XPS 420 Error lights 1-2-3 No boot - General Hardware - Desktop - Dell Community

XPS 420 Error lights 1-2-3 No boot


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XPS 420 Error lights 1-2-3 No boot

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Hi All,


I've had an XPS 420 for 3.5 years and in the first year had a lot of problems with the machine failing to boot, but since that was fixed under warranty I;ve had no problems, until now.

I hibernated my machine last night and when I got up the machine failed to boot, showing nothing on the monitor, error lights 1-2-3, blue power button and no beeps.

I opened the box, reseated the ram and pci cards, and unplugged and replugged the optical drives - as far as I'm confident going without further advice from people with more experience.

I turned the machine back on withonly monitor, mouse, keyboard plugged in and this time I had activity on the monitor, just a flashing cursor, and everything on the box the same.

Does anyone know what kind of failure this sounds like?

I'm running Vista, latest SP, 32 bit, but I doubt that's relevant since it can't even get to the Dell startup screen...

I'd appreciate any help anyone can offer.



All Replies
  • Is the PC trying to boot from a non-system drive or disk? Check the boot order in the bios. Also, make sure all the drives you have installed are listed in the bios.

  • Unfortunately I get no functionality out of it at all, I can't get access to the bios to find out...

  • I am experiencing the same problem with my Dell XPS 420. Until recently it worked fine, but now if I shut it down completely, it will not restart and displays Diagnostic Lights 1, 2, and 3. I cannot access the BIOS as it doesn't reach that point, however I can see a blinking white cursor at the top left of the blank, black screen. 

    I have followed the procedure outlined in the Documentation here:

    <ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>

    This did not solve the problem however. 

    I was able to get the PC to boot after leaving it off and untouched overnight (approximately 6 hours). It started fine. After using it for a number of hours, I then shut it down again, to test if the problem still existed. Unfortunately, it did! I couldn't reboot the PC and had to leave it off for another period of hours before it did start-up.

    I then tried doing a Restart, rather than a complete shut-down and cold boot. The restart works fine. It seems like it has the problem when it is going through that initial POST (power on self-test) sequence, which doesn't happen during a restart. 

    Any suggestions? Is there a hardware component that I should investigate further?

  • See my aresponse on your other thread. That is the one I will post on.

  • Hi I am having a similar problem. I am able to get into the Bios and checked to ensure the boot sequence is using the right drives. But it still hangs and does not startup successfully. Diag lights 1 2 3 are on and it won't boot. Please help