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Please help with my computer booting problem.

By investor27 ยท 5 replies
Mar 11, 2004
  1. Hi everyone! I purchased a Dell 4600 series desktop for my wife last about 2 years ago, and have never had any problems with it until now. The computer had always booted up really quickly with Windows XP installed (usually less than a minute). But in the past few days, when we turn our computer on, we get this low-resolution screen and nothing happens. We waited for over 5 minutes and still nothing happen.

    I had managed to get the computer booted after setting up in the BIOS to boot from cd-rom first and used the Windows XP cd that came with the computer. It took longer than 5 minutes just to get into the BIOS setup screen as well.

    To be honest. I don't even know what I did. When trying to boot the recovery option from the Windows XP, I was prompted to enter the windows' file I wanted to boot. I didn't know what that wasl, so I hit "enter" to cancel. It then went back to the screen, but booted normally to windows 5 minutes later. I have the BIOS setup for boot 1st from cd-rom, 2nd from bootable devices and 3rd from the hard drive.

    Now that I'm back into my desktop, I went to to see if my computer was infected, but no virus script was found. I then checked my hard drive for errors, but when it prompted me to reboot my computer, then same thing happened again (, low-res screen came on forever).

    Can someone tell me how to run the recovery program to an earlier date with Windows XP? And what do you guys think is wrong with my computer? Thank you for your assistance.
  2. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    I "don't" necessarily think this is your problem.....kinda sounds hardware-related.....but have you gone into System Restore under System Tools to try and restore to an earlier "good" incarnation.....maybe a couple weeks ago?
  3. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Normally, a PC should start first from HardDisk. If it finds a workable OS, it will start straight away.
  4. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    If the PC is still under warranty ( 3 years ? ), I'd take it back.
  5. Greeno

    Greeno TS Rookie Posts: 281

    I'd put my money on it being the harddrive.. Just the other day I fixed a mates PC, which took in excess of 5 minutes to boot, it turns out his HDD is on its way out.

    Changed it out, re-installed XP (not totally necessary if you can take an image before it goes) and problem solved.
  6. lowman

    lowman TS Rookie Posts: 380

    I think Dell may sometimes do 2 year warranties for home users(not positive)...when you get the Dell splash screen, you get prompted to enter setup...can you start in Safe Mode?
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