repair any bad sectors .

If any of this works or doesn't work please let us know.
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#3
karen58

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I think there was a battle over the computer & they ripped the keyboard cable apart while it was running. I have since tried a different hard drive in it & I got the blue screen with start options on it, but I cannot get a keyboard to work on the computer & it continues to beep, beep, beep constantly. I have tried 3 keyboards that I know work but will not on this computer, one of which was a usb connect that didn't work. I fear now that it is damage to the motherboard. The memory module is seated ok, all cables are connected, lights on the drives work so I know it is not them. I don't know, I'm just kinda befuddled right now. Any more thoughts? :)
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#4
Rousha

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Hi Karen, Sorry it has taken me a while to get back to you but been busy.

Even if the kids have wrecked the PS/2 connector by ripping out the keyboard socket you should be able to fall back on a USB K/Board as long as the BIOS is set up to accept them (some need to be) or if it is set up to accept them that you are running XP and it will identify the keyboard and install the drivers on a 'plug and play' basis. The continous bleeps mean different things depending on the BIOS manufacturer AMI, Award, Phoenix etc The last time I had continuous bleeps I had trashed an Asus Mobo when fitting a Socket A heatsink -the screwdriver slipped and took out a few memory circuits!! If you are using two modules of RAM trying using only one - if no change swap them around and try again. Unfortunately some BIOSs are set up to stop booting if there is a keyboard error so it could be as simple as that. The USB keyboard could be your salvation if you can get it working. Some however will boot without the keyboard and then you can juust use the mouse to do everything - try that and if it boots plug in the USB keyboard and when prompted load the drivers.

If you want to see if the BIOS is corrupted beacsue of the forced shutdown use JSP1 on the mobo to clear the CMOS -it's a three pin jumper usually near the mobo battery. Move the jumper from pins 1-2 to 2-3 for 30 secs (the manuals say 10 secs and some people say 10 minutes!!) move it back again and reboot. If the mobo is OK it should take you to the BIOS set up screen and you can either load fail safe or optimized defaults (or programme it yourself following guidance in the mobo handbook) press F10 to exit and confirm changes and then reboot. If nothing happens then perhaps the kids have trashed the mobo.

Unfortunately it could be a multitude of things (usually the blue screen of death is associated with dodgy drivers for a new piece of hardware recently fitted) . It should mean something is working and that it is trying to boot.

Hope some of this helps

Rousha
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