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Dell D505 beeps twice and writes "Strike the F1 key to continue, F2 to run setup..."

By yarospo
May 16, 2010
  1. My Dell D505 started acting up recently.
    When I would boot sometimes it would beep 4 or 5 times (short beeps no long pauses) and then go to Windows no problems.
    Sometimes it would beep 2 times and write "Strike the F1 key to continue, F2 to run the setup utility". Nothing else, no other diagnostics. Hitting either F1 or F2 would not work, and I had to power down and power up again, then it would work normally.

    Starting from today it beeps 2 times, writes "Strike the F1 key to continue, F2 to run the setup utility" and no amount of power downs helps. F1 and F2 don't work either, however I discovered by accident that hitting Fn+F1 actually gets me to the first page of the setup, while hitting Fn+F3 gets me to the 7th page :?
    In setup I've disabled internal modem and all the other peripherals, removed everything but the HDD and CDROM from the boot sequence, changed POST to thorough mode, but nothing helps.

    I've tried reseating RAM, I've tried booting without the HDD (It would then at least write that primary disk was not found), disassembling the laptop and plugging/unplugging the keyboard+touchpad connectors.
    Nothing.

    Any ideas?
    Thanks!
     
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Some component of the hardware is bad... could be anything... and the beep codes help tell what it is. There is a list of beep codes posted by tipstir, I believe, elsewhere on this TechSpot site.

    Have you tried booting to SAFE MODE by repeately depressing the <F8> key as soon as you depress the power button? If it boots to SAFE MODE you know it is repairable.

    Otherwise, trouble shoot for power supply failure, hard drive failure, cpu fan failing, modem or ethernet socket, video graphics card... ore even sound card... any defective component can cause an alert.
    Or it could be overheating due to lint, dirt, dust in the fan or cooling channels.
    When you try booting without the HDD, at least put a bootable CD into the optical drive.
    Good luck. Let us know your diagnosis.
     
  3. brucethetech

    brucethetech TS Enthusiast Posts: 301

    i agree with ray bay some component is failing. once it attempts to contact a boot device (hdd or cd) and it doesn't work you should get an error about no operation system not found. find out if it is detecting you hard drive on the bios. also some dells tend to to not power up if the battery malfunctions even of you have it on AC power. the beeps could be telling you that the battery is critically low.
     
  4. yarospo

    yarospo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks, both of you,

    raybay:
    I've pressed the F8 key like crazy - nothing happened.
    I don't think it's a power supply failure because it acts the same with power or on battery.
    CPU fan starts spinning when it gets hot.
    Modem and LAN are disabled in BIOS.
    Video/Sound - how can I troubleshoot that?
    I don't think it's overheating because it acts that way right from the start - after it lay and chilled out all day.

    Here's the thing though - when I removed the HDD and put a bootable CD it actually managed to boot TWICE in succession into windows installation. I was all happy I found the culprit, but then it just went to its previous behavior. I even made a bootable USB flash stick, tested it on my other computer but the Dell refused to boot anyway (even though I enabled that option in BIOS).

    brucethetech:
    The BIOS detects the HDD just fine. As I mentioned I tried to boot both from power (no battery) and from battery (no power) so it's not the battery.

    Another thing I tried:
    There are 2 RAM sticks so I assumed it's unlikely that both of them went out simultaneously, so I tested booting with just one and then the other in each of the 2 slots, but it didn't help.


    Any ideas where I can go from here?
     
  5. akannitaoheed

    akannitaoheed TS Rookie Posts: 99

    I have worked with a dell desktop that had a similar problem but everytime it made that two beeps and I went into the bios, the HDD was not detected until I either restarted the system or physically reinstall the HDD.

    To get conclusive on which componenet is failing, try these step cos that worked for me on that pc:

    - Try using the HDD on another system, see if it tries to boot, ofcourse it windows would crash because the ohter pc wil have different components compared to the dell system.

    -If that happens, that try running windows xp setup, but do not format or install on the HDD, and see if windows can detect the HDD. If the HDD is fine, then windows setupo should detect it. Press F3 twice to cancel setup.

    -If the above test confirms that the HDD can be detected and windows get to setup on the other system, then the same should also happen on the dell system, else the motherboard has some problem and needs checking or replacement.
     
  6. yarospo

    yarospo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    @akannitaoheed:

    Thank you for your suggestions, but I'm afraid I don't have access to another Dell D505 laptop, or any other Dell laptop for that matter, so I won't be able to connect the HDD to a working system, unless there's a way to connect it to an MSI laptop or a standard desktop that I'm not aware of?

    Also, when I go to BIOS setup it recognizes the HDD just fine.
     
  7. brucethetech

    brucethetech TS Enthusiast Posts: 301

    You misunderstood me. Some Dell Laptops require a working battery to boot properly so powering up without a battery is not a valid test.
     
  8. yarospo

    yarospo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ah okay, I did misunderstand you. Basically it's because I almost never used the battery with this laptop before, so I've booted up okay thousands of times without it :)
     
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