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PC wont start up. Any ideas?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Karen44, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. Karen44

    Karen44 Nibble Poster

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    Evening all,

    Long time no post, and Im no further forward in my studies as have been really busy for months! No excuse I know....! :oops:

    Righty, my friend was at her wits end with her very old PC. It was very very slow and if you tried to do more than one thing at once, it would crash.

    A quick check suggested her virus software was out of date and there was a lot of crap on there that she didn't even know existed (from her ex boyfriend). I suggested starting with a clean slate, as she has no documents, emails etc that she wanted to save.

    I brought the PC home with me with a view to looking into how to do this, as I've not done it before. However, I've plugged it into my monitor but it won't boot up.

    Sometimes, it makes all the noises like it's starting up, but there is no display on the monitor. Every now and then, I get this message -

    "IF you can read this message, Windows has successfully initialized this display adapter. To use this adapter as part of your Windows desktop, open the Display option in the Control Panel and adjust the settings on the Settings tab."

    This is where it stops, nothing else happens, I just get a black screen with the above writing in white. At the very top, it says Copyright 1999-2000 Intel Corporation. All Rights Reserved.


    How do I move forward from this point?

    Also, she has lost the recovery discs. The Windows Product Key (Millennium) is shown on a sticker on the side, can I use this to create a disc on another machine?

    Where to I start?!

    Ultimately, I'd like to upgrade the RAM and hard drive for her. All she wants it for is email and internet (occasionally) as she has a laptop for work (not allowed own email on it).

    Thanks guys

    Karen :D
     
    Certifications: None worth mentioning yet...
    WIP: A+, N+, MCSE
  2. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    Try going into safe mode and uninstalling the graphics adapter. Sounds as though it may be trying to operate in too high a resolution for your monitor.

    Once the adapter has been uninstalled restart and windows should automaticaly pick it up again.

    8)
     
  3. Karen44

    Karen44 Nibble Poster

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    Hi,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I've been trying Safe Mode, but I can't get to that point unfortunately.

    I get the same problem with an old monitor and a new TFT one. She had no problems with her TFT monitor.

    I have also had the case open and checked everything was connected securely, all seemed ok.
     
    Certifications: None worth mentioning yet...
    WIP: A+, N+, MCSE
  4. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    Is it an onboard graphics card?
     
  5. Karen44

    Karen44 Nibble Poster

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    No idea mate, I assume so. The PC is pretty low spec from Dell. (And I'm not all that technical!)
     
    Certifications: None worth mentioning yet...
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  6. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    Ok then, if you look at the rear of the PC does the monitor plug into what appears to be an area that you can plug a card into, or does it look as thought it plugs into a built in port?

    There's not two monitor slots is there?
     
  7. Karen44

    Karen44 Nibble Poster

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    Thanks, I understood that!

    Ok, there are two places I could plug the monitor cable into, one in the normal position at the top under the keyboard and mouse ports, the other appears to be a seperate card. The second one, situated in the third slot up from the bottom, also has what looks like a headphone socket (it's not for that, but a similar shape!) and another port similar to the mouse port.

    When I disconnected her monitor, it was plugged into the top one.
     
    Certifications: None worth mentioning yet...
    WIP: A+, N+, MCSE
  8. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    Have you tried both slots? One of them is onboard, the other will be on a plug in card.

    Try both slots and see where you get, if still nothing open up the case and remove the add-in card.
     
  9. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Karen,

    If there is a graphics card (not part of the motherboard) then i would remove and refit the card incase it was disturbed when moving the tower from your friends house to yours.
    I know you have tried Safe mode but can you enter the BIOS screen? Try bouncing the delete or F2 key when the machine first starts. If you can enter set-up what does it list for graphics?

    As for the Operating system you either get recovery discs with the machine or a recovery partition.....

    Edit

    Sorry, while typing you posted to say you have onboard and a graphics card....
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  10. Karen44

    Karen44 Nibble Poster

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    Thanks both. Will try removing and refitting the card in a sec and let you know how I get on.
     
    Certifications: None worth mentioning yet...
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  11. Karen44

    Karen44 Nibble Poster

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    Wow, you guys are great!!! We have life! (Plugged into the card)

    Now, onto the next problem. How do I wipe it clean and will I need the Windows disc for this?
     
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  12. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Karen,

    Glad you got the machine to boot to the desktop :thumbleft.

    ME isn't one of the most reliable Operating systems and depending on the spec of your friends machine you could consider formatting the drive and putting XP on; without the recovery disc or partition you are stuck. :blink

    To get an indepth spec go to www.belarc.com

    We can advise if the machine is ready to go or not should your friend want to fork out for XP.
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  13. Karen44

    Karen44 Nibble Poster

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    Thanks. I've just asked her again for the Windows disc, she says she came across a box of lots of CD's the other day, so will have a look to see if it's there. Fingers crossed!

    What's the best way to connect it to the internet to check the spec? I have wireless, so am guessing I will need a wireless adapter so it can share my internet account? Or could I hardwire it with a network cable to my router?
     
    Certifications: None worth mentioning yet...
    WIP: A+, N+, MCSE
  14. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    If it is that old then I would *very* strongly advise against putting XP on it. Why? Lack of resources such as memory, harddisk size and sometimes processor speed.

    Many old machines will not take either modern memory, or modern drives, so you need to indentify very carefully what you have.

    (Sorry Boyce!)

    Harry.
     
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  15. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    As this machine is from Dell there should be a paper sticker with a set of letters and numbers, either on the back or on the base. This is known as the 'service tag' and entering this into Dell's site will give a full spec of the machine when it was built.

    Harry.
     
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  16. Karen44

    Karen44 Nibble Poster

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    Many thanks - here is the spec from the Service tag:

    Service Tag: 23P080J
    System Type: Dimension 2100
    Ship Date: 17/10/2001
    Dell IBU: Europe



    Quantity Parts # Part Description

    1 0258D ASSEMBLY, GASKET, VIDEO, LXXXc
    1 06791 PLUG, END CAP, CONNECTOR, PWR SPL
    0 08123 INFORMATION, NO DELL DIRECT CATALOG
    1 1F733 PROCESSOR, 80526, 900, 128, 100FSB, FIBER CHANNEL, D0
    1 2709D CBL ASSY, IDE-2, 2DROP, DAVINCI
    1 2938D SHIELD, SHIELDED, METAL, PANEL, 3.5IN, DAVINCI
    1 2E086 CARD (CIRCUIT), PLANAR (MOTHERBOARD), VIDEO, DIMENSION, LXXXCXE, 810
    2 30551 SCREW, 6-32X.375, HEXHEAD, THREAD FORMED, MICROSOFT, STAINLESS STEEL
    2 4258D ASSEMBLY, RAIL, CHASSIS, NO-SCR, 5.25IN
    2 48480 SCREW, 6-32X1/4", HX, THREAD FORMED, ZINC PLATED STEEL, TRI-PT
    1 5258D ASSEMBLY, RAIL, CHASSIS, RIGHT, FLOPPY DRIVE, 3.5IN
    1 6258D ASSEMBLY, RAIL, CHASSIS, LEFT, FLOPPY DRIVE, 3.5IN
    1 6709D ASSEMBLY, CABLE, FLOPPY DRIVE, 1DROP, DAVINCI
    1 6E323 PANEL, FILLER, 3.5IN, BEZEL, MIDNIGHT GRAY, DAVINCI
    1 795DM ASSEMBLY, HEATSINK, PLASTIC GRID ARRAY, ACTIVE, NOTCHED
    1 7E549 ASSEMBLY, CHASSIS, MICRO TOWER, POWER FACTOR CORRECTION, MIDNIGHT GRAY, DAVINCI
    1 554WF DUAL IN-LINE MEMORY MODULE, 128, 133M, 16X64, 4K, 168
    1 01NRV CORD, POWER, 220V, 2MTR, DISPLAY, IRE/UK
    1 23DDC DISPLAY, MULTISCAN, COLOR, 17, DUAL, E771A, NORTHERN HEMISHERE, MIDNIGHT GRAY
    1 332TR KEYBOARD, 105, 6P, UNITED KINGDOM, NMB, MIDNIGHT GRAY
    1 23TNU MODEM, V.90, INTERNAL, DATA FAX VOICE MODEMS, REST OF WORLD, GRAPHITE
    0 2776C INFORMATION, MODEM W/CABLE
    1 3D400 CABLE, ADAPTER, 4 PIN PHONE CONNECTOR, HANDSET SUPPORT, PCH INTERNATIONAL, UNITED KINGDOM
    1 5740C CABLE, AUXILIARY, INTERNAL, MODEM, 4C
    1 9C592 KIT, COMPACT DISKETTE, DRIVER, MODEM, GRAPHITE, DIMENSION
    1 16583 CORD, POWER, 2 METERS, IRE/UK
    1 2G688 KIT, COMPACT DISKETTE, EUROTOOLS, DIMENSION, EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA
    1 55XMT TECHNICAL SHEET, DIM-NWSLTR, REGIONAL, EUROPE/EUROPEAN, ENGLAND/ENGLISH
    1 7E332 GUIDE, SOLUTION, DIM2100, ENGLAND/ENGLISH
    1 9E033 PLACEMAT, GETTING STARTED, DIM2100, EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA
    1 2H779 PRINTER/PRINTER ACCESSORIES, LEXMARK-Z32, BLACK, UNITED KINGDOM
    1 3828D CBL ASSY, ATA66, 1DROP, DAVINCI
    1 4D885 HARD DRIVE, 20G, I, 3.5" FORM FACTOR, 1IN, NO CONTROLLER/NO CABLES, SGT-U5
    0 79409 INFORMATION, EXTREME PERFORMANCE SYSTEM, HARD DRIVE, PRICE LIST, DIMENSION
    1 735HE MOUSE, PERSONAL SYSTEM 2, 6P, 2BTN, WHEEL, 1.3A, MICROSOFT, MALE
    0 01295 INFORMATION, FIRST CD ROM
    1 694JH COMPACT DISK DRIVE, 680M, I, 5.25" FORM FACTOR, 48X, 148C, SAMSUNG, MIDNIGHT GRAY
    0 83535 INFORMATION, PART, ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY ATTACHMENT PACKET INTERFACE, DEVICE
    0 94198 INFORMATION, NO ONBOARD SOUND
    1 088GF CARD (CIRCUIT), MULTI-MEDIA, AUDIO, CT5807, PC164, FRONT AUDIO JACK
    1 57589 CABLE, AUDIO, MOLEX TO MOLEX
    0 94198 INFORMATION, NO ONBOARD SOUND
    1 6C316 'KIT, SOFTWARE, WKS-STE2K1, ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT MFGR., UNITED KINGDOM, 7CD
    1 7F501 KIT, SOFTWARE, AOL-6.0, UNITED KINGDOM
    1 16UVG KIT, SPEAKER, 240, MIDNIGHT GRAY, HK19.5, UNITED KINGDOM
    1 3883E SYSTEM INTEGRATION, CABLE, PRINTER/PRINTER ACCESSORIES, HEWLETT PACKARD, DELLWARE
    1 1H245 KIT, COMPACT DISKETTE, OPERATING SYSTEM, WINDOWS ME (MILLENIUM EDITION), ENGLAND/ENGLISH, WORLD WIDE
    1 1D063 FLOPPY DRIVE, 1.44M, 3.5" FORM FACTOR, 3MD, NO BEZEL, SONY, MIDNIGHT GRAY, M3
     
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  17. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Hm - I get an error with that tag - are you sure you have the right code? In particular distinguishing 0 and O (digit and char)

    Harry.
     
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  18. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Looking a bit further, and guessing a bit, it sounds as if someone has added a video card. For the restore disk to work (if you find it) this will need to be removed and the machine returned to original spec.

    Harry.
     
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  19. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    If I have identified the unit correctly, then putting XP on it is a possibility, but only if 1) you fit more memory and 2) Dell has drivers for XP for this machine. Not recomended for the faint-hearted!

    Harry.
     
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  20. Karen44

    Karen44 Nibble Poster

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    Thanks Harry, not sure why that tag wouldn't work for you, I cut and paste the info from Dell's website!

    Im pretty sure the machine is the same spec as the day it was purchased, she can barely find the on button let alone change a video card, and would have asked my advice before buying one. I will double check with her though.

    I think I can cope with upgrading the memory and have a techy friend I can call on to give me some hands on help if necessary.

    I suspect she will just stay with ME rather than paying to upgrade to XP. It's what she knows and as I mentioned earlier, she only wants it for internet and email.

    Any more advice greatly appreciated! :)
     
    Certifications: None worth mentioning yet...
    WIP: A+, N+, MCSE

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