I have a Dell Dimension 4600 with the following specs:
PROCESSOR, 80546, 2.8, 1M, PENTIUM 4 PRESCOTT DT, 800, D0
2 DUAL IN-LINE MEMORY MODULE, 128, 400M, 16X64, 8K, 184
I decided to add some more memory and installed two different PC2700 memory sticks that seemed
to meet the specs for the 4600. One had Spectec chip on it and the other one was from Dell
(turned out it was an upgrade for Dimension 4550 model, most likely incompatible). Both chips were 256MB.
After my installation, I plugged in the power cord, turned on the computer, saw the Win XP logo
and that was it. The CD-ROM would sound like playing an old lp and the hard drive came on for a
second or so and then stopped. The black screen with 4 different boot up options came on asking
to press the number of my choice. Well, I chose "Boot windows normally", same thing as before,
it came back to the same screen with options. Next, I chose "Boot to last good known configuration",
the CD-ROM just emitted the usual scratching sound and the HD came on for second and again back to
the black screen with options. Third try, I chose "Boot to Safe Mode". No go. Next, I unplugged the
computer and removed the memory I had put in and left the original configuration in. Plugged the
power cord in and turned on the computer. Same problem, it won't boot up. Then I put the Dell
Diagnostic CD in and ran all the tests for abouut two hours. Every single one came back with
"Passed" green light. Hard drive seems to be ok, all connections are fine, all cables work, I
just can't get past the Windows logo and the following "boot option screen". I get no error
messages, just am stuck in this loop of boot options and nothing happening after whichever option
I choose. I have nothing else connected to my computer except PS2 keyboard and mouse and my monitor.
Please, help! Is the CMOS somehow corrupted because of my memory tinkering? The computer is practically
brand new. It had been used only for about 4 days prior to this. I installed XP Pro from scratch
with all the updates several days earlier. What can I do to get my Dimension working again?
Thanks for all the help.