Solved Dell Dimension 2400 wont boot - HELP

June 13, 2016 at 11:33:45
Specs: Windows XP
I am not really a computer genius or anything but I know something. Yesterday I found this really old game called Opening Night by Mecc. Those game can obviously only be played on old desktops, and since we had one I did nit bother going through all the crap to play it on a modern computer. The desktop is a dell dimension 2400 and has not been used in like 3 years. I hooked it up to the monitor and it got to the Bios Revision A05 screen and did not get past there. After trying to turn it on a few more times it finally got to the error screen and it asked me to select either a safe mode or to start windows normally. I selected to start windows normally and then it got to a black screen. I tried to turn it on after that a few times but it did the same thing but the screen turned off all together. After that the hard drive or the little cylinder light went on and nothing really happened from there. How can I get my desktop to boot to windows xp to play my game.

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✔ Best Answer
June 19, 2016 at 05:44:19
I have decided to just throw the machine away all together. Along with 2 others. Our thrift store always has lots of old desktops, there must be a working one. Sorry for your inconvenience.


#1
June 13, 2016 at 14:32:51
Me too. That is my same system only, mine works though. Press F12 after it shows in the upper right corner of the screen while booting the BIOS A05 screen and then you can run IDE diagnostics although it sounds like you really don't need to as it did attempt to boot once and showed hard drive activity. Maybe should choose safe mode windows to boot to first and then once in there do a reboot attempt. You may have a weak BIOS battery after all that time and it would cause the system to slow way down during BIOS portion of boot process, only when stored data matches hardware found does mine boot at a 'normal' speed. A new added hard drive for example will cause a minute delay while it appears to be doing nothing.

A05 is most recent version, congratulations there. You can boot USB drive if it is placed into a slot before powering up, you won't have that choice if the pen drive isn't in the slot. You can also boot a CD--DVD by boot menu choice which is also a choice in the BIOS Setup. Boot choice menu is F8 but it's also available thru F12 choice as well.

2032 is CMOS/BIOS battery used, I would just get a new one and be done with it. Screen turning off means that the monitor did not detect any signals directed for it - that's certainly not normal, the BIOS may have the on board video system shut off and you can go into the BIOS setup system to enable it again. You will have to verify what hardware you have and what you don't, but it smells like to me that some of the settings in the BIOS might be wrong due to low/dead battery. Go thru every screen offered with a new battery in place and it might fly.
http://www.dell.com/support/home/us...

http://en.community.dell.com/suppor...

Lee


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#2
June 14, 2016 at 05:27:23
When I get to the Bios A05 screen if command prompts do show in the corner there are F1 and F2 not F12. I guess I could try pressing F12? But getting a new battery is kind not applicable, because when the computer goes to the error screen and then trys to load Windows XP it loads in literally a second. Its mostly where loading Windows Xp where I have the problem now. Most likely the battery just had to "warm up". And I kn ow it is not an issue with A05, because we updated that a long time ago and have used it much since. I don't really understand why it is being so slow. Well I do, its been sitting for long enough that it is still "waking up". But what I need help on is the windows xp boot up now, bios looks just fine and takes a very small amount of time to load, going to the error screen and asking me to start windows normally. Plus when I did safe mode all it did was go down the error screen with the same command over and over again, and then went right back to the error screen.

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#3
June 14, 2016 at 10:20:41
Yes, F12 has been showing up in the Bios screen now, but F12 just brings me to the screen it automatically goes to I don't need to press F12. I pressed F2 and it got me to the system settings page. and after that it did an "automatic system drive check" it only came up with disk drive and something else, hard drive maybe. I got excited because 2 times it flashed the windows xp loading page. The first time it was flashed so fast it was had to recognize but the second time it did it for like a second so I could clearly see it.

I think that it may just be slowly inching forward, because it has not been used in a long time. But I still need help getting it to actually start windows xp.


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#4
June 14, 2016 at 11:32:04
Now I see where F12 gets me. As I said Im no computer genius. I selected 6 and it put me to a windows xp/95 interface. It loaded all the drivers/devices and then gave me four choices on how to diagnose and test my desktop. My mouse did not work, probably because of the mouse, because the connection is loose when I plug it in. The mouse worked for a second and it moved but I could not select the choice I wanted. I am probably going to have to find a better mouse because I am using the old mouse plugin. I looks to me that I can only use the old mouse plug in because when I used a usb mouse it said that nothing was detected. Hopefully it will finally get to boot windows xp.

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#5
June 14, 2016 at 19:32:30
Your four choices to diagnose and test the desktop sounds like maybe 95? Your USB mouse won't work very well in there unless you have previously jumped the USB hurdle dual booting with 95.

Perhaps we are talking about the Dell Partition diagnostics? I don't have those here, when I try to boot that partition I go instead to the same as normal boot up which is XP dual boot choice menu and mine is Win 98 which had better USB support than 95 so my USB mouse works OK there too. I am using a PS2 keyboard because I didn't want to loose Function keys operation if ever there were issues with USB in 98.. IF your mouse is PS2 with a loose connection, that is not good at all as there are many warnings to never connect a PS2 mouse while the system has power. How bad it is with a loose connection I really don't know enough about it to say.

Mine automatically does not go thru F12 choices, it goes to XP/98 choice screen and I select with arrow key which I want to boot. Enter key makes it happen. If you had a working floppy drive and disk you could boot that to Win 98 and run a non-destructive hard drive test program to see if there any issues with the hard drive.

Did you want to boot and use your old OS or start over? Do you have any of the support CDs that came with the machine? Dell Recovery CD for example, might be others too.

Barts Disktool can test your hard drive non-destructively from what ever source you can boot from.
Rufus will make a boot USB out of almost any USB pen drive. And you can boot USB pen drive or Linux distro CD to have a look around. Lots of choices. What date does your computer think it is? This would be very telling as to battery condition which you would be needing to change with or without the 3 year dirt nap anyway -- buy a battery already. Be done with it for $4.

Lee


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#6
June 16, 2016 at 05:42:00
Yes my compute does not go strait to F12 at all, I was wrong, it goes to XP/98 choice screen. And I use a PS2 mouse should I not? I am going to unplug it and see it anything gets better. Also like almost 10 times now I have gotten to the screen were the bar goes across the loading box several times under the Windows Xp logo, or the windows xp start up page, then I get to the windows is starting page, and then I get to the welcome page with my cursor having an hour glass going up and down but after the hour glass goes up and down a few times my screen shuts down but not the computer. As I said I may just be waking up from not being used for so long.

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#7
June 16, 2016 at 08:30:01
I am happy and excited. I got my computer to boot to xp, the first time it booted to xp it stayed there for a minute and then the screen turned off. The second time it booted to xp and then stayed there the hour glass went up and down for a while, and then it stopped. I know that it froze from there because the time on the device did not change from 10:21. I am giving it an hour to see if it does anything, but from there I am just going to reboot it until the time and the cursor works.

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#8
June 16, 2016 at 11:00:40
PS2 mouse can certainly be used but not one that disconnects itself as reported. Your story keeps changing in so many aspects I can't keep count but one is 95 at first now it's 98. Still no new battery? You can check the time in the BIOS setup screens, if it's not 2016 -- you need a battery. You need one because it was new in 2005 but now it's 2016.

Code doesn't need to be woken up, electrons don't sleep. But batteries do wear out and need to be replaced, short the pair of BIOS clearing jumpers just below the battery when you have the battery removed. With cleared BIOS and new battery odds are quite good it starts working fine. And you could have been playing your game all this time.

Lee


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#9
June 16, 2016 at 19:14:46
yes the time is correct. I am having issues turning the computer back on, but when I last checked it was the correct date (6/16/2016) and the time was only 30 mins behind the correct time. I certainly do not need a new battery

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#10
June 16, 2016 at 19:17:01
Everything was going fine until I put the usb mouse in the front port of the computer. It was booted to xp and then I plug it in. the screen turned off but the mouse was on. I hope I did not mess things up because I have not been able to reboot it.

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#11
June 17, 2016 at 19:44:55
USB mouse can be hot plugged all day long, I suspect your monitor shut off again and chose that moment to distract your blame. I've never had the screen turn off like that. Have you tried to set the BIOS to default settings? I suspect your video circuity isn't working quite right, you've mentioned shut off monitor before. The second link I posted discusses how it can be set wrong in the BIOS to do this too. And how setting the entire BIOS to default fixes that issue.

Lee


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#12
June 19, 2016 at 05:44:19
✔ Best Answer
I have decided to just throw the machine away all together. Along with 2 others. Our thrift store always has lots of old desktops, there must be a working one. Sorry for your inconvenience.

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#13
June 19, 2016 at 11:03:09
You may be surprised to see the prices in your local used computer store, the source for this 2400. $50 with monitor, keyboard, mouse, XP preloaded and working with warranty. Thrift store will have what you are throwing away.

XP won't be offered as it's not supported and there goes your old game capability. Replace first then throw away?

Lee


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#14
June 21, 2016 at 09:51:25
I have 2 other old desktops and I have not thrown away my dell dimension yet, and guess what the thrift store will have working desktops to use. sorry for your inconvenience. plus I can get a $20 on on ebay.

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#15
June 24, 2016 at 16:40:10
You are going to throw it away? You could have some sort of malware that was hiding in the system all these years. If you were close to me I would want it. I could at least put in another hard drive (i have plenty) load XP and see what it does. Could be anything causing the problem. Did you run through the diagnostics?

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