I have an odd problem with my new Inspiron 545 (2 months old). Sometimes it will not boot at all. I turn on the power, but there is no start up beep, my TFT screen leaves blank and goes to power safe mode. I have to turn it off and on again and then it boots normal. The problem appears every 10 to 20 times I start the computer. Is this a known problem that can be fixed with a BIOS update or what goes wrong here?
Best regards from Germany
Could be a power supply problem. Since the system is relatively new, I suggest you contact Dell Tech Support for warranty repairs.
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I have experienced the same problem - have spent may hours on-line with tech support over the 4 weeks I've had this new computer. 6 hours in total just today - restoring the system and then doing a clean install of Vista, drivers - including new video card driver. The problem was still unresolved - the computer won't start. So finally Dell is sending a technician to replace power supply and video card. I have had many Dell computers at work and at home and have never encountered any real problems til now. I had requested some time ago that they simply replace the computer tower as this had been a problem since day 1. They insisted it was a software/OS problem, but we have eliminated that many hours later. Now at least after hours of trouble-shooting they are coming to do replacement of parts only. I am an unhappy camper!!
By way of follow-up - the Dell technician was here for 3 hours today. Replaced the power supply and video card, to no avail. He ran a number of tests/tried a number of things, e.g. upgraded BIOS. After re-seating the cable from the motherboard to the hard drive, the computer started about 5 times in a row with no problem while he was here, in my presence. So after working away tonight, just shut down and restarted and...it has not restarted the last two times - I now get a 'Windows Error Recovery' screen, the computer will 'start normally' from that menu - but this is not right.
While on the phone previously with Dell support, ran quick diagnostic test of HD, which passed. However, the technician today got an error code 4400:011E. SCSI_0.000_disk_wdc_wd50_00AAV_00G9B)_unitattention.
So...back to Dell support for 'next steps'???
Dell is now exchanging the tower. It will arrive in 10-15 business days.
I think this is happening to my Inspiron 545 which I've had for less than a month. I put it to sleep and it won't wake up. I have had to unpug the power and try to boot it and I still can't get anything to show on my monitor. It could be my video card, I installed a Radeon HD 4500, but that has been running fine for as long as I've owned the computer. I've tried my DVI cable, and the VGA cable from the video card and from the motherboard.
I've had this problem a few times now, and it would always boot up after a few tries. However this morning I couldn't get it to start no matter what. My next step is to pull out the video card to rule that out. However after that I guess I go with Dell Tech Support?
Dell replaced the tower, I exchanged it on Sunday and ....the problem (going into system repair or 'black screening' ) recurred with the replacement tower IF my external drive was connected. IF the external drive was disconnected or 'off', the computer will start without any issues.
I was sure that this was one of the initial steps/checks that I went thru with Dell support on the original tower, and it didn't make any difference? However, you might want to try it!!
It sounds like the PC is trying to boot from the external hard drive -which it can't- and the screen goes black until the USB device "times out", which may take a few minutes, or never.
Run BIOS setup and look for USB Boot Priority. Make sure the USB devices do not have boot priority. (Not exactly sure what the precise wording is because it's not stated in the manual.)
<ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>
Then look further down in BIOS setup for First Boot Device and make sure the internal hard drive is listed ahead of "Removabale." Note that "Removable" is the default First Boot Device so if you reset BIOS to factory settings (eg, replace the motherboard battery) you'll have to change the First Boot Device setting over again.
Save the changes and exit setup. That should solve the problem.
I have an external drive also so I unplugged that, as well as everything else besides monitor, keyboard and mouse, and it still won't boot. The computer does seem to be on, but as far as I know I can't see anything because the monitor is not getting a signal. I'll try booting with F8 or F12 and see what I can do.
Still could be a power supply issue... What color is the power button when it won't boot, and is it solid or blinking?
Power off and unplug PC from the wall. Press/hold the power button on the tower for ~15 sec. Open the case and carefully reseat all the RAM modules and PCI cards in their slots. Remove and reconnect the power cables from the power supply to the motherboard and drives, etc. Close the case and reboot.
And as I said, if you're under warranty, contact Tech Support for assistance, especially if you're going to need a new power supply and/or motherboard.
Thanks for the reply Ron. My power button glows a steady white/blue. I hear the drive and/or fans spin up when I hit it, but nothing to the monitor.
I did as you suggested with re-seating the RAM and PCI cards. My only PCI card is my Radeon 4500. My monitor was scrolling its powersave logo, but as soon as I plugged the DVI cable into the computer it went into DVI Power Save Mode. The computer just sits in this state, nothing to the monitor but seemingly on until I unplug the cable. I have no way of safely shutting down. I also never get anything to the monitor so I can't see if I get past POST or even get into BIOS.
My next step right now is to remove the Radeon card completely and try using a VGA cable. I'll report back.
Also, I found I can safely shut it down if I hold on the power button long enouh. I can also get the DVD player to open and close.
I pulled out the Radeon card and and just used a VGA cable from the motherboard's onboard VGA video out. I was able to boot enough so I could see the DELL and Inspiron logos, then the screen went white (as opposed to just blank before). I then went into BIOS and moved booting from removable device to the end. Then it re-booted when I saved that and I get a screen that says "Your computer can't come out of hibernation" "A fatal error occured processing the restoration data" 0x0000411 \hyberfil.sys.
I hit enter and made it to the OS loading screen. I have Vista 64bit. I then successfully made it into Vista.
My best theory at this point is I put the computer to sleep and then somehow my video card went bad or crashed and it couldn't come of where it was. I have read these cards can have problems because they don't have fans. I've ordered the Radeon 4650 which has a fan and hopefully that will fix this from happening.
I'm then did a full shutdown and installed the video card again to see if it will work for now. I was able to use my DVI cable to my monitor once again. I was also able to plug my HDMI cable into my TV.
So things are looking good right now, but this crash has happened 3-4 times since I've had this computer for a month. This was the worst of it, where I actually had to remove the video card to see the error I wrote above. Hopefully a different video card will fix this problem. I'll report more as I find things out.
If this system is only a month old, you should be talking to Dell Tech Suport about getting it fixed. Don't wait until the warranty expires.
And search around these forums. There may be an issue with this system coming out of standby or hibernation, so somebody may have found the solution. Maybe an updated BIOS..??
Thanks for the reply. I will contact DELL tech support if the problem persists. I've read they will run you through all sorts of hoops and use a "shotgun approach" so I'd rather zero in the problem with research first.
I found a lot of other posts where people have a problem waking their computer from sleep in vista or Win7. One thread linked to this MS KB: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929909/
This is a desktop and this KB applies to the Mobile Intel 945GM Express Chipset whereas I think the 545 just as the 945 Chipset. The problem does sound very similiar though. I think this more of a Microsoft Vista problem, and fooling with the sleep settings might fix the problem.