I have the Dell Inspiron 530, about a week ago I had a blue screen pop up on my computer and it says "A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer". It wont let me repair it nor will it let me go in under safe mode...it also will not let me reinstall windows vista. I called Dell Tech support....I was on the phone with him for 2 hours and he had me to take my memory out and then put it back in....it still didn't work so he tells me it's either the memory or the motherboard......I ordered new memory and put it in and it is still telling me the same thing! I'm still getting the blue screen! I was also told today that it could be my hard drive!
I was just wondering if anybody has had this problem with their Dell, I hate to buy a new motherboard or a new hard drive and that not be what's wrong with it!
So, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks
The BSOD or Blue Screen of Death means that there is something seriously wrong with Windows. Safe mode is Windows without a lot of extra things like drivers, so if you can't boot in to Safe Mode then this proves that the problem is with Windows itself. Now the problem with Windows may be due to faulty hardware such as memory, hard drive or motherboard or it may simply be Windows itself is corrupted. To resolve this problem you have to go through a process of elimination. ie replace the memory and see if it work, repair or replace the hard drive and so on. You are in control of which items you eliminate as possibilities. I suggest that you take the following steps in increasing levels of complexity/cost:
Mel, after about 2 weeks of fighting my way through all the steps on how to trouble shoot the very same problem, I tried to reload WIN XP from the Dell CD that shipped with my barely 2 year old system, which is now a very large paper weight. I diligently followed every step, and after I threw in the towel, I hired a local PC technician referred to me by a friend who has now been stumped by this mystery for the past 4 days. He has ruled out the RAM boards and HDD, and is now blaming the motherboard, CPU or both. Prior to reaching out for help, I had tried reloading my AV package, which was the first program to start misbehaving other than an occassional Internet Explorer siezure -- it would not update the virus definitions. Blue screen appeared with more frequency after that. Tried restoring to all earlier configs saved -- back to six months prior -- without success. Tried reloading WIN XP, without success, even after successfully reformatting the drive, and having it pass the diags error check. I am now mourning the loss of what I thought was a great buy in late 2007. Thankfully the only stuff of value on the computer was family photos that we had finished saving to CDs a few months ago. If you find a solution that is less than the cost of a motherbaord AND CPU, plus labor, I want to know about it!
Best of luck.
Hi mel_35 and j-rock65.
I just read your postings and have a couple comments. Normally, PC repair people start with the memory and hard drives because these things are easy to swap out. Usually, you know that a hard drive is having problems because it make weird sounds or Windows won't boot at all. Memory problem are a little rarer but do happen. I haven't see too many motherboards go bad and ditto for processors. The things with the highest failure rate are power supplies and bad power supplies can cause lots of weird problems.
Anyway, here are a couple questions/suggestions:
1. When the PC boots, can you get into the BIOS? On a 530, you do this by pressing F12 at the boot screen. If you can get into the BIOS, you know that the motherboard, processor and RAM are at least partially working.
2. If you can get into the BIOS, does the info on the System info screen look correct for your system. Specifically, are the processor and memory info correct?
3. If the BIOS looks ok, you might consider trying to run some "live CD" version of Linux. If you can get it to work for several hours, it would give you some confidence in that your motherboard, processor and RAM are working.
4. An alternative would be to strip the machine to the absolute minimum, get the PC to boot and then build it up until you find the bad component. Check out the thread for some more details - OS intact, but XPS 410 boots to blank screen..HELP!
Hope this helps.
After posting the previous note, I had one other idea. Instead of trying a live version of Linux, you could also try the Ultimate Boot CD. You can download a free ISO image and it has over 100 PC hardware diagnosis tools into one bootable CD to analyze and repair hard drives and boot problems.
Once you have it downloaded, you can run some of the diagnosistic tools for the various components in your system to see if you isolate the problem.