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Keep getting blue screen on laptop

Posted on 2005-04-02
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I have a Dell laptop with a P4 and 256 mg of ram running XP.  At first I kept getting blue screen.  After running diagnostics it looked as if the blue screen was because of a faulty hard drive.  I purchased a new one and installed.  

2 things are happening:

1.  Ever since I have had the laptop after the "Dell" screen goes by I keep being asked if I want to "Hit F1 to continue or hit F2 for setup utility.

2.  After first reboot on installing XP back onto new drive, after hitting F1 to continue, I get a blue screen with error message "PAGE_DEFAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA.

Any ideas on what is hapening and how to clear up both problems?
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Question by:syssolut
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17 Comments
 
LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:herbus
ID: 13688129
First thing to try would be to reset the BIOS to factory defaults... this should be an easy option to find when you hit F1... the reason I say to do this is it may have some custom memory settings in place (memory timing, etc) or cpu speed (multipliers, etc) which are incompatible with the actual hardware you have in there... did this Dell come straight from the factory or 2nd hand..??

This problem tends to point to faulty RAM or CPU (which has on-board memory/cache), but I have also found it to be the mainboard (once)... if the error continues then, apart from checking that the RAM is seated properly in the socket, you may be best to get it back to Dell (hopefully under warranty?) to replace the bits they need to...
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Author Comment

by:syssolut
ID: 13688189
There is no where to reset factory defaults on Bios.  This was a laptop directly from Dell.  I reseated the RAM again, but that did not work.  The clock was off in the BIOS and I reset it but it did not fix the problem.  The laptop is approximately 5 mos old.  There is only 1 year over the phone technical assistance.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Watzman
ID: 13688247

Run Memtest86 to test the memory (you will have to download it and make a bootable floppy or CD on another system, a google search will find it quickly).  Memory problems are the most common cause of hardware problems; in fact, I kind of doubt that the hard drive was the real cause of the original problem  Memory problems can show up as almost any other kinds of problems.

Is the clock keeping time when the laptop is off?  I'm a bit suspicious of the CMOS battery as a possible cause of the "hit F1" problem.  This is a small battery inside the laptop.

If it's only 5 months old, it's still under warranty, you might want to consider returning it for service if you don't resolve this quickly.
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 13688335
My guess would be that the CMOS battery is on the verge, as already suggested above, or that the HD has some kind of problem, either logical or hardware. A memory diagnostic, also suggested above is a good idea and a HD diagnostic could be another thing to try.
/RID
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:sciwriter
ID: 13688430
FIrst get rid of ALL power management -- both in windows AND the BIOS -- plug it into the wall, run it at full steam, without any powering down at all.  If you do not get blue screens, you know the cause.  But more likely, there is a problem with this system's bus -- motherboard, and you will end up having to return it.  

You could try reinstalling a fresh copy of windows in in another directory, see if that is stable -- but it sounds like more like a problem that one of the plug in cards is having a fault, or the BUS related to the HDD IDE is defective.
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:JohnnyCanuck
ID: 13688443
Press F2 to enter the setup and then save the CMOS settings, don't change anything.  Reboot.
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by:JohnnyCanuck
ID: 13688459
Forgot to add, Dell's will give you that message when a piece of hardware has changed, in your case the hard drive (it may not be exactly the same as the original).  This is the computer's way of saying "hey, something's different, maybe you better check it out".  If the geometry of the two drives is different and the computer is still reporting the old geometry to the OS, you may get the PAGE_DEFAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA error.
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Author Comment

by:syssolut
ID: 13688506
Now the laptop starts up but there is no video or post test.  The Dell screen does not come up.  This has been happening for a few weeks.  Every once in a while it would happen then it would come back and work fine for a while.  I have disconnected the battery and cord, reset the new hard drive and reset the ram.  Any ideas?
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:nwhan
ID: 13688581
ok, 1st thing u can do is...
try short-circuiting ur BIOS battery...put it back and if still the same problem..
then flash ur BIOS...guess ur BIOS has corrupted...
u can do it by simply flashing it by urself or by ur vendor...
easier way, download the suitable software which is compatible to ur BIOS version to flash ur BIOS
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LVL 31

Accepted Solution

by:
rid earned 1500 total points
ID: 13688611
I'd strongly advice against trying a BIOS flash with an unstable system. BIOS's don't go bad by themselves - they're EEPROM's. Very genereally BIOS upgrades should be performed only when you *know* they fix a particular problem. Resetting the CMOS is the first thing to try if you experience odd things during POST.
/RID
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Author Comment

by:syssolut
ID: 13689867
I cannot even see a screen anymore, I have no0 post beep.  The beginning "DELL" screen will not even show.  It doesn't seem to be going through the post test at all.  I have reseated the RAM again.
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Author Comment

by:syssolut
ID: 13691274
I take it that this needs to be returned to Dell.   Whatever was going on it went?
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:herbus
ID: 13691641
...and just hope you don't have trouble with the hardware warranty after playing around with (looking over past posts) short-circuiting the battery and such... like I said in my first post, if you identify hardware/memory issues on a new Dell then it's often best to just get it in their hands cos I've heard many a story about them being tough on you after you've tried to mess around with it yourself... I see you said you only have 1 year phone assistance, but I've never known of any Dell not to have a basic 1 year parts warranty...

Such is life and these things happen, but they should put you right... like the song goes, "That's what warranties are for"... or something
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Author Comment

by:syssolut
ID: 13691721
I only replaced the hard drive.  I am not even sure how to get tot the CMOS battery on a Dell laptop.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:herbus
ID: 13691727
Me neither, and I'm surrounded by em :/
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Author Comment

by:syssolut
ID: 13703154
Sending laptop back to DELL
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:nwhan
ID: 13742936
ya good idea 'sending laptop back to DELL'
anyway if not mistaken, dell provides online/phone technical assistance
give that a try... if only if its still under their assistance warranty...
call up and let them move ur laptop...
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