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I have a Dell Insprion 4000 with a Seagate Momentus 5400.3 160 GB hard drive that was working fine last night, but today it will not boot.  I have entered setup and the screen is frozen on page 1.

Posted on 2011-09-19
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
During startup of my Dell Insprion 4000 laptop the Dell splash screen comes up and then the screen goes black with a flashing curser and that's all.  i've pulled the battery and power in an attempt to correct the issue, but to no avail.  I've entered the setup screen and the clock / calendar is illuminated and it is frozen on page 1 of 6 and will not close by using the escape key.  The setup screen will linger for about 15 minutes or so and the laptop will turn itself off.  I've inserted the install cd and a DOS message prompt says to press any key to boot from the CD and I did that and nothing happens.  Help me please Experts!
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Question by:pbritz
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Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 36561428
Shut down the Inspiron and then unscrew the drive bay and disconnect the HDD by slightly pulling it away from the casing (no more than shown here) then restart and see if the BIOS pages are unfrozen.  If they are it looks like there's a problem with the HDD.  If the symptoms are the same some more troubleshooting is called for.
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by:pbritz
ID: 36561501
Thanks Masqueraid; I tried that and no joy.
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
☠ MASQ ☠ earned 500 total points
ID: 36561692
Lots of other things to remove but unless you're very lucky I think you're going to find this is a motherboard problem :(

Worth taking out RAM so you're down to one SODIMM (unless of course you only have the one)  & swapping in case one has gone bad.

How are you on taking things apart? The disassembly guide is linked to from the HDD page above, check for blackened components or bulging capacitors on the board.
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Author Comment

by:pbritz
ID: 36561762
I'd rather it be a motherboard problem.  I believe that I have two sticks of RAM and I'm quite familiar with digging around this box, so I'll give it a go and look for affected components and I'll get back to you ASAP.  Thanks!
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Assisted Solution

by:pbritz
pbritz earned 0 total points
ID: 36562085
I swapped out the memory modules JDIM2 to JDIM1 running only one stick and got the memory size has changed press F1 to continue which is ignored.  With both sticks installed the same thing happens and in all cases the BIOS pages are frozen.

Access to the system board is labor intensive to say the least so I didn't get a good eyeball on it.  I also smell a burnt odor at the cooling fan outlet, so I'm thinking something's toast.  

Hopefully the HDD is intact...
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Accepted Solution

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pbritz earned 0 total points
ID: 36562087
I swapped out the memory modules JDIM2 to JDIM1 running only one stick and got the memory size has changed press F1 to continue which is ignored.  With both sticks installed the same thing happens and in all cases the BIOS pages are frozen.

Access to the system board is labor intensive to say the least so I didn't get a good eyeball on it.  I also smell a burnt odor at the cooling fan outlet, so I'm thinking something's toast.  

Hopefully the HDD is intact...
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Author Closing Comment

by:pbritz
ID: 36591789
Possible hardware failure and due to that no solution could be made at this time.  I found Masqueraid most helpful and he / she did what he / she could do.
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Author Comment

by:pbritz
ID: 36562493
No objections...
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