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Inspiron 8500 boot problems

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Anonymous
April 17, 2005 6:53:31 PM

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

System:
Dell Inspiron 8500, 2.2GHz Pentium 4, 1Gb RAM, 60Gb hard drive w/ > 15Gb
free
Windows XP Pro w/ SP2

Yesterday, for no obvious reason (no new hardware, and the only new
software is Adobe 7.0), my Inspirion began refusing to boot normally.
(I should note that the system booted OK several times after installing
Adobe 7.0.) It will go past the Dell screen (which I believe means the
system has passed POST), and will go past the Windows XP splash screen
(the one with the little moving bar at the bottom of the screen), but
when the Windows splash screen goes to black, it never comes back. (And
I've waited 30 minutes...) (FWIW, just before, and I mean *just* before
the problem began, I pulled a CD-ROM out of the optical drive during the
boot process. I forgot I had it in there, and I've noticed that the
boot process takes *much* longer with this CD-ROM in the drive.
Coincidence? Or root cause of my problems?) (FWIW, the CD-ROM is help
documentation for a data analysis program I use, and is required to be
in the CD-ROM drive for the data analysis program to run.)

Although I can't boot normally, I can, however, boot into Safe Mode,
although that's obviously not acceptable as a long-term solution.

I've booted into Diagnostics Mode (F12) and run the Extended
Diagnostics. The only things that comes up is that the multi-media key
test won't pass. (I can't get the test to even recognize the first
button the test wants me to press.) Specifically, all the memory tests
and all the IDE hard drive tests pass.

I've tried going back to the last five or six restore points
(specifically, before installing Adobe 7.0); no joy.

I've talked with Dell Technical Support about this. They want me to
reinstall Windows.

Before I do this, I have a few questions for the newsgroup.

1) Is reinstalling Windows a reasonable thing to do? (Note: My
reinstallation CD is for Windows XP Home, SP1. Since purchasing my
I8500, I've upgraded to, and will thus have to reinstall, XP Pro and
SP2.)

2) Is there a better (that is, more likely to work, or at least less
drastic) thing I can try first?

3) Will anything in the Windows re-installation process cause me to lose
data or files. (e.g. recently received email, or recently modified
files associated with Word or other programs) (Note: I back up my
system regularly, but Murphy's Law - I was booting up to do another
backup when I ran into the "Failed to boot" problem. I'd like to avoid
losing all my changes since my last backup, if possible. And yes, I
realize that this means I should do backups more frequently.)

4) Since I can boot into Safe Mode, my hunch is that I have a driver
issue. Is there any way that I can identify the offending driver(s),
and reinstall just them? Is there even a way I can confirm that this is
a driver issue?

Thanks in advance for any help the group can provide.

Bob Pownall
Anonymous
April 17, 2005 7:00:19 PM

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

Bob Pownall wrote:
>
> System:
> Dell Inspiron 8500, 2.2GHz Pentium 4, 1Gb RAM, 60Gb hard drive w/ > 15Gb
> free
> Windows XP Pro w/ SP2
>
> <snip>

1) Do you have a Restore Point that you can go back to?

2) If you put the CD back into the drive, can you boot into Windows?

Notan
Anonymous
April 17, 2005 10:35:35 PM

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

Can you boot into Safe Mode? Don't listen to the Indian morons at Dell. Dell
support is a useless joke! I've found that there usual solution is to tell
you to reinstall the OS.
"Notan" <notan@ddress.com> wrote in message
news:4262CE63.3497893@ddress.com...
> Bob Pownall wrote:
>>
>> System:
>> Dell Inspiron 8500, 2.2GHz Pentium 4, 1Gb RAM, 60Gb hard drive w/ > 15Gb
>> free
>> Windows XP Pro w/ SP2
>>
>> <snip>
>
> 1) Do you have a Restore Point that you can go back to?
>
> 2) If you put the CD back into the drive, can you boot into Windows?
>
> Notan
Related resources
Anonymous
April 17, 2005 11:24:45 PM

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

Notan wrote:
>
> <snip>
>
> 1) Do you have a Restore Point that you can go back to?

As mentioned in the original post, I've tried going back to the last
half-dozen Restore Points, without success.

>
> 2) If you put the CD back into the drive, can you boot into Windows?

After posting my problems, I had the same thought. Unfortunately, it
doesn't solve the problem. Thanks, though.

Bob Pownall
Anonymous
April 17, 2005 11:26:42 PM

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

Larry Sams wrote:
>
> Can you boot into Safe Mode? Don't listen to the Indian morons at Dell. Dell
> support is a useless joke! I've found that there usual solution is to tell
> you to reinstall the OS.

As mentioned in the original post, I can boot into Safe Mode.

FWIW, I'm pretty sure the two techs I was dealing with were Americans.
I'm sure I detected a slight southern accent on both of them.

Bob Pownall
Anonymous
April 18, 2005 3:05:03 AM

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

Try a repair installation. Hopefully you won't lose any data apart from your
Windows Updates.

http://www.dougknox.com/xp/tips/xp_repair_install.htm

http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/repair_xp.htm#How%20to%...:

Brian





"Bob Pownall" <repownall@netscape.net> wrote in message
news:4262CCCB.1CD61FC0@netscape.net...
> System:
> Dell Inspiron 8500, 2.2GHz Pentium 4, 1Gb RAM, 60Gb hard drive w/ > 15Gb
> free
> Windows XP Pro w/ SP2
>
> Yesterday, for no obvious reason (no new hardware, and the only new
> software is Adobe 7.0), my Inspirion began refusing to boot normally.
> (I should note that the system booted OK several times after installing
> Adobe 7.0.) It will go past the Dell screen (which I believe means the
> system has passed POST), and will go past the Windows XP splash screen
> (the one with the little moving bar at the bottom of the screen), but
> when the Windows splash screen goes to black, it never comes back. (And
> I've waited 30 minutes...) (FWIW, just before, and I mean *just* before
> the problem began, I pulled a CD-ROM out of the optical drive during the
> boot process. I forgot I had it in there, and I've noticed that the
> boot process takes *much* longer with this CD-ROM in the drive.
> Coincidence? Or root cause of my problems?) (FWIW, the CD-ROM is help
> documentation for a data analysis program I use, and is required to be
> in the CD-ROM drive for the data analysis program to run.)
>
> Although I can't boot normally, I can, however, boot into Safe Mode,
> although that's obviously not acceptable as a long-term solution.
>
> I've booted into Diagnostics Mode (F12) and run the Extended
> Diagnostics. The only things that comes up is that the multi-media key
> test won't pass. (I can't get the test to even recognize the first
> button the test wants me to press.) Specifically, all the memory tests
> and all the IDE hard drive tests pass.
>
> I've tried going back to the last five or six restore points
> (specifically, before installing Adobe 7.0); no joy.
>
> I've talked with Dell Technical Support about this. They want me to
> reinstall Windows.
>
> Before I do this, I have a few questions for the newsgroup.
>
> 1) Is reinstalling Windows a reasonable thing to do? (Note: My
> reinstallation CD is for Windows XP Home, SP1. Since purchasing my
> I8500, I've upgraded to, and will thus have to reinstall, XP Pro and
> SP2.)
>
> 2) Is there a better (that is, more likely to work, or at least less
> drastic) thing I can try first?
>
> 3) Will anything in the Windows re-installation process cause me to lose
> data or files. (e.g. recently received email, or recently modified
> files associated with Word or other programs) (Note: I back up my
> system regularly, but Murphy's Law - I was booting up to do another
> backup when I ran into the "Failed to boot" problem. I'd like to avoid
> losing all my changes since my last backup, if possible. And yes, I
> realize that this means I should do backups more frequently.)
>
> 4) Since I can boot into Safe Mode, my hunch is that I have a driver
> issue. Is there any way that I can identify the offending driver(s),
> and reinstall just them? Is there even a way I can confirm that this is
> a driver issue?
>
> Thanks in advance for any help the group can provide.
>
> Bob Pownall
Anonymous
April 18, 2005 3:15:14 AM

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

Use your WinXP Pro CD for this.



"Brian K" <iibntgyea4 REMOVE_THIS@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:zYB8e.14772$5F3.2263@news-server.bigpond.net.au...
> Try a repair installation. Hopefully you won't lose any data apart from
> your Windows Updates.
>
> http://www.dougknox.com/xp/tips/xp_repair_install.htm
>
> http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/repair_xp.htm#How%20to%...:
>
> Brian
>
>
>
>
>
> "Bob Pownall" <repownall@netscape.net> wrote in message
> news:4262CCCB.1CD61FC0@netscape.net...
>> System:
>> Dell Inspiron 8500, 2.2GHz Pentium 4, 1Gb RAM, 60Gb hard drive w/ > 15Gb
>> free
>> Windows XP Pro w/ SP2
>>
>> Yesterday, for no obvious reason (no new hardware, and the only new
>> software is Adobe 7.0), my Inspirion began refusing to boot normally.
>> (I should note that the system booted OK several times after installing
>> Adobe 7.0.) It will go past the Dell screen (which I believe means the
>> system has passed POST), and will go past the Windows XP splash screen
>> (the one with the little moving bar at the bottom of the screen), but
>> when the Windows splash screen goes to black, it never comes back. (And
>> I've waited 30 minutes...) (FWIW, just before, and I mean *just* before
>> the problem began, I pulled a CD-ROM out of the optical drive during the
>> boot process. I forgot I had it in there, and I've noticed that the
>> boot process takes *much* longer with this CD-ROM in the drive.
>> Coincidence? Or root cause of my problems?) (FWIW, the CD-ROM is help
>> documentation for a data analysis program I use, and is required to be
>> in the CD-ROM drive for the data analysis program to run.)
>>
>> Although I can't boot normally, I can, however, boot into Safe Mode,
>> although that's obviously not acceptable as a long-term solution.
>>
>> I've booted into Diagnostics Mode (F12) and run the Extended
>> Diagnostics. The only things that comes up is that the multi-media key
>> test won't pass. (I can't get the test to even recognize the first
>> button the test wants me to press.) Specifically, all the memory tests
>> and all the IDE hard drive tests pass.
>>
>> I've tried going back to the last five or six restore points
>> (specifically, before installing Adobe 7.0); no joy.
>>
>> I've talked with Dell Technical Support about this. They want me to
>> reinstall Windows.
>>
>> Before I do this, I have a few questions for the newsgroup.
>>
>> 1) Is reinstalling Windows a reasonable thing to do? (Note: My
>> reinstallation CD is for Windows XP Home, SP1. Since purchasing my
>> I8500, I've upgraded to, and will thus have to reinstall, XP Pro and
>> SP2.)
>>
>> 2) Is there a better (that is, more likely to work, or at least less
>> drastic) thing I can try first?
>>
>> 3) Will anything in the Windows re-installation process cause me to lose
>> data or files. (e.g. recently received email, or recently modified
>> files associated with Word or other programs) (Note: I back up my
>> system regularly, but Murphy's Law - I was booting up to do another
>> backup when I ran into the "Failed to boot" problem. I'd like to avoid
>> losing all my changes since my last backup, if possible. And yes, I
>> realize that this means I should do backups more frequently.)
>>
>> 4) Since I can boot into Safe Mode, my hunch is that I have a driver
>> issue. Is there any way that I can identify the offending driver(s),
>> and reinstall just them? Is there even a way I can confirm that this is
>> a driver issue?
>>
>> Thanks in advance for any help the group can provide.
>>
>> Bob Pownall
>
>
Anonymous
April 18, 2005 3:15:15 AM

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

Thanks - I'll give these suggestions a try.

Bob Pownall

Brian K wrote:
>
> Use your WinXP Pro CD for this.
>
> <snip>
Anonymous
April 18, 2005 6:46:32 AM

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

You have nothing to lose and it will probably work unless there is a
hardware problem. I guess you have already run Check Disk to fix any file
system errors and to see if you have any bad sectors.

Brian


"Bob Pownall" <repownall@netscape.net> wrote in message
news:42630DE1.CA8AECDB@netscape.net...
> Thanks - I'll give these suggestions a try.
Anonymous
April 20, 2005 2:10:19 PM

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

OK now?
Anonymous
April 21, 2005 1:48:16 AM

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

Sorry, I should have said something.

Things have been just *way* too busy in the "real world" to try any of
the suggestions.

I haven't even had time to try booting into Safe Mode again.

I'll be sure to report back when I have news, one way or another. I'm
*hoping* to have some time this weekend.

Bob Pownall

Brian K wrote:
>
> OK now?
!