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Stuck on BIOS, absolutely nothing happens!


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#1
Pillywiggen

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For about a month now, my Dell laptop (which I just got last year) has been stuck on the Dell logo screen. The loading bar under which it says 'BIOS Revision A08' is stuck at the very beginning. Every time I turn on the power, this screen comes up immediately and always the same. I hear no beeps, but for a few seconds it sounds as if things are running and such. Even when I try things like pressing <ctrl> + <F11> or <Del>, it does nothing! Recently someone from where my stepdad works said that my laptop needed a new hard drive. So I took it over to Best Buy today and had a new one installed, hoping that would be the end of my problems. I come home and the exact same screen is there. It won't do -anything-...I put in the OS disc and it sounds as if it wants to read it, then nothing!

I am completely perplexed here, guys. I would be very grateful for any help! But keep in mind, I'm not all that computer savvy. What does it sound like the problem could be? If it helps, this whole thing started after playing The Sims 3 for only two weeks...I suppose my laptop couldn't handle it. It -did- get pretty hot, and I should kick myself for letting that go on. Because I'm pretty sure that's what did it in.

So, is there any advice you could give me? Is it not the hard drive that's the problem after all? Any sort of help would be VERY much appreciated!
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#2
Bowler4Ever

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Is it under warranty?
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#3
Pillywiggen

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I'm not sure whether or not it's under warranty -- I'll have to ask my dad, as he's the one who bought it for me. Based on things I've read around the internet, does my problem sound like it could be connected to the motherboard? If it -is- the motherboard, does that mean I would have to get my laptop completely replaced? Once again, I have no idea how this stuff works...sorry if I sound so noob-ish :)
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#4
Bowler4Ever

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I think it could be a BIOS issue, of what, though I don't know
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#5
rev_olie

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Hi,

If your laptop is still under warranty then any extra support could void it. aslso with you changing the hard drive its possible that the warranty is no longer valid.

I do however suspect a possible RAM issue with the laptop.

Let's check your memory and make sure there is no issue with it. Download memtest86

Get the file that is named Download - The one you want is "Download - Pre-compiled Bootable ISO (.zip). When it downloads, it will be labeled memtest86+2.11.iso.zip
Unzip the file once you download it. You should have a .iso file in the unzipped directory. It will look like a zip file in some cases but the file name will now be memtest86+2.11.iso

if you don't have a burning program that will burn .ISO files download burncdcc.

NOTE...do not put a blank cd in until burncdcc opens the tray for you
1. Start BurnCDCC
2. Browse to the ISO file you want to burn on cd/dvd ....in this case its memtest86.iso
3. Select the ISO file
4. click on Start

Make sure the bios is set for the cd drive as the first boot device
Put the cd in the cd drive and then boot your computer.

Running the Diagnostic Program:

The basic diagnostic screen has five main sections of relevant information. Three at the top which are labeled, PASS %, TEST %, and TEST #. This will basically show you the total progress of the current test, the overall progress of the diagnostic test, and the test number is currently performing.

On the middle left hand side of the of the program interface there is a “Wall Time” section that will keep track of how long the diagnostic test has been running for. This just gives you an idea if you are not attending the testing process.

The main section to look for is the lower half of the screen which is usually blank. As long as the memory testing is going ok with no errors this section of the screen should remain blank. If the diagnostic program finds any serious faults in the memory you will see it display a memory dump of address’s in this section. This is similar to what is displayed on your screen when you encounter a blue screen of death.

You now have most everything you need to know about setting up and testing your memory with diagnostic programs. This guide should help you get to the source of any intermittent problems related to your memory.


Run memtest for at least 2 hours
If it starts showing any errors during that time then you will have to replace the memory
If there are no errors after 2 hours press Esc and that will end the tests
We will then try other options

However I would contact Dell if it is under warranty as you will either get a replacement laptop and hardware if needed. For example that hard drive would have been covered and replaced at no extra charge :). I actually had this same problem with a dell laptop and the RAM was replaced so i will wait for the results.

Edited by rev_olie, 23 July 2009 - 04:38 PM.

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#6
Pillywiggen

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rev_olie, thanks for your help :) However, I don't think the BIOS is set to boot the cd drive first, and there is no way I can check/change that. Any buttons I press won't open anything, so I can't imagine it would be able to read a disc with that .iso file on it. The screen just sits there. I still have to check on whether my laptop is under warranty, though. You said the warranty may be invalid because of the newly installed hard drive? I hope that isn't the case if I really do need to have my laptop replaced.
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#7
E27061

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try to access bios by tapping on F2.once you are in try loading defaults.it is in there in one of the options.once you successfully loaded it save and exit.when your computer restarts it will prompt you that diskette drive is not found.access bios again and disable it save and exit.it will restart and it will give you another prompt which may vary so let me know what prompts it would give you or at times it will even load you back to windows.
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#8
Pillywiggen

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I tried the F2 button, and it didn't work. Not that I had much faith that it would. There is absolutely nothing I can do on-screen. From things I've read around the internet, I'm beginning to wonder if the problem is with the RAM. Next week, I'll be taking my laptop into a computer repair shop to have someone poke around in it so see if they can guess what the problem is. Here's hoping it -is- a RAM problem, so it's easily fixed!
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#9
rev_olie

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Ok well pretty sure then that it would be a hardware fault. Therefore no amount of software can really diagnose it and you need to start replacing parts.

Please reply back with the results good or bad because its nice to know and if other people find this thread its always nice for them to have a definite answer :)
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#10
E27061

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not a bad idea ^^_V have it checked to avoid further damage.
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#11
ViprXX

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Have you tried booting from a Windows XP cd (or another bootable cd)? also try pressing and holding in the power button until it shuts off then remove the battery for a minute then put the battery back in and turn it on and try tapping the Del key and some of the F keys like F2,F8,F10,F11 all at the same time right after the first startup screen (to figure out what key gets you into the Bios). tapping them quickly all at the same time will let you figure out what key you need to press to enter the bios/cmos if your not sure about what key to press to enter bios or pressing the keys rapidly might trigger the bios to run when normally it wouldn't just by slowly pressing a key. Also as a last resort you could try resetting the bios/cmos via the clear cmos jumper, but only if you know how to.


Hope this helps a little.
Later
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#12
123Runner

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What I am really curious about is

For about a month now, my Dell laptop (which I just got last year) has been stuck on the Dell logo screen

AND

So I took it over to Best Buy today and had a new one installed

.
How did they install a new hard drive and test it and install the main board drivers when it would not get past the loading screen????

There is no way that they could have done it properly. They most likely do not have the rebuild CD's. The restore partition would have done them no good, so to install an OS they would need access to the CD drive, internet for updates and board drivers.

What is the model of the laptop? Usually on the front cover.
Can you get the service tag? usually on the bottom.
I want to see if I can find a manual to verify F2 for bios (usually Dell, and all new comps are F2).
I want to see if we can get to the BIOS battery also.

If the laptop got to hot due to the game, it would generally shutoff. This is a feature of all computers. It should be startable again after cooling down.

123runner
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#13
Pillywiggen

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Well..! As it turns out, it really was the RAM that was the problem. I popped out the bottom one and the laptop booted up just fine. Although...I'm beginning to wonder if I should've left it alone after that. See, I thought I'd be keeping this new hard drive so I formatted it and putting the operating system on it. Now there's all sorts of frustration coming out of it...it won't recognize a sound device, the resolution is wrong and I can't change it aaand I'm getting a headache trying to figure out how to get the darned thing on the internet.

123Runner, I know...at the time when they installed the new hard drive, I was just too excited about it working again to think about how they may have tested it. Yeah, they didn't. Best Buy sucks. So anyway, I was wondering now...is there any way to get the this new hard drive blank again? Or the closest thing to it? I wanted to return the hard drive to Best Buy and get my old one put back in...do you think they would give me my money back? I really hope so, the thing was $100 x_x I guess I'll just leave my laptop alone until I figure out if I can return that drive.

After all that babbling, YES: my laptop is alive again. Since it's running smoothly with the secondary RAM out, I assume that's the only damaged part. It was 1GB too, so I'll be getting a new 2GB one.

Any speculation on Best Buy's return policy would be appreciated :) By the way, thanks to everyone for your help!! It made me feel much less alone in this mess!
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#14
123Runner

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I need to get something straight.

See, I thought I'd be keeping this new hard drive so I formatted it and putting the operating system on it.

. Am I to assume that all that Best Buy did was to install the hard drive AND they did not install the OS????? If that is correct, then they had no way to know it would not start.

I do not know their policy on return. They probably can't find your original drive anyways.
Best Buy should have returned the hard drive anyways, because in reality it is yours, but you probably would have had to ask for it because they assumed that it was no good.
The reason I ask is because it probably has data on it that can be retrieved for you.

The reason you have no video, sound, and anything else is that reformatting takes out all of the main board drivers. You need the chipset drivers for the board.


We need to find the drivers. Lets see if we can make this easy.
1. Do you have a recovery CD?
2. Do you have a drivers CD?
3. Can you find the Dell service tag? It will be on the bottom of the laptop.

With any of these we can get the drivers. We have other ways to get the info, but this is the easiest.

123runner
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