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Boot - no Windows after battery change

Last response: in Windows XP
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August 5, 2011 6:10:30 PM

Hello,
Have tried to find a solution but so far all advice has failed. My Dell Dimension 8400, intel, windows xp sp3, was working great this am. Decided to replace CR 2032 battery. Power message accompanied by diagnostic yellow light indicates it can't find diskette drive (There is none). So I F2, go to drives and disable diskette drive. Attempt to reboot and it directs to the "We apologize for the inconvenience..." where none of the start up selections is successful. I have a cd lebeled boot.ini but am hesitant to use it. Any help appreciated
August 5, 2011 6:15:25 PM



Changing the CMOS battery unless the system clock is way out is an unusual thing to do - especially if the system was "working great". Restart then tap Function 2 to go into BIOS or Setup and click on Default Settings. Check the date and time, make any corrections and OK your way out after saving all the changes. Tap Function 8 this time and select Safe Mode to break Windows in gently.


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August 5, 2011 6:42:30 PM

Thank you for responding, Saga Lout. Fixed the time and selected default all but did disable the diskette drive. Exited and tapped F8 to select safe mode and again the boot returned to "we apologize.." screen.
Windows still doesn't engage
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August 6, 2011 6:16:05 AM



If you have, or can borrow purely for repair purposes, an XP CD, run Checkdisk on your hard drive. Alternatively, you could slave it to another computer to do this. The Command Line syntax is chkdsk /r (including the space) to find and fix any disk errors.


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August 6, 2011 7:09:04 AM

1935 classic said:
Thank you for responding, Saga Lout. Fixed the time and selected default all but did disable the diskette drive. Exited and tapped F8 to select safe mode and again the boot returned to "we apologize.." screen.
Windows still doesn't engage

Have you tried a hard reset - I know it works on laptops, should work on desktops, but I am no engineer !

Hold the power on button down for (10 to 30 seconds).
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August 6, 2011 6:47:46 PM

ksiemb said:
Have you tried a hard reset - I know it works on laptops, should work on desktops, but I am no engineer !

Hold the power on button down for (10 to 30 seconds).




Thank you Ksiemb and Saga Lout for your replies. I'll remember the hard reset advice and I do still have my XP disk, but amazingly, got it working through blind ignorance and determination. Tried a lot of things in BIOS set up when default didn't seem to help. Went to Drives, SATA Operation, and changed it from RAID Autodetect AHCI to RAID Autodetect ATA. Just couldn't believe it when I watched Windows boot up like always. This has been a great machine - it's good to have it working again.

Again, thank you for your advice. This is a excellent source for help when we're stuck.
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January 9, 2014 10:44:07 PM

I'm so glad I found your post, 1935. I've spent 2 days trying to fix my similar problem. An old Dell Precision 370. I use it in the background as a kind of server and never power it off. Power outage and no restart. Replaced the battery - dead as a doornail - and couldn't get the thing to reboot in XP. Was about to reinstall Windows, but got a clue when xp cd couldn't see the hard drive. Changing from AHCI to ATA in Bios setup and Lo and Behold I have my (old) machine back. THANK YOU!!
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January 10, 2014 8:08:37 AM

Spindrift said:
I'm so glad I found your post, 1935. I've spent 2 days trying to fix my similar problem. An old Dell Precision 370. I use it in the background as a kind of server and never power it off. Power outage and no restart. Replaced the battery - dead as a doornail - and couldn't get the thing to reboot in XP. Was about to reinstall Windows, but got a clue when xp cd couldn't see the hard drive. Changing from AHCI to ATA in Bios setup and Lo and Behold I have my (old) machine back. THANK YOU!!


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January 10, 2014 8:10:10 AM

So glad that little trick worked for you, Spindrift. I remember being very frustrated until I tried it, and voila!
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January 22, 2014 9:31:31 AM

Many thanks 1935 Classic.
I volunteer for a local charity and this problem has occured on a few machines now and all are Dells of one type or another, did just as you suggested on one of them and VOILA, a fully compliant piece of tech is back as good as new....
Many many thanks, you're a gem.
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!