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Dell Vostro 430a Will Not Boot; No Post

Posted on 2013-11-23
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I have a Dell Vostro 430a that stopped video overnight and will not post or respond to any keyboard commands.  I replugged everything except CPU (RAM, HD, CD, panel switches, power connectors, monitor, video card).  Still no post.  Tried with UBCD, no post.  Tried disconnecting HD, no post with CD.  Tried disconnecting CD, no post with HD.  Sounds like the HD is spinning up when I power on, but it doesn't seem to get over the hump into the post.
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Question by:tjvetter
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12 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:donnk
ID: 39671253
check USB connectors for damage, usual suspect.
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Author Comment

by:tjvetter
ID: 39671257
I found this from nobus:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Desktops/PCs/Q_28079418.html#a39027967

I guess I will run through the procedure and report back.

No USB's in use.
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Author Comment

by:tjvetter
ID: 39671268
When I did this:

 - Disconnect all peripherals devices (including the drives, CD, DVD, printers and keyboard) and network cables, except for the motherboard + CPU + 1 ram stick, video card, monitor and power supply

-Verify that the 4-, 6- or 8-pin CPU Aux power plug is connected

-Verify that the VIDEO card has a power connecter - if yes, connect the power to it!

     Now, power-on  your PC.  On boot, do you have a display?

-if NO it is one of the connected devices: RAM, Power supply , video card or monitor.  So, if possible, swap ram, power supply, video card or monitor - leaving only motherboard and CPU

-test the ram in each slot, sometimes you have a bad slot, causing ram problems

I got no display or post, so I tried moving the RAM stick and then swapping the stick (I have two 2GB sticks for 4GB total, but testing with one stick at this point).

After swapping the RAM stick, I get a repeating six beep alarm.
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Expert Comment

by:Biscolo92
ID: 39671295
Hello,

Did you tried hard reset the pc ?

To-do-so : Please unplug the pc from power source and remove the battery and press  the OFF/ON Button for about 10~20 seconds. After, that please insert your battery and try to start the laptop.
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Accepted Solution

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tjvetter earned 0 total points
ID: 39671325
According to manual, that is a "video bios test failure."

In order to test this, I swapped RAM sticks again, same slot.  Lo and behold, I got video with the typical messages about my BIOS and the fact that I had reduced memory.

So, next, I inserted the second RAM stick, and now got a message to insert a boot disk.

Now, reconnecting HD.  Get video.  

Reconnecting CD.  Get UBCD startup.

Reconnecting keyboard.  Got KB functionality.

Now, starting Windows 7.  Stuck ... self shutdown.

Reboot.  Launch "startup repair" from startup menu that appeared, "loading files," self shutdown.

Reboot.  Running "startup repair" again.  Self shutdown again.

Reboot with "normal" startup.  Got "Starting Windows" splash screen, but seems stuck.  Self shutdown after about two minutes.

Looks like I need to post a new question.
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Author Comment

by:tjvetter
ID: 39671330
Thanks DonnK and Biscolo92.  I need to change the issue to Windows 7 startup.  This is not a laptop and no USB's are connected.
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:CompProbSolv
ID: 39671750
I wanted to add a quick note about donnk's USB question that was asked.  It was not an issue of whether or not you had any USB devices connected; it was whether or not the USB connectors themselves (or the cables) were damaged.  I've seen similar failures when the USB connector was broken and internally shorted (I presume the 5V line).  Unplugging the USB cable from the motherboard identified the culprit.

This can be a tricky one as it can be intermittent if the USB connector is bumped at all.
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39672305
>>  After swapping the RAM stick, I get a repeating six beep alarm.   <<  probably a bad contact
best remove both sticks, and inspeact and clean the slots

if you want me in on the new Q post the link here !
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Author Closing Comment

by:tjvetter
ID: 39683119
The BIOS/Post solution belongs to nobus!  Hehe.  But, with that solved, now I have a new problem.
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39683312
>>  The BIOS/Post solution belongs to nobus!   << ??
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Author Comment

by:tjvetter
ID: 39685123
Well, yes in the sense that I used your hardware troubleshooting guides from some old posts.
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39685408
ha - ggod to see my article helped!
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