Vostro 200 won't even get to Bios..

I turned on our Vostro this-afternoon, and it shows the big Dell logo on the screen and the F2/F12 prompts, but it doesn't budge an inch from there.  I can't F2 or F12 to get the boot menu or setup/bios screens, it just stays on that initial screen, the F2/F12 never disappear (as I believe they did when the system was working).  


So this problem seems to be occuring when the bios is initializing(?).  It's not getting to the OS at all (WinXP, by the way).


Troubleshooting:  I essentially returned the machine to OEM form by removing my TV Tuner card and the additional 2GB of RAM that I added, as well as unpluging everything (printers, external drives, etc).  I've never installed a new video card, I use the onboard intel video.


This is my wifes computer, she's very computer literate, and basically uses this for the regular stuff, surfing, email, photos, etc., and didn't install anything or make any changes prior to this problem.


Does anyone know what this could possibly be?  


How will Dell support handle this?



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2 Replies
Dev Mgr

Re: Vostro 200 won't even get to Bios..

I'd strip the system down a bit further even.

The minimum to finish POST is:
- motherboard
- processor
- 1 dimm
- powersupply
- powerbutton/ribbon cable to the front panel
- monitor (to see if it finished post)

I'd suggest to disconnect the drives (power and data), pull all cards from the system (use integrated video for testing (VGA only, so if you have a flat panel w/o VGA connection see if you can find a CRT or so)). Only connect a monitor and a powercable and see if you get to the F1/F2 message. If so, power down, add a keyboard only and see if you get to that message again and if it responds to pressing F2. If not, try another dimm (most systems ship with 2 or 4 dimms). If the issue still persists, you'd down to trying another keyboard or something with the motherboard most likely.

If you can get into the bios now, start re-adding 1 part at a time till you run into your problem component.

Member since 2003

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Re: Vostro 200 won't even get to Bios..


Vostro 200



I couldn't get to the BIOS, too, like described in the first post and followed your instruction in following order:

- I unplugged my both HDD (data and power cables).

- I unplugged my USB keyboard.

- There was no extra graphic card (Graphic was onboard.).

- I connected the monitor via VGA.

- I plugged in the power supply cable.

After restarting I could enter the BIOS (The F2/F12 message appeared.).

-I plugged in the keyboard.

After restarting I still could enter the BIOS.

-I plugged in one HDD (data and power supply) and restarted.

-I received the message couldn't find NTLR (something like that).

-I shut down the PC and unplugged the drive that was connected.

-I connected the other drive to the mainboard (data & power cables).

After restarting Windows XP started.

-I shut down the computer.

-I plugged in my second HDD (data & power).

-I restarted -> XP was still starting.

Problem is solved. Actually, I don't know how.

Cheers, DEV MGR, for your detailed support!



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