Computer bootup stops " press del to resume " displayed

dell dimension 4100

computer boots up to point where system information displayed ie system type, bios version, ram, speed etc.
at bottom of screen displayed " press [del] to resume".
Haven't changed any bios setting, just started on its own.
How do i get it to proceed beyond this point without stopping?
This problem went away for a week and now it is back, i tried some different settings in system setup and also cleared the NVDRAM by reseting configuration data in system setup but nothing helped.  
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Computer101Connect With a Mentor Commented:
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check the bios to make sure nothing has changed, and check the config.sys and autoexec.bat files
I found this at the Delltalk forum.  It isn't specifically for the 4100, but perhaps something similar applies to you:

Try clearing NVRAM:

If you have an XPS D___ or later, use the following procedure to clear NVRAM:

Reboot the system and press the DELETE key when you see the message "Press DELETE to enter setup". Choose the "Advanced" tab at the top. Set the field "Reset Configuration Data" to "Yes" and then strike the F10 key at the top of the keyboard to Save and Exit. (Note: if you notice the Plug and Play OS field set to NO, this is correct - do not change it).

If you have an older system, you may need to use a motherboard jumper to clear the NVRAM:

1) Find your Service Tag #. (The Service Tag can be found on the back of the system. It's 5 digits long, printed on a white sticker that also contains a bar code).

2) Enter the Service Tag # in the Support section of our website and go to the section on "Jumpers". Find the correct jumper to move in order to clear CMOS (NVRAM). There is also a graphic of the motherboard available there as well.

3) After noting the correct jumper to move, shut the system down, unplug it, and then move the proper jumper to clear the CMOS/NVRAM.

4) Turn the system back on (you can leave the cover off, just be sure to avoid touching anything inside of the system). Watch for a message stating that NVRAM has been cleared. After you see the message - turn the system back off.

5) Set the jumper back to its original position.

6) Boot the system normally.

Thank you for visiting DELLTalk.
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does startup after you press del?  Because it could just be your cmos battery is dead.
robinettAuthor Commented:
Well the day after i submitted this question, started the computer and did not have any problems. Seems to have cured itself.
Any ideas as to what might have happen?
robinettAuthor Commented:
Flashing the bios cured this problem
thank for all ya'll sugestions.
Hello all,
I am Computer101, a moderator from Experts-Exchange and also an expert within this topic area. This question has been open a long time.  What I am going to do is allow feedback from the questioner and experts.  If it is not resolved, I will delete or accept an answer based on the info I have been given, Experts, feel free to offer input.  I will monitor these questions for a period of 5-7 days and come back and evaluate.  I will have another moderator (who is also an expert in this topic area) look at the question also to ensure we do the right thing for this question.

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This happens when the bios detects some error/fault in any one of the devices on the two IDE controllers, most likely it is the hard drive, or cdrom drive.
robinettAuthor Commented:
What is the fix?
***The fix is to replace the nonfunctioning part, which is either the hard drive or cd-rom drive, to check which one of them is causing this, remove/disconnect them one by one ant try using the other to boot up***
robinettAuthor Commented:
reeve i see you are a dell tech. I have a dell 4100 almost two years old. this problem has been occurring on and off for several months. at first it would cure itself and work ok for a period of time and then it would return.

now it is constant. the dell i have has the extended warranty and is good until 2005.

Is there a way I can call you while you are at work and we could walk through the trouble shooting to see which part i need to replace.

thanks for your time
earl robinett
robinettAuthor Commented:
oh forgot to add
you can email with your response to

keep from clobbering up this thread
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