Dell Inspiron 518 was running Windows Vista HP 32-bit crashed running updates. Could never get back into Vista OS despite attempts at every known combination - Actually installed a "test" upgrade version of Windows 7 HP 32-bit ... it seemed to work okay. Also attempted to delete the "Windows.old" folder later. It failed on a file. - - Windows 7 too crashed and burned eventually after applying a series of updates and rebooting a bunch of times. Installed the latest 1.08 Dell bios (up from 1.05). Worked for a boot or two and eventually couldn't get back to the Windows 7 32-bit OS - even in safe mode.
Purchased the full version and a new replacement hard drive (because some of the errors I got seemed to single out the hard drive too). Sometimes when I boot the bios doesn't even see the hard drive! Tried booting the new Windows 7 HP Full Version Install DVD via the DVD Player ... it consistently hangs up on the colorful logo splash "Starting Windows" for about 2 minutes and eventually goes into a black screen with a white mouse pointer. I seem to recall it looked okay on "Windows compatibility" tests before any of this went down. I exhausted all resources with my last Microsoft tech call. I figure it's a waste of time installing a new hard drive in the desktop if it can't boot the new OS via DVD. Could it be memory? - I seem to recall it hurdles these tests (4 GB of RAM). Could it be the BIOS? or the Mommy board?
Does anyone out there have any "brilliant" suggestions? Is there some great downloadable, bootable diag software out there or something I could purchase?
I have access to plenty of web resources - -on my current (working) desktop - - also a Dell Inspiron 518 with 6GB of RAM running Windows 7 64-bit HP
Do you have any other bootable DVD to test, in case the Win 7 disk is bad, or the DVD drive failed?
When was last time you replaced the motherboard battery? If it's more than ~2-3 years old, it might be time for a new one. It's a 3-volt CR2032 lithium coin cell battery, ~$2-$3 at discount stores.
Power off and unplug
Press/hold power button on tower for ~15 sec
Open the case and remove the motherboard battery.
Press/hold power button again for ~30 sec
Reinstall the battery (right-side-up!) and see if it boots now with only mouse, monitor and keyboard attached.
Thanks Ron ... I will try your suggestions - I will try booting the Windows 7 DVD in the working PC and will try the motherboard battery - The units only about about 2 years old now - - - but it might help explain the deterioration with each reboot etc.
I replaced the battery ... got a CMOS check sum error booting the first time - - said something about restoring my defaults - seemed to recognize my SATA drive and DVD/RW drive .... For some reason BIOS setup (F2) shows my DVD/RW as a CDROM in boot sequence - - and F12 boot options. I got the same black screen white mouse pointer screen for an extended period of time 2 minutes - - but to my surprise - as I'm typing this - it went further into Setup for Windows 7. I'll keep you informed - Thanks again!!!