This article describes troubleshooting computers that are powering up correctly and passing the Dell BIOS screen at boot-up, but do not successfully boot to Microsoft Windows Vista
In many cases a computer will not attempt to hand off control to the operating system. If you power the computer on and you see a Dell logo screen with a bar at the bottom, and that bar fills up completely and disappears, then your computer has successfully completed POST.
Dell has information on some specific error messages at startup. Refer to the following links for more information:
If the error message is not listed above, try searching for additional solutions on the Web.
Click on your preferred search engine below, then describe your problem, including any specific error messages.
Search Dell Search Microsoft Search Google Search Bing
To run PSA Diagnostics, turn on the computer and tap the F12 key several times at the Dell logo screen. This will start the One-Time Boot Menu. Select Diagnostics to start the diagnostic assessment of the computer hardware.
This test takes approximately 5 minutes.
If you receive an error from the PSA diagnostics, refer to the Dell Hardware Diagnostics page for further assistance:
Click Here to Troubleshoot Diagnostic Errors
If your computer does not boot to Safe Mode, select from the following options to troubleshoot. Otherwise, proceed to Step 5.
I cannot boot the computer to Safe Mode
I cannot get to the Advanced Options Menu
If you are able to successfully boot to Safe Mode, check your computer to see if any new software or hardware was recently installed. If so, try uninstalling those programs or hardware from your computer.
A piece of hardware may be interfering with the normal boot process of Windows. Try unplugging all devices from your computer, including:
The only devices you should leave attached to your computer are your monitor, mouse and keyboard, if the computer is a desktop.
Startup Repair is a Windows Vista recovery tool that can fix certain problems, such as missing or damaged system files, that might prevent Windows from starting correctly. When you run Startup Repair, it scans your computer for the problem and then tries to fix it so your computer can start correctly.
To learn more about using Startup Repair to restore critical Windows files, click the link below:
How to Run Windows Startup Repair
A program or application may be interfering with the normal boot process of Windows. Microsoft has created a detailed process for isolating a startup program that is causing Windows to not boot correctly. Click the link below to being the troubleshooting process:
How to troubleshoot a problem by performing a clean boot in Windows Vista or in Windows 7
If clean boot troubleshooting cannot identify the issue, it may be necessary to restore your computer to factory settings. To restore your computer's operating system and software to the original factory settings, launch the link below:
Launch the Microsoft Windows Reinstallation Guide
Article ID: SLN128762
Last Date Modified: 10/20/2014 10:40 AM