Problems with a Dimension 8300

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

My colleague is running a Dell Dimension 8300, P4 3 GHz, 512 MB RAM, XP
Home.

In the last couple of days it has been very problematic booting up, often
taking 10-15 minutes to get to the Windows logon screen. It displays the
Dell logo when it first boots, then goes to a black screen with a single
cursor in the upper left corner and hangs there for ages before showing the
normal XP loading screen and getting on with the start-up. Once it's up and
running, it behaves fine.

I've virus-scanned with AVG, checked for spyware & adware (Lavasoft &
Spyware S&D), run through the start-up folder with msconfig and found
nothing particularly out of the ordinary, although my feeling is that this
issue occurs before Windows loads, so I wouldn't have expected to see much.
And on the same basis, I'm loathe to use System Restore, although it's there
as an option. No new applications have been installed for some weeks, and
this has only been an issue for a few days.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what my next steps should be?

Many thanks.
3 answers Last reply
More about problems dimension 8300
  1. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Trent SC" <trent@invalid.invalid> wrote in message
    news:34kpbmF4cbokbU1@individual.net...
    > My colleague is running a Dell Dimension 8300, P4 3 GHz, 512 MB RAM, XP
    > Home.
    >
    > In the last couple of days it has been very problematic booting up, often
    > taking 10-15 minutes to get to the Windows logon screen. It displays the
    > Dell logo when it first boots, then goes to a black screen with a single
    > cursor in the upper left corner and hangs there for ages before showing
    > the normal XP loading screen and getting on with the start-up. Once it's
    > up and running, it behaves fine.
    >
    > I've virus-scanned with AVG, checked for spyware & adware (Lavasoft &
    > Spyware S&D), run through the start-up folder with msconfig and found
    > nothing particularly out of the ordinary, although my feeling is that this
    > issue occurs before Windows loads, so I wouldn't have expected to see
    > much. And on the same basis, I'm loathe to use System Restore, although
    > it's there as an option. No new applications have been installed for some
    > weeks, and this has only been an issue for a few days.
    >
    > Does anyone have any suggestions on what my next steps should be?
    >
    > Many thanks.
    >


    The system sounds as if it's having trouble initialize a piece of hardware
    during BIOS load (or having difficulty grabbing the boot record of the hard
    disk).

    For starters, unplug all externals other than the monitor, kb and mouse and
    attempt to boot normally.

    If the problem remains, then F2 into BIOS at the Dell splash screen and:

    1) Default the BIOS settings by pressing ( ALT+F - system should beep )

    2) Clear the BIOS config settings by enabling num/caps/scroll lock keys and
    then pressing ALT+E. System should beep again.

    3) Press ESC and then enter to 'exit saving changes'. System should
    immediately go into 'IDE configuration' when you exit. This should take no
    more than 5 minutes. Optical drives should be identified but offer a result
    of "diags not supported" or the like. Note if all drives are present (other
    than floppy drive) with the result. If all drives are there and the hard
    disk passes, attempt boot again.

    If problem still remains, I'd begin by unplugging the IDE2 cable from the mb
    and attempt boot, and continue on by removing individual PCI cards as needed
    until I found the problem device.

    hth

    Stew
  2. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    my gut tells me that your start up delay is due to a corrupted registry. i
    suggest trying a system restore to a point in time that is a week or more
    prior to when you recall that the problem first surfaced. if that doesn't
    solve the problem then follow stews sage advice. system restore in windows
    xp is quite dependable.

    "S.Lewis" <stew1960@cover.bellsouth.net> wrote in message
    news:JycFd.1988$Fh.245@bignews4.bellsouth.net...
    >
    > "Trent SC" <trent@invalid.invalid> wrote in message
    > news:34kpbmF4cbokbU1@individual.net...
    >> My colleague is running a Dell Dimension 8300, P4 3 GHz, 512 MB RAM, XP
    >> Home.
    >>
    >> In the last couple of days it has been very problematic booting up, often
    >> taking 10-15 minutes to get to the Windows logon screen. It displays the
    >> Dell logo when it first boots, then goes to a black screen with a single
    >> cursor in the upper left corner and hangs there for ages before showing
    >> the normal XP loading screen and getting on with the start-up. Once it's
    >> up and running, it behaves fine.
    >>
    >> I've virus-scanned with AVG, checked for spyware & adware (Lavasoft &
    >> Spyware S&D), run through the start-up folder with msconfig and found
    >> nothing particularly out of the ordinary, although my feeling is that
    >> this issue occurs before Windows loads, so I wouldn't have expected to
    >> see much. And on the same basis, I'm loathe to use System Restore,
    >> although it's there as an option. No new applications have been
    >> installed for some weeks, and this has only been an issue for a few days.
    >>
    >> Does anyone have any suggestions on what my next steps should be?
    >>
    >> Many thanks.
    >>
    >
    >
    > The system sounds as if it's having trouble initialize a piece of hardware
    > during BIOS load (or having difficulty grabbing the boot record of the
    > hard disk).
    >
    > For starters, unplug all externals other than the monitor, kb and mouse
    > and attempt to boot normally.
    >
    > If the problem remains, then F2 into BIOS at the Dell splash screen and:
    >
    > 1) Default the BIOS settings by pressing ( ALT+F - system should beep )
    >
    > 2) Clear the BIOS config settings by enabling num/caps/scroll lock keys
    > and then pressing ALT+E. System should beep again.
    >
    > 3) Press ESC and then enter to 'exit saving changes'. System should
    > immediately go into 'IDE configuration' when you exit. This should take no
    > more than 5 minutes. Optical drives should be identified but offer a
    > result of "diags not supported" or the like. Note if all drives are
    > present (other than floppy drive) with the result. If all drives are
    > there and the hard disk passes, attempt boot again.
    >
    > If problem still remains, I'd begin by unplugging the IDE2 cable from the
    > mb and attempt boot, and continue on by removing individual PCI cards as
    > needed until I found the problem device.
    >
    > hth
    >
    > Stew
    >
  3. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    >>> My colleague is running a Dell Dimension 8300, P4 3 GHz, 512 MB RAM, XP
    >>> Home.
    >>>
    >>> In the last couple of days it has been very problematic booting up,
    >>> often taking 10-15 minutes to get to the Windows logon screen. It
    >>> displays the Dell logo when it first boots, then goes to a black screen
    >>> with a single cursor in the upper left corner and hangs there for ages
    >>> before showing the normal XP loading screen and getting on with the
    >>> start-up. Once it's up and running, it behaves fine.
    >>>
    >>> I've virus-scanned with AVG, checked for spyware & adware (Lavasoft &
    >>> Spyware S&D), run through the start-up folder with msconfig and found
    >>> nothing particularly out of the ordinary, although my feeling is that
    >>> this issue occurs before Windows loads, so I wouldn't have expected to
    >>> see much. And on the same basis, I'm loathe to use System Restore,
    >>> although it's there as an option. No new applications have been
    >>> installed for some weeks, and this has only been an issue for a few
    >>> days.
    >>>
    >>> Does anyone have any suggestions on what my next steps should be?
    >>>
    >>> Many thanks.
    >>
    >> The system sounds as if it's having trouble initialize a piece of
    >> hardware during BIOS load (or having difficulty grabbing the boot record
    >> of the hard disk).
    >>
    >> For starters, unplug all externals other than the monitor, kb and mouse
    >> and attempt to boot normally.
    >>
    >> If the problem remains, then F2 into BIOS at the Dell splash screen and:
    >>
    >> 1) Default the BIOS settings by pressing ( ALT+F - system should beep )
    >>
    >> 2) Clear the BIOS config settings by enabling num/caps/scroll lock keys
    >> and then pressing ALT+E. System should beep again.
    >>
    >> 3) Press ESC and then enter to 'exit saving changes'. System should
    >> immediately go into 'IDE configuration' when you exit. This should take
    >> no more than 5 minutes. Optical drives should be identified but offer a
    >> result of "diags not supported" or the like. Note if all drives are
    >> present (other than floppy drive) with the result. If all drives are
    >> there and the hard disk passes, attempt boot again.
    >>
    >> If problem still remains, I'd begin by unplugging the IDE2 cable from the
    >> mb and attempt boot, and continue on by removing individual PCI cards as
    >> needed until I found the problem device.
    >>
    > my gut tells me that your start up delay is due to a corrupted registry.
    > i suggest trying a system restore to a point in time that is a week or
    > more prior to when you recall that the problem first surfaced. if that
    > doesn't solve the problem then follow stews sage advice. system restore
    > in windows xp is quite dependable.
    >
    I've tried System Restore to no effect, so I'll go with Stew's suggestion
    next and see what happens. If it's relevant, the long delay continues to
    occur at the same point during the boot-up process.
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