Dimension 4700 desktop will not boot up

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Dimension 4700 desktop will not boot up

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I have a Dimension 4700 desktop that has been sitting in storage for a while. I wanted to start it up and see if there was anything on it I needed to save or erase from the hard drive. As far as I know, it was working fine when it was put away. Now, it won't boot up at all. Here is what I know-

Dimension 4700

service tag: <ADMIN NOTE:Service Tag removed per privacy policy>

running Windows XP Home

Power light comes on and stays on (green). DVD drives try to test spin (but won't read a boot disk). Hard drive light comes on and stays on.

Does NOT display a Dell spash screen. The screen is blank (black) except for a single blinking white cursor (underscore).It hangs in this condition.

Does not respond to keyboard commands (ctl+alt+del, esc, f8, f11 ...etc. ). Does not respond to reset (must hold power button in to turn off).

Diagnostic lights are lit on rear panel. A, B, C are all green and steady. D is amber and steady.

All interior and peripheral cables appear to be attached properly.

When the power cable to the hard drive is removed, it does NOT give POST beeps (condition is the same).

I can not get to a setup screen. I can not boot from a cd. I do not get any auditory signals (beeps).

 

It is well out of warranty, and the troubleshooting knowledge base sent me into a recursive loop of articles that never got past step #2. Anyone have any suggestions?

 

Verified Answer
  • Medallion19.

    As you don't have a floppy drive installed, enter the system setup [ F2 on Startup ] and check under diskette drives, if there's is a 3.5" diskette drive listed, change it to "Not installed" or "what ever".   

    This should stop the system from looking for the A: drive.

    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

All Replies
  • Since it has been in storage for a while, first step, with the PC powered off, is to reseat (unplug then plug back in) all memory modules, any PCI cards such as video, sound, etc, and all cable connectors.  Make sure when you plug items back in that you get them fully and correctly reinstalled.     Power back on and see if that makes a difference.

    I am not a Dell Employee

    Dell forum member since 2002

    Home Built PC with Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H motherboard, i7 3770 CPU,  Windows 7 64 bit Home/Win 8.1.  SSD drive.  Sonar X3c 64 bit Recordng Software.

     

    Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E.

  • I just "inheireted" a 4700 also. Mine would get to dell splash but go no further. I fiddled around with the SATA drive connections on the motherboard, 1 & 2 connectors for both drives (blue and black as well as toggling drive sequence inside the F2 Setup. Finally it recognized the drive and with the disks that Dell sent free, it is up and running. However, you aren't able to get that far. Have you checked the button battery? If it has set a while, prehaps that might need replacing. Did you get to look at your manual for the diagnostic light toubleshooter? If the A,B,C lights are green but the D light is amber, this indicates that the cables to the system board need to be reconnected to ensure good contact.

  • I agree. If it's been in storage for a while, chances are good the motherboard battery died and/or the BIOS settings got corrupted.

    Power off and unplug. Press/hold power button for ~15 sec. Open the case and remove the motherboard battery. Press/hold power button again for ~30 sec. Insert a fresh CR2032 3-volt lithium ion battery (right-side-up!) and see if it boots with only mouse, monitor and keyboard attached. The battery is ~$2-$3 at discount stores.

    Ron

    If this answers your question, please click  Yes  

    Ron

    Forum Member since 2004

    I am NOT a Dell employee

  • Thanks for your replies. It looks like the problem was badly seated memory modules. Must have gotten some corrosion or dust in there during storage. I started pulling memory modules and trying to restart to see if a module was bad. After pulling #3&4, I got  it to start. I put them back, and it would not start again. I put back just #3 and it started. I started to think #4 was bad, but a little while later I put #4 back, and it started. Now all modules are in and it is running. must have been corrosion.

    Thanks.

     

  • I am working on my granddaugthers Dell 4700 that I gave them several years ago. I now have it at my house for it would not boot. It would go to the Dell screen and then nothing else would work, F2, F8, F11. I disconnected all connections one at a time and put them back on. I had already put in a new battery that did nothing, but I just left it in. The cable remove/replace fixed the boot problem. Thanks for your help, I was about to take it to the shop....

  • SILENTE,

    Thank you for both your post and feedback.  I had a similar problem  with Dell Dimension 4700, wouldn't boot nor respond to keyboard.  Also A, B, and C  system lights were solid green and  D  was solid amber.  Took your advice and simply checked the memory modules and all system board connections wiggling slightly to ensure all were seated, also removed dust.  Plugged everything back in and rebooted without  issue.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • I pulled my Dimension 4700 out of storage about a month ago, and at first, I had several error codes, all of which I fixed, and the tower has been working perfectly fine since.  This morning, I was trying to boot from a CD, however, I could not get to the setup BIOS screen.  I googled the problem, and a possible fix was to power off the unit, and then remove the battery from the motherboard for about 30 seconds, reinstall the battery, and then you should be good to go.

    Problem is, now I am getting solid green on A, B, C, and D is amber, with 2 beeps.  Nothing displays on the monitor.  I tried re-seating the memory, and I tried unplugging the SATA cable and plugging that back in, but still nothing.  I replaced the battery too.  

    I am at a loss now, so I am hoping that someone will have an answer?????

  • Also, the tower probably sat inactive in storage for about 4 years before I started it back up about a month ago, but again, it was running perfectly fine until this morning.  

  • Did you just reinstall the old battery? Do you know if that battery is good?

    Are you sure it's just 2 beeps? Error codes on the 4700 should come in 3 groups, separated by a brief pause.

    So it you're getting 2 beeps-2 beeps-2 beeps, that would be a RAM error. Power off, unplug and press/hold power button for ~15 sec. Remove all RAM modules, except the one in slot 1 (closest to processor). Remove motherboard battery and press/hold power button for ~30 sec. Install a fresh battery and see if it boots now.

    Then swap all modules into slot 1. If they all work alone in slot 1, add a module to second slot, reboot, add RAM to 3rd slot, reboot, etc until all RAM is installed to see if you might have a bum slot.

    EDIT: Always power off, unplug and press/hold power button for ~15 sec before doing any work inside the case.

    If this answers your question, please click  Yes  

    Ron

    Forum Member since 2004

    I am NOT a Dell employee

  • Medallion19

    I pulled my Dimension 4700 out of storage about a month ago, and at first, I had several error codes, all of which I fixed, and the tower has been working perfectly fine since.  This morning, I was trying to boot from a CD, however, I could not get to the setup BIOS screen.  I googled the problem, and a possible fix was to power off the unit, and then remove the battery from the motherboard for about 30 seconds, reinstall the battery, and then you should be good to go.

    Problem is, now I am getting solid green on A, B, C, and D is amber, with 2 beeps.  Nothing displays on the monitor.  I tried re-seating the memory, and I tried unplugging the SATA cable and plugging that back in, but still nothing.  I replaced the battery too.  

    I am at a loss now, so I am hoping that someone will have an answer?????

     
    Medallion19
     
    What colour is the power button LED, and is it solid, or blinking?
     
    The 4700 Owners Manual with the troubleshooter, is here:
     
     
    Two beeps could indicate a memory problem.
     
    Try removing all the memory modules, then install only one module in slot 1 and see if the system boots and if the computer starts normally, reinstall an additional module.

    Does not boot, move the module to slot 2 and again see if the system boots, no boot, try the module in slot 3, no boot, try installing in slot 4.

    Still does not boot, then remove the first module and using the second one, repeat the sequence described above.

    Still no boot, try installing any remaining modules, one at a time, using the above procedure.

    Continue until you have identified any faulty module [or slot] or reinstalled all modules without error.

    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

  • Ok, I got it to work again.  Let me start off by thanking everyone for their response.

    I am not sure what happened, but after I replaced the motherboard battery (yes, with a brand new battery), I wasn't able to boot the computer, and I wasn't receiving any error messages on my computer screen, just a blank black screen.  I tried going through a bunch of suggestions to include:  disconnecting the hard drive and then powering up, pulling the RAM and putting it back in, all of the suggestions, and to respond to the post asking if I am sure about the beeps only being two rapid beeps in succession, yes that is what it was.  I know that there is SUPPOSED to be three sets of beeps, but there was one set, of two rapid beeps (as in:  beep beep...... nothing).  

    Oh, and let me clarify the monitor, I was using a plasma screen TV as my monitor because this tower was being used as a server.  

    Well, when I hooked it up to an actual computer monitor at my friends house, there was actually an error code, and some where along the line of me removing the battery from the motherboard, and then replacing the battery on the motherboard, my computer now wants to boot from a floppy disk drive, which of course there isn't one, so it gets hung up there, and I just choose the skip option and continue on with what I am doing.  Luckily for me, I don't normally restart this computer, so if that is what I have to live with, I can deal with having to hit the F1 key to move on to the rest of the start up.  

  • Medallion19.

    As you don't have a floppy drive installed, enter the system setup [ F2 on Startup ] and check under diskette drives, if there's is a 3.5" diskette drive listed, change it to "Not installed" or "what ever".   

    This should stop the system from looking for the A: drive.

    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

  • I have a 4700 and it shut down now will not do anything wont make any type of noise no fan no nothing

  • f1501999

    Is the power button LED, solid green, blinking green, solid amber, blinking amber?

    What is the reading of the diagnostic Lights on the back panel?

    The Dimension 4700 Diagnostic Guide and Troubleshooter is here:

    ftp://ftp.dell.com/Manuals/all-products/esuprt_desktop/esuprt_dimension_desktops/dimension-4700_owner%27s%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

  • it will do nothing no lights  nothing