Hi RoHe -
Per your recommendation, I switched the first boot device to hard drive and the 2nd boot device to CDROM.
I also disabled "Boot Other Devices" to test if this had any effect on the 3-peat start issue, but it didn't. I have since re-enabled this setting.
I have yet to replace the motherboard battery, which is the only suggestion that I haven't followed up on yet. It's just a matter of me getting enough inertia to open up the CPU, find the battery and drive to Radio Shack (or elsewhere) to get a replacement for it. My computer is off most of the day, so I could see a drained motherboard battery as a possible issue. I hope to take care of it soon.
Hi again RoHe -
As a followup to the battery issue, I decided to go ahead and get the motherboard battery taken care of today - after all it is Mother's Day. I did go to Radio Shack and they said the old battery was on the verge of going dead. I replaced the battery and the power button on front of the CPU was glowing orange after I got everything put back together. It only took one start to power up the CPU. I went in and reconfigured all of my settings in the BIOS and saved everything, at which point the computer restarted and took two tries once again. As a test, I also tried starting it from a cold start and it took its usual three attempts to get going. At any rate, it was probably worthwhile to replace the battery anyway, since it was going dead.
Thanks for your help - let me know if you have any more suggestions.
Sorry...you've stumped me.
I could loan you a real big sledge hammer... emoticon.TongueTied.title
Forum Member since 2004
I am not a Dell employee
Thanks, RoHe & osprey4 for all of your suggestions as well as everyone else who has responded to this post. The suggestions were definitely worth trying even if they didn't fix the 3 start issue. I also learned a few things along the way.
Fortunately for me, the 3 start issue doesn't cause any other problems (that I know about anyway), and the computer is still quite usable. The sledge hammer has been a tempting thought, but then I'd have to shell out hundreds of $ for a new computer which I really don't want to do at this point.
Meanwhile, if anyone else has any ideas for me, I'd be happy to hear them.
Try to update the BIOS with the latest version / try to update with the previous version of BIOS. Might be an issue with stuck power button (But 3 starts - weird). Remove all ext peripherals, Connect Monitor to Onboard graphics port, Remove Hard drive cables, DVD cables, Video card, Cards, except Motherboard, processor and RAM. Connect Keyboard and mouse. Turn on the PC. See if this turns on the PC the first time. If its still doing the same thing 3 starts - Probably cause motherboard. Reseat the RAM just to make sure. If you had upgraded the RAM - bring the system to factory setting - remove the additionally upgraded RAM.
Just to rule out the power button you have a cable coming from the front power button assembly to the motherboard. Remove that and short the two pins on the mother board using a screw drive to emulate the power button press. - This can rule out possible issue with the power button.
Can also remove the front panel with the three white tabs - remove the front panel. Use the black button to turn on the PC.
Hope this helps. 🙂
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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
The card I put in was GeForce XFX PVT86JYAHG GeForce 8500GT 450MHz 512 MB GDDR2 SVideo/DVI/VGA PCI Express x16 Vista Ready from Amazons site by EchoShop about $40.00. I thought it was cheap!
Thanks for remembering to post your solution on this forum! The 8300GS is the exact same video card that my Dell has. I did try replacing the video card once before, with no success (in fact, it made my computer situation worse because it actually had problems displaying online video properly). Since that new 8500GT card worked for your Dell, I decided to give it a go and placed an order for it. I'll let you know how it comes out.