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Thread: Computer won't boot

  1. #1
    Administrator wheelsup_cavu's Avatar
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    Default Computer won't boot



    Phoenix Bios 4.0 Release 6.0

    I replaced the CMOS battery and let the machine attempt to boot up. The only thing it did was read the A drive and then shows the Dell loading screen. After it did these things it just has a black screen with a cursor in the top left corner. I waited for 15 minutes to see if it would continue with the bootup sequence but it never went past the black screen.

    The next thing I did was to get into the Bios setup. I had it load the factory defaults but when I saved those and let the computer boot up it did not go further than the first attempt.

    I went online and found this KB article.
    How to Start a Windows 98-Based Computer in Safe Mode: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/180902
    I tried Method 3 and I got the error message but when I used the F8 key all I got was the error beep sound.

    Method 3
    • Insert a non-bootable floppy disk in the floppy disk drive, and then restart your computer.
    • When you receive the "Non-system disk or disk error. Replace and strike any key when ready" error message, remove the floppy disk from the floppy disk drive.
    • Press F8, and then press F8. When you do this, the Windows 98 Startup menu is displayed.
    • Select the Safe Mode menu option from the Startup menu, and then press ENTER.


    Any ideas would be appreciated.


    Wheels

  2. #2
    Administrator wheelsup_cavu's Avatar
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    You mentioned getting a docking port Pers and a possible conflict with how the distances for the communication and power plug distances on the hard drive may not be the same as those in the docking port itself. Would using the IDE cable from the computer address that issue if for some reason the drive and docking ports have different distances?

    I am still a bit confused as to which one might do what I need. Would you take a quick look at these docking ports at Newegg and let me know what might work.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...=-1&isNodeId=1


    Wheels

  3. #3

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    Wheels ...

    Windows 98 computer? Heavens, I can't remember back that far!!

    Apparently you can boot into the computer's BIOS. Do so and then check the boot sequence, make sure that you set the hard disk as the first boot drive, presuming that the OS is on that drive. That should resolve the boot issue.

    The list of docking ports you pointed to consist mostly of SATA drives. Focus on the IDE drives; in my limited experience some of them have "adjustable" power plug (molex) connections relative to the ide cable locations. I have several older IDE drives around and, in checking to see what data was on them (I can't remember and didn't lable them) I noticed that some of the disks have the location of the molex power connector farther from the ide port than others, making a universally usable docking port less possible. The only way I know to determine if any particular docking station will work with your disk is to actually try.

    As an aside, tomorrow (Saturday, November 7) is an event day at Chino; I plan on attending. Perhaps you can bring the drive with you if you are attending?
    Pers

    Ahh, isn't he such an Angel?
    How could you possibly shoot at him?

  4. #4
    Administrator wheelsup_cavu's Avatar
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    Still never figured this out. When I boot the system it goes all the way through the bios boot up sequence but it won't load windows. It just get to that point and goes to a black screen with just a cursor in the upper left hand corner.
    Broke some wires on the power supply while testing it so I need to fix those before doing anything else. When I get that fixed I am thinking about posting a video of what is doing to see if that help with the diagnosis.

    I bought an adapter to download the data on the hard drive and the data on the hard drive seemed to be just fine.


    Wheels
    Last edited by wheelsup_cavu; 02-27-2016 at 06:01 PM. Reason: added note about hard drive data

  5. #5

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    Stab in the dark. Did you check the BIOS boot order? Is your hard drive listed as first in order?

    You might also try removing and re-inserting the IDE cable to the hard drive; on the outside chance that the contacts may not be solid. Or in additon, spray both male and female contacts on both sides of the cable with electronic contact cleaner spray.

    Double-check jumper settings on the mainboard? Maybe one has been inadvertently switched? Like one that points to your IDE port? Did you enable the IDE port in the BIOS? Does the bios see your hard drive? If not, there is the source of your problem.

    Otherwise? No idea. Sounds like the BIOS isn't seeing your hard drive, though.
    Pers

    Ahh, isn't he such an Angel?
    How could you possibly shoot at him?

  6. #6
    Administrator wheelsup_cavu's Avatar
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    Wouldn't surprise me if the mother board gave up the ghost or one of the cables is failing after all these years. I have to solder the power supply cable back together before I can check anything else. Dell at the time my computer was built didn't use the standard ATX12V cable pinout for their Pentium II builds and none of the current Power Supply testers will work with it.

    For years, Dell used the same connectors as in standard ATX, but wired differently (see the diagram to the right for the pinouts of their PentiumŪ II and III PCs, Precision 410 and Dimension 8100). As far as I know, except for Dimension 8100, beginning with PentiumŪ IV their systems use the standard pin designations.

    Power Connector Pinouts: http://www.smps.us/power-connectors.html
    I had to jumper two wires to get the Power Supply to turn on so I could check all the leads with a volt meter to see if they tested correctly. They did test at the correct power setting. Until I fix that I can't check the BIOS order again. IIRC it was A drive, C drive, D drive.

    A: - 3 1/2 floppy drive
    C: - Hard drive
    D: - DVD-ROM

    I tried using 3 1/2 floppy that was marked as a WIN98 bootup disk before I started testing the Power Supply and that also failed to allow me to bootup the system. I have never had the need to use one so I am not sure it was marked correctly.

    Might be some Bios drivers that I could update?
    http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/.../drivers?s=BSD

    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    I sent Dell an email about the machine on a lark to see if they still had any manuals. I was thoroughly surprised that they actually responded to the email, wasn't much help though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dell
    Greetings

    The document that you requested is for a product older than 10 years. The product is no longer supported.

    Thank you for choosing Dell.
    Glad car companies aren't so short sighted when it comes to manuals on their products.


    Wheels
    Last edited by wheelsup_cavu; 03-02-2016 at 02:26 PM.

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