0

Specs: Dell 4100/500mbRAM/WinXP Pro/32MB nVidia TNT2 M64 graphics card/Dell LCD

Re-activating this old Dell to give to someone. Tried booting up and only reached BSOD with Dell www.dell.com logo. No beeps on startup. CDROM lit up. Power light steady. Can't access basic startup via F8 after multiple boot attempts. Can't shut down via cntrl-alt-del or change screen with ESC. I have to hold in Pwr button. Tried unplugging and holding pwr button for 60 secs as suggested by another forum member. In short, frozen at BSOD. I re-connected power cords and cables to HDD, changed to alternated HDD, changed jumpers from CS to MA and back. No other HDD connected, only CD-ROM, A: floppy and single HDD. Won't boot from A: drive. Won't boot from CD-ROM using WinXP disc. LCD works fine with other functioning PC.
Is video card insufficient for LCD monitor?
Am I missing some simple cable attachment?
Since I can't get to BIOS to change order of booting, I can't get A: drive to bail me out with old emergency boot disc.
I'm all ears for a solution.
Ray

3
Contributors
14
Replies
15
Views
8 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by GatorRay
0

Remove the BIOS battery (round, looks like a watch one) for a half an hour and stick it back in (make sure its the right way around). It should reset the BIOS to the factory settings which should hopefully by default have it set to boot off the A drive

0

Remove the BIOS battery (round, looks like a watch one) for a half an hour and stick it back in (make sure its the right way around). It should reset the BIOS to the factory settings which should hopefully by default have it set to boot off the A drive

I did remove and replace the BIOS battery but only long enough to determine that it still had ~2.9 v then re-inserted it - maybe 4-5 mins max. I'll try the 30 min routine next time. Heading for a g'daughter fix in the am so I'll post Fri PM or Sat. Thanks for the quick reply. Hope it works. Could the MOB be dead? Why would the Dell Logo blue screen appear when nothing else will? No beeps either and I assume the beep is in the box and not the speakers (even tho they are turned on as well).
Ray

0

try removing the memory card, clean the gold fingers of the card then put it back..see if it helps..

0

Try removing all non-essential hardware and peripherals (basically everything apart from cpu,ram,a video card if needed, and adisplay) and then boot. See if it works

0

Try removing all non-essential hardware and peripherals (basically everything apart from cpu,ram,a video card if needed, and adisplay) and then boot. See if it works

Nothing is connected presently.
I tried the 30 min BIOS battery removal following power cord disconnection and 60 sec press of Pwr button. New screen appeared showing blue Dell.com logo upper right of screen and black & white DOS info on left, including some of PC specs: Pentium III 512 RAM and bios info. At the bottom it said Hit <Del> to enter startup, but that didn't do anything either. I hit <Esc> and it reverted to the original Dell BSOD. I did <cntrl-alt-del> and it did re-boot only to again show the Dell BSOD. I tried re-booting and hitting <Del> right away without benefit. Further attempts to cntrl-alt-del were unsuccessful.
So, is this old Dell insufficient for me to use emergency boot disk with WinXP Pro sp2? That's the disc I was trying - one I found in my cabinet.
This PC used to work fine. It was simply put aside for about 1 yr. I'm also going to reconnect a CD-ROM that was removed from first slot. A: drive doesn't light up when I boot up nor when I replace boot disc in A: drive. Power cable and data cable are securely fastened to A: drive.
Any further ideas? Gotta go now. I'm too curious to let this go until return from our brief trip. I'll check in later.
Thanks J

0

replace the BIOS battery, they are cheap

If its been unused for some time it will die, which means it will lose all config information, which coukd be why it hangs.

0

THIS really makes sense although I'm curious why the BIOS battery stills registers ~2.9 volts. Could it be dysfunctional/non-functional with anything less than 3 volts? I'll pick up a battery and report back.
Thanks!
Ray

0

Here's the latest on my issue (-s):
I installed a fresh BIOS battery (CR2032 Duracell) after leaving the battery slot empty overnight, disconnecting Pwr cable and pressing Pwr button for 30 sec . On my return I did a standard Pwr on - same Dell.com BSOD. No access to Setup or any other areas despite pressing <del>, <esc>, <F8> (all the requisite dancing up and down, holding my tongue both left and right, delivering some gentle expletives "darn and gosh" mainly ;>)
As also suggested, I removed, gently cleaned the 2 sticks of RAM (256 x2), blew out the seats with compressed air and re-seated them. Still nothing beyond the Dell.com BSOD after all that.
Next, I inserted an old CD-ROM in the empty slot, above my CD-RW. (Both drives with jumpers set at CS). Et voila! When I hit <del> I enter the setup screen. Evidently the native boot sequence required the CD-ROM connections. Well, I'm still confused at this stage since I'm not sure the proper sequences in each tab/section in the BIOS setup.
I inserted a previously saved Windows XP Pro sp2 Boot disc #1 in the A: drive and voila, the system comes alive. It asks for disc #2 then disc #3 and now it delivers the message: "\halacpi.dll could not be loaded. Setup cannot continue. Error code 7". (There are lots of websites with the requisite <halacpi.dll> file for downloading but honestly I have no clue about installing that when I can't access the O/S. The best I can get is a black screen with orders to insert disc into A: drive but I can't get to the C: drive from there. One screen asked if I wanted to use the "Windows Automated Recovery System". Not sure what that's about and no clue where I would get the requisite discs. MS download site just confused me.
I tried loading the Win XP Pro disc thereafter in both the CD ROM drives. Once I got a choice of install or repair and selected repair, but it wouldn't complete the install.
My system consists of:
BIOS Vers A05
Processor type: Intel Pentium III
Processor speed: 866 MHz
System bus freq: 133 MHz
Cache RAM: 256 MB
Processor serial number: Enabled (is this ok?)
Under the Setup>Advanced>IDE config:
Primary IDE: Master []
Primary IDE: Slave Not installed
Secondary IDE Master GCR8481B
Secondary IDE Slave LGCD-RW CED-8080B
(Somehow the primary IDE parameters don't look correct)
1 CD-ROM (jumper CS)
1 CD-RW (jumper CS)
1 Zip drive (presumably the ARMD-HDD
1 Floppy (presumably the ARMD-FDD)
What must I do now? (donate to Goodwill? Ha!)
Ray

0

Go into your BIOS settings . Is there options for things like "ACPI OS, APM OS, Plug 'n' play OS?"

Yes, Under Dell Dimension 4100 Setup>ADVANCED>Boot configuration: selections are:
Plug-N-Play O/S No
Reset Config data No
Numlock On

Do you have any thoughts about the IDE configuration also in the ADVANCED tab? My gut feeling says that that's not configured properly, esp the Primary Master and Slave as described in my previous post.
Ray

0

Set PlugNPlay OS to YES
Also, if there is an option in the BIOS for MBR/Bootsector Virus protection, please turn it OFF
Choose Exit + Save Settings

Try reinstalling XP again, should stop the HAL error

0

Set PlugNPlay OS to YES
Also, if there is an option in the BIOS for MBR/Bootsector Virus protection, please turn it OFF
Choose Exit + Save Settings

Try reinstalling XP again, should stop the HAL error

I did not find any such bootsector virus protection. I use only AVG products in my other PC's. I avoid Norton stuff like the plague....
I changed the PnP to Yes and tried to reload the Win XP Pro boot discs. It stopped at the same place on disc #3 with same Error Code 7 re: <halacpi.dll file could not be loaded>. (curious it doesn't say it couldn't be found or is missing, but suggesting it might be corrupted - perhaps Redmond thinks a lot differently than I think!).
Any thoughts about how I can enter SAFE MODE with this oldie? I tried numerous times to hit F8 and F10, but only <del> works to enter the SETUP screen.
Ray

0

J,
I kept going in circles with the one 13 GB HDD so I switched it out for another one of 20 GB. THIS one definitely has the Win XP Pro on it and after a VERY slow boot with RAM count slowly adding up to 512 MB, XP loaded and I'm in to the system and my oldie files. Perhaps the other HDD didn't have Win XP Pro afterall. I do remember dumping Win ME due to many many crashes, and I'm pretty certain I went to Win XP Pro as the next in line O/S. Perhaps I loaded it this 2nd HDD and left the old drive as a backup storage. I honestly don't recall, but that would make sense. Typically when I update drives I at least double capacity, but.......
Anyway, I've got the system working now. Perhaps I should leave well enough alone now. The contact cleaning and the change of Bios battery definitely needed to be done, but I don't quite understand what else I did wrong. I guess I should hook up the 1st HDD with the O/S now enabled and peruse it for content. No spy jobs and no corporate secrets, I'm sure but I do want to sell/donate the PC in proper operating condition, wipe it, and re-install Win XP Pro.
Thanks for your efforts. Multiple brain power and determination wins again.
Ray

This question has already been answered. Start a new discussion instead.
Have something to contribute to this discussion? Please be thoughtful, detailed and courteous, and be sure to adhere to our posting rules.