Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dell™ OptiPlex™ & More System Solving Problems Guide

Diagnostic Lights

To help you troubleshoot a problem, your computer has four lights labeled "A," "B," "C," and "D" on the back panel. The lights can be yellow or green. When the computer starts normally, the patterns or codes on the lights change as the boot process completes. If the POST portion of system boot completes successfully, all four lights display solid green. If the computer malfunctions during the POST process, the pattern displayed on the LEDs may help identify where in the process the computer halted.

CAUTION: Before you begin any of the procedures in this section, follow the steps in "Safety Instructions."

Light Pattern

Problem Description

Suggested Resolution

off
off
off
off

The computer is in a normal off condition or a possible pre-BIOS failure has occurred.

Verify that the computer is plugged into a working electrical outlet and that you have pressed the power button.

green
yellow
yellow
yellow

A possible BIOS failure has occurred; the computer is in the recovery mode.

Run the BIOS Recovery utility, wait for recovery completion, and then restart the computer.

yellow
green
yellow
yellow

A possible microprocessor failure has occurred.

Reinstall the microprocessor and restart the computer.

green
green
yellow
yellow

Memory modules are detected, but a memory failure has occurred.

  • If you have one memory module installed, reinstall it and restart the computer.
  • If you have two or more memory modules installed, remove the modules, reinstall one module, and then restart the computer. If the computer starts normally, reinstall an additional module. Continue until you have identified a faulty module or reinstalled all modules without error.
  • If available, install properly working memory of the same type into your computer.
  • If the problem persists, contact Dell.

yellow
yellow
green
yellow

A possible expansion card failure has occurred.

  1. Determine if a conflict exists by removing a card (not the video card) and then restarting the computer.
  2. If the problem persists, reinstall the card that you removed, remove a different card, and then restart the computer.
  3. Repeat this process for each card. If the computer starts normally, troubleshoot the last card removed from the computer for resource conflicts (see "Resolving Software and Hardware Incompatibilities").
  4. Move each card one at a time to a different PCI slot and restart the computer after each move.
  5. If the problem persists, contact Dell.

green
yellow
green
yellow

A possible video card failure has occurred.

  • If the computer has a video card, remove the card, reinstall it, and then restart the computer.
  • If the problem still exists, install a video card that you know works and restart the computer.
  • If the problem persists or the computer has integrated video, contact Dell.

yellow
green
green
yellow

A possible floppy or hard drive failure has occurred.

Reseat all power and data cables and restart the computer.

green
green
green
yellow

A possible USB failure has occurred.

Reinstall all USB devices, check cable connections, and then restart the computer.

yellow
yellow
yellow
green

No memory modules are detected.

  • Reinstall all memory modules and restart the computer.
  • To eliminate the possibility of a faulty memory connector, remove all memory modules, reinstall one memory module (if the computer supports a single module), and then restart the computer. If the computer starts normally, move the memory module to a different connector and restart the computer. Continue until you have identified a faulty connector or reinstalled all modules without error.

yellow
green
yellow
green

Memory modules are detected, but a memory configuration or compatibility error exists.

  • Ensure that no special memory module/memory connector placement requirements exist.
  • Verify that the memory modules that you are installing are compatible with your computer.
  • If the problem persists, contact Dell.

yellow
green
green
green

Other failure has occurred.

  • Ensure that the cables are properly connected to the system board from the hard drive, CD drive, and DVD drive.
  • Check the computer message that appears on your monitor screen.
  • If the problem persists, contact Dell.

green
green
green
green

The computer is in a normal operating condition after POST.

None.


Beep Codes

Your computer might emit a series of beeps during start-up if the monitor cannot display errors or problems. This series of beeps, called a beep code, identifies a problem. One possible beep code (code 1-3-1) consists of one beep, a burst of three beeps, and then one beep. This beep code tells you that the computer encountered a memory problem.

If your computer beeps during start-up:

  1. Write down the beep code on the Diagnostics Checklist.

  2. Run the Dell Diagnostics to identify a more serious cause.

  3. Contact Dell for technical assistance.

Code

Cause

1-1-2

Microprocessor register failure

1-1-3

NVRAM

1-1-4

ROM BIOS checksum failure

1-2-1

Programmable interval timer

1-2-2

DMA initialization failure

1-2-3

DMA page register read/write failure

1-3

Video Memory Test failure

1-3-1 through 2-4-4

Memory not being properly identified or used

3-1-1

Slave DMA register failure

3-1-2

Master DMA register failure

3-1-3

Master interrupt mask register failure

3-1-4

Slave interrupt mask register failure

3-2-2

Interrupt vector loading failure

3-2-4

Keyboard Controller Test failure

3-3-1

NVRAM power loss

3-3-2

NVRAM configuration

3-3-4

Video Memory Test failure

3-4-1

Screen initialization failure

3-4-2

Screen retrace failure

3-4-3

Search for video ROM failure

4-2-1

No time tick

4-2-2

Shutdown failure

4-2-3

Gate A20 failure

4-2-4

Unexpected interrupt in protected mode

4-3-1

Memory failure above address 0FFFFh

4-3-3

Timer-chip counter 2 failure

4-3-4

Time-of-day clock stopped

4-4-1

Serial or parallel port test failure

4-4-2

Failure to decompress code to shadowed memory

4-4-3

Math-coprocessor test failure

4-4-4

Cache test failure


System Lights

Located on the front of the computer, these lights can indicate a computer problem.

Power Light

Problem Description

Suggested Resolution

Solid green

Power is on, and the computer is operating normally.

Normal operating condition.

If your computer is experiencing a problem, check the back-panel diagnostics lights for more specific information (see Diagnostic Lights").

Blinking green

The computer is in the suspended state (Microsoft® Windows® 2000 and Windows XP).

Press the power button, move the mouse, or press a key on the keyboard to wake the computer.

Solid yellow

A device on the system board may be faulty or incorrectly installed.

See "Power Problems."

If the problem persists, contact Dell for technical assistance.

Blinking yellow

A power supply or system board failure may have occurred.

See "Power Problems."

If the problem persists, contact Dell for technical assistance.

Solid green and a beep code during POST

A problem was detected while the BIOS was executing.

See "Beep Codes" for instructions on diagnosing the beep code. Also, check the diagnostic lights to see if the specific problem is identified.

Solid green power light and no beep code and no video during POST

The monitor or the graphics card may be faulty or incorrectly installed.

Check the diagnostic lights to see if the specific problem is identified. See "Video and Monitor Problems."

Solid green power light and no beep code but the computer locks up during POST

An integrated system board device may be faulty.

Check the diagnostic lights to see if the specific problem is identified. If the problem is not identified, contact Dell for technical assistance.


Battery Problems

Fill out the Diagnostics Checklist as you complete these checks.

CAUTION: There is a danger of a new battery exploding if it is incorrectly installed. Replace the battery only with the same or equivalent type recommended by the manufacturer. Discard used batteries according to the manufacturer's instructions.
CAUTION: Before you begin any of the procedures in this section, follow the steps in "Safety Instructions."

Replace the battery — If you have to repeatedly reset time and date information after turning on the computer, or if an incorrect time or date displays during start-up, replace the battery (see "Replacing the Battery"). If the battery still does not work properly, contact Dell.


Card Problems

Fill out the Diagnostics Checklist as you complete these checks.

CAUTION: Before you begin any of the procedures in this section, follow the steps in "Safety Instructions."

Check the card seating and cable —

  1. Turn off the computer and devices, disconnect them from their electrical outlets, wait 10 to 20 seconds, and then open the computer cover.
  2. Ensure that each card is firmly seated in its connector. Reseat any loose cards.
  3. Ensure that all cables are firmly connected to their corresponding connectors on the cards. If any cables appear loose, reconnect them.

For instructions on which cables should be attached to specific connectors on a card, see the card's documentation.

  1. Close the computer cover, reconnect the computer and devices to electrical outlets, and then turn them on.

Test the video card —

  1. Turn off the computer and devices, disconnect them from their electrical outlets, wait 10 to 20 seconds, and then open the computer cover.
  2. Remove all cards except the video card.

If your primary hard drive is connected to a drive controller card and not to one of the system board IDE connectors, leave the drive controller card installed in the computer.

  1. Close the computer cover, reconnect the computer and devices to electrical outlets, and then turn them on.
  2. Run the Dell Diagnostics.

If any of the tests fail, contact Dell.

Test the cards —

  1. Turn off the computer and devices, disconnect them from their electrical outlets, wait 10 to 20 seconds, and then open the computer cover.
  2. Reinstall one of the cards that you removed previously.
  3. Close the computer cover, reconnect the computer and devices to electrical outlets, and then turn them on.
  4. Run the Dell Diagnostics.

If any of the diagnostics tests fail, the card you just reinstalled is faulty and needs to be replaced.

  1. Repeat this process until you have reinstalled all cards.

If you have reinstalled all of the cards and the problem is not resolved, contact Dell.


Drive Problems

Fill out the Diagnostics Checklist as you complete these checks.

Floppy drive problems

Test the drive —

  • Insert another disk to eliminate the possibility that the original floppy disk is defective.
  • Insert a bootable floppy disk and reboot the computer.

Ensure that the disk is not full or write-protected — Ensure that the disk has available space and that it is not write-protected (locked). See the following figure.

Test the floppy drive light —

MS-DOS®

Insert a floppy disk, type dir a: at the DOS prompt, and then press .

Microsoft Windows operating systems

Insert a floppy disk, click the Start button, click My Computer, and then double-click the floppy drive icon.

NOTICE: Do not attempt to clean drive heads with a swab. You may accidentally misalign the heads, which can render the drive inoperable.

Clean the drive — Use a commercially available cleaning kit.

CAUTION: Before you begin any of the procedures in this section, follow the steps in "Safety Instructions."

Remove and reinstall the floppy drive — See the "Drives" section pertinent to your computer chassis.

CD drive problems

Adjust the Windows volume control — Click the speaker icon in the lower-right corner of your screen.

  • Ensure that the volume is turned up by clicking the slidebar and dragging it up.
  • Ensure that the sound is not muted by clicking any boxes that are checked.

Test the drive with another CD — Insert another CD to eliminate the possibility that the original CD is defective.

Ensure that Windows recognizes the drive — Click the Start button and click My Computer. If the CD drive is not listed, perform a full scan with your antivirus software to check for and remove viruses. Viruses can sometimes prevent Windows from recognizing the drive.

Clean the disc — Use a commercially available cleaning kit.

Problems writing to a CD-RW drive

Close other programs — The CD-RW drive must receive a steady stream of data when writing. If the stream is interrupted, an error occurs. Try closing all programs before writing to the CD-RW.

DVD drive problems

NOTE: Because of different regions worldwide and different disc formats, not all DVD titles work in all DVD drives.

Test the drive with another DVD — Insert another DVD to eliminate the possibility that the original DVD is defective.

Ensure that Windows recognizes the drive — Click the Start button and click My Computer. If the DVD drive is not listed, perform a full scan with your antivirus software to check for and remove viruses. Viruses can sometimes prevent Windows from recognizing the drive.

Clean the disc — Use a commercially available cleaning kit.

Check for interrupt request conflicts — See "Resolving Software and Hardware Incompatibilities."

Hard drive problems

Check the cable connections —

  1. Ensure that the DC power cables from the power supply are firmly connected to the connectors on each drive.
  2. Verify that the interface cable for each drive is firmly connected to the drive and to the system board.
  3. Ensure that the control panel cable is firmly connected to the system board.

If the primary hard drive that contains the operating system does not boot, files in the operating system might be corrupt. For more information, see your operating system documentation.

Run the Hard-Drive Diagnostics Utility — The Dell IDE Hard-Drive Diagnostics is a utility that tests the hard drive to troubleshoot or confirm a hard-drive failure.

  1. Turn on your computer (if your computer is already on, restart it).
  2. When F2 = Setup appears in the upper-right corner of the screen, press .
  3. Follow the instructions on the screen.

Test the hard drive —

Windows XP and Windows 2000 — Run the Check Disk utility:

  1. For Windows XP, click the Start button and click My Computer. For Windows 2000, double-click My Computer on the Windows desktop.
  2. Click the Tools tab.
  3. Under Error-checking, click Check Now.
  4. Click Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors.
  5. Click Start.

Windows NT® Run the error-checking utility:

  1. Click the Start button, click My Computer, and then select the hard drive that you want to check.
  2. Click the right mouse button, click Properties, click Tools, and then click Check Now in the Error-checking section.

MS-DOS

Type scandisk x: at an MS-DOS prompt, where x is the hard drive letter, and then press

Run the Dell Diagnostics. If any of the diagnostics tests fail, contact Dell.


Dropped or Damaged Computer

CAUTION: Before you begin any of the procedures in this section, follow the steps in "Safety Instructions."

Check the card and cable connections —

  1. Turn off the computer and devices, disconnect them from their electrical outlets, wait 10 to 20 seconds, and then open the computer cover.
  2. Check all card connections in the computer, and reseat any loose cards.
  3. Ensure that all cables are properly connected and that all components are properly seated in their connectors and sockets.
  4. Close the computer cover, reconnect the computer and devices to electrical outlets, and then turn them on.
  5. Run the Dell Diagnostics.

If any of the diagnostics tests fail, contact Dell.


E-Mail, Modem, and Internet Problems

Check the telephone line connection — Verify that the telephone line is connected to the jack on the modem. (The jack has either a green label or a connector-shaped icon next to it.) Ensure that you hear a click when you insert the telephone line connector into the modem.

Check the telephone jack — Disconnect the telephone line from the modem and connect it to a telephone. Listen for a dial tone.

Connect the modem directly to the telephone wall jack — If you have other telephone devices sharing the line, such as an answering machine, fax machine, surge protector, or line splitter, then bypass them and use the telephone to connect the modem directly to the telephone wall jack.

Use a different telephone line — If you are using a line that is 3 m (10 ft) or more in length, try a shorter one.

Run the Modem Helper diagnostics — Click the Start button, point to All Programs, and then click Modem Helper. Follow the instructions on the screen to identify and resolve modem problems. (Modem Helper is not available on all computers.)

Verify that the modem is communicating with Windows® —

  1. Click the Start button and click Control Panel.
  2. Click Printers and Other Hardware.
  3. Click Phone and Modem Options.
  4. Click the Modems tab.
  5. Click the COM port for your modem.
  6. Click Properties, click the Diagnostics tab, and then click Query Modem to verify that the modem is communicating with Windows.

If all commands receive responses, the modem is operating properly.

Turn off call waiting (catch-phone) — See your telephone directory for instructions on deactivating this feature. Then adjust the dial-up networking connection properties.

  1. Click the Start button and click Control Panel.
  2. Click Printers and Other Hardware, and then click Phone and Modem Options.
  3. Click your connection type to highlight it.
  4. Click the Dialing Rules tab and click Edit.
  5. Click the To Disable Call Waiting box to place a checkmark in it.
  6. Select the disable code from the drop-down menu (for example, *70).
  7. Click Apply and click OK.

Ensure that you are connected to the Internet — With the Outlook Express e-mail program open, click File. If Work Offline has a checkmark next to it, click the checkmark to remove it and connect to the Internet.

Ensure that you have subscribed to an Internet service provider — Contact an Internet service provider to subscribe.

Contact your Internet service provider — Contact your Internet service provider for assistance.


Error Messages

If the message is not listed, see the documentation for the operating system or the program that was running when the message appeared.

A filename cannot contain any of the following characters: \ / : * ? " < > | — Do not use these characters in filenames.

A required .DLL file was not found — The program that you are trying to open is missing an essential file. To remove and then reinstall the program:

  1. Click the Start button and click Control Panel.
  2. Click Add or Remove Programs.
  3. Select the program you want to remove.
  4. Click the Change or Remove Program icon.
  5. See the program documentation for installation instructions.

Alert! Previous attempts at booting this system have failed at checkpoint [nnnn ]. For help in resolving this problem, please note this checkpoint and contact Dell Technical Support — The computer failed to complete the boot routine three consecutive times for the same error. Contact Dell and report the checkpoint code (nnnn) to the support technician.

Attachment failed to respond — The floppy or hard drive controller cannot send data to the associated drive. See "Floppy drive problems" or "Hard drive problems" for troubleshooting suggestions.

Bad command or file name — Ensure that you have spelled the command correctly, have put spaces in the proper place, and have used the correct pathname.

Bad error-correction code (ECC) on disk read — The floppy or hard drive controller detected an uncorrectable read error. See "Floppy drive problems" or "Hard drive problems" for troubleshooting suggestions.

Controller has failed — The hard drive or the associated controller is defective. See "Floppy drive problems" or "Hard drive problems" for troubleshooting suggestions.

Data error — The floppy or hard drive cannot read the data.

  • For the Microsoft® Windows® operating system, run the chkdsk utility to check the file structure of the floppy or hard drive.
  • For another operating system, run the appropriate corresponding utility.

See your operating system documentation for information on running these utilities.

Decreasing available memory — One or more memory modules might be faulty or improperly seated.

  • Reinstall the memory modules and, if necessary, replace them.
  • See "Memory Problems" for additional troubleshooting suggestions.

Diskette drive 0 seek failure — A cable might be loose or the computer configuration information may not match the hardware configuration. See "Floppy drive problems" for troubleshooting suggestions.

Diskette read failure — The floppy disk may be defective or a cable might be loose.

  • If the drive access light turns on, try a different disk.
  • See "Floppy drive problems" for troubleshooting suggestions.

Diskette subsystem reset failed — The floppy drive controller might be faulty. Run the Dell Diagnostics.

Diskette write protected — The floppy disk is write-protected. Slide the write-protect notch to the open position.

Drive not ready — No floppy disk is in the drive. Put a floppy disk in the drive.

Gate A20 failure — One or more memory modules might be faulty or improperly seated.

  • Reinstall the memory modules and, if necessary, replace them.
  • See "Memory Problems" for additional troubleshooting suggestions.

Hard-disk configuration error —
Hard-disk controller failure —

Hard-disk drive failure —

Hard-disk drive failure —

The hard drive failed initialization.

Insert bootable media — The operating system is trying to boot to a nonbootable floppy disk or CD. Insert a bootable floppy disk or CD.

Invalid configuration information - please run SETUP program — The computer configuration information does not match the hardware configuration. Enter system setup and correct the computer configuration information.

Keyboard failure —

A cable or connector might be loose, or the keyboard or keyboard/mouse controller might be faulty. See "Keyboard Problems."

Memory address line failure at address, read value expecting valueA memory module might be faulty or improperly seated. Reinstall the memory modules and, if necessary, replace them. See "Memory Problems" for additional troubleshooting suggestions.

Memory allocation error — The software you are attempting to run is conflicting with the operating system, another program, or a utility.

  1. Turn off the computer, wait 30 seconds, and then restart the computer.
  2. Try to run the program again.
  3. If the error message appears again, see the software documentation for additional troubleshooting suggestions.

Memory data line failure at address, read value expecting value
Memory double word logic failure at address, read value expecting value
Memory odd/even logic failure at address, read value expecting value

Memory write/read failure at address, read value expecting value

A memory module might be faulty or improperly seated. Reinstall the memory modules and, if necessary, replace them. See "Memory Problems" for additional troubleshooting suggestions.

Memory size in CMOS invalid — The amount of memory recorded in the computer configuration information does not match the memory installed in the computer. Restart the computer. If the error message appears again, contact Dell. See "Memory Problems" for additional troubleshooting suggestions.

Memory tests terminated by keystroke — A keystroke interrupted the memory test. Restart the computer to rerun the test.

No boot device available — The computer cannot find the floppy disk or hard drive.

  • If the floppy drive is your boot device, ensure that a bootable floppy disk is in the drive.
  • If the hard drive is your boot device, ensure that the drive is installed, properly seated, and partitioned as a boot device.
  • Enter system setup and ensure that the boot sequence information is correct.

No boot sector on hard-disk drive — The computer configuration information in system setup might be incorrect. Enter system setup and ensure that the computer configuration information for the hard drive is correct.

The operating system might have been corrupted. Reinstall the operating system. See your operating system documentation for reinstallation information.

No timer tick interrupt — A chip on the system board might be malfunctioning. Run the Dell Diagnostics.

Non-system disk or disk error — The floppy disk in drive A does not have a bootable operating system installed on it. Either replace the floppy disk with one that has a bootable operating system, or remove the floppy disk from drive A and restart the computer.

Not a boot diskette — The operating system is trying to boot to a floppy disk that does not have a bootable operating system installed on it. Insert a bootable floppy disk.

Not enough memory or resources. Close some programs and try again — You have too many programs open. Close all windows and open the program that you want to use. In some cases, you might have to restart your computer to restore computer resources. If so, run the program that you want to use first.

Operating system not found — Contact Dell.

Plug and Play Configuration Error — The computer encountered a problem while trying to configure one or more cards.

  1. Turn your computer off, unplug it from the electrical outlet, and then remove all but one of the cards.
  2. Plug in your computer and reboot it.
  3. If the message reappears, the installed card might be malfunctioning. If the message does not reappear, turn off the computer and reinsert one of the other cards.
  4. Repeat this process until you identify which card is malfunctioning.

Read fault — The operating system cannot read from the floppy or hard drive, the computer could not find a particular sector on the disk, or the requested sector is defective. See "Floppy drive problems" or "Hard drive problems" for troubleshooting suggestions.

Requested sector not found — The operating system cannot read from the floppy or hard drive, the computer could not find a particular sector on the disk, or the requested sector is defective. See "Floppy drive problems" or "Hard drive problems" for troubleshooting suggestions.

Reset failed — The disk reset operation failed. See "Floppy drive problems" or "Hard drive problems" for troubleshooting suggestions.

Sector not found — The operating system cannot locate a sector on the floppy or hard drive.

  • Run the Windows error-checking utility to check the file structure on the floppy disk or hard drive. See Windows Help for instructions.
  • If a large number of sectors are defective, back up the data (if possible), and then reformat the floppy disk or hard drive.

Seek error — The operating system cannot find a specific track on the floppy disk or hard drive. See "Floppy drive problems" or "Hard drive problems" for troubleshooting suggestions.

Shutdown failure — A chip on the system board might be malfunctioning. Run the Dell Diagnostics.

The file being copied is too large for the destination drive — The file that you are trying to copy is too large to fit on the disk. Try copying the file to a blank disk or using a larger-capacity disk.

Time-of-day clock stopped — The battery might be dead. Enter system setup and correct the date or time. If the problem persists, contact Dell. See "Battery Problems" for additional troubleshooting suggestions.

Time-of-day not set-please run the System Setup program — The time or date stored in system setup does not match the computer clock. Enter system setup and correct the Date and Time options.

Timer chip counter 2 failed — A chip on the system board might be malfunctioning. Run the Dell Diagnostics.

Unexpected interrupt in protected mode — The keyboard controller might be malfunctioning, or a memory module might be loose. Run the Dell Diagnostics.

WARNING: Dell's Disk Monitoring System has detected that drive [0/1] on the [primary/secondary] EIDE controller is operating outside of normal specifications. It is advisable to immediately back up your data and replace your hard drive by calling your support desk or Dell — During initial start-up, the drive detected possible error conditions.

  • When your computer finishes booting, immediately back up your data and replace your hard drive.
  • If no replacement drive is immediately available and the drive is not the only bootable drive, enter system setup and change the appropriate drive setting to None. Then remove the drive from the computer.

Write fault — The operating system cannot write to the floppy or hard drive. See "Floppy drive problems" or "Hard drive problems" for troubleshooting suggestions.

Write fault on selected drive — The operating system cannot write to the floppy or hard drive. See "Floppy drive problems" or "Hard drive problems" for troubleshooting suggestions.

x:\ is not accessible. The device is not ready — The floppy drive cannot read the disk. Insert a floppy disk into the drive and try again.


General Problems

The computer stops responding

Turn the computer off — If your computer locks up and you are unable to get a response by pressing a key on your keyboard or moving your mouse, press and hold the power button for at least 8 to 10 seconds until the computer turns off. Then press the power button again to turn on the computer. You might lose data if you are unable to perform an operating system shutdown.

A program stops responding

End the program —

Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT

  1. Press simultaneously.
  2. Click Applications.
  3. Click the program that is no longer responding.
  4. Click End Task.

Windows 98

  1. Press simultaneously.
  2. Click the program that is no longer responding.
  3. Click End Task.

A program crashes repeatedly

Check the software documentation — Many software manufacturers maintain websites with information that may help you solve the problem. Ensure that you properly installed and configured the program. If necessary, uninstall and then reinstall the program.

A solid blue screen appears

Turn the computer off — If the computer does not respond to a keystroke or a proper shutdown, press the power button for at least 8 to 10 seconds until the computer turns off. Press the power button again to restart the computer. The chkdsk program automatically runs during the start-up process. Follow the instructions on the screen.

Other software problems

Check the software documentation or contact the software manufacturer for troubleshooting information

Back up your files immediately — If your computer has a CD-RW drive or a zip drive installed, see the drive's documentation for instructions.

Ensure that you have not made an error while entering data — See the program documentation to ensure that the values or characters you are entering are valid.

Check for viruses — Use a virus-scanning program to check the hard drive, floppy disks, or CDs.

Restart the computer — Save and close any open files, exit any open programs, and then shut down your computer through the Start menu instead of by pressing the power button. Otherwise, you may lose data.

Check for compatibility —

  • Ensure that the program is compatible with the operating system installed on your computer and that your computer meets the minimum hardware requirements needed to run the software. See the software documentation for information.
  • If necessary, uninstall and then reinstall the program.

Ensure that you properly installed and configured the program — See the software documentation for information. If necessary, uninstall and then reinstall the program.

Run the Dell DiagnosticsIf all tests run successfully, the error condition is related to a software problem.

Check for device driver conflicts —

  • Verify that the program's device drivers do not conflict with certain programs.
  • Call the software manufacturer for technical assistance.

Other technical problems

Go to the Dell Support website —

Go to support.dell.com for help with general usage, installation, and troubleshooting questions. The support website offers several different tools to help you, such as Dell Forum—a chat room where you can communicate with other Dell customers about their computers and gain access to technical support through e-mail.

Call Dell — If you cannot solve your problem using the Dell Support website or e-mail service, contact Dell for technical assistance.

General hardware problems

If your computer exhibits one or more of the following symptoms, a device conflict may exist:

  • Your computer locks up, particularly while using a specific device.

  • A recently added device does not work.

  • Memory parity errors occur on parity-enabled computers.

  • A sound card emits noise or demonstrates other problems.

  • Unintelligible characters print from the printer.

  • The mouse pointer does not move or "stutters" when it moves.

  • Messages appear stating that the computer is not operating at maximum performance.

  • Errors occur and programs crash for no apparent reason.

  • Nothing displays on the monitor.

Remove any recently added hardware to see if it resolves the conflict — If removing the hardware resolves the conflict, see the hardware documentation for configuration and troubleshooting instructions. If the problem persists, contact the hardware manufacturer for technical assistance.

Check your operating system documentation for additional troubleshooting information

Check for interrupt request conflicts — See "Resolving Software and Hardware Incompatibilities."


Keyboard Problems

Fill out the Diagnostics Checklist as you complete these checks.

Restart the computer —

  • If the mouse is functioning, shut down the computer through the Start menu. After the computer shuts down, press the power button to restart the computer.
  • If the computer does not respond to a keystroke or the mouse, press the power button for at least 8 to 10 seconds until the computer turns off. Press the power button again to restart the computer.

Check the keyboard cable —

  • Ensure that the keyboard cable is connected to the purple connector on the back panel.
  • Ensure that the keyboard cable is firmly connected to the computer.
  • Check the cable connector for bent or broken pins and for damaged or frayed cables. Straighten bent pins.
  • Remove keyboard e

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