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Dell Optiplex GX1 450Tbr+ failure at powerup

Posted on 2004-04-14
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Last Modified: 2010-08-05
Hi,

I am tearing my head apart over this... :(

I was trying to fix a friend of mines computer (DELL Optiplex GX1 450Mhz) and it hangs at BIOS bootup. Just when under 25% of the progressbar is completed and it doesn't give any error message. The thing was that it was infected by a virus and I thought I would repair it by reinstalling the OS.

I have tried the following:

- Several restarts, same thing.
- Lifted out and put in the CPU (with nescessary reboots inbetween)
- Lifted out the memory, one by one, with restarts
- Disconnected the HDD and CDRom
- Lifted out the battery to reset bios (it worked one time, but at next restart it hanged at the same location)
- Lifted out and changed the jumpers on the mainboard.

Does anybody have any more ideas? cause I don't.... =(

The strange thing was that once when I was testing it, it worked and booted up, but when I pressed the reset button (beacuse I wanted it to boot from the cd) it hanged at the same place. Bios revision is A07 and the computer is from sep 1999.

Thanks in advance...
//jan
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Question by:madwax
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16 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

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Callandor earned 1500 total points
ID: 10827409
There are a number of things that could cause this:
- a bad installation cd (make a copy and try it with that)
- bad RAM (download and run diagnostic program from www.memtest86.com)
- a bad hard disk - run the diagnostic program for your hard drive:
Maxtor/Quantum http://www.maxtor.com/en/support/products/index.htm
Fujitsu http://www.fcpa.fujitsu.com/download/hard-drives/#diagnostic
Samsung http://www.samsungelectronics.com/hdd/support/utilities/utilities_index.html
Seagate http://www.seagate.com/support/seatools/index.html
Western Digital http://support.wdc.com/download/
www.westerndigital.com 
IBM and Hitachi http://www.hgst.com/hdd/support/download.htm#DFT 
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 10827418
Also, try replacing the CMOS battery, since it worked once and the motherboard is pretty old.
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 10827433
When you talk about a progress bar, you are beyond the BIOS.  Or did you mean something else?
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LVL 7

Author Comment

by:madwax
ID: 10827443
I tried replacing the CMOS battery, thats what I meant before...

I cant run any diagnostics since I don't get past the bios bootup - it doesn't matter whether the HDD or CDRom is connected to the motherboard or not, it still hangs at the same location...

//jan
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Author Comment

by:madwax
ID: 10827459
it even starts and hangs at the same place _without_ a CMOS battery, and it CMOS battery works since I tried it in a separate remote control...
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Author Comment

by:madwax
ID: 10827472
nope I never get past the bios progressbar, I don't even get into BIOS by pressing F1 neither F2 and according to the manual those are the BIOS enter-keys...
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 10827581
Is the drive detected properly by the BIOS?  If it isn't, you may have a jumper or cabling problem.  To determine if it is your IDE controller, try it with another drive.
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Author Comment

by:madwax
ID: 10827596
but it doesn't matter I think, since withou a drive the BIOS should giva error message of a missing boot disk or can't find master och slave, but it simply freezes...
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by:madwax
ID: 10827670
and there is a normal bootup-sound from the HDD if it's connected....

without any memory it beeps.
without a CPU it doesn't start.

there aren't any additional ISA or PCI cards to remove. Everything is integrated on the motherboard.

and as I wrote earlier,, with pretty much everything else it freezes during BIOS bootup...
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 10827684
That's right, so is that the message you get if you disconnect the hard disk completely?  If it's connected, it locks up before Windows starts?
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Author Comment

by:madwax
ID: 10830694
yes, it locks up at BIOS bootup, before it initalizes the harddrive. I am not even able to get into the BIOS.
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 10833691
I would say your drive is faulty and needs to be replaced.  As soon as the system tries to communicate on the IDE channel, it hangs.  Put a brand new IDE drive in it's place and I think you will see a different response.
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Author Comment

by:madwax
ID: 10833899
I'll try that, but shouldn't it start when I removed the HDD and run without anything connected to the IDE?
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 10835446
Yes, I did ask you about that in the 04/14/2004 04:53PM EST post.  Are you saying it doesn't go to the floppy if you remove the hard drive?  If you've got it set to boot from the floppy and the hard disk isn't connected and it hangs, you have a problem with your IDE controller.
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Author Comment

by:madwax
ID: 10863487
I guess there isn't a way to change the IDE controller without replacing the motherboard?
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 10872635
Well, there is - you can install a PCI IDE controller card that will do everything the motherboard IDE does: http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=16-102-002&depa=1
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