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Boot problem - Optiplex 755 stuck btwn Dell splash & Win XP splash

New boot problem - on Restart (or Power Off, wait, turn on), my Dell Optiplex 755 hangs after the Dell splash and before the WinXP splash.  The screen is black with the horizontal white cursor blinking in the upper left corner ... forever. 

If I hit Ctrl+Alt+Del, it continues booting, and everything's fine. 

Have run every Av and anti-malware scan, looked at Ntbtlog, etc., but no clues so far.  What should I look for or do?

Optiplex 755, WinXPProSP3 with all updates, 2GB of RAM of which at least half is always available.

Avast Home Free AV, AdAware, and free (manual) versions of SpywareBlaster, Spybot S&D, Malwarebytes.  Recently added Windows Security Essentials, but I don't think it starts so soon in the sequence.  In any case, all was working fine.

Only two thoughts:  1)  This started after I brought a used PC home from the office (Optiplex GX 280), added it to our home network (Workgroup through a DSL modem-router) and installed WinXPPro SP3 on it.  But I have the problem whether or not this new used computer is on.    2) At about the same time, I connected to one of the rear USB's on the Optiplex 755 a new Western Digital external drive (1 Terabyte) which now appears as G:\ in "My Computer" on the Optiplex 755. 

But I don't see how these could affect the Optiplex 755 boot-up sequence.  And obviously I don't want to disconnect the Western Digital external drive.

Any ideas or test procedures?  Thanks.

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4 Replies
8 Krypton

Re: Boot problem - Optiplex 755 stuck btwn Dell splash & Win XP splash

 PC may now be seeing either the network or the USB drive as part of the boot sequence.    From the manual (linked further below), the most obvious settings I can see are:

- Boot Sequence:  Make sure either Hard Drive or CD ROM is set first - not USB or Network/NIC.

- Onboard Devices - check the USB Controller for a "no boot" option

- Power Management - Remote Wakeup settings.   If it's set to "On with Boot to NIC"  try turning it off.

More info on BIOS settings below (Dell calls it "System Setup"):



'Tis a poor carpenter that blames his tools.

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1 Copper

Re: Boot problem - Optiplex 755 stuck btwn Dell splash & Win XP splash

Hi Alexandra,

I have the same issue like Glnz. When I start my Optiplex 755, it stuck in before the Windows 7 start up screen appears with a horizontal white cursor in the upper left corner in DOS mode forever. If I press power button then it restarts with short duration of that cursor blinking only few seconds then Windows start normally.

I followed your steps but didn't work and I don't have any external HDD or booting device connected. Just USB mouse, keyboard & printer connected.

I spoke with Dell technical support and they don't have any clue. I was told if they find any solution then I will be notified by email.

I already updated the BIOS to latest version A20.

Anyone have any idea how to fix this issue?



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8 Krypton

Re: Boot problem - Optiplex 755 stuck btwn Dell splash & Win XP splash

Hard drive may be dying and its crashing before it finishes loading OR one of the attached devices, keyboard, mouse, printer has an issue.  Disconnect everything from the machine except monitor and turn on.  Does it boot then?

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RE: Boot problem - Optiplex 755 stuck btwn Dell splash & Win XP splash

Sounds like a USB connected external drive is going bad.  Disconnect all of them. Reboot. 

Reconnect them one at a time between reboots to isonlate which  might be having the problem.

Keep in mind that the cause of the failure could be intermittant, so you'll want to only have one at a time

connected for testing purposes, else you might think you've found the problem drive when in fact its

one of the currently connected subset.

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