I'm running a Dell Dimension E520 with Vista home user. It's out of warranty.
My kids were watching a video on it, when it suddenly froze (both sound and graphics). I tried everything, down to ctrl+alt+del to stop the program, but eventually, I pulled the power supply to kill it.
Here's where my problems really started.
When I rebooted, the entire screen was black except for a series of vertical lines (first in green, then turning white). These lines are grouped together, in groups of four. They are very regular in spacing and very clear. At some point in the boot process, the Dell logo appears - the lines do not run through the Dell logo. Also, the Microsoft Win startup logo, with the moving green bar, displays correctly. This to me indicates that it's not a hardware/graphics card fault (but not sure on this point).
At some point in the boot process, the screen goes black and remains that way - for about 30 mins now and counting. The only way of shutting down/restarting is pulling the power cable - not great, I know.
I ran start up repair - it told me it couldn't fix the problem.
I ran last known good config - successful, but still won't boot - same symptoms as above
I tried to run backup from Win Vista operating CD I had gotten with the computer - it said it couldn't find the CD/DVD so that was no good.
I eventually restored to factory default image. It successfully reformatted and reinstalled, but when it went to reboot, still same symptoms as above.
The only software I've installed recently is Netnanny, and that was well over a week ago. Computer's been running fine with it, and no other config changes recently. I've never seen anything like this before. I'm not sure if I'm dealing with a boot virus (the anti-virus software license expired quite a while ago, and the kids have been using this PC for lots of online games, etc). Could also be hardware, or some other unfathomed issue.
Any help from anyone out there really appreciated.
Hi Shooter93, and thanks for quick answer.
I'll definitely install the Microsoft Security Essentials in future (thx for that)
When I killed the power, I tried at first to use the power button at front, but no response, so I had to unplug the power cable from the back of the PC - did this as gently as I could. I know this isn't a good thing to do, but it was my last resort.
As regards the integrated or physical graphics card on the PC, I'm ashamed to say I can't tell. I did open up the chassis as part of my investigations (and carefully vacuumed out about an inch of dust) but my tech days are too far behind me to know if the graphics card is inbuilt or not. I know we didn't install one after we bought it, so it's at factory default settings. If it is integrated, can I still slot in an additional one to override it?
Sorry I haven't answered in so long - the truth is I delayed a bit with the graphics card to get the kids outside in the warm weather.
I bought a graphics card today though - $ 49 - installed it, and everything's OK again. I've also installed Microsoft Security Essentials, so thanks for that as well.
Really appreciate the help.
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