Parents computer not booting.


Stranger Than Fiction
Political User
The title says it all. I can OCCASIONALLY get into safe mode but never regular old XP. The system is old, its a Dell, 400 mhz. I've been trying to get them to upgrade but since they barely use it they are reluctant. Anyway, the system goes through all the normal boot and loading screens that we've all seen. It gets to the XP screen (with the blue bar just before the welcome screen) and then it goes black. The monitor remains on so I know it hasn't shut down but it never comes out of the black. I figured something must have gotten deleted and it probably could use a reformat anyway. The next problem is that it won't boot from the CD. I've set all the boot devices to CD but it never even attempts to read the disk, the lights on the drives never come on but the drives are detected in BIOS. I really have never seen anything like this where the system just refuses to do anything. If someone has a fix out there please let me know. If the fix is buy a new one I'll gladly relay that advice as well.



OSNN Veteran Addict
If it's that old open it up and reseat all the connectors. Corrosion can make them intermittent. The lack of a CD access attempt (no light) points to the cabels or controller.

Next disconnect the HD and see if it will boot to the CD witht he HD off. If it does then the HD may be damaged. POP another HD in to check it.

Be back latter. Stargate is on. ;)


Stranger Than Fiction
Political User
ElementalDragon said:
i'd say try out what Lee said. also..... why is XP running on a 400mhz system? that HAS to take ages to get up and running.....

It takes forever. But they use if for email or solitare so they wouldn't know the difference. Yet another reason why I hope it can't be fixed.


Stranger Than Fiction
Political User
The problem was a loose sound card. Actually loose doesn't begin to describe it ... try half way out of the pci slot. I have no idea how that could happen, the machine has sat in the same place for almost 2 years. True it wasn't screwed in but thats still a lot of slippage. Anyways, it's fixed now and many a thanks to all, especially Lee. I'd give you more rep but apparently I've repped you too much lately. Maybe I should just put you on speed dial or something.


OSNN Veteran Addict
BouncingSoul said:
try half way out of the pci slot. I have no idea how that could happen, the machine has sat in the same place for almost 2 years.
I have a list of how's from personal experience:
-Vacuum cleaner
-Feet kicking around under the table.
They all snag cables.

Worst war story I've heard was a buddy's kid reaching around behind the system to plug in a USB connector. His hand caught on the video cable which pulled the 9800 Pro card just far enough out of the socket to burnout the Vid card, the MB and CPU. The video card was screwed in but it still had enough play to tilt the card in the socket.

I screw all my cards in tight but I never use the screws to hold the cable ends into the cards now.

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