Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

Dell Dimension 8400 boots to a blinking MS-DOS cursor


  • Please log in to reply

#1
nameless335

nameless335

    New Member

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
I have a Dell Dimension 8400 with Windows XP Home Edition as the operating system. When I turn it on, it shows the Dell splash screen, but after that it just shows an MS-DOS screen with a flashing cursor. I can't type anything on it.
I am able to go to the BIOS and the One-Time Boot screen, but not the Advanced Options screen.
  • 0

Advertisements


#2
Ztruker

Ztruker

    Member 5k

  • Technician
  • 7,065 posts
You are going to have to get into BIOS Setup on your computer to set the CD/DVD drive as the first bootable device, so you can then boot your XP CD, unless it provides the ability to press a Fn key at boot time to bring up the boot selection menu. If it does, use that.

How you do this varies with each manufacturer. Normally you press F1, F2, F10 or Del when you see the manufacturers logo. Often there is a clue somewhere on the screen when you boot normally telling you what key to press. Some computers (most newer ones) have a key you can press (often F12) to bring up the Boot Menu from where you can select the CD/DVD drive to boot from.

If you don't have an XP CD, download and run ARCDC by Artellos. It will download the required files from the Microsoft Web site and create a .iso file. It will also offer to burn the iso image to a CD for you. If you don't do it then, there is a good freeware burner called ImgBurn which will do it at a later time. If you're unsure how to do this, you can follow the tutorial here: How to Burn an ISO File. This can be done from any computer.

Boot the CD and at the first opportunity, enter R to start the Recovery Console.

Next, choose which XP installation you want to login to. Normally this will be 1.
Lastly you will be asked for the Administrator password. Just press the Enter key as the Administrator does not have a password (unless you gave it one, then you would enter it).

From the command prompt, enter: chkdsk /r
Allow it to complete undisturbed. It can take an hour or more depending on the size of the hard drive.

Remove the CD, type exit and the computer will reboot. Hopefully that will have fixed the problem (corrupted file system).
  • 0

#3
nameless335

nameless335

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
Will the Dell CD work?
  • 0

#4
Macboatmaster

Macboatmaster

    7k

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,237 posts
That depends on if the Dell CD does or does not include the recovery console.
Many OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Cd`s are simply to reinstall the operating system and do NOT include the recovery console
  • 0

#5
nameless335

nameless335

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
This was the right CD, I got to the recovery console and ran chkdsk, but it didn't do anything to my computer.
  • 0

#6
Ztruker

Ztruker

    Member 5k

  • Technician
  • 7,065 posts
Sounds like it may be a hardware problem. Need to check the hard drive and your system ram.

Check the hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostic tools.
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities (Storage) - TACKtech Corp.
[url="http://"http://www.carrona.org/hddiag.html"]HD Diagnostic[/url]

Download Memtest86+ (you want the 2nd one Download - Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip)). Unzip it then create a CD from the iso file using your CD burning software. There is a good freeware burner called ImgBurn which will do this easily.

Boot the CD and run for at least 3 complete passes unless it shows errors sooner than that.
  • 0

#7
nameless335

nameless335

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
With the OS I'm running now, I can't download anything. Any other options?
  • 0

#8
Macboatmaster

Macboatmaster

    7k

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,237 posts
Unfortunately NO.
You will have to use another computer
  • 0






Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP