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Dell E521 running XP pro. i have recently tried to update the bios on new PC. The power cut off before the installation was complete, now when i power up i get lots of beeps and a black screen. My keyboard, mouse and monitor are no longer recognised. Any help would be appreciated.

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Last Post by jbennet
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You need to count the beeps and look up the cause in your mobo manual. Quite often RAM gets spiked by a mains glitch.

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Is the E521 like the 5150 was under the old naming scheme? if so then i have the same pc.

what diagnistic lights come on (look at the black bit on the front where the usb ports and stuff are)

lights:

3 = cpu failure
3,4 = memory failure
2,4 = gfx failure
2,3 = hdd failure
2,3,4 = usb failure
1 = memory failure
1,3 = memory failure
1,2,3 = unknown error

maybe clearing the CMOS might help?

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Thanks for the advice! Light "4" is showing, not sure if its same model as your own, if it is its the RAM. i'm unable to get visuals on the monitor, im guessing i would need this to clear the CMOS(which is held on the battery?).

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Yeah, you can wipe the CMOS by putting a jumper over some pins on the motherboard for a few seconds.


Download the manual for your dell by googling dell support. Choose manuals and then choose to enter your service tag (black sticker). That way it will list the ones that are for your exact build. You want the owners guide.

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I have wiped the CMOS, thanks to your instructions, and with some other advice I removed the RAM and inserted it individually until i got beeps. so now i can have RAM in slot 1 or 3 or both but none in slot 2 or 4. in 1 or 3 I get no beeps no diagnostic lights on the front but still nothing on screen

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I'm surprised no-one's mentioned that having a power outage mid-BIOS-flash is very bad, I'm not familiar with the model, but the manual should have instructions on how to restore the BIOS firmware to default version and settings, many modern BIOS chips have a backup built in (shorting the CMOS just resets settings it wont restore the firmware) The ROM is almost certainly been compromised it may even be fubar (though the fact you're getting beeps means it's probably not fried, just that the firmware is now corrupted). I have had this happen to me and had to get a new BIOS chip from across the atlantic, it took like three weeks! he he. That was a beige box mind you, not sure how accessable the BIOS chip is in a lappy. The third way to restore a BIOS chip is with specialist BIOS flashing hardware which you can also get fairly easily but it's not a novice job.

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I have had this happen to me and had to get a new BIOS chip from across the atlantic

Dell boards are specially made by intel for dell, you cant even stick in a new board as the case and PSU are BTX.

You will need to contact dell but if its out of warranty, you will need a new PC.

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But if the BIOS is not soldered to the board it is replaceable, even if soldered if you're trained in that skill you can de-solder the busted chip and solder a new one. It is almost certainly some mass produced part I doubt very much intel made a 'bespoke' BIOS chip just for that laptop series, firmware yes but not the physical silicone. It will be available on the market somewhere, the necessary numbers to trace it's origin will be on the chip.

I knew f*** all about BIOS chips before that fatal afternoon 26th August 2004 (It's burnt into my memory - pun intended) when I fried one doing a flash upgrade. But I Googled and googled, read everything I could and managed to find a replacement; fit it; and was back in business. So there is hope.

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Thanks Holly, i think it would be easier to replace the motherboard and never again go anywhere near BIOS updates, i cant even find where the BIOS chip would be, as the DELL manual is hopeless, no bad for a week old PC.

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Thanks for your help jbennet, there is a replacement board for my model on ebay, which i have just ordered. I will probably be bugging you in a weeks time for help on fitting it. Thanks again guys

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