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2 Bronze

Won't POST unless I hit CTRL+ESC, then blank screen follows anyway - Inspiron 3646

Hello everyone.  I want to say thank you in advance for anyone willing to help me.  I own an Inspiron 3646 desktop that was given to me a few years back.  It came with genuine Windows 7 or 8 installed (can't remember which one) and was upgraded to Windows 10.  Never had any issues with it.

It was left unplugged and unused for the last 3-4 months.  When I tried to boot, only the Dell Splash screen showed with no POST.  When I hit CTRL+ESC it will finish POST but then only a blank screen afterwards.  LED light on power button is illuminated white.  I have tried resetting BIOS to default values, running the POST diagnostics for hardware issues (none were reported), changing the coin battery on motherboard to a brand new one (this was my initial thought due to non-use, like a car battery), and re-seating the various cables and memory on the motherboard.  At this point I'm leaning towards it being a software issue and/or a BIOS issue.

Has anyone else experienced something like this with a fix that didn't require an OS re-install and/or loss of HD data?  Is it just that I need to re-install Windows and the eat the fact I'll lose my HD data?  I don't have a recovery partition on the hard drive or a disc for any Windows OS, so I suppose if it's the OS I'll need to purchase a new disc?

Again, thanks for your attention and responses!

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8 Xenon

No such thing as "genuine Windows 7"

Older machines have a WIN7 COA

Newer models have Windows Genuine which means the key is in Bios.

What you have is likely corrupted drive or worse bad hard drive.

If you disconnect the hard drive it will post and then show hard drive missing on the screen.

Black screen of death seems to be one way feature updates to 1909 and 2004 happen.   If you have optional optical drive I recommend you get an OEM windows 10 DVD so that you can reinstall anytime later.

If you do not have optical drive then you also need USB2 Optical drive.

Both of these Items are not horribly expensive.

https://www.neweggbusiness.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9B-32-350-238

 

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/lg-8x-external-usb-2-0-blu-ray-disc-double-layer-dvdrw-cd-rw-disc-rewri...

The other reason I recommend this specific drive is that it comes with PowerDVD playback software for the same price as buying the software stand alone without a drive.

The combination works with ALL DELL models from 2006 to now.

The Genuine Windows Label is on the back of systems with PRO windows.

WINDOWS GENUINE LABELWINDOWS GENUINE LABEL


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If my brain worked I would have seen the Windows 8 Pro sticker on the back of my machine.  I have a DVD-RW drive installed in my desktop so I may try the Windows 10 disc approach.  Noticed the link for the disc doesn't come with a key.  Will I need to purchase one, or will the key in the BIOS work, or is neither necessary for just trying a reinstall?

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The OEM disk doesnt need a key because it will read the key from BIOS. Thats why there is no COA sticker anymore.

You don't need to buy anything and the disk is good forever unlike flash drives that die over time as do burned DVD's

They work but they are not good for long term recovery/reinstall.

 


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The forum is primarily user to user, with Dell employees moderating
Contact USA Technical Support






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8 Krypton

Have you read this about what Ctrl+Esc does when you try to boot a PC?

When you swapped the motherboard battery, was PC unplugged and did you press/hold power button for ~30 sec after removing old battery, and before installing the new one?

How is monitor connected, VGA or HDMI? Can you test this monitor on a different PC or a different monitor on this PC?

 

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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monitor is connected via VGA and works fine on other PCs.

Yes I did the press/hold for 30 seconds before and after.

Ctrl+ESC shows the blue bar load to completion and then nothing.

My computer is pre-2015 and is not listed as compatible for BIOS recovery.

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Since the power button is white, that implies that the PC has completed the POST but there's just no video output. Can you try HDMI(PC)>HDMI(monitor), or an HDMI(PC)>VGA adapter if monitor doesn't have HDMI?

Do you have a bootable USB stick? If you connect that to PC while it's powered off, then reboot and immediately start tapping F12 (without pressing CTRL-ESC), can you see the F12 boot menu open? And then what happens if you select the option to boot from USB? Do you have video output now?

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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All,

I re-seated the cables again and decided to run the diagnostics another time.  This time I get 2000-0142 for the hard drive, which the internet tells me is a failing or failed hard drive.  Been thinking about getting a new computer anyway as this one is fairly old and was a hand-me-down.  Going to consider this matter closed.  Thanks everyone for your input.

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