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Inspiron 2305 boot issues


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Inspiron 2305 boot issues

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I recommended a 2305 All-in-one to a friend of mine a few months ago and it has had chronic boot problems.  The problem is sporadic and the BIOS can't find the boot partition. 

On the first service call, Dell Support decided that it was a defective HD and dispatched a tech to replace it.  A few weeks later, the problem reccurs, so they replace the HD again (so we're on HD No. 3 now).  Two weeks later, we have the same issue and after diagnosing the problem again, they decide it's the motherboard and they schedule a tech to replace that.   We're on HD No. 3 and MB No. 2 and the problem still persists - about every few days it just refuses to find the boot partition.  Once it's up, it runs fine and Dell diagnostics finds absolutely nothing wrong.  At this point, I've disabled all all the boot options except SATA 0 which is the HD.  I'm not convinced that anything has been identified as a cause, let alone been fixed and I'm just waiting for that call from my friend.

I see some other threads about SMART errors and shrinking DIAG partitions, but nothing similar to my issue.  Has anyone else had this issue?   One defective machine is a 'lemon' and I'll argue that it's reasonable and perhaps even to be expected, but 3 HDs and a motherboard?  What's left to replace?  The LCD and power supply?  I'm regretting the day I recommended this model. 




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  • Yes, having boot issues as well.  Have not replaced any hardward parts yet, but from your post, have not desire to go through the brain damage if its just going to break down again.  Now it doesn't boot on at all.

  • I don't know if the Dell techs updated the BIOS but I may do that myself.  The last tech left the restore CDs so I may try to find a spare SATA drive and do a rebuild.  After that I should qualify for my Dell Employee card....  Stay tuned.

  • Oh my goodness - just looking on the forums to see if anyone has the same problems and lo and behold!  I have an Inspiron One 2310 all-in-one.  It is my third Dell over the past 10 years or so and the previous ones have been great. 

    Soon after setting it up I was getting BSODs all the time and could not run the Dell Diagnostics all the way through.  Tried various restores in case it was software related but after fully re-installing Windows went to Dell and they sent a Tech to replace both the Hard Drive and Mother Board.

    Spent a day or two reloading software and files etc  Then went away for a week.  Since I got back I have had BSODs again.  Tired to do a back-up to an external hard drive but next day it said it had failed and the folder was empty.  Tried to check the ext HD but could not get through the disk check so thought it might be that and disconnected it.  (Have since checked using my old Win XP machine and it has completed and is ostensibly ok)

    After looking at various forums have re-set the new PC so it does not go to sleep at all - just lets the screen turn off.  So far so good in that I am not getting BSODs once the machine is on.

    I have done the Dell PC Checks and the Diagnostics Test which took quite a bit longer than the usual half hour but everything passed.  However my PC still won't start up properly.  It goes through the whole routine right to the desktop with task bar, side bar etc and saying Kaspersky is enabled etc and then suddenly goes to a black screen and says a disk read error occurred then we get the reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media etc screen.  If I re-start it then it seems to work fine touch wood.

    However if I try to use it as soon as the desktop and Kaspersky are working it seems to be ok for a bit but is painfully slow and then I get a BSOD that a problem has been detected and win7 is shutting down to prevent damage to the computer.

    The latest problem that started yesterday is that it does not recognise the wireless keyboard so I have to wait for the count down to re-start and have to have standard windows and can't select any of the safe modes or go into the set-up menus during the Dell start-up screen either.

    I will have to borrow a USB keyboard as all my old ones have the former style connector or are wireless too.

    This all sounds like the same problem - is it something wrong with the all-in-ones - they do not seem to be pushing them very hard in the UK - is there an underlying fault with them? 

  • I have had the same issue. 2 HD's replaced, Video card replaced, fan replaced, mother board replaced. After all that, crashed 3 hours after tech left. Call Dell, they want to send another HD, but a different manufacture..seriously??

  • Same problems computer WILL NOT BOOT UP and it is very annoying...I can't even get through with Dell Tech Support...does anyone have a solution to this unacceptable problem?

  • Well mine needed another motherboard and hard drive within a very short time of the original repair so I elected to return it.  I am typing this on a Mac!

  • mine died this morning ,it's less than 2 weeks old and it kept freezing up on Thursday.This morning it went dim as if i wasn't using it,but i was,then heard something and it went blank and i could smell something coming from inside.Kept trying to restart to no avail.Back to my 5 year old dell that has proven to be a great computer.I will get a refund if i still have the option.

  • It's a pity my XP Dell was 8 years without trouble and the one before that did 5 years!

  • I have two 2305.  The first one I had the hard drive replaced twice and the memory and motherboard both replaced once.  Issue still persisted.  Dell finally replaced the entire unit.  My other 2305 just started having the same issues.  I just got off the phone with technical support and they acknowledged a known defect with the connector between the hard drive and the mother board.  They said Dell 2305 owners should be receiving something from Dell acknowleding the issue.  They are coming this week to replace the connector.  Hopefully this will address the issue once and for all!!

  • I have had the same issues as everyone in this post for nearly one year!  I get the blue screen of death and various hex codes and event messages.  Dell has replaced my harddrive (3 times), my memory, and I have had to reinstall the OS and application 1-2 times a week.  I have verified all the drivers are up-to-date, done all the performance checks, and removed and reinstalled applications including the virus protection.  At this point, I'm can not recommend this model to ANYONE!  I have called Dell tech support so many times and feel like I have a LEMON.  I have been frustrated for a year and I'm ready to chunk it for recycle scape.

  • I've been reselling this 2305 for quite some time and never had any issues with them, until recently.

    One client I had sold a 2305 to, I had retrofitted a SSD drive instead of the HDD.  Within the first week, they were reporting blue screens, and the message that there was no boot drive available on reboot.  After leaving it off for some time, it would boot, but would randomly blue screen and then could not find a drive to boot.

    After taking it in to troubleshoot, I discovered that replacing the SATA0 cable seems to have fixed the problem.  I wasn't sure if it was a bad cable, or if there was some sort of interference in the cable given the route the cable was run (along other signal cables), so I ran the cable directly to the hard drive (straight out of the metallic enclosure to the drive, not run along the path of the original drive).  So far, the client has not complained of any problems.

    My daughters relatively new 2305 is also exhibiting the same symptom, where it blue screens and then cannot find a drive to boot from.  

    The BIOS shows NO hard drive on SATA0, same as client problem above.

    Now, to replace the connector requires replacing the system board.  I wonder, since I have not had a problem with literally dozens of 2305's until now, is there just a bad batch?  Is there a serial number range that this problem affects?

    Would just replacing the SATA0 cable fix the problem?  Is it just a loose connection caused by a certain batch of SATA cables?

    If anyone gets any OFFICIAL update from Dell, please post it here so we can follow.

    The 2305 is a great PC, and hopefully this isolated problem can be easily fixed.

  • Update: 10.23.11

    The original 2305 has now on it's 4th SATA drive and 3rd motherboard.  That patient still has the very same issues and cannot boot.  After numerous service calls to Dell tech support across the globe, a replacement 2305 (refurbished) was sent last week.  I got as far as setting the time zone on the Win7 setup when the screen went blank and the replacement unit won't boot either. We're done with this model.  Exasperated, frustrated, disappointed, disgusted and exhausted.

    Customer Service tells us that they can't process refunds and directs us to returns.  Returns tells us that they can only process units less that 21 days old and refers us to Tech Support.  Really?  Ok.  Reached Tech Support and escalated to a manager, who tells us that only "Corporate" can process requests for credits and they'll call me back within 24 hrs.  They did and the options were: 1.  Get a new Inspiron 2305  2. Return both units and apply for a credit.  The credit will be prorated since the unit is 10 months old (albeit dead and useless for 4 months).  Credit will vary and only be determined after the machines are returned.  The unofficial estimate is 60-65% of the original purchase price (I presume this will be base cost and any compensation towards the 3-yr. service agreement will require another battle with "Corporate".  We'll have to wait and see what the "Corporate Gods" deem fair compensation for this debacle. 

    I refuse to believe that this is a case of a few isolated units that fell below the quality control radar.  Really, what are the odds that the original machine and the presumably "refurbished and tested" replacement both exhibited the exact issue?  If Dell's strategy is to cut back on QC, then they need to have a simple process to satisfy their customers who get lemons. Whatever credit we extract from Dell will go towards a HP laptop and I will never recommend a Dell personal line of computers to anyone ever again.  We've had Dell GX business class workstations (over a 1000) at work for our last two desktop rollouts and they perform reliably with very low hardware failure rates.


  • Dell's policy for refunds on new computers is 21 days.  Hurry.

  • Your diagnosis seems to substantiate my view and other posts that this is a SATA cable/MB connector issue.  But there is nothing official from Dell as none of the dozen or so techs found anything in their tech Db that confirms this.  Thanks for your post.

  •  I have replaced the SATA cable in my daughters 2305 this weekend, and so far, so good. Lately, she couldn't use it for 30 minutes without it blue-screening or blanking out/rebooting/missing SATA0 drive.  Keeping my fingers crossed it's that easy. I also recommended a 2305 to my youngest daughters teacher, and she has the same problem. Looks like I'll need to find a good supply of "thick connector" SATA cables. I have noticed that most cables feel loose in the connector, but cables with thicker plastic seem firmer when inserted and so far seems to have fixed the problem.