For the past several months, my 5 year old Inspiron 530 has had the following issue:
From a cold start, it will power up for a few seconds (loud fan noise), then power off, then power on for a few seconds, then power off, then power on and proceed as normal. So from a cold start it will start up a total of 3 times.
When the computer is restarted, it will power down, power up for a few seconds, power down again, power up and then proceed normally. So from a restart, it will start up a total of 2 times.
I have tried the following fixes and so far none of them have resolved the issue (these may not be in the correct sequence):
I contacted Dell Support. They told me it was a "software issue" and they proceeded to try several different things over a remote connection. After about 5 hours of trying to resolve the issue without a solution, I was told it was not a software issue but a hardware issue and referred me to the hardware tech support group. The technician from that group told me that it was a software issue and that I needed to reinstall the operating software. Since I also read on the internet that this could be a power supply issue, I had them refer me to Dell sales who could sell me a replacement power supply.
I bought the power supply and installed it, but that had no effect.
I bought a new video card and installed it, but it had no effect on the restart issue and actually caused additional problems. I removed the new video card and reinstalled the old video card.
I contacted Norton about doing a remote virus removal. I had two different technicians from Norton work remotely to fix the startup issue, but they were unsuccessful.
As a last resort, I decided to go ahead and reinstall the operating software which is Windows Vista Home Premium 32 bit. I actually reinstalled the operating software twice, because I didn't reformat the C: drive when I did the first reinstallation. I did do the reformat of C: drive on the 2nd reinstallation. While my Inspiron 530 now boots up much faster and also runs much faster, it will still take 3 starts to get going.
So if anyone out there has any insight on this issue, whether it is a fix or whether I should just let it be and not be concerned about it, please respond to let me know your suggestions. If additional detail is needed, please let me know.
Solved! Go to Solution.
3 start problem solved! Change your video card. Got rid of my stock 8300GS and replaced it with GeForce 8500GTfrom amazons Echoshop for around $40.00 and took care of the 3 start problem! Goodluck what an awesome card. I would have never figured it was the card causing the problem? Pretty good the techs could not fiigure that one out.SURPRIZE LOL
You've got a lot more patience than I have. emoticon.Indifferent.title
This is fairly easy to diagnose. Not sure why none of the Dell techies suggested this. What you need to do is disconnect your hard drive and boot to a bootable CD, such as your Dell drivers and utilities disc. If the system continues to boot three times, it's definitely hardware. I'm 95% sure it will and that you have a hardware problem.
So if that's the case, the first thing I would do is boot to the BIOS and write down the drive and boot settings or take pictures of your BIOS screens. Then follow the procedure to reset the CMOS in your manual. You must locate the 3-pin CMOS jumper (CLEAR CMOS) on the system board, move the jumper from pins 2 and 3 over to pins 1 and 2 for five seconds, then replace it. Then boot to the BIOS and restore your drive and boot settings.
Hi osprey4 -
Thank you for responding to my post and for your suggestion. I appreciate the time you put into helping to diagnose the startup issue with my computer. I followed the instructions that you gave me for resetting the CMOS and, unfortunately, this did not solve the issue with the multiple attempts needed for starting or restarting.
If you should have any further suggestions, or, if anyone else out there has any ideas on how to solve this issue, please let me know.
Forum Member since 2004
I am not a Dell employee
It would be worth trying one more thing. Unplug the computer, hold the power button for a few seconds, then plug it back in and see if it will boot properly.
Hi RoHe -
Thanks for replying to my forum issue. I've tried some of the items that you have suggested, but, unfortunately, none of theses have resolved the issue. Here's what I tried:
I tried plugging the CPU directly into the wall, instead of into my power strip/surge protector.
I swapped power cables between the CPU and monitor.
Other than plugging the CPU directly into the wall socket using the upper plug-in instead of the lower one that the surge protector is plugged into, I didn't plug the CPU into a different wall socket. The nearest wall socket would require an extension cord to reach and moving my entire system or running an extension cord to this outlet is not really a good option for me.
I disconnected my printer/scanner, speakers, and also the ethernet line for my internet connection.
I have not explored replacing the motherboard battery, but I hope to look into that soon.
Thanks for your helpful tips - let me know if you think of anything else.
Thanks again osprey4 for your suggestion. I unplugged the computer, then held the power button. The system acted as though it was going to start up, but it quickly died off. I plugged the computer back in and started it up, but still had the same issue with it taking three starts. Let me know if you can think of anything else - meanwhile, I'll explore RoHe's suggestion of a motherboard battery.
Have the same PC Inspiron 530 5yrs old . Just started the 3 start before the PC boots up almost as if the hard drive is not firing up after the first 2 trys? I ran a diagnostics from Dell, and it said my Hdd targeted Read Test Module failed to start. I don't know if that means anything but I just replaced that 4months ago I would hope it didn't take a dump , but I replaced a seagate 250gb with a western digital 1tb black. I'll be replacing my video card as soon as it come as the dvi side is out and using vga. If I have one more thing go bad in this it will see the roadside!
Thanks for responding froggyjo. It sounds like your Inspiron 530 had the same issue with the 3 starts that mine did. Did replacing the hard drive solve the issue? Would you have to know where I can locate the Dell diagnostics so that I could try that out on my computer?