My Dell has 3.2gb processor, 2gb ram 2 ide drives 80 & 160gb. I also have a usb ext drive with 500gb. The machine runs XP Pro sp 3 and is powered by APC UPS. MS updates are set to notify me & I generally have them update once a week so the ms servuce pack is fairly current. I have my original mouse but have logitech wireless mouse I use for most of my activity. Recently I have been having trouble with the computer when booting. Sometimes it boots fine in s matter of minutes, other times it locks up anywhere from the time it has the windows banner to the time the first startup program runs. If I can get it past that point it generally works until I have to reboot again. I found things seemed to work it appears that sometimes the system switches between mice. This seems weird but it appears I have to keep the mouse moving when it works or it times out on me. I was having trouble with my old mouse, and I replaced it with a MS trackball we have never had trouble with. Sometimes it appears that it switches between the mice, so I removed the wireless mouse until the computer is up and running. I also had trouble wih some of the USB devices attached. A USB port on the back has given me trouble and I had a USB bus fry out. Yesterday I added a -sata card with 4 usb ports & put in a sata 1 drive from another computer into my Dell computer, and I was able to copy the data from the Sata drive to Ext USB drive.
When I took the drive out, I bumped the memory card loose and had beep errors, Since fixing those I have had nothing but trouble with things locking up.during boot. Is there something I can do to track this problem down? The status lights on the back after the post turn green.
Thank you in advance for any help anyone can offer. I am knowledgable of PCs from experience but but not educated in hardware.
There are Dell diagnostics (or there were) on the hard drive accessed by F12 at power on. Suggest, as a first step, run the diagnostics and see if anything shows up.
One suspect would be memory. since it had been disturbed and you got beep errors.
Also, it may just be time for a complete reinstall if there are no hardware errors running the diagnostics. 5 years is a relatively long time with XP and not have a reinstall.
Having two mice connected at one time can confuse the hardware and Windows and thus another potential issue.
If there are no hardware errors shown, I would reconnect the system back to the basic system without added PCI cards, extra mice and without the external USB hard drive.
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It doesnt seem worth fixing. Hard drive is likely bad due to its age.
Its not a matter of IF but WHEN they fail.
A working system can be had for $130 or less from ebay or used computer shop.
I have some updated information for this post. The Dell mouse I used for a long time got the point it would not do anything for left click. A right click would get something recognized to I threw it away. The MS track ball was something my daughter got us nearly 10yrs ago. Even though I did not remember it failing, it got to the point I was playing tag between it and the wireless mouse. It finally got so bad I threw it out. The wireless mouse is starting to ignore a lot of left clicks. Is there anything can be done on it beside the battery & resetting it? My son got a Logitech gaming mouse he didn't like, and my wife is using it. When I used it today, my system works fine. So it appears the system is more stable than I thought. I have lost 2 IDE HD in the past & have been putting most of my important stuff on the external 500gb drive. I just got an external 1.5Tb Seagate and am going to get things backed up on it so I won't loose 4 years worth of mail again.
We are planning on replacing the Dimension soon.
Thank you for your inputs and suggestions I really appreciate them