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Dell Optiplex GX520 willnot re-start after BIOS update

Posted on 2008-06-18
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I have had to re-install a customer's Dell Optiplex GX520. It did not come with any drivers CD so after the basic re-installation of XP I had to go to another PC and download from Dell's site all the drivers for the particular PC model. I started with the ethernet driver and got the internet connection going and re-connected to the domain. However at one point I was doing a Windows Update and also carrying on installing drivers. One of the was for the BIOS. I remember it asking me if I wished to upgrade from version x.x to x.y and I confirmed I did.
AT some point after this I was prompted to re-start the machine. As it was powering down it hung with a plain blue screen. Eventually I was forced to switch it off manually. Since then it will not re-start. 1 - 2 seconds after pressing the power on switch it issues a series of buzzes and hangs. It shows no messages on the screen at all. The scrfeen remains black. I have a feeling that the BIOS update has caused this. On the assumption that is the case is there anything at all I can do about it?
Question by:RichardWalsh
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Assisted Solution

eXpeLLeD_4RM_heLL earned 320 total points
ID: 21814901
Remove the power from the pc, Open up your case, look on the mobo for the reset BIOS jumper and swop it around, plug the power back on and press the power button. Leave it for about a min and the remove  the power. Replace the BIOS jumper inits original position and power the PC back on.
If BIOS updates are done wrong, chances are that it wrecks the mobo.

Author Comment

ID: 21814969
I'll try this tomorrow morning and come back to you. Thanks very much for this suggestion.
LVL 12

Assisted Solution

alikaz3 earned 320 total points
ID: 21815001
First try unplugging the hard drive/cd rom and rebooting, that might solve it. But if there isn't a jumper, you can also unplug the power, open the case, remove the motherboard battery and short the connections on the motherboard for a few seconds. This can be done easily with a screwdriver.

And now I recall the last dell I did this on (optiplex 320), and I remember that it ran the "updater" in windows, told me I had to reboot, then rebooted to a special partition on the drive, and did the BIOS flash. What this indicated to me is that the windows BIOS flashing program is just copying the image to this partition, then rebooting and doing it from there. Did you install xp from a CD or did you restore? The reason I ask this is because dell has a proprietary partition structure, and if you mess with it, it can cause the system to not boot at all. Let me know and we can proceed.
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Accepted Solution

james_tubberville earned 360 total points
ID: 21815053
Confirm the Buzzing or tones are coming from the motherboard and not the power supply.If a buzz is being emitted from the power supply it needs replacing.

Suggestion 1: Try flashing the BIOS again
IF you have a floppy drive on the dead system, use your alternate PC to create a bootable floppy by right clicking the floppy drive, select format, and check the boxes Quick Format and Create a MSDOS starup disk. Save the BIOS update to your floppy as well. Insert floppy and boot, which should bring you to a command line A:> Enter the name of the BIOS update and confirm the flash
Try an external floppy drive. Dell usually has embeded usb support incuded on the BIOS chip (this area isn't overwritten when flashed).

Suggestion 2:
Remove all power from the system and remove the CMOS battery. Hold the power button for approx 15 sec to release any charge remaining in the capaciters. Then reinsert battery/power and attempt to boot.

Suggestion 3:
Call Dell. Buzz sequences and beep tones provide a description any errors during POST. Also, Dell provides many of their onsites with a BIOS flash card. This devices installs a "fresh" version of BIOS on the system in less than a minute.

Author Comment

ID: 21815054
I re-installed from the Dell Recovery CD that accompanied the machine. As part of the XP installation I deleted all the exisiting partitions (just 1 I think) and created one new partition. The re-installation went without any problem.
The PC had no drivers CD so I had to download all the drivers from the Dell site. (ethernet, sound etc).
As part of this I installed the latest BIOS driver, which it happliy did but I suspect has caused this problem

Author Comment

ID: 21815076
Thanks everyone. I'll try all these tomorrow.
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 21815544
Ok Richard I belive you are correct, the "single dell recovery cd" scenario is the simple case, that you have. It is just a dell version of a standard XP cd.

The other scenario is with new dells is that they have multiple partitions. They can restore or perform diagnostics from them, and the system is hardware dependent on these partitions.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31468473
Many Thanks everyone. In this case Suggestion 2 from James worked. We removed the CMOS Battery. Waited 30 seconds. Powered back on, no buzzing sounds, and it took us into the setup program for the date. Then it booted up successfully.

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