Dell Vostro 410 - Won't boot past 1st bios screen

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Dell Vostro 410 - Won't boot past 1st bios screen

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I bought a Dell Vostro 410 for my Brother in law, set it up and delivered it to him a little over a year ago. It's running Vista Home Premium.

Yesterday I went over and installed a new printer on the system and after that I decided to restart the computer from power down but the computer would not restart. It would beep once and come up to the first bios screen, the screen where you have the F2 and F12 option. It would just hang at that screen, no keyboard action would work. I tried different keyboards, still nothing. I tried many times to get the machine past that screen but without any success. I even pulled the power plug out and tried that, no success. While this was going on my brother in law told me that this had happened to him about 6 months ago but finally the machine came up. When this happens I get high fan noise for a few seconds, fans on very high then they slow down and are quiet. Bios version is latest also.

I told him we'd un plug the power and let the machine sit for a couple hours and then try again. Later I tried again and the machine came up without problems.

I'm scared it's probably pretty serious problem, maybe mother board even.  Any suggestions?

Thanks

Gene

All Replies
  • Hi, Gene:

    Ok, here are a couple references for you. System setup and troubleshooting.

    Check system setup, which is why you're being prompted to hit F2. Perhaps something is amiss there. And then run the diagnostics.

  • Thanks for taking the time to help.

    I get one short beep very early after hitting the power switch, the first bios screen comes up where you have F2 and F12 options and it shows the BIOS version. It hangs right there and will not take any keyboard input. There is pretty much nothing I can do at that point other than turn it off. It has a wireless keyboard, I disconnected that keyboard and hooked a wired keyboard in place of it but still I have the same symptoms. Owner says that fan coming on very high like that seems not normal, he's not noticed it in the past. Truely stuck at this point and like I said in my original post, I finally pulled out the power plug and we left the machine for a couple hours, upon return it booted right up, even would let me do an F2 to get into the BIOS. There were no errors and everything worked fine, machine goes into sleep mode, returns from sleep mode, everything worked. As I said, he told me it happened about 6 months ago and he tried and tried and finally left it sit and tried much later and it came up for him, he never mentioned that to me cause I would have contacted Dell about it while the machine still had the 1 year warrantee.

    I'm at a loss other than bad BIOS or maybe bad memory. I would suspect the BIOS would need system memory to run. There is NO error message present, just hung at that first BIOS screen. That screen normally comes by pretty fast as I remember you need to be alert in order to catch it in time to do an F2 if you want to do anything in the BIOS. I fear it's a MB problem and I'll need to replace the board - sad as it's a very new system.

    Regards,

    Gene

  • No, the BIOS does not use system memory. One short beep indicates a BIOS checksum failure, or possible system board failure. You could try flashing the BIOS

  • Has anybody found a resolution to this issue? I've been dealing with this issue for almost 3 years. The system will eventually boot, but it often takes several tries after several hours of trying. it makes installing updates a dreadful experience. Thanks, Keith
  • Hi Keith,

    Are you getting any POST beeps? Would you please just confirm your model and OS? I don't want to assume.

  • Yes, I do get the post beeps. I am running Vista 32-bit, but I may upgrade to Win 7 64-bit.   Thanks

  • Sorry, I should have asked how many POST beeps.

  • Since I was finally able to get past it yesterday, I'm not sure how many post beeps it was giving. I think one though. Thanks

  • Next time you get a beep code, check the link I provided above. One beep could be the motherboard.

  • Hi, I have a Vostro 230 which gets to the Dell splash screen but no further. It detects an F2 or F12 key press but does nothing other than display the "preparing to enter BIOS/enter one time boot menu" message. There are no beeps. This is the first time this has happened, but despite several boots over the last 36hrs, no luck.

  • treesurgeon

    Hi, I have a Vostro 230 which gets to the Dell splash screen but no further. It detects an F2 or F12 key press but does nothing other than display the "preparing to enter BIOS/enter one time boot menu" message. There are no beeps. This is the first time this has happened, but despite several boots over the last 36hrs, no luck.

    treesurgeon

    Assuming that you have the Vostro 230 Mini Tower and not the 230s Slimline version

    Check the reading of the power button LED, is it Steady Blue, Blinking Blue, Steady Amber, Blinking Amber or is it Off?

    The Vostro 230 Mini Tower Troubleshooter and owners manual is here:

    ftp://ftp.dell.com/Manuals/all-products/esuprt_desktop/esuprt_vostro_desktop/vostro-230_service%20manual_en-US.pdf

    Bev.

     

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • Hi. yes, it is the 230 Mini Tower, and the power button LED is Steady Blue.

    Martin

  • treesurgeon

    Hi. yes, it is the 230 Mini Tower, and the power button LED is Steady Blue.

    Martin

     
    treesurgeon
    Martin,
     
    Is there a video card installed?
     
     Try the following, if you are comfortable working around computers:

    Note: The only 100% method of testing a PSU, is to install a known working power supply.
     
    Unplug the cord from the power supply, hold the power button in for about 15/20 seconds, open the case, unplug the 24-pin power connector from the motherboard and jump the Green wire to one of the Black wires, reconnect the power cord and power the system, if power supply and case fans and the hard drive run, then the PSU should be good.

    Note: Do not remove any wires from the plug, use a small piece of wire or a paper clip as a jumper.

    Power supply checks out, again disconnect the power cord, hold the power button in for several seconds to discharge the residue power, reconnect the 24-pin connector to the motherboard.

    Remove all PCI cards from the system, take out the video card [if applicable], disconnect all peripherals, except the monitor, mouse and keyboard and disconnect the power & data cables from all drives. 
     
    Reconnect the power cord and power system on, see if you get a different LED indication on the power button, or 'Beeps'.
     
    No difference, remove the memory from the system and try again.
     
    Still shows no signs of life then you are looking at a motherboard replacement & maybe a processor. 
     
    Note: The processor rarely fails and the only method I know of checking a processor, is to install it a compatible working PC, or use a known working processor.
     
    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • Hi,

    There is no graphics card.

    Power supply checks out, all fans run.

    There are no cards installed, just onboard graphics, 1 hard disk and 1 optical drive, and 2 sticks of ram.

    Disconnecting and reconnecting various things elicit no response from the system, I can't raise a single beep or get any further than the Dell splash screen!

    Regards, Martin

  • treesurgeon

    Hi,

    There is no graphics card.

    Power supply checks out, all fans run.

    There are no cards installed, just onboard graphics, 1 hard disk and 1 optical drive, and 2 sticks of ram.

    Disconnecting and reconnecting various things elicit no response from the system, I can't raise a single beep or get any further than the Dell splash screen!

    Regards, Martin

     
    treesurgeon
    Martin,
     
    As there are no 'Beeps', it sounds like the motherboard has issues and needs to be replaced.
    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell