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No boot on Ispiron 6000 - 2 beeps on start

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
June 13, 2011 3:02:17 PM

My Inspiron 6000 will not boot anymore. It tries to start, then beeps twice. Any guidance appreciated
a c 572 D Laptop
June 13, 2011 3:05:37 PM

Hello korkus;

Long beeps? Or short beeps?
June 13, 2011 3:15:38 PM

Thank you for replying WR2. It was two short beeps.
I had just upped the memory to 2gb and it was working for for a couple of hours. The new RAM seemed to be recognised and working. I did an XP restart and got a blue screen. Now each time I start up it shows the initial DELL screen for a couple of seconds then appears to try to load, beeps twice and shuts down. I have tried the old memory back, but no change. I took out the CMOS battery for 15mins to see if it wold reset - no luck. Can't even boot off a LINUX os CD now. Flumoxed really.
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a c 572 D Laptop
June 13, 2011 3:21:18 PM

The two shorts beeps is the memory error code.
What make/model/part number RAM are you using?

I guess you'd expect the old RAM to work but its just possible it was damaged or mis-handled during the changeover.
June 13, 2011 3:49:28 PM

I have the correct RAM, specifically for the make/model (DDR2). I used exactly the same type in my daughter's 6000 and it has been fine for a year in there.

I have also swapped back the old memory with same symptoms.

Since then I have tried blowing out the 2 memory slots, etc.

What seemed significant was that in gave me a bluescreen on shutdown/restart just before it went wrong. I had to power off from that as it was just hanging.

It has not booted since.

When I switch on, there is a start screen (DELL) with a bar going across (as something is loading?), it does not complete that bar, but screen goes black. Then after about a minute it shuts off.

When I am changing memory, I keep my bare foot on a radiator all the time. No static clicks or anything like that.

This has me puzzled, but that blue screen on the restart has me worried. Frustration is that I can't boot off another cd, etc as it doesn't get that far.
Thankyou for your patience.

a c 572 D Laptop
June 13, 2011 3:55:06 PM

Are you able to get the laptop is the BIOS area? I think for that model it's the F2 key on bootup.
a c 572 D Laptop
June 13, 2011 3:58:18 PM

Inspect the gold contacts for the old RAM and see if there is any sign of oxidation or damage.
(compare them to the contacts on the new RAM for example)

I'm not too concerned with the bluescreen with the new RAM installed. It could be the RAM went bad, or had a bad section and the laptop just started to use that section and halted.
June 13, 2011 4:07:36 PM

The old RAM contacts look fine, no oxide, rubbing, etc. Same as the new ones.

When I put in the new RAM, it alterted me on startup and the RAM seemed usable. Funny how the old RAM doesn't work either though?

Thanks for your replies WR2
a c 572 D Laptop
June 13, 2011 4:11:55 PM

Yes, I can't be too surprised that the new RAM would be faulty. It does happen quite a bit. It's pretty easy to get a RMA or return.

But the old RAM not working when re-installed (after clearing CMOS) has me scratching my head.
a c 572 D Laptop
June 13, 2011 4:12:37 PM

Are you working with 2 sticks of RAM?
Tried using just 1 stick, and testing with both sticks?
Maybe try testing in both slots as well.
June 13, 2011 4:14:21 PM

WR2 - Sorry I forgot to tell you. The Dell boot screen with the bar only shows for about a second. Then screen is black. I can't get any response from F2 F12 F8 F10 or Del when this happens. I.e. no way to BIOS or safe mode, etc. Strange that it seemed fine for 2 hours with the new RAM. I am wondering if it has overheated in some way. It is a good minute before the 2 beeps follow.
June 13, 2011 4:16:03 PM

2 RAM sticks used. I have tried the combinations of one in each as well, but still same result.
a c 572 D Laptop
June 13, 2011 4:37:32 PM

I don't see how extra RAM would increase the heat enough to be the cause of any problems.

You've tried all the usual tricks in troubleshooting RAM issues I know about.

If you get a chance to test those sets of RAM in another laptop and they turn out good - I'd say that's pointing at an issue with either the motherboard or the RAM slots themselves (pretty much the same thing as the motherboard).
June 13, 2011 4:41:37 PM

Well Thanks for trying WR2. I am just going to try all the RAM configs in the 2 slots (8 configs). I notice that the DELL 'loading bar' seems to get further sometimes than at others. I will also have a good look at the 2 slots themselves.

My thanks,
June 13, 2011 6:28:23 PM

Dear WR2

I have got a little further with the problem. Having tried several times, I have managed to get into the BIOS where is says there is no HDD.

I have changed the boot sequence and will try to get it up on LINX from the CD next. At least I can find out if there is anything on the disc perhaps.

I have no original discs for this Laptop. If I can see the HDD could I take it up on (say) an MSDOS diskette to repair?

my best wishes
a c 572 D Laptop
June 14, 2011 1:09:02 PM

You should be able to take the HDD out of the laptop and attach it to a PC as an extra HDD there to work on it. That would also give you a chance to save any personal files or data you want to back up.
It would take a latop IDE drive to desktop EIDE adapter cable though.
And you probably don't have one laying around. Laptop to IDE Hard Drive Adapter Cable IDE / EIDE adapter
You should be able to look up your HDDs make and model number to confirm its a 44pin IDE model.

A quicker solution might be to use one of the Linux rescue disks out there.
You can burn a bootable .ISO image and hopefully gain access to the HDD that way.
I believe several of the Live CD distros have tools to work on Windows HDDs.
And you'd be able to work on getting any of your personal files and data off the HDD.
June 15, 2011 9:09:37 AM

Thanks again for the reply WR2.

I have a LINUX rescue CD but the CD drive on the laptop is not working consistently. I got into the BIOS long enough to determine that it will attempt a USB boot, so will assemble something to try that. If I can see the HDD, it may be the best way to rescue the important stuff.

As a contingency, I am borrowing a caddy for the laptop HDD and it should have the correct cable. (My son used it to rescue his laptop data recently).

More or less as you said. Thanks for the links, I will find those very useful.

I think it is worth a go as there are a few important files on the HDD and I can't hear any clicking or other strange noises coming out of the drive. I am hoping that it is just the boot screwed up. The failure occurred on auto-restart from the XPSP3 install. Had previously cleaned it of a trojan and keyloggers found by security essentials. I have had XP mess up a boot like this before, so I am hopeful.

I will let you know how it goes. Best wishes.