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Startup problems for Dell Dimension 4600-XP prof


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#1
computerchic

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Hi..I am helping this 86 year old man with his computer. I believe he has some malware issues, however, all morning, the computer would
only go into safe mode.

I was finally able to do a ckdsk, then the reboot the computer to almost normal.
I would get as far as the screen where it says Windows xp professional, and I clicked on that
then a blank screen, then my monitor button turned yellow. The computer was still on, but there
appears to be a conflict here somewhere. Mind you, I can get into safe mode no problem.

Something is up with the bios, but on this particular model, I am unable to find a way to set it back to factory defaults.
I have the windows cd-I went into bios to change the boot order, but it still wont take. And it I put in a valid repair cd into the drive
which the computer says is working properly, but nothing works.

Can anyone give me any ideas as how to proceed?

Id appreciate any help in advance.

Thanks
Cindi

Edited by computerchic, 16 November 2008 - 03:02 PM.

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#2
1101doc

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Since it is a Dell, you should be able to call a one-time boot menu with F12 during the initial POST screen. Select CD drive and proceed.

However, since you suspect malware and can access Safe Mode, a Repair Install is likely not the best course of action. I suspect Video card driver trouble and/or monitor adapter driver trouble. Safe Mode does not require those items, operating strictly in VGA mode -hence the lower resolution of Safe Mode.

I would check Device Manager for issues relating to the display, reinstalling drivers as required before attempting a Repair Install that will necessitate reapplying all updates.

For help with malware, start here: http://www.geekstogo...-Log-t2852.html
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#3
computerchic

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thanks so much for the info. I will proceed as you suggested and we'll see what happens!

Thanks
Cindi
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#4
computerchic

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Hello. Here is an update.. I put a new battery in, the time is correct now, but I am unable to still get into the bios. I hit F2 to get to setup and
it just takes me to the black screen where I can pick how I want to boot up.

I go to change bios order, I hit from CD, and it doesnt hold.

I was able to do a System file checker, amazingly, and that didnt seem to help any.

My system info on Assessories wont show me any info, thats corrupted
Cant get any info from RUN for msinfo or msinfo32, as windows says there is an error.

I unseated the graphics card, and put it in firmly, checked all connections, there is not another slot for me to put it in.
I also uninstalled old driver and downloaded an updated one.

The heatsink is running fine, but the fan above doesnt start when I put the computer on, at some point, it does come on.

Is there any way the BIOS is fatally corrupted?

I can get onto Last know good configuration now, where I couldnt yesterday. This happened after I did all the tweaking above.

So, I cant see it being a graphics issue, but perhaps Im wrong.

So, again, why the heck can't i get into normal mode? LOL....

Just to let you know, the diagnostic lights on the back of the dell are in good order..apparently the computer thinks its
running fine.

Thanks for any help in advance
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#5
1101doc

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I'm confused. At one point you seem to say that you cannot access BIOS, at another that changes in BIOS relative to boot order do not hold?

Any luck with the one-time boot menu F12?
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#6
computerchic

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When I hit f12, it goes straight to the screen where it asks if I want to boot from safe mode, normal, all those options.
I cant access BIOS at all....if I hit F2 for boot order, a list comes up, but not the typical Bios screen. I hit number 4 for
boot from cd rom and I hit enter, then it goes straight to that windows option screen.

So, I cant get into bios at all..the boot order yes, but it doesnt work obviously.

Thanks for letting me clarify..Im ready to throw this thing to the heavens. :) :)
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#7
Major Payne

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Some older Dell computers use an alternate key sequence instead of <F2> to enter System Setup. These key sequences include:

* <Ctrl>+<Alt>+<Enter>
* <Delete>
* <Fn>+<F1> (laptop computers only)
* <Fn>+<Esc> (laptop computers only)

Maybe even F8.

When the computer first begins booting, you will probably see a large Dell logo. Press the "F2" key at this point to enter the "BIOS setup screen."

Note: If the system does not enter the BIOS setup screen at this point, allow the system to complete booting and load the Operating System, then simultaneously press the "Fn" and "F1" keys (or "Scroll Lock" and "F1" on external keyboards).

Important thing is to properly START tapping the correct key until the BIOS window shows. If timing is not correct, you will wind up where you don't want to be. :)

Just my 2 cents here. ****Bowing as I exit posting.
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#8
1101doc

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Thanks, Major. computerchic- I think yours is the <DEL> key.

However- It still remains possible that either the CD is not bootable (test it on another machine) OR that there is something wrong with the CD drive itself.
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#9
computerchic

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ok Major and Doc, I will try your suggestions.
I believe the cd drive does work, as If Im in safe mode and I put the windows xp cd in,
a prompt will come up to start reinstalling(which I dont want to do). For some reason
the boot order isnt holding. But Ill let you know how this goes!

Thanks again..
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