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Will not boot past post

I have a Dell 5160 that will only boot about 75% through the boot process and then freezes.  I've took out the wireless adpater card to ensure that was not causing this problem. I have taken out the Battery and tried booting but that did not change anything.  I then took out the RAM completely and tried to boot it, I received no beeps at all.  I put in two new Ram modules and now it boots to 75% of the process, stops and reboots.  I am leaning towards a new m/b but thought I would verify with you guys first.  
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rdavidc
Asked:
rdavidc
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1 Solution
 
MarkCommented:
Try using a live cd like Knoppix to see if it locks up. The knoppix will run a diagnostic like startup to find all of the hardware in the laptop and will run from the cd. http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html
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rdavidcAuthor Commented:
Interesting.......did you read my problem (above)?  Since it is not booting past the boot process how in the world is it going to boot to a CD?  
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MarkCommented:
Well you didn't exactly say explicitly if its 75% in the post, , or 75% of  windows loading. If its in the first  then the live cd won't get to load, if its on windows startup, then it can help.
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MarkCommented:
You're right of course, I tend to skim sometimes and miss the point completly. Its 75% of the post according to the question header.
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MarkCommented:
The rebooting of the laptop when it stops may be the automatic restart option kicking in when the laptop bluescreens  on startup. Do you see the BSOD flashing quickly just before it restarts?
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MarkCommented:
sorry once again, the laptop freezes, doesn't reboot.
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MarkCommented:
Jeeze I'm having a bad way with reading today.
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MarkCommented:
OK starting over here. Can you discern if the laptops fans are running on startup?
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rdavidcAuthor Commented:
The lights all light up, the fan is spinning, the video shows the Dell Logo, etc, etc, etc...... the "bar that is displayed while booting" get's to about 75% and then stops and the laptop starts to reboot and goes through the cycle again until I turn the laptop off.
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garycaseCommented:
"... bar that is displayed while booting ... gets to about 75% ..." ==> this indicates that it IS attempting to load XP;  so you may very well be able to boot from a CD (e.g. Knoppix).

Another thought:   Can you boot to Safe Mode?  (Press F8 immediately after the POST display BEFORE the "bar" is displayed and see if you get a menu of options -- select Safe Mode and see if it boots okay)   If so, the issue isn't the motherboard -- it's something about the configuration of XP.

... more after you respond to this ...
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rdavidcAuthor Commented:
wrong, WRONG, WRONG.  Apparently you are not familar with a DELL Laptop.  The bar I am referring to is NOT the MicroSoft XP Splash Screen.

your response:  Another thought:   Can you boot to Safe Mode?  (Press F8 immediately after the POST display BEFORE the "bar" is displayed and see if you get a menu of options -- select Safe Mode and see if it boots okay)   If so, the issue isn't the motherboard -- it's something about the configuration of XP.
 
If the laptop is NOT posting then how in the hell am I going to press F8 to go into SAFE MODE.  Please read the original question before posting a replay.    Thank you
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rindiCommented:
You replaced the RAM with 2 new modules, try just one of them and not both at the same time. Also swap this one module to the other socket.

If that doesn't help open up the case and make sure the heatsink is attached firmly to the CPU.
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ParadiseITSCommented:
rdavidc;
  What you can try is during POST, hit the key to enter the BIOS (which should bypass POST and enter the BIOS) and within your BIOS settings you should be able to disable several components.

First, start by disabling anything ancillary like USB Ports, PCI Slot (this sounds silly but notebooks have small chip sized slots on the motherboards that are often listed as miniPCI or PCI), Wireless (if applicable) or anything else not necessary and see if it will get past POST.  I saw you took out the wireless card, which is cool but if the slot went bad it still won't pass POST if it's enabled.

You said you tried replacing the RAM already?  You said there were 2 slots, have you tried booting with only one filled?  It's possible one slot went bad.



Honestly speaking, bottom line is it really sounds like you may need a new motherboard, but at least these steps might help you pinpoint the problem and if your 5160 is no longer under warranty if you can live, say, without the PCMCIA or USB ports then you will still have a useable machine if it's just something like that that is wrong.


Try this and get back to me, there are tons of settings within the BIOS (shadow memory, cache settings etc) that we can tweak and turn off as well to see if we can get this puppy booting for you.
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rdavidcAuthor Commented:
ParadiseITS:

sorry that I did not spell that out in the original question.  However, if it is not going past the boot up process................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. then pressing F8/del/F2 or anything else will work.

 rindi:  like I've said I have already switched out the RAM Modules by taking one out at a time and then booting (or trying to boot) with none is..... ref:  original question.  Then I tried putting two new ones in and then took one out, etc...........
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garycaseCommented:
Nice language.  I did read the original post -- and noticed in the title that you indicated it wasn't completing the POST; and also read Sparkmaker's comments r.e. not noticing that initially;  but then you made the comment about getting 75% of the way through the "bar" and I thought perhaps you had not recognized that it was trying to start XP at that point.   A fair number of folks who post questions on EE make mistakes similar to that.   As you correctly surmised, I had forgotten about the Dell POST status bar (don't use any Dell laptops -> I have Gateway, Toshiba, and IBM's) => otherwise I'd have asked you to confirm that you were referring to that instead of assuming it was XP's initial pre-load status bar.  I won't bother you with more of my naive and inexperienced thoughts ...  (unsubscribing)

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rdavidcAuthor Commented:
sorry that I did not spell that out in the original question.  However, if it is not going past the boot up process................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. then pressing F8/del/F2 or anything else will NOT work.
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rdavidcAuthor Commented:
garycase:  I hear ya about the DELL Laptops.  Please don't take it personally about my language.  It's just that when I ask a quesiton here, most of the time.......I receive lots of comments and I have to re-address what I have said originally in the quesiton.  I figure that most people (myself included) tend to speed read......which is ok if done correctly.....I do it myself alot.  The problem is when we speed read we miss alot of the verbiage and then ask questions that are already provided to us.  When that happens the guy on this end (the person asking for the help) gets frustrated........

I really believe that my problem here is the motherboard and like I stated in my question, I am just running it by you guys for conformation.
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ParadiseITSCommented:
Actually, NO it is often the case that you can get into the BIOS even if the machine does not pass the POST.

However, If you cannot get into the BIOS you need a new motherboard -- that's it.  It sounds like you've tried everything else.
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ridCommented:
I accept the risk of being cited for repeating or missing out on a previous comment, but I'd like to suggest you remove the HD and optical drive and FDD (if present) and see if that makes a difference in the POST process. Seem to remember having similar problems (with a Dell) and the HD was actually bad beyond repair and caused reboot when the drive autodetect process started.
/RID
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rdavidcAuthor Commented:
Actually that is a good suggestion.  It seems to me that at about 75% of the boot process is when it starts looking for a boot drive.   I'll check it out and get back to you.  Thanks for the suggestion.
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rdavidcAuthor Commented:
well that didn't work either so, I'm on my way to ebay

thanks everyone
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jhakkiCommented:
I also faced same Issue .. See how it can be resolved

1. Disable Speedstep & Hyperthreading in BIOS ( It's CPU setting on 5th or 6th page of BIOS Setup. )

2 If you can't enter into BIOS then HOLD the Power cord firmly and push it harder when you hit Power button.. you should be able to enter into BIOS Setup..

I am not sure how much CPU performance would be impacted but at least you will not face this nasty issue..

Cheers
Sangy
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