Used Dell 3000c desktop will not boot

Dell Dimension 3000c desktop
July 30, 2010 at 11:50:11
Specs: WinXP/LinuxMint, Pent4/512mb
Picked this up used. Replaced the hard drive, blew all the junk out. When I fired it up, it ran XP install fine. Tried to boot XP, it hangs at the Windows XP loading screen. Installed Linux Mint 8 (Helena). Loads the grub menu, hangs up at the Mint loading screen. I am banging my head on the wall with this one. Ram is recognized, drives are working, guts are clean.

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#1
July 30, 2010 at 13:04:25
Guts?

I'd run the Dell Diags on that sys. If you don't have the Dell Drivers & Utilities / Diagnostics CD/DVD, D/L here:

http://support.dell.com/support/dow...

Crack er open and check the MOBO for bad caps too:
http://forum.videohelp.com/images/g...

Just another stupid saying...


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#2
July 30, 2010 at 13:31:35
I would say there was a problem with the installion if you can goto safe mode.(to get there hit F8) When you installed win xp did you manage too login in at least once if you did where there any things you did too it . (software driver etc...)

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#3
July 30, 2010 at 18:08:35
thanks for the quick responses. I looked over the board when I cleaned it. (by guts, i meant the mainboard, pci cards etc...) All the caps looked good, no scorch marks. At first the hd that was in it wasnt showing up. Had about an inch of dust and it was only a 20gb so i trashed it. Put a good working WD120GB in there, blew all the dust with compressed air, took the vid card out, cleaned it really good. Booted up with XP install, the install went fine, tried to boot it after it was done and it hung up at the load screen. The status bar was still moving but nothing would change. I checked all the Bios setting, everything good. Swapped the HD with another working one that had Linux already installed from another dell dimension. Same thing, would boot up untill the splash screen to load. With Linux however, the grub menu will pop up. Then I proceeded to bang my head on the wall a few times and tried a different hard drive. This time XP again. Clean install. I also swapped the ram with ram from another working desktop. Same thing. Very confusing. Powers up good, I tried it with everything disconnected and no difference.

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#4
July 31, 2010 at 08:56:45
Did you test your hardware though, as I suggested in Response #1?

May want to run Western Digital's DataLifeGuard on that WD HDD. Just because it kinda works, doesn't mean that the surface of that HDD is 100%...there could be some bad sectors on the drive.

Just another stupid saying...


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#5
July 31, 2010 at 20:46:09
oh man i messed up. I did use your repair util and it was great. It showed me that i had a bad mouse lol that was the problem. You dont use it before the os boots so why would i think that was bad? Thanks for all of your help guys. Do they have those repair utils for any other manufacturer?

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#6
August 1, 2010 at 09:48:54
Which utility are you referring to, the Dell Diagnostics? If yes, the only other manufacturers that I know that provides a diagnostics tool is IBM and Gateway, they have used PC Doctor via OEM HDD install or floppy/CD *.iso downloadable files.

Also, Dell laptops use a smaller version of the Dell Diagnostics built into their laptops which is run from ROM on the MOBO. To access that you hit F12 during POST.

Just another stupid saying...


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#7
August 1, 2010 at 20:43:59
Well i have alot of computers with various problems. One is a dell dimension 4500c (the weird kinda flat one). When I hook it up, no power on, no POST, LED on the mobo flashes amber. I also have a compaq cq110us laptop...power on, LED's only, black screen, no HDD spin up, very light fan. Replaced the mother board, (thought the built in nVidia GPU might be faulty) same thing. I also have a gateway mx500 Pent4, no boot, no post...will power on

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#8
August 2, 2010 at 10:17:41
Well......bring into the shop d@mn it, I need the business!

Check the Diag Code lights on back of the Dell:
http://support.dell.com/support/edo...

Laptop: Who replaced the MOBO, you or someone else (technician)? That's rotten luck. Did you use same Ram & CPU and fan(s)?

Gateway: If it doesn't POST could be a number of things, a bad MOBO, something could be loose (depending on who & how much fiddling was done to it) on the MOBO (CPU, heat sink, RAM, PCI device), bad PSU etc.

Just another stupid saying...


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#9
August 2, 2010 at 13:42:22
Ha, funny you should say that. Im only about a year into IT but I am a "technician". Im a year into my BA for computer info and security (cisco major). However, no matter how much I know, i respect elders and pros and always want to learn more. That being said, I changed the mobo, tried oem ram and other known good ram, no difference. CPU is the same as well. The funny thing is, after replacing the motherboard, i still got no power up so i did a hard reset, got it going, reinstalled VISTA. When vista rebooted after installation, it would not power back on. Reverted to previous condition. Now, i dont even get a charge light when its plugged in. The gateway is an old piece that im playing with and thanks for the website about the dell. I'm actually sitting in the next couple months for my MTCS, A+, Net+ and Sec+.

Paul


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#10
August 2, 2010 at 15:25:58
I had problems with a Dell 3000 desktop I was working on when I tried to add more ram to it.
Apparently the dxxm mboard on it is pickier than similar mboards regarding ram, and it will only run some specific modules at the full speed the mboard supports.
It had an Infineon 256mb module in it which I assume came with the new computer. I got ram errors when I ran ram diagnostics when any of the other should be suitable modules I had on hand were installed along with the Infineon module. The Infineon module tested fine when by itself. I got no ram errors when any, or most ?, of the other modules were installed and the Infineon module was not installed.
I finally bought a new Kingston 512mb module that should have worked fine because it was listed for another mboard with the same main chipset - it produced no ram errors, but the mboard would NOT run it at it's full speed even when it was by itself - it ran full speed on other mboards I tried it on. (Kingston lists an oddball brand name only module part number for it - the place I usually buy ram at had lots of stock, but would have had to order it in . They don't stock oddball brand name only part numbered ram of any brand. I looked at that module's data sheet on the Kingston site, and picked a module with the same number of chips and memory organization that was listed for another mboard model that has the same main chipset.)

I finally got rid of that Infineon 256mb module when I found it worked fine in combo with another module on mboard that I was working on about three weeks ago.


Since the system has been sitting....

A common thing that can happen with ram, even ram that worked fine previously, is the ram has, or has developed, a poor connection in it's slot(s).

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...

Once you have done that, run ram diagnostics.
......

If your ram passes a ram test, it's working fine, even if you can't determine whether it's listed for your mboard or system model anywhere

If you do a ram test, do that AFTER having tried cleaning the contacts and making sure the ram is seated properly - otherwise any errors found may be FALSE.
If the ram is incompatible with the chipset, (or in this case, possibly if it's incompatible with the way the main chipset is wired up on the mboard), or on more recent computers, incompatible with the memory controller built into the cpu, it will likely FAIL a ram test - that is NOT a true indication of the ram being faulty - there is probably nothing wrong with it, and it will pass the test if installed in a mboard it is compatible with.
.........

If you want to try a memory diagnostic utility that takes a lot less time to run a full pass than memtest86 does, this one is pretty good - Microsoft's
Windows Memory Diagnostic:
http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag...
It can be toggled (press T) to do a standard or a more comprehensive set of tests - use the default 6 test one first - if it passes one pass of that, use the latter one. A few of the tests in the latter set are intentionally slower.
If you don't have a floppy drive, see the Quick Start Information at that Microsoft link for how to make a bootable CD of the Windows Memory Diagnostic (you need Windiag.iso - you don't necessarily need to use the program they mention to add it to the CD).



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#11
August 2, 2010 at 15:36:27
Is that a Compaq Mini CQ10-110EA? I haven't ripped apart a mini or a netbook yet.

Replacement MOBO was new, used, refurbished?

Try this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCd5...

Just another stupid saying...


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#12
August 2, 2010 at 21:10:36
no, laptop Compaq Cq50 110US

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