Solved: Mom's Dell keeps getting same hang up

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dawgfan

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Message "Red, Green, Blue Self Test", then "Your monitor is working, check video cable and PC" come up periodically. The machine will not power down unless unplugged. Have had a tech check it out, but found nothing. Is there a virus or other bug causing this? Anyone ever encountered the same recurring problem?

Edit: Windows XP
 
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First do not unplug to power down when this happens. Press and hold the power button about 5-8 seconds to initiate a safe BIOS shutdown

What exactly did the "tech" do? Did he check and reseat both the Display card and the Monitor cable?

And what kind of Monitor is being used?

He would have had to open the case to do the first.
 

dawgfan

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Holding power button would not shutdown PC no matter how long you held it. Tech checked cables, but nothing internal. It's a Gateway branded 17" CRT.
 
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You might want to check the Gateway site and see if you can find the Monitor drivers for that. If the Monitor is not recognized by model on the Display properties page, then they are not being used. This can result in an incorrect "refresh" rate being selected.

I'm surprised holding the case power button down does not shut the system. How old is this Dell? It would have to be fairly ancient not to have a BIOS that supports this.

Make sure that in the Control Panel > Power Options > Advanced settings you do not have the Power button configured to do nothing (although even here I would expect the timed press to work)

If "shutdown" is selected, even a momentary press will initiate a normal shutdown on a system that is not completely hung. The extended press should be picked up at the BIOS level, independent of Windows.

Anyway, if there is an installed Display card, that needs to be checked.
 

dawgfan

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The Dell is less than a year old and the same monitor has been used successfully until just recently. That's why I suspected a bug or virus, coupled with the fact that the power button refused to shutdown. All seemed symptomatic of an intruder of some sort. Thanks for your attention. We'll check control panel for settings.
 
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Doesn't sound like a virus to me, but:

Download and install HijackThis using the "self extractor". Run it and select "do a system scan and save the log file". Then copy/paste the contents of the log to a reply

http://www.thespykiller.co.uk/files/hijackthis_sfx.exe

Also, was it Dell's tech support that you summoned?

If the BIOS level shutdown does not initiate when you hold that power button down, you have a hardware problem which is completely independent of Windows.

Only Dell can resolve this for you.
 

dawgfan

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Not Dell, but a friend from work who does desktop maintenance. Will try hijack...thanks.
 
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My computer just started this two days ago. I have had both pc and monitor for at least two years with no problem. I switched to a different monitor and it still wouldn't work. I switched out the video card no luck, and then the hard drive, no luck. I can't check for a virus since no monitor will come up on it. I was assuming it might be a virus since I can't get anything to work. Any suggestions?
 
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When this happens do you see anything at all on the screen during startup? Can you enter the BIOS/CMOS setup?

Even though the system is out of warranty you can still probably get phone support from Dell. I would advise giving them a call as they would be best informed on whether this is likely to be a motherboard problem -- which it certainly sounds like. It's possible a reset of the CMOS or a BIOS flash utility might resolve things, but it really sounds like hardware to me.
 
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The only thing on the screen is a screen message, Red, Blue, Green etc. Monitor is fine, not receiving signal, etc. That would make sense, since I tried a different video card and it still didn't work. So, that means this system is just toast if it's an issue on the motherboard right?
 
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Did you try a different cable when you switched monitors? This could be a problem with bent or damaged pins or connectors.
 

dawgfan

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Dell cust serv walked me thru steps that determined the power supply was bad, most likely due to lightning.
 
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Aha, wouldn't have expected that since the machine was powering up from what I gathered. But glad to hear you are getting some good support from them.

I hope they are sending you a replacement because last I heard you cannot install a standard power supply on a Dell system without frying the motherboard.
 
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