Entering Power Save Mode on Startup

Dec 13, 2016 8:12AM PST

After turning my Dell Inspiron 531 off for a week, it now says "Auto Detect, Entering Power Save" when I turn it on. I tried taking out the battery and resetting date/time, but nothing changed. The green bar above "Microsoft Corporation" runs prior to seeing only a black screen with the white cursor. All monitor functions seem to be fine. Any thoughts?

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Clarification Request
Try these things.
Dec 13, 2016 8:44AM PST

Unplug the mouse and boot up (odd thing you'll run into, easy to fix.)

Try SAFE MODE (varies with Windows version so google that.) Report what happens. DO NOT SKIP THE MOUSE TEST I NOTED FIRST.

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That didn't work
Dec 13, 2016 9:06AM PST

Unplugged mouse and keyboard (Logitech wireless) and connected the original USB Dell keyboard. Tried safe mode. Got a black and white screen showing "Loading Windows Files" with a list of drivers. Then back to a black screen with a large white arrow in the middle.

No mouse is attached.

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That's half what I asked.
Dec 13, 2016 9:16AM PST

Unplug all USB devices next time.

And if that works, then plug in the USB keyboard/mouse of choice. This is to cover some odd bug I'm running into.

Then SAFE mode testing . This is THREE entirely different tests. By plugging in some keyboard/mouse you didn't complete the first test.

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Startup Repair
Dec 13, 2016 9:29AM PST

The only other USB device is a Verizon router, so I unplugged that.

Got to SAFE mode again, but nothing changed.

Tried a 3rd time and now have a screen that says "Diskette drive 0 seek failure". F1 to retry boot, F12 for setup utility.

I've now managed to get into the System Recovery Options where I have many options: Startup Repair, System Restore, etc. with Shut Down and Restart options. I'm tempted to try STARTUP REPAIR. ??

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Dec 13, 2016 9:37AM PST

But I'm not reading that you did it my way.

Anyhow, if you can try it one last time but without mouse or keyboard that would be nice.

HOWEVER the Diskette drive 0 seek error is well discussed. Get into the BIOS and disable the floppy. (How/why/more is on the web.)

It's also possible the date/time is way off so fix that in the BIOS as well. If the machine is not holding settings, replace the CMOS battery (25 cent item here as we buy 10 at a time), setup the BIOS and retry all the above.

-> NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Do not repair yet. If the BIOS is set to AHCI, IDE emualation, SATA or other than the mode that works a repair will wipe out any easy repair. It's your PC so you know the BIOS settings. I can't guess this but if it was on my bench I would try each mode just to see if that worked.

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I followed instructions...
Dec 13, 2016 10:13AM PST

Should HDD SMART also be disabled? It was already...

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Me again
Dec 13, 2016 10:57AM PST

Sorry, of course the router wasn't the USB. That was for the mouse/keyboard, and I did unplug it.

That said, I've followed all your instructions and nothing has changed. No mouse/keyboard, disabled the floppy, removed the battery and reset date/time.

Appreciate the help...any further ideas?

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I take that as the CMOS does not hold settings.
Dec 13, 2016 11:10AM PST

Fix that with a new CMOS battery. Load up defaults, disable the floppy drive and as to SMART, the only time I find that disabled are folk that have a failing hard drive. That's never disabled.

The "repair" could wipe the boot area and it's game over. I find that repairing the boot area is iffy once we do that and the BIOS SATA/AHCI/IDE mode is incorrect.

But let's fix the old battery issue first.

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Startup Repair didn't work
Dec 13, 2016 9:31AM PST

Got ahead of myself...attached a different mouse and clicked on STARTUP REPAIR and it found no problems.

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