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Old 14th November 2010   #1
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Question

Dell XPS 420 with Vista won't boot up


Hello Friends,

I have a Dell computer (XPS 420, standard setup) which runs Windows Vista. Yesterday I got home late from work and proceeded to use the computer (Internet). It was acting sluggish so I figured I'd do a restart. It shut down normally, but it would not restart. The fan turned on loudly (unusual) and just stayed on. Windows never booted up and I never got any of the usual images such as the Dell or Windows logos (in fact, there is nothing being sent to the monitor since the light in the power button stays yellow). If I leave it alone, it just stays that way, fan whirring away. The lights on the keyboard never light up either.

I had been gone for a couple of days before this happened. My kids had access to the computer but have limited accounts. My wife, who is a power user, says she may have left her log-in open. A downloaded virus is possible, I suppose, but I wasn't sure if hardware failure was a possibility as well. For the record I do have active anti-virus software and the kids' log-ins don't allow downloads, but if they were in my wife's log-in, they may have been able to do it. Still, it may be a hardware issue.

I am typing this on my daughter's computer, so I do have internet access. Any help at all will be appreciated. If you need more information to be able to help, just ask me. I'll put it up ASAP.

Thanks, Rich


Last edited by TexasRich; 14th November 2010 at 20:07.
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Old 15th November 2010   #2
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I expect it is a desktop, not a laptop computer.

You should try "clearing the CMOS", the instructions will be in the User Guide/manual. You can download the manual from the Dell website if you don't have it.

If that didn't work, I would try disconnecting the drives from the motherboard and see if it would start then (the Dell splash screens). It might possibly be a keyboard problem, so try another one if you can.

You could check if there are other fans inside the case and if they are spinning freely when you start up and that it is the CPU fan that is "over-revving".

Failing all those I might suspect a power supply or motherboard problem.

I will move this thread to Hardware, since it is a computer problem.

You will need to include more details about the system specs. You should be able to find them by looking up the Service Tag information at the Dell Support website.

Matt

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Old 21st November 2010   #3
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Silly question perhaps, but to clear the CMOS does the computer have to be restarted at any time other than at the very end of the procedure?

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Old 21st November 2010   #4
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No - see the section 'Clearing CMOS settings' in the manual

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Old 21st November 2010   #5
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My System
http://support.dell.com/support/edoc...0/en/index.htm

There seems to be two owners manuals listed, the second one down in the list from this link has a lot more information including a trouble shooting guide.

I had a very similar problem on a Dell laptop (just fan running and a blank screen) and found it was a memory module causing the problem which I suspect was fried by a power surge.

The specs don't reveal how many memory modules are in the PC, it might be worth removing one memory module at a time and seeing if it will then boot up.

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Old 21st November 2010   #6
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OK, I tried everything listed here, and nothing seems to be working. I'm thinking it could be the RAM, since my surge suppressor/backup DID act up the day that the computer stopped working. I tried to remove one module at a time but it didn't work - perhaps both are fried...

I'm going to price some RAM right now. If it's reasonable, I'll just order a pair and see what happens. If it turns out it's not the RAM, well, at least my machine is a smidge faster.

Any other thoughts??



Oh, and here are the system specs as it shipped in January of 2008:

Quote:
1 CR116 Base, Matrix Tank Desktop, Core Duo Kentsfield, Q6600, 420 Standard
1 01323 INFORMATION..., NO ITEM
1 CR457 Processor, Q6600, 2.4, 8MB, Core Duo Kentsfield, G0
1 RN625 Module, Accessory, BOX, XPS-420 English, DAO/BC
1 NH274 Module, Assembly, Cable, Serial ATA, Optical, Matrix, Smith, Mini Tower
1 RC795 Module, Cable, Floppy Drive, ATAPI, TANK
1 DU134 Module, Card, Graphics, G84 HMGA15
1 KU432 Module, Dual In-Line Memory Module, 2GB, 2X1GB, 667, Dimension
1 NW205 Module, DVD+/-RW..., 16, Serial ATA NEC Corporation, 2nd
1 DU609 Module, Digital Video Disk Drive, 16X, Serial ATA, Half Height, CHASSIS 2005..., HITACHI LG DATA STORAGE...
1 WY989 Module, Floppy Drive, 1.44MB Half Height, XPS420, Nec Corporation
1 XM670 Module, Hard Drive, 320G, S2, #1 Unleaded, WD-TOR
1 55956 Info, No Modem included
1 F6405 Module, Information, No Raid, Dimension
1 54981 Module, Information, NOSOUND, NOSPEAKER
1 WH971 Module, Keyboard, 104, United States, Nmb, Dimension, Black
1 RJ602 Module, Label, Intel, Desktop Digital Home Technology Platform
1 GM493 Module, Label, Microsoft, WindowsVista Os, Premium, Dimension
1 TT476 Module, Media, Digital Video Disk Drive, Resource Dvd XPS-420
1 CJ033 Module, Mouse, Universal Serial Bus, 2BTN, Entry, Black, Dimension
1 TK051 Module, Software, Adobe, Acrobat Reader, 8.1, English
1 TN868 Module, Software, Adobe, bundle English, XPS420
1 JP927 Module, Software, DELL-WELCOME Transactional Line Of Business
1 FY226 Module, Software, Dell Media Manager, SDSHW, World Wide
1 MM281 Module, Software, DSPRT-CTR, 1.0
1 NX186 Module, Software, DSPRT3.4 Gteck0, Dimension, Inspiron
1 FK244 Module, Software, DT-ICLNR Dell Americas Organization
1 WK528 Module, Software, GOOGLE, Search Consumer
1 CM196 Module, Software, Mcafee, 9, 15MTHEnglish, Across Line Of Busines
1 YY676 Module, Software, OFCSBE-2K7 English
1 XM544 Module, Software, PC-RESTORE Transactional Line Of Business
1 FY083 Module, Software, Roxio, Premium 9.1
1 DT012 Module, Software, VHP32 Dimension, English, DELL AMERICAS ORGANIZATION..., No Docs/diskettes
1 WR336 Module, Software, VHP32, Digital Video Disk Drive, English, Dell Americas Organization
1 GP717 Module, Software, Digital Home Technology Platform, 1.7.1
1 UN078 Module, Software, Windows Vista Os, Hypertext Markup Language GUIDE, World Wide
1 GX561 Ship Group, Matrix Tank Desktop, 420, USNorth, English DAO
1 DN004 Assembly, Heatsink, PRFMC Shroud, MATRIX TANK DESKTOP...
1 HR749 ASSEMBLY..., CHASSIS..., PWA INTEGRATED..., 375W, EXTREME PERFORMANCE SYSTEM..., 420


Last edited by TexasRich; 22nd November 2010 at 06:07.
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Old 22nd November 2010   #7
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Originally Posted by markmadras View Post
http://support.dell.com/support/edoc...0/en/index.htm

There seems to be two owners manuals listed, the second one down in the list from this link has a lot more information including a trouble shooting guide.
Yes Mark, Dell seem to have a manual for each piece of hardware (and two on Sundays )

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Old 22nd November 2010   #8
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Originally Posted by TexasRich View Post
since my surge suppressor/backup DID act up the day that the computer stopped working.
Power problem? You can borrow a PSU from another computer to use for testing, the specifications (Wattage) need to be higher than the original power supply.

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Old 15th January 2011   #9
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OK, I finally came up with the cash to buy some new RAM.... unfortunately, it didn't work...

I'm not sure I can get my hands on a power supply to try it out. It might be time to get it into the shop...

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Old 15th January 2011   #10
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Have you observed the diagnostic lights on your PC. This link takes you to the Dell troubleshooter for your PC, scroll down the page to the diagnostics lights section, this might give a hint as to what the problem is.

http://support.dell.com/support/edoc....htm#wp1076652

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