mjfoxtrot
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Dell XPS 2710 All-In-One Won't Boot, Screen Completely Blank

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Hi. This is my first post on the forums and I hope someone can help me.

The Dell XPS 2710 All-In-One that I bought for my 10-year-old son 15 months ago (yes, that means the warranty is expired) will not boot. No post, no beep, nothing. Just a brief flicker of light on the screen, no words, nothing. The machine gets casual use and there is nothing to indicate what could have caused the problem. I did not upgrade the BIOS recently, so it's not like it was a bad BIOS upgrade or anything. I've tried hitting the F1, the F2, the F12, and the DEL keys during boot. No result.

The video is working. I know this because I can connect my laptop to the HDMI-in port and I can see the desktop of my laptop just fine. So the issue is NOT the video. My son uses this machine for homework and occasional movies in his room. I would like to fix the computer if I can. I am handy with computers and built several machines from the ground-up in the past.

I believe the most likely scenario is that the motherboard has gone bad; there are numerous posts around the internet about the 2710 AIO motherboards being unreliable. I saw a posting on the Dell forums from a guy who said Dell Tech Support replaced his 2710 motherboard five times. I see some of these motherboards selling on eBay for around $200. I'm toying with the idea of getting one. I've looked at the service manual for the 2710 and I'm fairly confident I could replace the board.

Has anyone had experience with swapping out their motherboard on a 2710 AIO? Or does anyone have any ideas about what else the problem with my son's computer could be? I appreciate any advice/help that someone could offer.

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RE: Dell XPS 2710 All-In-One Won't Boot, Screen Completely Blank

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Hi mjfoxtrot,

The normal diagnostic procedure in a case like this is to disconnect the hard drive and remove the RAM, then try to boot the system. With the RAM removed, you should get a POST failure of two beeps.

mjfoxtrot
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RE: Dell XPS 2710 All-In-One Won't Boot, Screen Completely Blank

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Thanks, Osprey. I am going to try this tonight and I will let you know the result. Your advice is very much appreciated.
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mjfoxtrot
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RE: Dell XPS 2710 All-In-One Won't Boot, Screen Completely Blank

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Ok, I removed all RAM from the motherboard (there were two sticks) and disconnected the SATA hard drive connector. Then I turned on the machine and got two very loud beeps, but still no video on the screen showing any kind of POST activity. The beeps were the first sounds I have ever heard during the boot-up procedure on this machine. I put the RAM back in and re-connected the SATA cable. Back to the way it was, no video, no post, no beeps. I'm somewhat at a loss for what I have determined . . . does this mean that the motherboard is technically functional and that some other device on the machine is causing the problem? Am I right in assuming that if I didn't hear the two beeps, then I would have certainty that the motherboard was bad? Since it does beep, the solution becomes murkier, I suppose. I can't help but feel that somehow the BIOS on the machine has become corrupted. Not sure at all how that could have happened, though, since I have not upgraded the BIOS in over a year. I can't remember what BIOS version I have, but it had been working fine for the past year with no issues. Thanks for any other help/suggestions you can provide.
mjfoxtrot
1 Nickel

RE: Dell XPS 2710 All-In-One Won't Boot, Screen Completely Blank

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Ok, I removed all RAM from the motherboard (there were two sticks) and disconnected the SATA hard drive connector. Then I turned on the machine and got two very loud beeps, but still no video on the screen showing any kind of POST activity. The beeps were the first sounds I have ever heard during the boot-up procedure on this machine. I put the RAM back in and re-connected the SATA cable. Back to the way it was, no video, no post, no beeps. I'm somewhat at a loss for what I have determined . . . does this mean that the motherboard is technically functional and that some other device on the machine is causing the problem? Am I right in assuming that if I didn't hear the two beeps, then I would have certainty that the motherboard was bad? Since it does beep, the solution becomes murkier, I suppose. I can't help but feel that somehow the BIOS on the machine has become corrupted. Not sure at all how that could have happened, though, since I have not upgraded the BIOS in over a year. I can't remember what BIOS version I have, but it had been working fine for the past year with no issues. Thanks for any other help/suggestions you can provide.
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7 Plutonium

RE: Dell XPS 2710 All-In-One Won't Boot, Screen Completely Blank

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The two beeps are a good sign. I would connect an external display and check if you see anything during boot.

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mjfoxtrot
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RE: Dell XPS 2710 All-In-One Won't Boot, Screen Completely Blank

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The only option I have for connecting an external display is via HDMI-out. I connected a working HDMI cable to the HDMI-out on the Dell 2710 to the HDMI-in on a 21-inch external monitor. I turned the monitor on, then turned on the Dell 2710. No dice, no video. I double-checked the HDMI cable and the HDMI-in port on the monitor. Both are working perfectly.

Even when the Dell 2710 AIO is working perfectly, I don't really believe there is any way to see a BIOS screen on an external monitor via the HDMI-out on the 2710. I think the HDMI video out only works if you are in Windows.

Last night I opened up the 2710 and took an extensive look around. Everything looks fine. All three fans spin. As I mentioned before, the HDMI-in works via my laptop, so the video ports on the back of the machine seem to be working fine. I get the two beeps when I take the RAM out and disconnect the hard drive, so it seems to at least be trying to POST.

Also, as per the manual's instructions, I cleared the CMOS settings by moving the CMOS reset jumper pins on the motherboard, then moving them back after about 20 seconds. This had no effect. I also removed the lithium battery for about 20 minutes, then re-inserted it (correctly.) Again, no effect.

As long as I was inside the machine, I took out the hard drive so I could get all my son's school work files off the machine. I was able to recover everything and the Seagate drive seems to be in good condition. While I was in there, I saw the Dell setup file for BIOS A10, dated January 2013, that I installed at that time.

There's got to be an explanation as to why it won't boot up. I've been working with building/fixing computers for 20 years and I'm rather hell-bent on figuring this particular problem out. Thanks again for any help.

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mjfoxtrot
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RE: Dell XPS 2710 All-In-One Won't Boot, Screen Completely Blank

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After poring over the service manual, testing the components inside the machine, and reading everything I can about the 2710, I've come to the conclusion that the problem is either because of a corrupted BIOS or some failing of the on-board video. Since both problems are motherboard-related, I am moving ahead with my original plan of replacing the motherboard.

The motherboard on this machine is a Dell system model 2XMCT. Dell sells the replacement board for $315. Kind of ironic, that is almost exactly the price that they quoted me a few months back when they tried to sell me an extended warranty on the 2710. I declined the extended warranty because I felt the price was just too steep. I still think that was the right decision, as who would think that a motherboard would go bad after only 15 months.

I looked around and found a refurbished board for about $100 less. It's being shipped out tomorrow and I should have it by the end of the week. Replacing the motherboard on the 2710 looks like a fairly elaborate effort, but it is definitely do-able. I'll post back on the results, just in case there is anybody else out there who ever decides to replace this particular board.

am99953
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RE: Dell XPS 2710 All-In-One Won't Boot, Screen Completely Blank

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After poring over the service manual, testing the components inside the machine, and reading everything I can about the 2710, I've come to the conclusion that the problem is either because of a corrupted BIOS or some failing of the on-board video. Since both problems are motherboard-related, I am moving ahead with my original plan of replacing the motherboard.

The motherboard on this machine is a Dell system model 2XMCT. Dell sells the replacement board for $315. Kind of ironic, that is almost exactly the price that they quoted me a few months back when they tried to sell me an extended warranty on the 2710. I declined the extended warranty because I felt the price was just too steep. I still think that was the right decision, as who would think that a motherboard would go bad after only 15 months.

I looked around and found a refurbished board for about $100 less. It's being shipped out tomorrow and I should have it by the end of the week. Replacing the motherboard on the 2710 looks like a fairly elaborate effort, but it is definitely do-able. I'll post back on the results, just in case there is anybody else out there who ever decides to replace this particular board.

hi mjfoxtrot

I have like your problem but I can not find motherboard model 2XMCT , pleas can you give me any link or web about this model ( 2XMCT ) , I want buy now I can not find any where

sorry about my English

thank you

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mjfoxtrot
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RE: Dell XPS 2710 All-In-One Won't Boot, Screen Completely Blank

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Hi AM99953,

There are many of us with bad 2XMCT motherboards. Dell, in typical fashion, does not appear to be doing anything to help people with a problem that is Dell's fault. Do a quick Google search of the Dell 2710 and you'll find dozens, if not hundreds, of complaints about these black 2710 monsters dying after a few weeks or even days.

Here is a link to where you can buy a replacement 2XMCT motherboard: 

http://www.impactcomputers.com/dellparts-parts-for-dell-xps-parts-for-dell-xps-one-2710-internal-par...

 . . . and Dell will also sell you a replacement board, but you can't find it directly on their web site. You have to ask an agent a their parts and accessories chat site: http://www.dell.com/content/topics/segtopic.aspx/sales_chat_index_masthead?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs

As of this writing, Dell charges $515 for the motherboard, which is highly overpriced.