Windows XP starts up and freezes on a black screen

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DumbNoobie

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Hello. First time posting here. I have a Dell Dimension 4700 desktop with Windows XP home edition.

When I turn my computer on, the screen immediately goes to a black screen with a flashing white cursor at the top left corner. It stays like that forever. Nothing happens when I press any keys.

Naturally, I tried to start in safe mode and also start Windows from my CD. When I try to press F2, F8, or F12 after turning on my computer, I see the initial "Windows XP" screen very briefly, before it changes to white text in an old-school font on a black background. It says:
Phoenix ROM BIOS PLUSVersion 1.10A03
Copyright 1985-1988 Phoenix Technologies
Copyright 1990-2004 Dell Inc
All rights Reserved
Dell System Dimension 4700 Series
BIOS version A03
www.dell.com
Keyboard failure

The "keyboard failure" makes one think that it doesn't like the F2, F8 or F12 keys being pressed when starting up. When I try pressing them more slowly, I just get the black screen with a white cursor.

I haven't had a virus in months, and I have not installed any new programs recently. This problem was very sudden.

The computer is 8 years old, the hard drive is about 4 years old.

Any suggestions/help would be greatly appreciated.
 
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First try this: Turn off pc unplug everything (I mean all external connections, not inside the pc) even the power cord. Wait a bit then plug everything back in power up the PC and tell me if the keyboard fails again if it does? Power down and unplug computer and remove the bios battery for 30 seconds and then reinstall or find the reset bios jumper on your computer set it for 30 seconds and replace. If your mouse and keyboard are not working after you see the windows startup screen then that is either a driver or virus issue and if I were you I'd call Dell.
 

DumbNoobie

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Thank you for your quick response. I'll try this when I get home tonight.
 

blues_harp28

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Will it boot from the Cd - without pressing any F key?

If yes - you could try fixing the Master Boot Record.
But if any virus is present - the Pc may never start up again.

Boot from Xp Cd...when prompted press [R]
Choose Windows installation [typically by pressing [1]
When prompted for password.
Press Enter.
At prompt type in
fixmbr
Enter

When finished.
Type Exit
And press Enter.
 

DumbNoobie

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By the way VictoriaiiCe, what do you mean by "find the reset bios jumper on your computer set it for 30 seconds and replace."?? Could you dumb it down a bit for me? I tried goggling it. Is this the same as clearing the CMOS settings? Thanks.
 
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By the way VictoriaiiCe, what do you mean by "find the reset bios jumper on your computer set it for 30 seconds and replace."?? Could you dumb it down a bit for me? I tried goggling it. Is this the same as clearing the CMOS settings? Thanks.
Yes but if you're not experienced I suggest you don't trying it until we try my first suggestion. If that doesn't work I'll guide you in detail for the 2nd suggestion.
 
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Will it boot from the Cd - without pressing any F key?

If yes - you could try fixing the Master Boot Record.
But if any virus is present - the Pc may never start up again.

Boot from Xp Cd...when prompted press [R]
Choose Windows installation [typically by pressing [1]
When prompted for password.
Press Enter.
At prompt type in
fixmbr
Enter

When finished.
Type Exit
And press Enter.
They'd have to change bios boot settings to boot from cd and if the keyboard is failing...You can't :(
 

blues_harp28

Trusted Advisor
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If F2, F8, or F12 were pressed one after the other at start up - you will receive a Keyboard failure.
The Bios may already be set to boot from the Cd.

Hence my question.
;)
 

DumbNoobie

Thread Starter
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Nov 3, 2011
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8
Blues_Harp28,

I pressed either F2 at startup only, or only F8, or only F12. I didn't mix them. I believe the BIOS is set to start Windows from the computer first, then CD 2nd.
 

DumbNoobie

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 3, 2011
Messages
8
Victoria,

As you suggested, I took out the internal battery after unplugging everything, waited 30 sec, and reinstalled the battery and plugged everything back in. Right after this, the computer immediately started up on its own. I got a black screen with white text saying:

Phoenix ROM BIOS PLUSVersion 1.10A03
Copyright 1985-1988 Phoenix Technologies
Copyright 1990-2004 Dell Inc
All rights Reserved
Dell System Dimension 4700 Series
BIOS version A03
www.dell.com
Invalid configuration information - please run SETUP program
Diskette drive 0 seek failure
]Performing automatic IOE configuration...
Drive 0: Disk Drive
Drive 2: CD-ROM Device
Drive 3: CD-ROM Device
Time-of-day not set - please run SETUP program

The screen didn't change. Nothing happened when I pressed buttons on the keyboard. I turned the computer off, then back on and got the generic BIOS statement above, followed by:

Diskette drive 0 seek failure

Again, the screen wouldn't change.

Please advise me for the next step. Any and all help is greatly appreciated!!
 
Joined
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Messages
684
You're keyboard is powering up now correct? We're going to change your bios settings to boot from disc and we're going to re-install a fresh copy of windows (i'm assuming you have your windows installation disk)
 
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Messages
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Blues_Harp28,

I pressed either F2 at startup only, or only F8, or only F12. I didn't mix them. I believe the BIOS is set to start Windows from the computer first, then CD 2nd.
Yes and this is what we're going to change so you can install a fresh copy windows
 
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