Dell Inspiron 620 - suddenly not booting up - not even blue screen of death

  wildhouse 22:08 12 Apr 2012

My system is 10 months old. This afternoon when I turned on the computer, although I could hear it rumbling, the screen was blank. Eventually I forced a shut-down by pressing the On button and tried again, and it worked. This evening the same thing happened - my screen went to sleep mode and wouldn't come back. I shut-down and re-started again, but this time the computer screen stayed blank, and slept again. I tried for a third time and nothing - panic, as I couldn't even go online to try and resolve the problem. As I was about to shut-down and wonder how I could find the number for Dell without a computer, the machine slowly started to boot-up and eventually work. I went onto Dell's website and ran their diagnostic check which come up with hundreds of problems, including a problem with the hard drive. But when I clicked on Fix, I was asked to pay £24.99 for a software program to do this, so I am unsure if it is just a way of them getting money from me. This said, worried my computer has a major problem. Any advice gratefully received.

  birdface 22:35 12 Apr 2012

Well you have a 1 year warranty with it so if anything serious get them to take it back and fix it.

See if it starts ok in safe mode.Just keep tapping F8 as the computer starts.

Go into device manager and see if any yellow exclamation marks showing.

If W/7 you could try a system repair in safe mode or last good configuration as well.

Also command prompt and type in sfc /scannow and press enter on the keyboard and see if that finds any problems.

you could also try chkdsk but if you have a faulty hard drive it may crash so best waiting for other advice about that.

  robin_x 22:42 12 Apr 2012

See if it is any better with battery removed and mains only. But it sounds more serious.

I'd think it may have to go back to Dell under warranty. Since they may wipe or replace the hardrive you'll need to hope you can backup all your important stuff first.

If you don't have another computer or external hard drive, that would best be done to DVDs.

Don't forget emails/bookmarks and favourites.

I'd suggest you only backup files that can't be replaced. Anything downloadable from the web can be downloaded again after repair.

If you rely on a single computer see if a friend/relative/work has an old one to lend you.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 22:51 12 Apr 2012

You need to look at Windows Repair Your Computer options.

  • Startup repair - This automatically fixes problems that are preventing Windows from starting
  • System Restore - This will Restore Windows to an earlier point in time
  • Windows Complete PC Restore - This will completely restore your entire PC - programs, system settings and files - from a back up that you have previously created (Available in Windows Vista Business, Enterprise and Ultimate editions only)
  • Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool - This checks your computer's memory hardware for errors
  • Command Prompt - This opens a Command Window

With the Complete PC Restore Option you must have made a backup of your system, either on your hard drive or on a set of DVDs, in order to use this option. If you don't have a backup then don't use this option

How you access the repair options will depend upon whether you have a Windows installation disk or whether your operating system came pre-installed by your PC manufacturer.

Pre-Installed Options NOTE

If no repair options are available your PC manufacturer may have replaced the tools or customised them. Check your Computer Manual before proceeding.

1/ Start your PC

2/ If your PC has one operating system Press and Hold the F8 key as your PC starts. If the Windows Logo appear you will need to start again

3/ If you have a dual boot system a Boot option menu will appear. Highlight the Vista operating system and Press the F8 key

4/ In both cases, if all has gone well, an Advanced options screen will now appear

5/ Highlight the repair Your Computer option and Press Enter

6/ Select a keyboard layout, and then Click the Next button

7/ Next select your user Name and Enter your Password, then Click OK

8/ The recovery options should now appear

Windows Installation Disk NOTE

1/ make sure your PC can boot directly from the Windows DVD. Obviously, most modern PCs can. With older machines you may need to check the PC's BIOS

2/ Start the PC

3/ Immediately insert the Windows DVD into the DVD drive

4/ A Black screen will appear with the words 'Press any key to boot from CD or DVD'

5/ Press Any key to start the booting process

6/ A new screen will now appear with a progress bar. The legend say's 'Windows is loading files'

7/ After a few minutes the Microsoft copyright window ill appear and another small progress bar will be visible

8/ You will next see a Blue curtained screen

9/ After a short while the Language option screen will appear

10/ Select your language and keyboard language and the Click the Next button

11/ At the bottom left of the next screen - the Install screen, Click on the Repair Your Computer option

12/ The System recovery options will now search for your Windows installation

13/ Once the Windows installation has been located, Highlight it and then Click the Next button

14/ You are now presented with the set of recovery options

15/ Click on the Option you require and follow the on screen prompts

If you get it running again hen back everything up to another drive or DVDs then if it fails again get it repaired under guarantee.

  wildhouse 23:21 12 Apr 2012

Thanks all. Currently saving My Documents as don't have a large enough separate disk drive to copy whole computer!

Fruit Bat - in step 3 you mention Vista - I am running Windows 7 - is this what would appear (assuming F8 works to start all of this). Also, before I go to this extreme, where would I find Windows Startup Repair? Thanks.

  birdface 08:27 13 Apr 2012

That was for a dual boot if you have 2 different versions of Windows installed.

To start in safe mode just keep tapping F8 at start up.

  wildhouse 10:19 13 Apr 2012

After copying all my documents, pictures etc, just in case, decided to try a system restore back to last week. Computer seems to be working. Spent 30 mins on phone with Dell this morning who went through the hardware diagnostics which has come up with no problems. She thinks it must be a software problem and wants me to re-install Windows. They are going to phone me back on Monday to talk me through it once I have found all my Windows and Office 2010 disks, and had a chance to copy my favourites, etc. I will also run a thorough virus check today rather than just the quick scan. Will update you later! Thanks for help.

  wildhouse 10:26 13 Apr 2012

Now wondering if it's a Google Chrome problem. It wouldn't load and got a message saying data file missing. Had to uninstall and re-install.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:20 13 Apr 2012

try a windows repair first by:-

search - type

sfc/ scannow

press OK

let windows scan for and replace missing or corrupt windows files.

it my take a while to complete the scan.

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