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Pc rebooted without warning


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#1
ms_mciver

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Hi all,

Let me first say that any help or guidance will be greatly appreciated. I have two issues but one is more pressing than the other.

I have a Dell Dimension E521 desktop. Had it for 2 years. Yesterday, my husband was burning a cd and then the computer just restarted on its own. Everything came back up and he proceeded to try to burn the cd again. This time it restarted but then shut off (monitor was black but could still hear fans in cpu). So I powered down the computer for a couple of hours while I left to run errands. Came back, turned computer on and it said something about an error with a driver and something about memory and uninstalling something. I went to the kitchen, came back and the screen was black again. I powered off, waited a few then turn back on and it acted like it was going to start by going through the steps but when it came to the screen that shows XP, it went black again. Now when I turn cpu on, I Just here fans and its louder than normal and colder air is blowing. Also there is a number 3 and 4 that is blinking green on the front beside the 2 usb ports. Is this the motherboard or what? Oh yea, I have an external burner. Thanks in advance.
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#2
Broni

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    Kraków my love :)

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Did you try to start in Safe Mode?
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#3
ms_mciver

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I was going to try to boot it in safe mode but now I cannot even get that far. I hit the power button on the cpu, I hear fans but the power button on the monitor remains the amber color as if I never even turned the computer on. I know its not the monitor because I hooked that up to my moms computer and it worked fine. Any other ideas?
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#4
ms_mciver

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Does the blinking numbers on the front have any significance?
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#5
ms_mciver

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As I stated earlier, there is a green blinking 3 and 4 on the front of my computer. I looked on dells website the diagnostic codes and this is what I copied from their website: Memory modules are detected, but a memory failure has occurred.
If you have two or more memory modules installed, remove the modules, reinstall one module (see Installing Memory), and then restart the computer. If the computer starts normally, reinstall an additional module. Continue until you have identified a faulty module or reinstalled all modules without error.
If available, install properly working memory of the same type into your computer (see Installing Memory).
If the problem persists, contact Dell (see "Contacting Dell" in your Owner's Manual).

I have not installed anything new in months. The burner was the last thing
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#6
123Runner

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You went to where I was going. We have to proceed by what the lights are telling us.
Do you know how many memory modules are installed?

Are you ok with taking the side off the computer to look at and reset the modules?
If so, make sure the computer is unplugged.
Make sure you are grounded. If you have a ground strap, then use it. Move the computer off of the carpet (less chance of static).
Also minimise the static (no sweaters).

Locate the memory modules. Lets try reseating them first, but per Dell, 1 or both are bad.
There is a clip on either side that you push down. Look at the manual that you have (the one you found the troubleshooting in).
Try to hold the modules on their edge. Remove and reinstall each one. Then try to boot the computer. No need to put the cover back on yet because we may have to do more.

If reseating does not work, you will have to remove 1 at a time and retry(follow the removal/ install section).
The 1 that stays in needs to be in channel A and Dimm1 (slot 1 of the white clips).
You will notice reduced performance with only 1 in, but we are only testing.
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#7
ms_mciver

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i opened the case. only have one memory thingy. i havent put it back in yet because i am going to the store to get the stuff to blow dust off. its a little in there.
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#8
ms_mciver

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it only has 512mb, could that have been the problem that caused this downtime in the first place? i am going to also buy more memory today
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#9
ms_mciver

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I took that memory out, put it back in after about an hour (had to run to the store) then put it back in and its working great. I had also put 1gb of memory in with what I already have and it seems that my computer is running faster. Thanks guys. I am still waiting on that post regarding my laptop. Thanks again :)
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#10
123Runner

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More memory will make it faster.
I suspect that the dust created issues with the ram making contact. Sometimes the contacts just get contaminated and taking them out and putting back in will resolve the issue.

As long as you are in the case, clean the fans and dust bunnies out.
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