I have a Dimension 4700 desktop that has been sitting in storage for a while. I wanted to start it up and see if there was anything on it I needed to save or erase from the hard drive. As far as I know, it was working fine when it was put away. Now, it won't boot up at all. Here is what I know-
running Windows XP Home
Power light comes on and stays on (green). DVD drives try to test spin (but won't read a boot disk). Hard drive light comes on and stays on.
Does NOT display a Dell spash screen. The screen is blank (black) except for a single blinking white cursor (underscore).It hangs in this condition.
Does not respond to keyboard commands (ctl+alt+del, esc, f8, f11 ...etc. ). Does not respond to reset (must hold power button in to turn off).
Diagnostic lights are lit on rear panel. A, B, C are all green and steady. D is amber and steady.
All interior and peripheral cables appear to be attached properly.
When the power cable to the hard drive is removed, it does NOT give POST beeps (condition is the same).
I can not get to a setup screen. I can not boot from a cd. I do not get any auditory signals (beeps).
It is well out of warranty, and the troubleshooting knowledge base sent me into a recursive loop of articles that never got past step #2. Anyone have any suggestions?
Solved! Go to Solution.
Since it has been in storage for a while, first step, with the PC powered off, is to reseat (unplug then plug back in) all memory modules, any PCI cards such as video, sound, etc, and all cable connectors. Make sure when you plug items back in that you get them fully and correctly reinstalled. Power back on and see if that makes a difference.
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I just "inheireted" a 4700 also. Mine would get to dell splash but go no further. I fiddled around with the SATA drive connections on the motherboard, 1 & 2 connectors for both drives (blue and black as well as toggling drive sequence inside the F2 Setup. Finally it recognized the drive and with the disks that Dell sent free, it is up and running. However, you aren't able to get that far. Have you checked the button battery? If it has set a while, prehaps that might need replacing. Did you get to look at your manual for the diagnostic light toubleshooter? If the A,B,C lights are green but the D light is amber, this indicates that the cables to the system board need to be reconnected to ensure good contact.
I agree. If it's been in storage for a while, chances are good the motherboard battery died and/or the BIOS settings got corrupted.
Power off and unplug. Press/hold power button for ~15 sec. Open the case and remove the motherboard battery. Press/hold power button again for ~30 sec. Insert a fresh CR2032 3-volt lithium ion battery (right-side-up!) and see if it boots with only mouse, monitor and keyboard attached. The battery is ~$2-$3 at discount stores.
Forum Member since 2004
I am not a Dell employee
Thanks for your replies. It looks like the problem was badly seated memory modules. Must have gotten some corrosion or dust in there during storage. I started pulling memory modules and trying to restart to see if a module was bad. After pulling #3&4, I got it to start. I put them back, and it would not start again. I put back just #3 and it started. I started to think #4 was bad, but a little while later I put #4 back, and it started. Now all modules are in and it is running. must have been corrosion.
I am working on my granddaugthers Dell 4700 that I gave them several years ago. I now have it at my house for it would not boot. It would go to the Dell screen and then nothing else would work, F2, F8, F11. I disconnected all connections one at a time and put them back on. I had already put in a new battery that did nothing, but I just left it in. The cable remove/replace fixed the boot problem. Thanks for your help, I was about to take it to the shop....
Thank you for both your post and feedback. I had a similar problem with Dell Dimension 4700, wouldn't boot nor respond to keyboard. Also A, B, and C system lights were solid green and D was solid amber. Took your advice and simply checked the memory modules and all system board connections wiggling slightly to ensure all were seated, also removed dust. Plugged everything back in and rebooted without issue.
Thanks for sharing!
I pulled my Dimension 4700 out of storage about a month ago, and at first, I had several error codes, all of which I fixed, and the tower has been working perfectly fine since. This morning, I was trying to boot from a CD, however, I could not get to the setup BIOS screen. I googled the problem, and a possible fix was to power off the unit, and then remove the battery from the motherboard for about 30 seconds, reinstall the battery, and then you should be good to go.
Problem is, now I am getting solid green on A, B, C, and D is amber, with 2 beeps. Nothing displays on the monitor. I tried re-seating the memory, and I tried unplugging the SATA cable and plugging that back in, but still nothing. I replaced the battery too.
I am at a loss now, so I am hoping that someone will have an answer?????
Also, the tower probably sat inactive in storage for about 4 years before I started it back up about a month ago, but again, it was running perfectly fine until this morning.
Did you just reinstall the old battery? Do you know if that battery is good?
Are you sure it's just 2 beeps? Error codes on the 4700 should come in 3 groups, separated by a brief pause.
So it you're getting 2 beeps-2 beeps-2 beeps, that would be a RAM error. Power off, unplug and press/hold power button for ~15 sec. Remove all RAM modules, except the one in slot 1 (closest to processor). Remove motherboard battery and press/hold power button for ~30 sec. Install a fresh battery and see if it boots now.
Then swap all modules into slot 1. If they all work alone in slot 1, add a module to second slot, reboot, add RAM to 3rd slot, reboot, etc until all RAM is installed to see if you might have a bum slot.
EDIT: Always power off, unplug and press/hold power button for ~15 sec before doing any work inside the case.
Forum Member since 2004
I am not a Dell employee