|" the four led diagnostic lights in the back of the computer are green. "|
kuwese found info about the diagnostic lights (leds) that is the same as for your model, but it's in info for the Dimension 2400 series.
A search for: Dell mtc2 manuals
Dell™ OptiPlex™ 170L User's Guide
(At the bottom of the page - Models MTC2 and DHS)
On that page -
Computer and Software Problems -
"I went to turn it on and the green light comes on, the hard drive green light comes on for a little bit , but then it does nothing."
There's nothing wrong with your mboard or power supply, but apparently you're getting no video.
Your subject title "Dell desktop won't start" is inappropriate.
It's starting up fine, you just have no video.
If you normally have to logon to Windows, the hard drive led will stop flashing shortly after that point.
If you get no video at all...
- you could try the monitor with another computer, but there's probably nothing wrong with it.
- if you have two video ports, make sure the monitor's video cable is plugged into the right one
If your minitower has both an onboard video port, higher up on the back of the tower at the back of the case, and another video port in a slot space lower down on the case, the monitor must be plugged into the lower down video port - the onboard video port will not produce video when there's a video card installed in a slot space.
- If you have video while booting BEFORE Windows is supposed to load, but no video AFTER Windows is supposed to load....
sometimes that happens....
- after you have loaded the specific drivers for your video adapter, if the specific drivers do not find your monitor type properly, when you boot after installing the drivers.
- after you have changed which monitor you have connected
Remove any bootable CDs or DVDs from drives.
Press F8 repeatedly while booting, don't hold down the key, and when the boot choices menu appears, choose
Enable VGA mode
Your computer will boot normally except that the display will be forced to use default VGA settings that all monitors support.
You need to change your monitor drivers.
When you get to the desktop screen , RIGHT click on blank part of the main Desktop screen - Properties (goes to Display Properties)
Settings - Advanced button - Monitor - Properties
Driver tab - Update driver
- No, not at this time
- Install from a list...., Next
- Don't search..., Next
- if Plug and Play Monitor is listed, select it, Next, etc., etc
OR - preferable - if you have the drivers for the LCD monitor model , on a CD that came with it, or a monitor drivers download you got from the web (you may have to extract it's contents), click on Have disk - Windows is looking for an *.inf file for the monitor model - once you have found that, select it.
If more than one model is listed, choose the correct one., etc., etc.
You may need to run the download you got from the web to extract the *.inf file you need - doing that may or may not install the drivers by auto running a program that does that.
There may or may not be a program on the CD that came with the monitor that will install the drivers.
In either case, if the drivers were already installed, you don't have to click on Have Disk - the proper drivers will be listed under the brand's listings, when you click on the check mark beside Show compatible hardware to remove the checkmark.
Close each window you opened properly by clicking on whatever at the bottom of the window until you're at the desktop screen.
Restart Windows - boot normally.
You should have video in Windows.
If specific drivers are loaded for the LCD monitor model, Windows will by default show you only the resolutions and other display settings the LCD monitor model can use that are supported by both the monitor drivers and the specific video drivers. Set the resolution to the Optimal or Native resolution your LCD model is supposed to use, if you you can.
If you can't choose the Optimal or Native resolution , choose a resolution that has the same ratio of width to height, when you divide the width by the height, and switch on Clear Type.
Turn on Clear Type in Windows XP or Vista - makes type/fonts on LCD screens look clearer: