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Old 03-12-2006, 12:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dell 4550 Boot Problems!!!

Hello all, and thank you in advance for any help you could give me! First off let me just state how much I hate Dells, and warn you never to even touch one in fear of having faultiness rub off on you. Well as you might have guessed, my problem is with a Dell.
Well here is my problem in a nutshell: My friend has an old Dell Dimension 4550 Desktop. After his little brother downloaded some software/ Trojan horses, his operating system was beyond virus removal. My friend knows little about computers so I told him that he should probably reformat his hard drive to kill all viruses, and have a fresh start with his computer. First problem: His Dell did not ship with a factory restore disk. I happened to have a version of Windows XP professional, but it was on a DVD. His old machine didn’t have a DVD drive installed in it. I didn’t have a spare one, and thought it would be faster to put his hard drive into my old computer (Compaq, which had a DVD drive) and format it with win xp inside mine. After installing Windows and setting it up on my system, everything worked great. I then removed the hard drive from my system and put it back into his Dell machine. Here’s where the trouble is. I cannot get his machine to boot anything. All that happens is a black screen appears with a cursor that flashes. I changed the boot order to boot form the hard drive, with no luck. Then, as a test, I wanted to see if the machine would boot from a CD, so I put a bootable Ubuntu Linux install disk into it. The same thing happened – a black screen with a blinking cursor (even when I changed the boot order to boot from cd first).
So my predicament is that I cannot get the machine to boot anything- hard drive or CD. It just freezes in a black screen, and occasionally I get a “Keyboard Failure Error” from pressing CTR + Alt + Delete too many times out of frustration. I apologize if my information is vague, and please do not hesitate to ask for more. Thank you for any information!!! DOWN WITH DELL!!! BUILD YOUR OWN!!!

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Old 03-12-2006, 12:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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When Windows is installed, it "remembers" some basic information about the system it is on. When it boots, if what it "Knows" about the system doesn't match what it "sees" on the boot, it won't boot up. You will have to install Windows with the drive in his computer for it to work.

Since you are able to see the keyboard error, I am guessing that the monitor works, and is receiving a signal.

Try removing everything from hs computer except for the mobo and the cpu (with its heatsink and fan...duh). Now boot it.

If it gets into BIOS, ok. Shut it down.

Add the RAM. Do it again.

Continue adding parts until it doesn't work.

Black screen... so you don't even get BIOS? Could be bad BIOS... could be a dead mobo...


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Old 03-12-2006, 01:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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well that is deffinatly something i hadnt thought of. I will try your advice and if that doesnt work ill just go ahead and install a DVD drive from my computer into his and reinstall windows. Thanks for your help i appreciate it
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Old 03-12-2006, 03:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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don't double post overdriven. installing a dvd-drive in his pc sounds like a good idea. the fact that it won't boot from cd worries me though. oh well like you said try and use your dvd drive in his pc, it could just be coincidental that the cd drive failed.
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