Dell laptop, occasional boot problem – Hardware, Bios or OS problem?

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  1. Posts : 50
    Windows 10 Professional 64 bit
       #1

    Dell laptop, occasional boot problem – Hardware, Bios or OS problem?


    My laptop, system one listed in “My Computers” Running Win 10 pro version 2004 (OS build 19041.685). Has an inconsistent occasional boot problem and looking for someone that might be able to guide me where to look that I haven’t already.

    Things noticed when problem occurs, when power button pressed.
    1. Power indicator comes on, DVD drive indicator blips few times, screen lightens slightly (back light maybe?)
    2. Hard drive indicator blips couple times then goes solid on.
    3. Dell logo screen with sliding progress bar and F key#’s to enter setup or boot menu, never comes up.
    4. Have left it in this state for as much as 5 min. and noting else happens, drive indicator stays solid whole time and screen indicator doesn’t light up.
    5. Press power button momentarily and release, both power and drive indicators go off.
    * This process may repeat 2 – 5 times before normal boot occurs and might not happen for several days, but sometimes the next start.

    With a normal boot, bellow is process when power button pressed.
    1. Power indicator comes on, DVD drive indicator blips few times, screen lightens slightly (back light maybe?)
    2. Hard drive indicator blips few times before Dell logo screen, then on going blips as boot process continues.
    3. Dell logo screen with sliding progress bar and F key#’s comes up and bar fills (blue) before disappearing.
    4. Windows screen with rotating dots comes up, screen indicator lights up and progress continues to the desktop.

    As you can see #1 is same in both, #2 only varies in drive indicator activity, #3&4 never occurs when boot fails.

    Understanding hardware better than software, below are few things I’ve already tried.
    • Re-seated DVD drive, solid state drive and memory boards.
    • Replace cmos battery.
    • Updated bios from dell site.
    • Updated Intel chip-set from Intel site.
    • Ran multiple chkdsk /f and sfc /scannow, with no problems found with either.
    • Ran Dell systems and hardware test program, all check good.
    • Win 10 fast boot selected OFF.
    • Checked most component connections.
    Last edited by Struggling10; 22 Mar 2021 at 13:48.
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  2. Steve C's Avatar
    Posts : 6,370
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       #2

    Run the Dell hardware diagnostics
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  3. thomaseg1's Avatar
    Posts : 13,332
    Windows 10 Pro (x64) 20H2 19042.804 & 21327.1000
       #3

    Struggling10 said:
    My laptop, system one listed in “My Computers” Running Win 10 pro version 2004 (OS build 19041.685). Has an inconsistent occasional boot problem and looking for someone that might be able to guide me where to look that I haven’t already.

    Things noticed when problem occurs, when power button pressed.
    1. Power indicator comes on, DVD drive indicator blips few times, screen lightens slightly (back light maybe?)
    2. Hard drive indicator blips couple times then goes solid on.
    3. Dell logo screen with sliding progress bar and F key#’s to enter setup or boot menu, never comes up.
    4. Have left it in this state for as much as 5 min. and noting else happens, drive indicator stays solid whole time and screen indicator doesn’t light up.
    5. Press power button momentarily and release, both power and drive indicators go off.
    * This process may repeat 2 – 5 times before normal boot occurs and might not happen for several days, but sometimes the next start.

    With a normal boot, bellow is process when power button pressed.
    1. Power indicator comes on, DVD drive indicator blips few times, screen lightens slightly (back light maybe?)
    2. Hard drive indicator blips few times before Dell logo screen, then on going blips as boot process continues.
    3. Screen indicator lights up, Dell logo screen with sliding progress bar and F key#’s comes up and bar fills (blue) before disappearing.
    4. Windows screen with rotating dots comes up and progress continues to the desktop.

    As you can see #1 is same in both, #2 only varies in drive indicator activity, #3&4 never occurs when boot fails.

    Understanding hardware better than software, below are few things I’ve already tried.
    • Re-seated DVD drive, hard drive and memory boards.
    • Replace cmos battery.
    • Updated bios from dell site.
    • Updated Intel chip-set from Intel site.
    • Ran chkdsk /f and sfc /scannow, with no problems found with either.
    • Ran Dell systems and hardware test program, all check good.

    unplug everything in usb ports. unplug from the wall, try rebooting on battery.
    remove the battery and try booting off wall .

    download hdtune and try that especially the health tests

    HD Tune website
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  4. Posts : 38,545
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit
       #4

    Please run:

    Tuneup.bat - Click here to go to the BSOD batch repository to download and run this batch file.

    DiskParInfo.bat - Click here to go to the BSOD batch repository to download and run this batch file.

    LOGS.bat - Click here to go to the BSOD batch repository to download and run this batch file.

    V2 and DM:
    BSOD - Posting Instructions - Windows 10 Forums (tenforums.com)


    For share links please use: one drive, drop box, or google drive
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  5. Posts : 50
    Windows 10 Professional 64 bit
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Steve C said:
    Run the Dell hardware diagnostics
    Thanks for your suggestion,

    Did that in bullet point #6 if you meant Dell Support Assist troubleshooting program. I also just added that I had set Win 10 fast boot to off, because I forgot to mention that in things tried.
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  6. Megahertz's Avatar
    Posts : 2,516
    Windows 7 HP 64 - Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu
       #6

    Run a disk check
    Open a CMD window as administrator and type:
    chkdsk c: /f
    It will say your disk is in use and if you want to schedule to next start = yes
    Restart
    Pay attention on the results.
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 50
    Windows 10 Professional 64 bit
    Thread Starter
       #7

    thomaseg1 said:
    unplug everything in usb ports. unplug from the wall, try rebooting on battery.
    remove the battery and try booting off wall .

    download hdtune and try that especially the health tests

    HD Tune website
    Thanks for your suggestions,

    Nothing in usb ports but wireless mouse transmitter/receiver. Most of boots were on battery. Will try removing battery and booting off wall, but will be difficult to determine for sure since I'll never know if it was just a time it would have booted anyway.

    Will check into HD tune if appropriate with SSD's.

    - - - Updated - - -

    zbook said:
    Please run:

    Tuneup.bat - Click here to go to the BSOD batch repository to download and run this batch file.

    DiskParInfo.bat - Click here to go to the BSOD batch repository to download and run this batch file.

    LOGS.bat - Click here to go to the BSOD batch repository to download and run this batch file.

    V2 and DM:
    BSOD - Posting Instructions - Windows 10 Forums (tenforums.com)


    For share links please use: one drive, drop box, or google drive
    Thanks for your suggestions,

    Will look into these suggestions, but since they deal with BSOD I'm uncertain if they fit my situation. I'm not getting what I remember that to look like, the slightly lighting of screen mentioned occurs even when normal boot occurs. As mentioned it appears to me to be screen receiving power and being back lighted, unsure.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Megahertz said:
    Run a disk check
    Open a CMD window as administrator and type:
    chkdsk c: /f
    It will say your disk is in use and if you want to schedule to next start = yes
    Restart
    Pay attention on the results.
    Thanks, but did that #5 bullet point of things tried and event view of winnit (sp) file showed nothing unusual.

    - - - Updated - - -

    thomaseg1 said:
    ........ try rebooting on battery.
    remove the battery and try booting off wall .
    Interesting, just tried to boot up and had failure. After second attempt, removed battery and booted normally off power cord. I seem to remember reading that might indicate problem with the battery, unsure since battery holds charge for reasonable time usage. Even though I've had failures with battery installed and power cord plugged in. Will have to test this more since sometimes in past after couple tries it would boot normally anyway. After few test over period of time (not knowing when failures will occur), I'll report back if this was the problem or not.
    Last edited by Struggling10; 05 Jan 2021 at 08:05.
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  8. fireberd's Avatar
    Posts : 2,324
    Win 10 Pro, 20H2
       #8

    We see a lot of flakey boot problems, on the Dell forums, caused by the CR2032 CMOS backup battery. Considering the age of this model, changing it is recommended. This is a 2012/13 era PC and battery life is 5 years.

    Dell service manual
      My Computers


  9. Posts : 50
    Windows 10 Professional 64 bit
    Thread Starter
       #9

    fireberd said:
    We see a lot of flakey boot problems, on the Dell forums, caused by the CR2032 CMOS backup battery. Considering the age of this model, changing it is recommended. This is a 2012/13 era PC and battery life is 5 years.
    Thanks for reply, but I’ve already replaced it, 2nd bullet point of things tried.
      My Computers


  10. Posts : 50
    Windows 10 Professional 64 bit
    Thread Starter
       #10

    Struggling10 said:
    .........Will have to test this more since sometimes in past after couple tries it would boot normally anyway. After few test over period of time (not knowing when failures will occur), I'll report back if this was the problem or not.
    Quick update on this, it doesn’t appear to be a battery problem. I’ve recently noticed a light tap on bottom and it will boot normally on next attempt. Some kind of bad connection I assume, but not sure where to look since it always hangs before Dell logo screen appears with drive indicator on solid. Something in transition between hardware checks and what ever occurs after that before Dell logo page.
      My Computers


 
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