Hi all! I'm a new member, working on my friend's Dell Dimension 3000. It's about three years old, and never had any hardware changes other than a wireless card install.
At first, it wasn't completing booting. It would go through the opening splash screen, but then would go to a screen saying it was missing a .dll. After changing it to boot the CD drive first, I tried using the Windows restore CD that came with it to fix the problem, but although it recognized the hard drive as an existing device, it couldn't seem to access it. I ended up reformatting the hard drive and reinstalling Windows. It booted after that, but wasn't right (I think it might have needed some drivers). I decided to come back later as it was late, but before I left we opened the case and cleaned out the dust with a can of air.
After we plugged it back in, it automatically powered up without the power button being pressed. The fans are running, the lights are on, etc., but it doesn't boot. It sends no signal to the monitor, and it doesn't sound like the hard drive is doing anything. I didn't remove anything, so I don't know what would cause this. She says she didn't install any new programs and there were no power surges or outages we know of.
On the advice of several very hardware-savvy friends/coworkers, I have just replaced the CPU, but the problem persists even with a brand new processor.
What else could cause this? A bad motherboard, maybe? I think the two issues might be unrelated, but I'm not sure.