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Dell stuck on dell screen with setup or boot menu but no response

By cableman
Jul 19, 2010
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  1. I am working on a Dell model : DCSLA

    When I go to boot up I get the black screen with the Dell logo in the middle and the two options in the upper right corner to either "F2" for setup or "F12" for boot menu. I cannot get it to do anything else. It will not read from a restore disk or hirem's restore utility disk either.

    I have checked the ram and it seems to be ok. It had two 1gig chips and two 512gig chips. While I am working on it I took out the two 512's.

    I am thinking it might be a bios issue but I am unfamiliar on how to reset or fix that. I have tested the hard drive and it seems to be ok. I have a usb cable that allows me to work on hard drives via the usb cable and power supply on my own computer. So far I haven't done anything but look at the drive and it seems ok. The computer should still boot up to the bios without a hard drive.

    Can anyone help me in this matter? Can I reset the bios or reinstall then somehow? I don't want to be messing around where I don't know what I am doing.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    I do however see some jumpers on the motherboard. One is marked "clear pw" and the other is marked "clear cmos". Could this have something to do with it.

    The computer doesn't have much in the way of information on it except the sticker which certifies it for Windows Vista Home Premium and of course the product key. The only thing it says in the way of model is # DCSLA and AMD64 Athlon X2. My bad; it also says inspiron 531S.
  2. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,306   +577

    Did you set the boot order to CD first?
    How did you test the hard drive?
  3. cableman

    cableman TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 274


    I have a usb cable that I can remove the hard drive and attach it to the cable and check the drive on my own computer.

    And no, it wouldn't load any disc, it was stuck on the screen.

    I finally kept changing the jumper and removing the battery until it finally reset the bios so I could get into them. Once inside I could fix the problems and change the boot order etc.

    Someone must have been messing around in the bios and got them all messed up. I was working on a friends computer and several people use it so that creates problems in itself.

    I had to totally re-install windows vista they had it so messed up but now I have it straight with Avast and Tune Up Utilities as well as a few more programs to get them started. I also put in a password so only the owner can use it now.

    Thanks for the response though. If anyone else reads this post and has a similar problem; don't despair if the bios don't reset the first time just keep trying. It might help to unplug any extra drives or cards until you can get the bios reset. That is what I ended up doing.

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