Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by METEORE, Jul 25, 2013.


    METEORE Guest

    Hi again experts,

    I have this six year old computer running on Vista.
    I start computer and when it starts initially, it shows bios no. etc with a blank bar underneath it.
    The blank bar fills up halfway and computer stalls. Computer won't start up. I push computer button to restart and then it works.
    I recently removed a lot of old programs.
    I tried defragment option after I got it started again. It did not solve problem.
    What is causing computer to stall on startup?

    METEORE, Jul 25, 2013
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    Paul Guest

    "AMD Athlon 64 processor
    Nvidia GeForce 6150LE (integrated graphics)

    Diagnostic lights
    four lights on the front panel (see Diagnostic Lights.)"

    The diagnostic lights on the front panel may show a code, but
    that far along in the boot process, it would likely indicate
    all is well. Check for any pattern on the LEDs, when the
    boot stalls.


    The OS may be doing a boot repair on the second start. That
    might be the reason it is starting. It might be indicating
    a problem with some portion of the boot files.

    Defragmenting a broken computer, achieves nothing. Defragmenting
    is for performance improvement (more speed). It doesn't fix
    a broken computer.

    CHKDSK is a command that repairs file system problems, but then,
    your computer does eventually run, so the file system is not
    that broken. CHKDSK is still a good tool to use, but I don't
    expect the symptoms to change if you use it.


    Dell has a diagnostic package. You can try the top one. I expect
    it runs from Windows. (Dell might also have a version that runs
    as a boot option.) It's not likely to figure out the problem,
    but it may indicate something isn't quite right. I'm hoping,
    at the very least, it'll tell you about hard drive SMART stats.
    An alternative, is the free version of HDTune (2.55), which
    has a Health tab for the hard drive. E521/#Diagnostics


    You can run System File Checker (SFC).
    But since your system starts eventually, again, I don't
    see this doing anything.


    We would need some means of catching an Event in the Event Viewer,
    for whatever is upsetting it. And there is no guarantee that
    Event Viewer is even accepting writes at this point in time.

    There are some registry flags that can be set, to do a form
    of boot logging (no, not ntbtlog, instead dumps events in
    event viewer), but the information they provide is virtually
    useless to end users. And clicking any link in such events,
    to get "more info" from Microsoft, usually results in absolutely
    nothing coming back. (Meaning, the feature hasn't seen the error
    before, or there is no log of it, or it isn't unique enough to
    make any comment of value.) It seems, for whatever reason, that
    OEM PCs have those flags set. A user who installed Vista at
    home, likely would not have that feature enabled for them.

    So you may already have a bunch of #100 or #400 events in the
    Event Viewer. (But with very low odds of being able to make
    sense of them.)


    Someone here, CHKDSK found some bad clusters on the disk. Implying
    the disk should be replaced. I don't have any way to judge right
    now, whether that could be it. Bad clusters don't go away when
    you press the power button, and if this was the problem, the
    boot would do exactly the same thing every time. It's the fact
    you can escape by cycling the machine, that is puzzling. Either
    something is (temporarily) repaired, or it's falling back to
    a "last known good" boot. Like the registry is damaged or something.

    Really need to look over the Event Viewer *carefully* .


    I guess this one is just outside my pay scale...

    Paul, Jul 25, 2013
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  3. It's difficult to say, but one idea is that the boot sector is on the way

    BIOS is the basic instruction set that resides inside the motherboard. You
    see the progress as the DOS screen that fills with things like the
    population of drives, the memory checks, these kinds of things. You can have
    a problem with the memory addressing, and memory (RAM) can be a problem. You
    can isolate this by removing one of the RAM modules, or all but one, and
    booting the machine. Repeat the test with each RAM module one at a time in
    Slot 0, or Slot 1 (depending on how the slots are identified). If there is a
    bad RAM module, then the computer should hang on that one, but boot
    successfully on the others.

    When the BIOS finishes, it goes out to the hard drive for boot information,
    which then hands off to Windows to launch the operating system. If the boot
    sector is bad, then the computer will hang, and of course Windows files can
    be corrupted and fail to load, and this will also appear on your side of the
    monitor as a hang.

    Depending on how you removed programs, and which ones, you might have
    removed a critical file that the OS needs. It, the OS, is looking for the
    XYZDriver, whatever, and it's gone.
    Jeff Strickland, Jul 25, 2013
  4. Paul,
    What about a weak power supply?

    On the first try, the power supply has not come up by the time a
    system/component needs whatever voltage should be there, but by the time the
    second try comes along the power supply is all warmed up and responds
    faster, and the system/component that should have come up the first time has
    the power it needs to come up the second so the boot attempt is successful.
    Jeff Strickland, Jul 25, 2013

    Paul Guest

    One way to check that theory, would be to see if the system behaves
    the same whether "hot" or "cold" (first start in the morning).

    When I had a power supply failure, there was a "sizzling sound" that
    happens for the first 30 seconds. After that sound stops, it could
    run all day long. Eventually, it crashed with a BSOD in the 30 second
    interval. The OP is seeing no crash, which is why I suspect the software
    is running just fine, but has run into an anomaly it cannot handle or
    fix. Like say, a bad cluster on a disk.

    What we really need, is some kind of log. And hope the anomaly actually
    generates a log event. A silent failure, you won't be able to debug
    that, without testing hardware piece by piece.

    Paul, Jul 25, 2013

    - Bobb - Guest

    Clean fan ??
    You didn't tell us name brand but, in BIOS you might have option to " CHECK
    FAN SPEED" and if fan is dirty or getting old it might not start up quick
    enough. Go into BIOS and turn that off. To do so, depending on make, you
    can either press F1 or DEL key at beginning to see info as it boots rather
    than ... the Compaq logo for instance. scroll through the screens until you
    see startup options.
    If not a hardware guy, buy a small paintbrush to clean fan, some compressed
    air or vacuum cleaner to disturb, remove the dust from around the case and
    let it sit a while. See if that then starts OK.
    - Bobb -, Jul 26, 2013

    rogpop001 Guest

    DEll e521 Dimension is now working normally. I did not do anything special, except change msconfig to top prompt (Run normally), dl java and used tools to recheck hard drive etc under computer icon.
    Thank you all for your help.
    rogpop001, Jul 27, 2013

    rogpop001 Guest

    Hi again,

    I thought I had solved the problem, but it reocurred.
    Thanks to Paul's post, after attempting to log on to computeras a admistrater, I d/l the latest bios version for my computer and it booted up six times in a row without stalling.

    I think problem is now solved.

    rogpop001, Dec 13, 2013

    Robert Baer Guest

    Should have kept may have heard you and will start fooing
    Robert Baer, Dec 13, 2013
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