Solved: Dell Dimension 3100 has to be powered on 2x before it starts up

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matrophy

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Jan 19, 2013
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I have a Dell Dimension 3100 that I have recently had to power up, hold in the power button until it shuts off, then power up again before it starts. I had a hard time finding an aftermarket PSU that would work with a Dell so I found a used and tested Dell PSU and installed it and I have the same issue. I ran SeaTools which said I had no hard drive issues. Someone suggested that it might be a BIOS issue and/or a BIOS battery but I have no idea what to look for.


Tech Support Guy System Info Utility version 1.0.0.2
OS Version: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Service Pack 3, 32 bit
Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.80GHz, x86 Family 15 Model 4 Stepping 9
Processor Count: 1
RAM: 2038 Mb
Graphics Card: Intel(R) 82915G/GV/910GL Express Chipset Family, 128 Mb
Hard Drives: C: Total - 53976 MB, Free - 10105 MB; D: Total - 18935 MB, Free - 18823 MB;
Motherboard: Dell Inc., 0JC474
Antivirus: avast! Internet Security, Updated: Yes, On-Demand Scanner: Enabled
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
249
It's often when the BIOS settings are wrong, it fails to boot, then 2nd attempt it resets the settings temporarily and boots okay.

I'd note down/save the current BIOS settings, then I would do a BIOS reset to see if that fixes it. You can do this in the menu by booting into the BIOS when you first switch the computer on, or as somebody said removing the BIOS battery for a few mins would also do it.

As an irrelevant side note, not to worry you but I had this problem for a while, then it became every 3rd boot, every 4th boot, etc etc until eventually it didn't work at all. Tried everything including resets etc. The motherboard eventually had failed completely. I think I was just unlucky because I've never heard of this happening before then.
 

matrophy

Thread Starter
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Jan 19, 2013
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I guess changing the BIOS settings back to the original settings made my PC start up with no problem the first time but now the same thing is happening. Does anyone have another suggestion?
 

dustyjay

Jay
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Jan 23, 2003
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12,661
Does it do this on every start up or once it is running does it restart normally? It could be a Power Supply going out.
 

dustyjay

Jay
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Jan 23, 2003
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12,661
Dells do not use the best power supplies. I had to take one out of known working Dimension 3000 to fix the same problem on another Dimension 3000.
 

matrophy

Thread Starter
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Jan 19, 2013
Messages
5
I replaced the PSU with a known working PSU and have the same issue.

So far I've:
Swapped the power supply
Run a hard drive diagnostic utility
reset BIOS settings to factor
removed and replaced BIOS battery
 

matrophy

Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
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5
It does it every time I attempt a startup. I have to power on, power down, wait 30 seconds and power up and it starts
 

dustyjay

Jay
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Jan 23, 2003
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12,661
It is possible that it is a motherboard problem, that is a rather old computer. The symptoms say that it is a hardware problem. and given the age, it is not really worth throwing a lot of money into it. Swapping parts with known good parts is really the only way to troubleshoot this, though ou could try disconnecting the drives (HDD and CD), and any other peripherals except Video, Keyboard, and mouse to see if it at least passes the POST test normally would rule those items out.
 
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