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Dell Dimension 2400 XP not booting - left with black screen with white cursor.

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Dell Dimension 2400 XP not booting - left with black screen with white cursor.

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Hi - I have  a Dell Dimension 2400 that has served me very well for  a number of years and hence have my entire life's work on the drive. At some stage yersterday i found that i could not execute any programs although i had complete control of the mouse /keyboard and file listing funtionality. I'd seen this before once in the past so attempted a controlled restart which i believe resolvedf  the issue before The restart did not execute. I then tried a controlled shut down. This didnt execute either. I then tried a system restore that would hopefully rid me of any infectiion or issue and enforce a shutdown as well. Although i could select a restore date, this did not execute either. I then tried  disconnecting the power and then turned the pc back on. The pc started booting but came up with the message "We are sorry any Inconvenience...." etc etc  I let it boot as normal but although the bios check bar seemed to fill up ok and the the windows logo came up it reverted to black screen with a white mouse pointer and the activity on the drive/pc ceased. I tried the power reset again and tried choosing the boot in safe mode option but again this resulted in a black screen although it did say safe mode, but still the same outcome.

I then found my original Dell restore cd disc. I tried booting againn this time pressing F12 to boot from disc. This ddnt work. I then pressed F2 to disable the boot from drive as well. ( have tried F8 on boot as well)

I eventually got  a message asking to boot from cd which it did and the windows setup window appeared. It loaded all the files/drivers etc and then asked if i wanted to repair or proceed with full windows load. When repair version didnt work, I tried  both of these but still when booting the windows logo appears then the screen reverts to a black screen with white mouse. I have also now found that when it boots it is btpassing any of the error "inconvenience"display  goes to the wndows logo & a window that says "windows xp setup is being restarted." The it just stos in its tracks.

I am now in a complete maze as to where i go or what i can do.

I also ran the original diagnostic tool cd i had with the machine and no errors were apparent.

I am running XP service Pack 2 -  anti virus Avast and Spyware Doctor

Can somebody please help as my world is on this machine.

many thanks


All Replies
  • Hi, d. bee:

    The primary objective at this point should be saving your files. So you need to run out and buy another hard drive, reinstall Windows, then reconnect your first drive to see if you can retrieve the files. Your system requires an IDE drive, aka PATA or EIDE or ATA, not SATA. The guys at Best Buy will understand. The drive should include an IDE cable with connectors for TWO drives. Your current cable can only accommodate one.

    Please let me know which specific items you need help with.

  • hi osprey.. thanks so much for your quick response.

    do you think anything i have done thus far could have wiped the current hard drive at all?..the screen only gets as far as the windows logo before stopping...i really hope not.

    so i need to go and buy a new hard drive..  (does the size of hard drive i need to  matter or is it just applying a new drive that counts.. i have another disused older dell 1100..would this do?)

    connect it

    then do all the window xp restore stuff and then re connect the original?

    could you elaborate on the correct steps i take to reinstall xp please (Repair or Clean or otherwise) as i have ried various ways so far and a little worried that im gonna make things worse?. i have a Dell Reinstallation disc (purple)

    many thanks



  • d.bee:

    Nothing you have done should have made things any worse. All you did was try a repair installation and that failed, so your drive should be intact.

    Your Dimension 1100 has the right kind of drive, IDE. However, based on the critical nature of your data, it might be better to bring your 2400 to a local shop or Best Buy and see if they can get the data off the old drive.