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Windows XP Pro - Screen goes blank

By dandowftm
Oct 1, 2007
  1. Hi all!

    I'm having a problem with a Dell Optiplex GX280 at work.
    The problem is that when i turn the computer on sometimes it gets to the logon screen, and then the screen goes blank.

    When i eventually get to log on, I'll be doing something like typing out an email and the screen will go blank. But i still have power as I can hear the computers fans still spinning and also the keyboard num lock/caps lock lights are still on.

    I have tried swapping the monitor out but still no joy :-(

    Any ideas people?
     
  2. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,714

    When it all goes blank, do the num/caps lock lights respond to pressing the approriate key? If so the thing has locked up. If not, I would suspect a failing graphics adapter. Not a totally conclusive check but maybe a pointer in the right direction.
    It could also be slot creep - take the lid off and make sure the graphics adapter is sitting down in the slot properly.
     
  3. dandowftm

    dandowftm TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Im not sure, I'll check again next time it happens.

    Ive also tried installing an agp graphics card, i thought this fixed it but obviously it hasnt.

    This problem has also occured on another computer in the same office now too!
     
  4. dandowftm

    dandowftm TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    This morning it took me 8 attempts to get the computer to work, after 7 goes, i got the message C:\System 32\Config is corrupt. Could this be the cause or is this something else?
     
  5. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,714

    This could well be the cause and focuses the attention on the hard drive.
    Back up your files before you do anything else, if you can.
    Open Windows Explorer, find your drive C:\, right click and in properties select Tools then check for errors. Tick both boxes and then start - follow instructions and note the contents of the report that will finish things off. Any bad sectors is a sign that the drive may not have long to go before complete failure.
     
  6. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    run CHKDSK on your c drive.
     
  7. dandowftm

    dandowftm TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Well, i ran the check last night on one of the computers, and so far so good, it turned on first time, and hasnt gone off yet!
    So im going to go and do the same to the other computer tonight, and hopefully solve the problem!!
     
  8. Aolish

    Aolish TS Enthusiast Posts: 216

    wow this is one piercular problem. first thought crossing my mind was a vid card problem also but the fact that you said you swapped vid cards and it happens on other computers on the same network makes this something new that i've never heard before. Is every computer in the office a Dell Optiplex GX280??? If so i guess the first thing I would do is disconnect one of the computers from its network and use it as a stand-alone pc, separate from the others. See if there isn't something in the network causing monitors going out. Not much of a solution, I know... I'll post more if i have more ideas.
     
  9. dandowftm

    dandowftm TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Sorry, the PC's are actually Dell Optiplex GX270's, and there are 4 of them in the office as well as another Dell, im pretty sure the other one isnt a 270 but i cant remember the actual model!
     
  10. boykov

    boykov TS Rookie Posts: 131

  11. dandowftm

    dandowftm TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    cool, I'l give that a try then!
    Well it seemed to be running well yesterday after I ran that check on the hard disk but this morning it has taken the user 8 times to get logged on.
     
     
  12. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,714

    It is odd that two machines on the same network both developed the same symptoms - unless the environment is harsh and subject to shocks or something? If the problem is on start-up when machines are cold (what is the ambient temperature?) you might be able to solve this by adjusting the disk access delay in the BIOS if available. This allows the disks to spin up before the system tries to read from them but is only measured in milliseconds. Failure to log on will have long since taken you past that point.
     
  13. dandowftm

    dandowftm TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Yes, very strange indeed!
    Well theres other computers the same model in that office and they are working fine :S
    Yes they mainly screw up first thing on a morning but also during the day they will go off, becoming a bit of a pain now like as I have got their manager moaning on to me now :(
     
  14. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,714

  15. dandowftm

    dandowftm TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Just on downloading it now, its a bit annoying now like as i have had 3 computers do it to me in different offices.
    Ive tried allsorts, graphics card, chkdsk's, updated all of the drivers and software etc the only thing i havent tried is changing the disk access delay you mentioned as i cant find it in the bios.
    I'l run this temperature monitor and see what happens, the main problem seems to be when running abode acrobat or outlook so i'l test them programs out and see if they're hammering the PC causing it to overheat
     
  16. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,714

    Do you by any chance have any specialist software running that is common to these problem machines?
     
  17. dandowftm

    dandowftm TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    No, all this specific user is using is Office XP, Adobe 8, with Sophos Antivirus running
     
  18. dandowftm

    dandowftm TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Hi,
    On friday i was lookin at one of the screwed PC's and got an error, 'Previous fails to boot have a failed at checkpoint PNP7'. i googled that and found a dell community forum where it seems like the problems are dodgy capacitors on the motherboard, apparently dell shipped GX270s between march 2003 and april 2004 with faulty capacitors and these can cause random pc shutdowns and video card failure.
     
  19. hramos86

    hramos86 TS Rookie

    Windows goes blank after Startup.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As said in the title, my windows goes blank, black screen that is, after the windows logo startup. I dont know wtf happen but this sh*$ is aggravating me. Last known activities were:
    >Defragging
    >Removing b.s programs
    >and Moving media files (i.e audio and video)
    I did all these activities in "SAFE MODE". After I "START WINDOWS NORMALLY" it appear to remain on "SAFE MODE". I repeated this a number of times, and the same thing happened. My contingency was to start on "LAST KNOWN GOOD CONFIGURATION". After i selected this option, windows loaded normally, up untill after the windows logo, after which the screen became blank (Black). Although screen is blank, i could still navigate "blind".
    Starting windows and shutting it down are about the only things i can do blindfolded. I dont have a windows xp cd, my computer was bought in 04'. I need some hardcore help.
     
  20. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,714

    This is almost certainly caused by a driver.
    Have you installed any new components or perhaps upgraded anything? Perhaps the video drivers?
     
  21. richrutt

    richrutt TS Rookie

    Hi. I'm having the same problem with the same machine, and so I searched and found this board and read the exchange of communications here, but there's no indication that his/her problem was resolved. Was there an ultimate resolution to the problem? If so, I'd greatly appreciate knowing. Thanks.
     
  22. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,714

    There was no more from the person with a problem so we have no idea. Did you note the comments in post #18 ref Dell capacitors??
     
  23. richrutt

    richrutt TS Rookie

    yes, I saw it. I gave the machine to someone in our IT department and told him about this. He returned the machine to me when I wasn't here with a note that the problem was fixed, but when I tried to turn it on, the same problem arose. I left a message for him to give me a call. This is so frustrating!

    But I appreciate the quick response.
     
  24. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,714

    Do it yourself - open the machine and look at the capacitors (little fat cylinders) and if any of them have bulging tops or discoloured gunge on the top they have failed. This will mean the main board is u/s unless you can find someone who will replace them but usually the cost of board level repairs is more than the value of a new board. If you need this service in the UK I can help!
     
  25. richrutt

    richrutt TS Rookie

    I had our IT guy check the capacitors, and he says they're fine. At this point, I'd like to take the CPU up to the top of the Empire State Building here in NY and throw it down to the ground, but since the City never sleeps, I can't do that.
     
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