Help getting back into Windows

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flamey

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Joined
Apr 12, 2008
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4
One day my PC decides to stop booting up into Windows - just locks after Windows spash screen is done.

What i've tried so far:

Safe mode — locks after all the drivers are loaded (I don't remeber the name of the lastone listed, but I know it is the last one after research online few days ago). Same for Safe mode with command prompt.

Windows installation CD — I wanted to boot with it, reformat the drive and reinstall Windows. But I get BSOD during initial drivers loading, before the first interactive step (repare, install, etc.)

BartPE — BSOD after Windows spash screen, before desktop. Basic configuration, no additional plugins. Tried with all unneeded HW unplugged, details below.

Build in DELL Disagnostics — you know, the one that's on special partition.... says all hardware is fine! Though one it rebooted during long HDD test.


System Hardware:

It's one yr old Dell Core 2 Duo system (sorry don't remeber exact model right now) running WinXP MediaCenterEd.
- two memory cards
- 11 in 1 card reader
- one DVD burner (SATA)
- one HDD (SATA)
- Parallel Port PCI card
- another PCI card, I don't remeber now what is it.
- onboard video (vga/crt, not dvi), lots of USB ports, ethernet port, audio. no ps/2 kbd/mouse connectors present, no bluetooth.


Isolating hardware — tried disconnecting everything I could during boot.
- for HDD, only left HDD and memory connected
- for CD boot (BartPE, Win install CD), disconnected HDD, connected DVD
- for USB boot (BartPE) disconnected everything I could, except memory
- tried only with single memory card, tried both of the available one at a time

always get the same results - lock or BSOD, depending what I'm trying to boot up to/from.


I'm about to blame it on the motherboard, but Dell doesn't sell one for my PC (I checked on their website), and I don't want to throw out relativelly new $1K PC. Desperatelly looking for ideas. At least I need to find out what the problem is!
 

flamey

Thread Starter
Joined
Apr 12, 2008
Messages
4
thanks for reply!

MS Mem Test (I let it go for 35 mins) and Memtest86 ( took around 45 mins and went to 110% :-/ ) both completed succesfully w/out errors.

I'm running MemScope right now, takes long time, im up to test 2 and 30% in, no errors so far. After that I'm gonna try diagnostics tool I got from Seagate/Maxtor. But like I've said, I've tried w/out HDD and DVD connected and failed, I also took my HD to work to back it up. So, I bet it won't fail.

Are there motherboard testing tools I can try? Someone mentioned there could be a problem with South bridge, is there a way to comprehensively test that?
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2003
Messages
51,988
I know of no free mb tests, but that is usually determined by process of elimination.

What about your graphics card? Do you have another you could try?
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Messages
5,146
if you go to www.dell.support.com I am sure that the online chat tech will be able to help you diagnose the problem. I have used them a few times, both on my own computer and for help with working on some friends.
good luck
vicks
 

flamey

Thread Starter
Joined
Apr 12, 2008
Messages
4
nope, i dno't have PEG card. at least I know my memory's good :)

I've contaced Dell's support 3 times before on other issues, and they've been useless. Besides, my warranty has expired in January, they probably won't help.
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Messages
5,146
My computer is about 4 yrs old ( I bought it refurbished from a local computer store) and have found Dell to be very helpful with anything I have contacted them for. Sometimes it takes a while to ferret out the problem but I have always had success, both with my own and when helping friends with their computers. Same goes for HP.
vicks
 

flamey

Thread Starter
Joined
Apr 12, 2008
Messages
4
vicks, im glad you've had good experience with them, but I haven't. I have already replaced monitor (got dead pixels all over 6 month after i bought it) and now this.

anyway, Dell isn't the issue here, non-working hardware is.
 
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