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Dell Dimension E251 - Serious problems

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  • Dell
  • Computers
Last response: in Computer Brands
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March 30, 2010 7:12:39 PM

Hello.

Firstly I'll explain what happened..... (you're going to think what I did was rather stupid :D )

I got back home and went to turn on my computer as normal, process:

Half second bleep of "_" on screen (HSB) -> Graphics Card Load (GCL) -> BIOS Load (BL) -> Which OS (WO) -> Login Screen (LS) -> Desktop

The first time it worked as normal, I then opened up OpenOffice to start some work. It was fine for about 5 mins, and I pressed Ctrl+S to save, it sort of froze; I was like, okay... tried to save again, tried to gracefully close it, this program is not responding etc... So I did Ctrl+Alt+Del, -> task manager, end process, still didn't close so I tried a graceful reboot, didn't work so I ended up doing a forceful reboot.

I then tried to turn it on again... process:

HSB -> GCL -> BL -> WO -> Then it hung... black screen...

So I restared, the same thing happened... I then restarted again and got ...

HSB -> GCL -> BL -> Then it hung... black screen

Now I was starting to realise an emerging pattern and was getting worried. I restarted again.

HSB -> Hanging..... black screen (just the "_" bleeping constantly)

I walked away for 5 mins then came back... I put in my Linux hard drive and it worked perfectly, so I thought it's only the hard drive. I worked in Linux for 5 mins, then had to restart due to updates, it worked fine again after the restart on Linux so I did 2 hours work then had to do another restart. The restart then revealed that using a different hard drive was only a temporary fix, I was stuck on the flashing "_" with the Linux (Ubuntu) hard drive. I tried to restart again and was now getting bleep codes and nothing was showing on the monitor, the code was Small Beep, small beep, long beep, longer beep for the Dell BIOS, I couldn't find what the beep code meant, however I think it was something to do with the BIOS chip being corrupted and not the RAM.

I then turned off my PC and disconnected it etc... and cleaned out some dust, and took out and plugged back in most of the power cables. Reconnected it and still the same problem, I double checked the beep codes to make sure and tried to "Google" it again... coming to nothing. By this stage I was getting a bit angry.. I disconnected the PC again and tried to clean it out more and I reset the four sticks of RAM I have (2x512MB, 2x1GB). This still didn't work, so I reset the RAM again... By this stage I was really getting quite angry... and I'm pretty sure it was no longer beeping at all and there was no output on the monitor, however the lights and fans were running as if it was working normally. I then decided (and I don't know why I did it, I was angry) to put in the first two (2x512MB) sticks of RAM in the wrong way... I knew it didn't fit but I kind of got it into place and restarted it... turned it on and smelt burning, so I turned it off immediately and took out the 2x512MB sticks of RAM. I then tried moving the two remaining sticks of RAM (considering I probably broke the other 2) into all different combinations of positions but to no avail.

If anyone knows how I can fix this it would be greatly appreciated, I kind of need it for programming (my Ubuntu netbook is slow). However I suspect it was a broken BIOS chip, I'm not sure though.

PC Specs:
3GB RAM installed (2.5GB recognised)
AMD Athlon 64x2 5000+ @2.6GHz
GeForce 9800GT
nForce 430 mobo (I think)
480W PSU

The windows version it was running was Windows 7 and the linux version was Ubuntu 9.10, if you need any more info just ask :) 

More about : dell dimension e251 problems

March 31, 2010 12:20:02 AM

374765,1,509216 said:
the code was Small Beep, small beep, long beep, longer beep for the Dell BIOS, I couldn't find what the beep code meant, however I think it was something to do with the BIOS chip being corrupted and not the RAM.

Beep codes for Dell are:
(1-1-2 means beep, beep, beep-beep.)

1-1-2 Processor Register Failure
1-1-3 NVRam
1-1-4 ROM Bios checksum failure
1-2-1 Programmable Interval Timer
1-2-2 DMA Initialization Failure
1-2-3 Direct Memory Access Page Register Read/Write Failure
1-3-1 - 2-4-4 Memory/RAM Not Properly Identified or Used
3-1-1 Slave DMA Registration Failure
3-1-2 Master DMA Registration Failure
3-1-3 Master Interrupt Mask Registration Failure
3-1-4 Slave Interrupt Mask Registration Failure
3-2-2 Interrupted Vector Loading Failure
3-2-4 Keyboard Controller (Input) Test Failure
3-3-1 NVRam Insufficient Power
3-3-2 Improperly configured NVRam
3-3-4 Video Memory(RAM) Test Failure
3-4-1 Screen Output Initialization Failure
3-4-2 Screen Retrace Failure
3-4-3 Failure Finding Video Read Only Memory
4-2-1 Lack of Time Tick
4-2-2 Shutdown Failure
4-2-3 Failure in Gate A20
4-2-4 Unexpected Interruption in Protect Mode
4-3-1 Memory Address Failure above 0FFFFH
4-3-4 Non Functioning Time Of Day Clock
4-4-1 Serial And/Or Parallel Port Test Failure
4-4-4 Cache Test Failure

[/quote]
March 31, 2010 6:38:36 AM

So, I should try resetting the processor?
Related resources
April 3, 2010 9:35:15 AM

Bump.

Any help?
April 4, 2010 9:40:59 AM

It may be that there is an issue with Windows. Try accessing the restore partition or insert the CD (if you can get to it) and run a repair. If that is a no go, you may want to try another hard drive and see if it will respond at all.
April 4, 2010 10:25:37 AM

buwish said:
It may be that there is an issue with Windows. Try accessing the restore partition or insert the CD (if you can get to it) and run a repair. If that is a no go, you may want to try another hard drive and see if it will respond at all.


I've tried two hard drives, firstly Windows 7 which went wrong, then Ubuntu 9.10 which went wrong after a while.

I've currently got my Windows 7 hard drive externally hooked up to my Ubuntu Netbook and it's reporting that it has lots of bad sectors :/ 

However, when the computer won't even beep or display anything on the screen at all, I can't see how it could be the hard drive.
!