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PC won't boot

Posted on 2004-04-18
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
PC is a Dell Dimension XPS T550 with one drive partitioned to C,D and F. It had Win 98 installed on the C, and Win 2000 Pro on the D drive. I removed the Win98 installation and must inadvertently have deleted essential bootup files because on a reboot I got the message "NTLDR missing". Tunred the PC off and restarted it and now it simply displays the Dell splash screen and won't read the floppy, CD drive or the C or D drives and just sits doing nothing. Can anyone suggest a solution - am I going to have to remove the drive and add it to another PC to copy the operating system onto it - or has the PC died forever. Help and advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Question by:wjohnvale
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caffeineshark earned 500 total points
ID: 10855347
sounds like you just need a win2000 boot disk, you should be able to get into your bios (hit DEL key while booting) and make sure the boot order is correct.

This isn't a unique problem to you, here's Microsoft's help:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=http://support.microsoft.com:80/support/kb/articles/318/7/28.asp&NoWebContent=1

hope that helps
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by:wjohnvale
ID: 10855375
Thanks for the suggestions caffeinshark. I have a Win98 boot floppy and a Win2000 install CD and have tried pressing the del key to get into the BIOS after the screen displays the video info and goes to the splash screen but nothing happens - the system doesn't run the floppy drive or the CD drive so won't respond to the boot disk or CD. Does this perhaps suggest that somehow the BIOS has died or am I missing something else? Thanks for the help.
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by:caffeineshark
ID: 10855409
have you tried resetting the bios?  either switch the jumpers on the reset pins on motherboard, or pop out the battery for a few seconds and reinsert.

for the jumpers, usually near the case fan plug on the motherboard, there is a 3-pin switch with pins 1 and 2 jumpered.  To reset the bios, power down the machine, put the jumper over 2 and 3, leave it for a few seconds, then put it back on 1-2 and power back up.  

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by:buckeyes33
ID: 10855578
Why don't you just Fdisk the drive and then reinstall it?  You already have a 98 bootdisk to do this.  After you Fdisk all you have to do is copy the drivers files to your hard drive and reinstall.  Is this an option, instead of putting it on another computer.

have you tried booting to the floppy?  
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by:Aniras
ID: 10856115
DEL isn't always the key used to get into the BIOS. Sometime's it's F2 or CTRL+ESC or a number of other combinations. Check your computer's manual to make sure F2 is the key to enter the BIOS. There you can set it to boot from the CD, which you can use to repair your Win2k install. It should be fine, I had the same problem and it wasn't too difficult to fix. Your BIOS is fine, you just need to figure out how to get into it. Resetting the BIOS like caffeineshark suggested is a good idea if you're trying the right key and it still doesn't work.
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by:Aniras
ID: 10856117
in the above message, the last F2 should read "DEL"
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by:PCableGuy
ID: 10856185
wjohnvale,

Aniras is right, could be another key combination to get into the BIOS.

If it isn't the key combination, make sure your keyboard is working. One way to tell if the keyboard is working: On most PCs, the CAPS Lock and NUM Lock LEDs will light and or flash when the PC boots up. You should also be able to press NUM Lock, and the NUM Lock LED will light.

If you suspect a bad keyboard, try another keyboard.

By the way I have a DELL PC too, the BIOS is accessed by pressing F2.
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by:mlynch24
ID: 10856497
How did you remove the Win98 installation? FORMAT, FDISK, etc.. If you can't get to the F8 boot menu screen I would grab a manufacturer's HD format utility and wipe or zero fill the disk drive and reinstall the OSs. Whatever you did it certainly hosed your boot sector/volume...
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by:buckeyes33
ID: 10856543
somethig that should be noted is that not all hard drives can be 0 formated.
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by:yasiruae
ID: 10857690
try hitting F1 or F2 . hopefully u can enter ur bios. change the boot order to cd drive. if u could use ur win 2000 installation cd to repair windows.
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by:ico2
ID: 10858606
could be a mobo prob.
it should complain or something and not stick on the manufacturers screen.
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by:Dendog21
ID: 10859646
You have 3 partitions correct?  Try the following if you can manage to get to a command prompt. If win 98 was on the first partition and you deleted it there is no master boot record to read and it cant even get to OS load menu. Use fdisk to reset the active partition to one that you haven't deleted.
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by:myderrick
ID: 10859660
What about removing the CMOS battery for an hour AND putting it back. This will reset the BIOS to defaults( wiping the BIOS mem--Just need to chnge the date)


Just a thought.

MD
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by:wjohnvale
ID: 10861701
Thanks to all for the helpful suggestions - I aim to try to fix the problem on Tuesday and will report the outcome.
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by:PCableGuy
ID: 10864290
wjohnvale,

One more tip: On some DELL PCs, pressing F12 when the PC starts up, will give a boot device options menu.
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by:tanghz
ID: 10868076
F12 option is a quite new configuration. F2 should be the function key according their maual.
Then you enter the Boot Sequence option do the change.
The manual reference is http://support.dell.com/systemdocumentation/index.aspx?category=12,84
I am not sure if this model of Dell has s seperated partition for storing their diagnostic info. If so, you gamaged to that partition by 'deleteing Wind98' in some way. You need a diagnostic disk from Dell to fix this problem. I think. You can find it from Dell web site.
good luck
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by:wjohnvale
ID: 10876550
Thanks to everyone for the valuable help. I followed suggestions re BIOS and FDISK and succeeded in resolving the problem. The PC is now back in action and I am most grateful for the excellent advice. Be sure I will be back in future whenever I run into trouble!!
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