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Dell Optiplex System does not boot to Windows.


Table of Contents:

  1. Dell OptiPlex System does not boot to Windows
  2. Resolution

This article provides information on Dell OptiPlex System does not boot to Windows.


1. Dell OptiPlex System does not boot to Windows

A user may report their OptiPlex system fails to boot to Windows. This issue may occur for a number of reasons, of which we will cover in this article.

First of all, the user should make sure they are not dealing with a No Post issue. This can be defined as follows:

  • No Post (Power On Self Test) - Once the Power button is pressed, the system will go through a series of internal checks. If any of these checks should fail, the system will not boot to Windows and the diagnostic LED's and or Power button LED should illuminate to indicate the potential problem. Please refer to the No Post Article to troubleshoot this issue.
  • No Boot - The system will complete the POST routine and the Diagnostic LED's will not illuminate. The Power button LED will show the system as powered on and working normally but it will not load Windows. You may see a flashing cursor on the display.

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2. Resolution

To find out what is causing the No Boot issue, please carry out the troubleshooting steps below:

  1. Make sure the Hard Drive is recognized in the BIOS.
  2. Run Hard Drive Diagnostics.
  3. Reseat the Hard Drive cables.
  4. Try the Hard Drive data cable in a different slot.
  5. Replace the data cable.
  6. Replace the Hard Drive.


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1. Make sure the Hard Drive is recognized in the BIOS

  • Restart the system.
  • When you see the Dell splash screen, Press F2 to load the BIOS.
  • The System Information screen of the BIOS will display which version is installed. Please refer to the Dell Support Site to check if this is the latest version.
  • If you need to install the latest version, please download the BIOS on another system and save it to a USB memory stick.
  • Once the BIOS has been updated on the failing system, access the BIOS again and make sure the Hard Drive is recognized. This can be seen in the System Information screen


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2. Run Hard Drive Diagnostics

Please refer to article SLN288966 on how to run the diagnostics and to check the meaning of the error code

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3. Reseat the Hard Drive cables

  • Power off the system and remove the power cable.
  • Open the system cover.
  • Remove the Power cable and the Data Cable from the Hard drive.
  • Remove the Hard Drive Data Cable from the Motherboard.
  • Re-attach the Data cable to the Motherboard.
  • Re-attach the Power cable & data cable to the hard drive.
  • Replace the system cover and re-attach the power cable to the system.
  • Power on the system.

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4. Try the Hard Drive data cable in a different slot

  • Power off the system and remove the power cable.
  • Open the system cover.
  • Remove the Hard drive data cable from the motherboard.
  • Insert the data cable in another SATA port on the Motherboard if available.
  • Replace the system cover and re-attach the power cable to the system.
  • Power on the system.

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5. Replace the data cable

  • Power off the system and remove the power cable.
  • Open the system cover.
  • Remove the Data cable from the hard drive and from the Motherboard.
  • Replace with a verified working data cable from another system.
  • Replace the system cover and re-attach the power cable to the system.
  • Power on the system.

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6. Replace the Hard Drive

  • Power off the system and remove the power cable.
  • Open the system cover
  • Remove the Power cable and the Data Cable from the Hard drive.
  • Remove the Hard Drive from the casing and replace with a verified working drive from another system.
  • Re-attach the Power cable & data cable to the hard drive.
  • Replace the system cover and re-attach the power cable to the system.
  • Power on the system.


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Quick Tips content is self-published by the Dell Support Professionals who resolve issues daily. In order to achieve a speedy publication, Quick Tips may represent only partial solutions or work-arounds that are still in development or pending further proof of successfully resolving an issue. As such Quick Tips have not been reviewed, validated or approved by Dell and should be used with appropriate caution. Dell shall not be liable for any loss, including but not limited to loss of data, loss of profit or loss of revenue, which customers may incur by following any procedure or advice set out in the Quick Tips.

Article ID: SLN143164

Last Date Modified: 03/24/2015 03:41 AM


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