alokm
1 Copper

Blinking cursor on booting Dell Latitude E5420

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Dear all,

I am at loss here, I am booting a Dell Latitude E5420 running Windows 7 and after the POST it just shows a blinking cursor..... BUT WAIT... not ALL the time... it does manage to boot into the windows after I choose the HDD from F12 options or sometimes even when I keep on shutting down and starting up again and sometimes when I do a restore checkpoint in the repair options....

The Diagnostic tests are not working when I go through the F12 and just hangs up showing the message -

Examining ACPI interface

Running MATS test

I can't understand... if it was consistently NOT booting or showing a consistent error... but here the behavior is erratic (except for the MATS test failure....

Please help....

Thank you

Alok

1 Solution

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alokm
1 Copper

RE: Blinking cursor on booting Dell Latitude E5420

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Hi Julien,

It's been quite some time since I fixed this one...

I did everything suggested to me by the 'experts'.... 😛 but nothing worked and .....

FINALLY...

I managed to make it work by turning off the multi-core support in the BIOS and choosing 1 instead of all cores....

DO let me know if this works for you too... by which we'll have ironed out a bug in the BIOS or a hardware problem...

cheers

Alok

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22 Replies
DELL-Sujatha K
4 Ruthenium

RE: Blinking cursor on booting Dell Latitude E5420

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Hi Alok,

Please flee power and check. Shut the system down, remove the battery and disconnect the ac adapter, press and hold the power button for 20 to 30 seconds. Now connect only the ac adapter and wait for 30 seconds and turn on the system. This will drain any residual charge in the capacitors.

Also try reseating the memory modules and check. Please find the link below for the service manual:

http://bit.ly/1guVt3m

Try pressing Fn key on the keyboard and power on the computer to launch diagnostics. Reply to this post in case any error message.

Thanks and Regards,
DELL-Sujatha K
Dell Social Media and Community Professional
#iwork4Dell
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alokm
1 Copper

RE: Blinking cursor on booting Dell Latitude E5420

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Hi Sujatha,

Thanks for your reply...

DID try all of that including reseating the memory modules... FINALLY tried the online Dell diagnostics (since the one in the system did not go beyond the MATS test message where I could not get any error message) because it DOES manage to boot after a few tries... so ALL is not dead and once booted it performs normally till I shut it down again.... 😞

During the online diagnostics it passed all diagnostics and the sole error which it gave was:

Windows generic I/O error

System board error: RTC accuracy test failed

I've been trying to search for this error on internet. There is no lime lag or error on the system clock ... so it cannot be the battery... what puzzles me is why the onboard system diagnostics is refusing to run...

regards

Alok

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DELL-Sujatha K
4 Ruthenium

RE: Blinking cursor on booting Dell Latitude E5420

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Hi Alok,

This test verifies the accuracy of the RTC (Real Time Clock) on the motherboard and compares with the CPU’s clock to determine if the motherboard and CPU clock are too out of sync. This test will uncover problems with system time updates, periodic interrupts, and alarm interrupts. If the test detects errors with the RTC accuracy, it will log the test as Failed and report additional details in the test log.

In this scenario your system time may not be the same as BIOS time. If the clock keeps losing the time, consider replacing the coin cell battery.

Please click on the link below to check the warranty of the system. In case the system is under warranty, send me a private message with the system service tag to assist you further. Please click on my name and click Start Conversation to send me a private message.

http://dell.to/15xK2TQ

Revert for further queries.

Thanks and Regards,
DELL-Sujatha K
Dell Social Media and Community Professional
#iwork4Dell
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alokm
1 Copper

RE: Blinking cursor on booting Dell Latitude E5420

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Hi Sujatha,

Sorry for the late reply ....

The system time and the BIOS time are perfectly synced....

But coming back to what is troubling me....

1. WHY would the MATS test not be executed... and one more question....

2. Can a Dell E5420 operate solely on A/c (or D/c) power or it NEED the battery to boot... in that case does a 60% healthy battery give enough power to boot....

Thanks for your continued help...

regards

Alok

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DELL-Sujatha K
4 Ruthenium

RE: Blinking cursor on booting Dell Latitude E5420

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Hi Alok,

Good to know the timings on the system is in sync. However RTC test failure indicates it is the CMOS battery issue. Please replace the battery and the issue should be resolved.

Since the diagnostics passed, the hardware components are working as designed. It is not necessary to run MATS test.

Yes, you may run the system only with the Ac adapter connected. Where in the system does it indicate that battery is 60% healthy? Does it mean Battery – healthy and 60% charged?          

Thanks and Regards,
DELL-Sujatha K
Dell Social Media and Community Professional
#iwork4Dell
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alokm
1 Copper

RE: Blinking cursor on booting Dell Latitude E5420

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Hi Sujatha,

I don't know what to believe..... the tests also show that the CMOS battery passes the test as OK.....

So WHAT is wrong the RTC error or the state of the CMOS battery.... or neither of them.... and why would the MATS test hang up.... A mystery... I suppose... though I DO realize that these tests are not guaranteed 100%... and this why the salt and pepper since before opening up the laptop to replace the CMOS battery.... I would like to exhaust all other possibilities... since in this particular model in order to change the CMOS battery one has to dismantle the WHOLE LAPTOP before reaching the CR 2032....

WHICH by the way does not look like the normal button cell.... but seems to be encased in a sheath... which probably means I have to order it and is also not shown in the DELL website as one of the supplied components....

regards

Alok

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DELL-Sujatha K
4 Ruthenium

RE: Blinking cursor on booting Dell Latitude E5420

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Hi Alok,

One last test you may run that is custom test on memory. To run diagnostics restart the system and at the Dell logo tap the F12 key every two seconds. This will start the One-time boot menu. Using arrow keys select ‘Diagnostics’ and hit enter. This will run diagnostics on the hardware components of the system which may take around 5 minutes. Next Press Y for Yes when it asks you to continue Memory test.

Let me know if the system hangs while running this test.

Thanks and Regards,
DELL-Sujatha K
Dell Social Media and Community Professional
#iwork4Dell
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alokm
1 Copper

RE: Blinking cursor on booting Dell Latitude E5420

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Hi Sujatha,

THIS is what I had tried when it just goes to the screen where it starts and right in the beginning it says 'Starting MATS test' .... and then nothing further happens... it just keeps showing this message.....

I tried the 'Diagnostic boot' also by pressing the Fn key while starting the computer..... It has been running now for last 14 hours.... and shows NOTHING except a blank black screen though the light for HDD activity has been blinking at a steady 2 second interval......

regards

Alok

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DELL-Sujatha K
4 Ruthenium

RE: Blinking cursor on booting Dell Latitude E5420

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Hi Alok,

Thank you for the update. This symptom indicates that it could be memory module or memory slot issue. I request you to perform one last step that is to run customer test with one memory in one slot at a time. Try both the memory modules in both the slots. Check which memory in which slot the test freezes. Reply with your findings.

Thanks and Regards,
DELL-Sujatha K
Dell Social Media and Community Professional
#iwork4Dell
Order Status
Download Drivers

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