PNP4 error message booting Dell desktop

Dell Dimension 4600 desktop
July 27, 2010 at 07:15:52
Specs: Windows XP
am having problems starting computer we get a colored screen instead of the dell logo screen or when it does start to load it freezes up and sometimes it will give us a message with a PNP4 code what does all of this mean?

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#1
July 27, 2010 at 08:36:18
What do you mean by "a colored screen" ?
Is it a blue screen ?
Is there a message on it ?
If so, quote the message.

....

Have you changed any hardware, such as,
- have you installed a different video card in a mboard slot than what it had in a mboard slot previously ?
- have you added or moved a card other than a video card to any mboard slot ?
- have you changed which ram is installed in the mboard ?

Have you been fiddling with any wiring connections or cards in slots or the ram (memory modules) or drive connections inside the case ?

If you haven't changed any hardware, and have not been fiddling inside the case, have you recently moved the computer case ?
......

I don't get many "hits" when I search with: PNP4 error.

Apparently a PNP4 error code can be caused by you installing a video card in a mboard slot that was not installed previously without having un-installed the drivers and associated software for the previous video adapter that was in a mboard slot.

There may be other causes.
.......

Remove any bootable disks in CD or DVD drives.
Remove any USB flash drives (they're not bootable unless you made it bootable).

Press F8 repeatedly while booting, don't hold down the key, and when the boot choices menu appears on a black screen,

choose

Disable automatic restart on system failure.

That attempts to load Windows normally, and if you get a situation where Windows would normally restart when it encounters an unrecoverable error, you will probably get an error message instead.

If that gets you to the desktop screen, then do this to make sure you always get a message rather than Windows restarting...

Win XP is set by default to automatically reboot when it encounters an unrecoverable error.

To have XP possibly display an error message you can investigate instead of the computer rebooting:

1. Click Start, and then right-click My Computer.
2. Click Properties.
3. Click the Advanced tab, and then click Settings under Startup and Recovery.
4. Under System failure, click on the small box beside Automatically restart to remove the checkmark.
5. Click OK, and then click OK.

If you then get an error message, look at all of it's details.
.......

If that doesn't help....

Press F8 repeatedly while booting, don't hold down the key, and when the boot choices menu appears on a black screen,

choose

Enable VGA mode

That starts Windows normally, except the video is forced to use default VGA drivers rather than the specific drivers that have been loaded in normal mode.

If that gets you to the desktop screen, the resolution will be lower than normal. If you get no error screens, your problem is probably related to the video drivers and associated software that is loaded when you boot normally.

Disable automatic restart if it isn't already set to that - see above.
.....

If that doesn't help

Press F8 repeatedly while booting, don't hold down the key, and when the boot choices menu appears on a black screen,

choose

Safe mode with networking

or

Last Known Good Configuration .

If you choose Safe mode with networking, or Safe mode, you will see the screen fill with lines about things that are loading, then it stays the same for a while, then the boot should continue and eventually get you to the desktop screen.
Answer Yes to whether you want to use Safe mode.

The Safe modes also force Windows to use default VGA video drivers, but they also do not load a lot of things that are loaded when you boot normally.

If you chose What do you mean by "a colored screen" ?
Is it a blue screen ?
Is there a message on it ?
If so, quote the message.

....

Have you changed any hardware, such as,
- have you installed a different video card in a mboard slot than what it had in a mboard slot previously ?
- have you added or moved a card other than a video card to any mboard slot ?
- have you changed which ram is installed in the mboard ?

Have you been fiddling with any wiring connections or cards in slots or the ram (memory modules) or drive connections inside the case ?

If you haven't changed any hardware, and have not been fiddling inside the case, have you recently moved the computer case ?
......

I don't get many "hits" when I search with: PNP4 error.

Apparently a PNP4 error code can be caused by you installing a video card in a mboard slot that was not installed previously without having un-installed the drivers and associated software for the previous video adapter that was in a mboard slot.

There may be other causes.
.......

Remove any bootable disks in CD or DVD drives.
Remove any USB flash drives (they're not bootable unless you made it bootable).

Press F8 repeatedly while booting, don't hold down the key, and when the boot choices menu appears on a black screen,

choose

Disable automatic restart on system failure.

That attempts to load Windows normally, and if you get a situation where Windows would normally restart when it encounters an unrecoverable error, you will probably get an error message instead.

If that gets you to the desktop screen, then do this to make sure you always get a message rather than Windows restarting...

Win XP is set by default to automatically reboot when it encounters an unrecoverable error.

To have XP possibly display an error message you can investigate instead of the computer rebooting:

1. Click Start, and then right-click My Computer.
2. Click Properties.
3. Click the Advanced tab, and then click Settings under Startup and Recovery.
4. Under System failure, click on the small box beside Automatically restart to remove the checkmark.
5. Click OK, and then click OK.

If you then get an error message, look at all of it's details.
.......

If that doesn't help....

Press F8 repeatedly while booting, don't hold down the key, and when the boot choices menu appears on a black screen,

choose

Enable VGA mode

That starts Windows normally, except the video is forced to use default VGA drivers rather than the specific drivers that have been loaded in normal mode.

If that gets you to the desktop screen, the resolution will be lower than normal. If you get no error screens, your problem is probably related to the video drivers and associated software that is loaded when you boot normally.

Disable automatic restart if it isn't already set to that - see above.
.....

If that doesn't help

Press F8 repeatedly while booting, don't hold down the key, and when the boot choices menu appears on a black screen,

choose

Safe mode with networking

or

Last Known Good Configuration, then Windows attempts to load normally using the last System Restore Restore Point.

Disable automatic restart if it isn't already set to that - see above.
.....

If you get a blue screen error message in Windows, quote what it says.

E.g.

STOP: 0x000000xx (we don't need the stuff in brackets after that)
TEXT_ALL_IN_CAPITALS_WITH_UNDERLINES_BETWEEN

A problem file may be named at the end of the text. If so, quote the name of the file.

There may be a link to "more details" or similar. If so, click on the link, and quote any file named in that.


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#2
July 29, 2010 at 12:09:31
when turning on the computer instead of getting the black screen with the dell logo on it the screen or monitorwill be either green, blue, red, purple, or yellow. if this doesn't happen then when themicrosoft screen comes up and starts to load the computer freezes up

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#3
July 29, 2010 at 21:28:48
You have not answered most of my questions.
Answer those too.

.......

Try a different monitor.
.....

See response 2 in this - try cleaning the contacts on the ram modules, and making sure the modules are properly seated:
http://www.computing.net/hardware/w...

For a laptop, or netbook, you must remove both its main battery and AC adapter before you do that.

For a brand name computer, see the Owner's or User's manual if you need to - how to remove or replace the ram is usually in that - it may already be in your installed programs. If you can't get into Windows, it may be on a disk that came with the computer, or you can go online and look at it or download it - it's in the downloads for your specific model.
.......

Failing power supplies are common and can cause your symptoms.
Check your PS.
Go into the bios and check the +3.3v, +5v, and +12v readings.
See response 4 in this:
http://www.computing.net/hardware/w...
......

Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:
http://www.computing.net/windows95/...

(thanks to Dan Penny for this link:)
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities
http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm...

If you don't have a floppy drive, you can get a CD image diagnostic utility from most hard drive manufacturer's web sites, but obviously you would need to make a burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibility, on another computer if you need to.

If the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.



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