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Dell Desktop not booting up, error beeping.


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#1
katkatkat

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Hi. So this is how it all went down ...

Firefox has been freezing momentarily for the past week, but always recovers after a couple of minutes. But tonight the whole computer froze and I couldn't move the mouse. I left it for a good 10 minutes thinking it would recover, it didn't so I held down the power button until the system forced shut down. When I turned the computer back on, the monitor doesn't show anything, the mouse and keyboard are unresponsive and the tower beeps twice every 3 seconds (approx). It stays on and continues to beep. I have a Dell computer that I've had for 2 years and here are the specifications that I pulled from my receipt. (See attachments). I want to isolate the problem and get it fixed and I appreciate all your help.

Thanks (in advanced) for ALL your help.

Posted Image
Posted Image

I saw the limited warranty on Hardware from Dell Services, 2 years, but my order date passed in January, but I will still call them to see if they can help me out. In the mean time your advice is INCREDIBLY valuable to me as I have to start university in less than a week!

Regards,

Katherine.
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#2
phillipcorcoran

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Though I'm not familiar with Dell's beep codes on their proprietary motherboards, two beeps could mean faulty RAM.
You can test the RAM by booting from a bootable CD created with the "memtest86" CD ISO download from here:
http://memtest86.com/

Download ISO image for creating bootable CD (Windows - zip) from the link above.

If you don't already have software which can create a CD from an ISO file (eg nero), use the free Active@ ISO Burner from here:
http://www.ntfs.com/iso-burning.htm

Edited by phillipcorcoran, 21 February 2011 - 07:16 AM.

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#3
katkatkat

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Hi, thanks heaps for your contribution.

However, I don't understand how I can run this if my computer doesn't switch on in the first place? Is there a way I can? A bit puzzled haha...
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#4
Log2

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Hi, can you please explain a little more of the problem.

First: What model of computer is it, you didn't mention, I assume it's the Studio 540 Slim, but I might be wrong, it should be labeled on the tower somewhere.

Second: When you push the power button, what do you see? Does the screen remain blank and you hear beeps? or do you see the DELL screen then you hear beeps?

Third: Is your power light flashing? and what colour is the power light?

Fourth: Do you have diagnostic lights on your tower? They would be located visibly on the front of the tower, there would be 3 or 4 lights.

Fifth: What is plugged into your USB ports on your computer? You can try removing everything except the mouse and keyboard and try powering up, let me know what happens.


EDIT:

Sixth: Try unplugging the power cable and then hold down the power button for 20 seconds, plug the cable back in, and try starting, that's called Draining the Flea Power and should be done anytime you venture into your computers tower

Edited by Log2, 21 February 2011 - 10:02 AM.

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#5
katkatkat

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Hi !

So the circumstances have changed but I'll still answer your questions

1. the model of the computer is found at the top of the first image attached in the first post.
2. Last night when I pressed the power button it made some sounds as though it was going to turn on but the screen stayed black and didn't actually turn on. I didn't see the dell screen at all and the tower just continued to beep.
3. The power light was white when I attempted to turn it on. The tower did actually turn on, just that it would keep beeping
4. I can't visibly see any diagnostic lights located on the front or back of the tower ! :D
5 + 6 I didn't get to try this as the next time I turned on the computer it started working !

As I said before, the situation with my crazy computer has changed:

Today when I turned it on, the computer booted up normally and fine in fact it is running OK right now. The first time I turned it on I successfully logged into the computer however, it froze up like it did yesterday so I hit the power button on the tower and it immediately turned off (exactly what happened yesterday).

I'd still like to know what you think might've happened.

Thanks !
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#6
katkatkat

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So it seems that the computer is being very temperamental.

This morning when I turned it on for the first time I managed to log in until it blue screened.

I turned it on again for the second time and the screen turned all white momentarily (for about 2 mins) whilst loading my desktop but recovered. The screen then froze over and crashed.

On the 3rd booting up I logged on OK, it worked fine for about 15 minutes but then whilst I was watching a video everything froze up again and the computer crashed again.

On the 4th attempt of booting up the computer the screen wouldn't turn on, again the keyboard and mouse were unresponsive and the tower beeped.

Is it due to my graphics card or RAM, pehaps?
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#7
Log2

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it very well could be RAM. Here's how we're going to check:

1. Unplug the computer and hold down the power button (Drain the flea power)
2. Open the case, and locate the memory modules, there may be 4, or there may be 2, maybe even 1
Posted Image
3. I want you to remove all the memory modules. To do that, you need to unclip the retaining clips. (Number 1 in the below image)
Posted Image
4. Replace only one stick of memory, (use the first image posted) and insert the module into slot 1. It should be the slot closest to the processor.
5. Make sure the notch (3 on image below) on the memory module lines up with the tab (4 on image below) on the memory slot.
Posted Image
6. Push down on the memory module until you hear two distinctive clicks
Posted Image
7. Replace the case on the tower and plug in and try to boot up.

8. Repeat this process with all memory modules testing them one at a time. Do not put two in the system.
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#8
123Runner

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It could be a number of issues. In addition to testing memory, I would also like for you to try booting in safe mode to eliminate bad drivers.

Your manual is located HERE. I chose the 540 slim.

Not to step on Log2 toes and trouble shooting. Can you try safe mode 1st?
You enter safe mode by tapping F8 during boot up.
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