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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.

    (Liaison for Desktops, Alienware, Monitors)
    Quick link for Manuals and Drivers

  • 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: 
    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.

    (Liaison for Desktops, Alienware, Monitors)
    Quick link for Manuals and Drivers

  • 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