I have a Precision T1500. On reboot, 4 out of 5 times it hangs with blinking cursor upper left corner, as if BIOS loaded okay but no hard drive sensed. The machine has two 500GB SATA drives in RAID 1 config. Dell already replaced the motherboard because I couldn't get it to sense the array at all and it appeared to be fixed, but now I need to keep rebooting till it finally starts Windows 7.
Is this a know problem?
Not sure about a known problem, but I am experiencing exactly the same. It looks to be more than not finding hard drive, on my system I am unable to continue with Boot to any other boot devices (CD, USB etc)
Currently on BIOS 2.0.1, intend to update to 2.4.0 if I can get the machine to boot again!
I also wonder if it could be related to the RAID Controller. Is there any firmware available for the Intel Rapid Storage Technology RAID card? I am currently using Intel Matrix Storage Drivers at version 18.104.22.1687, A03 (Dell Driver R243674), I notice directly on Intels site that they are now at version 10.1.0.1008. Do Dell support this driver release?
If I update the drivers in the OS, will this flash the RAID card with a newer BIOS revision too?
Can anyone at Dell advise, or is a support call for a new System Board a sensible first step?
I'm having the same problem as you both have described above when i do a system restart sometimes the bios splash screen shows sometimes it does not next thing that happens is a white flashing cursor in the top left corner blinks non-stop i assumed it was the graphics card not engaging on start-up, so after several attempts of restarting it, it eventually starts but only after several time wasting attempts and rather a annoying process.
Well good news for anyone having this issue... I seem to have identified the cause this morning, at least in my case...
It turned out to the the USB Attached HP Photosmart Printer/Scanner that was causing this.
This device has a built in SD Card storage device (for scan to SD function), and it turned out when this was connected the SD slot seemed to take a higher precedence in the Boot order than the in-built SATA RAID controller.
Unplugging the Printer provided a workaround, however to get past this long term, I have ended up "disabling" all boot devices other than the RAID controller (Changing the order did not appear to resolve this for me, even hitting F12 for a one time boot menu, still resulted in the flash cursor and no-boot sympton.)
Try unplugging every peripheral (printer/scanner/camera/phones/ipods etc) before going any further!
Hopefully you will see this before you do as Dell support told me to try first! They suspected a corrupt Array, and requested I delete the RAID volume and re-create it... Am now going through the painful process of rebuilding!!! Fortunately I found this whilst still using this as a test box, it is due to become a 2008 R2 Hyper-V Host server with 3 VMs for my small business!!!
I was having the same issue Brand new Dell t1500 out of the box plugged up the hp officejet 8500 to it and got the flashing cursor. So I unplugged all peripherals and restarted and it worked fine so I installed all peripherl software. After plugging in each device 1 by 1 and restarting I found the culprit to be the officejet pro 8500 which has the memory card slots.
Verified machine has 2.40 bios which is the latest at the time of this writing. All HP firmware updates are installed on printer and latest software.
Going to try the above and disable all other non essential boot devices next and see if that resolves it... and I might see if I can disable the media card reader on the printer..
Thanks for the leads. hope they pay off.