Flashing cursor at Bootup - Hardware Diagnostics Perfect

Working with a Latitude D600 with XP SP3.

We have had an ongoing problem with booting this machine: It will run fine for several weeks... then upon the power on cycle, it goes directly to a black screen with a flashing cursor.

Cannot enter safemode at this point.

We can boot from a Ghost CD and recover an image file... then the computer runs fine for several days including power down / power up... then we again get the  blackscreen and flashing cursor.

We can also boot from the Dell Diagnostics CD and run all tests... which tells us everything is fine.

Dell has come out and replaced: motherboard, hard drive, processor, and RAM... basically giving us a new machine... but then after a few days... we are back to the flashing cursor.  Dell has been very cooperative and  these items have been replaced twice now.

For a while we thought it was the docking station or docking procedure... but a new docking station has not improved things...and since the last image restore we have left it out of the docking station entirely... but this morning it again went back to the flashing cursor.

Any suggestions most welcome.   Aside from the blinking cursor and having to restore an image file every few weeks, things are fine :-(   Hope somebody has some ideas.

Scans with AVG Anti-Virus are clean (when we get the machine running).

Tomster2

 
Tomster2Asked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

sfarazmandCommented:
Have you updated the BIOS? Also check the bios for the Undock settings to allow hot-undock. Dell has had issues with batteries and overheating. Have you tried running plugged in without the battery?
If you're scanning and think it may be spyware try http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam-download.php
 
 
0
TheIteam3Commented:
Have you tried removing the DVD Drive when this happens? I have seen a communication error cuase this kind of problem, intermittently.
0
Tomster2Author Commented:
BIOS - yes... latest BIOS for several months now.

Battery - yes, we tried running without the battery

Malwarebytes - tried it a while ago... but not recently.  Will try that... I know it finds things the more well known programs don't.

Good idea on the DVD.  Will try that as well.
0
10 Tips to Protect Your Business from Ransomware

Did you know that ransomware is the most widespread, destructive malware in the world today? It accounts for 39% of all security breaches, with ransomware gangsters projected to make $11.5B in profits from online extortion by 2019.

el_rama86Commented:
1.- First of all, can you get into the BIOS? and;
2.- Did you change the CPU Multiplier on the BIOS? Cuz it sounds like a bad BIOS config. Try to "Load Default Settings". If you didn't change the CPU Multiplier try Loading Default settings anyway;
3.- If this doesn't works, and if, like you say, you can boot up from CD/DVD, then your boot sectors are corrupted, and you must try reinstalling the OS. DO NOT use your image file (cuz its corrupted) just get your files from the image file.

PD. Sry for my poor english.
Regards
0
Tomster2Author Commented:
el rama86,

If that is the case, why would the machine work fine for several weeks... then crash.
0
el_rama86Commented:
I don't know the cause, maybe a virus. But a flashing cursor after the POST, sometimes means corrupted boot sectors. And, in your case, if you can boot from another drive (like cd/dvd) then you may try reinstalling the OS not using your image file.
I'm not a professional, I don't look at the causes, ppl just give their computers to me and I just fix them ;-)
0
nobusCommented:
could be an environment problem.
any cell phones nearby, or other transmitters?
can you test this system somewhere else? eg in other room, or building ?
Did you check the AC and grounding?
0
Tomster2Author Commented:
TheIteam3,

I think you are onto something.  The DVD has been unpredictable lately.

I am thinking that something going on with the connection and possible shorting of the mother board.  

At the moment we cannot even get the machine to boot from anywhere or get to the BIOS screen.  Hitting the power on button results in drive light flashing for about 2 seconds... followed by black screen or cursor.

This happens with all usb devices out (keyboard, mouse) with or without battery and DVD.   I think the damage is already done and the machine is toast.... so trying to get motherboard replaced and this time DVD as well.
0
TheIteam3Commented:
Start screaming at Dell... "I want a replacement!!!! I have warranty, you have been unable to resolve after X amount of calls. Give me a new machine!!!"
I'm sure the number of hours invested in troubleshooting this exceed the cost of a new machine.
0
nobusCommented:
0
Tomster2Author Commented:
Still waiting on Dell... they promised a call back within 48 hrs... no one has called yet.
0
Tomster2Author Commented:
After three calls to Dell with an escalation request on each one... for which they promised someone would call me back within 48 hours each time... and no call came in... we threw in the towel.

I have had good luck with Dell and this is the first time in many years that I felt like they were just hoping I would go away.  They succeeded.

Problem not solved.

I appreciate the suggestions, but we never got anywhere so I am going to request the question be closed with points refunded.
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
TheIteam3Commented:
Sorry to hear... This is why I only sell HP products... Any machine will work, the true test is how long it takes when your in the ditch.
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
System Utilities

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.