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invex
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Computer won't boot up

My computer configured as follows:

Dell XPS 700

Intel Core2Duo E6700 2.66gHZ 1066 FSB processor

4GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM @ 667mHZ

EVGA Killer NIC Xeno Pro network card

1GB nVidia GeForce 7950 GX2 Dual GPU Graphics Card

Windows 7 Home Premium

I was sitting at the computer about to go into Second Life and right after clicking on the icon, the monitor went into "power save mode" and never came out of it. 

The computer sounded as if it was trying to start, then rebooted itself and never posted to the BIOS screen.  I apologize for not knowing the BIOS version, I think it's 1.14.1 but I'm not sure.  At any rate, the computer just goes into a loop of trying to boot, then it reboots, but it never even reaches the BIOS screen.

My guess is motherboard, processor, or both.  This forum has always been an excellent source for information and knowledge in the past and I'm hoping you guys can help me out one more time. 

Thank you in advance,

Invex

 

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11 Replies
RoHe
6 Indium

Re: Computer won't boot up

What color are the 4 diagnostic LEDs on front of the tower when it won't boot? They should blink on/off and then all go off. If some are still on, look up the error code here. 

<ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>

What color is the power button on the tower? If not green and/or if it's blinking look up that error code here. 

<ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>

If you're using a power strip or surge protector, you might want to remove those and connect PC directly to the wall.

You may also want to clear BIOS (reset to factory defaults):

Power off and unplug

Press/hold power button on the tower for ~15 sec

Open the case and remove the motherboard battery

 <ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>

Press/hold power button again for ~30 sec

Reinstall the battery (right-side-up!) and see if it will boot now with only mouse, monitor and keyboard attached.

Ron

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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invex
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Re: Computer won't boot up

Ron

Thanks for your help.

The diagnostic lights are inconsistent at best. Sometimes I get no LED's lit sometimes I get the 1-2-3 lights lit. The only consistent thing is that there is never a "post beep" on startup.  I performed your "clear BIOS" procedure with a new battery I ran to Wal-Mart to get and still get no "post beep".  ( I may have missed the step to press/hold when the battery was out ).  The LED's, when they do light are green as is the start button.

Given that the PC was performing normally when the problem happened, and coninued to sound as if it was performing normall after the monitor went into "power save" mode, I'm guessing that the video cards are the culprit.  The PC was performing normally, then the monitor entered "power save" mode and the PC still acted normally until I rebooted.  Upon reboot, it went into the looping process and never doing a "post beep" from then forward.  I've ordered a new video card, won't be here until Tuesday.  I'll install it Wednesday and if that doesn't fix it I guess I'll have to call Dell.

Thanks again,

Invex

 

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RoHe
6 Indium

Re: Computer won't boot up

Hope the new video card solves the problem!

Ron

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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invex
1 Nickel

Re: Computer won't boot up

Thanks Ron.

While researching the issue on my laptop I found an excellent article that goes through just about every scenario if your computer won't post. I'll put the link here for anyone else having this problem.

http://pcsupport.about.com/od/findbysymptom/ht/wontstart.htm

I went ahead and ordered a new power supply also and will swap that out first. The computer is over 3 years old so if it's not bad, it probably will be soon enough. I always thought that if the power supply went bad it happened all at once.  This article says otherwise, and well, I'm sure the author is a lot smarter about such things than  I am.

One more question. My graphics cards are nVidia 7950 GX2 Dual GPU Graphics cards running in SLI.  Now, I don't know why I haven't tested this, and I'm at work now so I can't, but there is a DVI plug in port for the DVI cable for each graphics card. I've always only used the one on the right.  Is it possible that only one of the graphics cards went bad and the other one will work if I plug the cable into the other DVI plug in port?  I'm going to try this in the morning, but I don't know enough about SLI to know what happens if just one of the cards goes bad.  I'm hoping that if it is the graphics card that the BIOS is smart enough to figure out that it found a good card if I plug into the other DVI plug in port.  We'll see I guess. 

At any rate, thank you again for your help.  I'll keep you updated.

Invex

 

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invex
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Re: Computer won't boot up

I switched the DVI cable to the other DVI plug in port on the back of the graphics card and the PC started.  At the BIOS screen it looked kinda horrible with "The Matrix" kind of lines, only horzontially.  I did a recommeded windows start up diagnostic and it found some sort of "bugreport" and said it repaired it and to restart windows.  Every time I restart Windows though, it gets to the welcome screen then crashes to the BSOD.  I'm about 99% sure that the new vid card that will be here tomorrow and I'll install on Wednesday may fix the problem.  I think the video card that I usually have the cable plugged into in my dual video card setup has failed since I can at least get to BIOS and "almost" to Windows plugged into the other one.  I can get to Safe Mode and am running a couple of tests here but need to get to bed soon.  I suppose I could pull the video cards out and seperate them from the SLI bridge and just run with one, but I'm not sure that will work and I have no idea how to do that.  Probably best to stick to my limited scope of expertise. 

I'll update again on Wednesday.  I feel a lot better about things now that I can actually see something that resembles progress.  I still think I'll put in the new power supply anyhow.  It's a Corsair 80+ and is probably better than the 3 year old factory one that was provided with the system.  (( No offense Dell dewds, it's just 3 years newer   ))

Thanks

Invex

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RoHe
6 Indium

Re: Computer won't boot up

If you can get to the desktop in Safe Mode, that sounds more like a software (driver) issue than a hardware issue, at least to me...

Generic drivers are loaded in Safe Mode so if the hardware works with those, you may a corrupted nvidia video driver. Go to nvidia.com and download the latest SLI driver for your video cards. You can download it on any PC and transfer the file to the desktop of this PC via USB memory stick, CD, etc.

Reboot in Safe Mode and go to Device Manager. Find the entry for your video cards, right-click and Uninstall.  Then reboot normally. Windows should 'see' the new hardware and ask for the drivers. Point it at the file you put on your desktop. When it's done, reboot normally again...and keep fingers x'd

Ron

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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invex
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Re: Computer won't boot up

Thanks Ron

The problem is when the cable is plugged into the right-side port the computer doesn't even post to BIOS. When it's plugged into the left-side post it crashes to BSOD when it gets to the Windows start screen.  Although I can get to Safe Mode I don't think I can load a new driver from Safe Mode because it won't let me launch the windows installer in Safe Mode.  I guess I could get the drivers, uninstall the cards and reboot and see if it gets far enough to see them.  But so far, with the cable plugged into the other port, it gets to the Windows welcome screen then goes into power save mode, then crashed to BSOD.  But, it's worth a shot. I have nothing to lose at this point.

Invex

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invex
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Re: Computer won't boot up

**UPDATE**

I took your suggestion Ron and deleted the old drivers and uninstalled the video cards and rebooted.  The PC took about 10 times longer to do everything, approximately 35 minutes for it to load the clock I have in the sidebar. Clicking on anything just killed whatever momentum it had.  It took at least 45-50 minutes for it to find the video cards and load the drivers. After it loaded the drivers it didn't get any better.  I shut the computer off and on a whim decided to try the other DVI port that was failing. Rebooted the PC and again it failed to post, thus, at least in my mind anyway, confirming that one of the two video cards in my GeForce 7950 GX2 set up had died.  I shut down the PC and waited for the new video card to arrive from Amazon...( I work 12 hour shifts at night and the only thing open when I get off that even might have video cards is Wal-Mart )  I installed the new video card about an hour ago, rebooted and the PC is actually performing quite well.  I got the EVGA GeForce 9500GT, which Amazon advertised as SLI enabled, but that is not mentioned anywhere on the box or documentation that I have found so far. Other than that, the card appears to be performing admirably.

The good news is that the PC is still under warranty and I'm going to try and see what Dell can do for me on this.  I've heard both good and bad about the warranty service so I don't know what to expect.  I would hope that for what I paid for the warranty that a new dual card/SLI type setup is possible, but we'll see.

Thank you Ron for all your help and suggestions. 

Gratefully yours,

Invex

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RoHe
6 Indium

Re: Computer won't boot up

Glad to hear a new video card fixed the problem.

SInce you're still under warranty Dell should replace the video card(s) for free. SInce you've already installed a new one, you can ask them to send you the replacements and a return authorization for the bum one(s).  Don't expect to get cash from Dell to pay for the new card, but you can always try to sell the replacements they send you.

Easiest to contact Dell Tech Support by email or chat. Phone support is ____ (fill in the blank!).

Glad to have assisted.

Ron

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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