Windows Legacy OS forum

General discussion

Strange bootup problem

by Artie62 / September 14, 2008 5:49 AM PDT

This happens only once every 3 weeks or so. Rather than booting to XP, I get a black screen with a small white underline at the upper left - as in MS-DOS. I resolve this by shutting off power, waiting a minute, and powering up again while holding down F8. I then usually get a menu from which I can choose to start Win XP. One time the computer showed a blue screen and made a loud alarm-like noise through the speakers, with text indicating a possible hardware problem. Shutting down and starting again, it booted normally.

I've been told there may be a problem with the BIOS, but I'm not familiar with this and have never accessed it.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Strange bootup problem
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Strange bootup problem
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
My first ideas are:
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 14, 2008 7:06 AM PDT
In reply to: Strange bootup problem

1. The CPU heatsink has fallen off. Fix that!

2. The motherboard or something else has BAD CAPS. To learn what these are and how to inspect for such type BAD CAPS at google.com and make the inspection.

In closing you didn't give make, model, age, story or much to work with so my ideas are what's sending machines like that to the service counters.
Bob

Collapse -
Bootup problem
by Artie62 / September 15, 2008 4:23 AM PDT
In reply to: My first ideas are:

Thanks for the reply - I appreciate it.
I have a Dell Dimension 8100.
This problem has existed for a long time. I recently had my computer completely upgraded with a larger hard drive and additional RAM, and the tech found no problem with any heat sink - although if that were the cause, I'd think the overheating would not be present immediately upon bootup when the computer had not been powered up for an extended period.
I'm an electronics engineer, and am very familiar with capacitors. I doubt that these are the cause, as if they were it would happen far more frequently - probably every time I turn the computer on.

Collapse -
Sorry but the BAD CAPS issue is...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 15, 2008 4:43 AM PDT
In reply to: Bootup problem

Only when the unit is cold. After it warms these caps work fine.

You may know caps but these are BAD CAPS and after you've done your google on it, I will discuss it. Yes, I design embedded electronics so I can talk to this but if you dismiss it we can't do much until you catch up on this not so new issue.
Bob

Collapse -
Bootup problem & bad caps
by Artie62 / September 15, 2008 5:09 AM PDT

I read up on this via Google - thanks.
My Dell is about 7 years old and has the original motherboard.
Yes, I could spot a defective cap, but I am reluctant to disconnect and disassemble things now, as the problem only appears once every few weeks and I know what to do when it does.
While I've encountered a bad electrolytic cap now and then in other electronic products, I have never seen a situation in which it would only be symptomatic once every few weeks. The tech that upgraded my computer said he had no idea of the cause of this problem - he said nothing about the caps. So maybe it's a bad cap, or maybe it's just a "bad bootup" due to RFI - which there is alot of in my environment.

Popular Forums
icon
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
icon
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
icon
Laptops 21,181 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
icon
Phones 17,137 discussions
icon
Security 31,287 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
icon
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
icon
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

CNET FORUMS TOP DISCUSSION

Help, my PC with Windows 10 won't shut down properly

Since upgrading to Windows 10 my computer won't shut down properly. I use the menu button shutdown and the screen goes blank, but the system does not fully shut down. The only way to get it to shut down is to hold the physical power button down till it shuts down. Any suggestions?