computer locked at startup

Discussion in 'Bloody Computers' started by seafarer1939, Nov 18, 2007.

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  1. Bought a new Dell with Vista home on it a month ago,it locks up for 15 mins at startup then fires up normally.
    At lockup it displays F2 and F12 for boot bios and bootup but pressing gets no response nothing works at all.It won't let me format saying I don't have the right to do it so I can't clean it up and go back to XP.
    Try here before I send it back as I can't get any sense from the call centre in India.
    Anyone know how to format this? I can format the C drive[recovery] but the D drive[OS] won't let me.Cheers if you can
  2. Doesn't sound like its anything to do with Vista mate. Its your BIOS thats locking up, probably due to either a piece of hardware with a fault that Vista can work around, or more likely, your BIOS doing a long inspection of your Hard Drive and other peripherals.
    Try to gain access to your BIOS by pressing the Delete key when you start your PC and the writing starts. When inside your BIOS, have a look at all of your settings for inspection of hard disks, and look for something called a POST.
    POST stands for Power On Self Test and can be either quick or slow. Change it to Quick, then select Save Changes and Restart to see if it helps.

    If you feck about inside your BIOS you can feck up the whole shebang. Only make small changes at a time (like changing your POST to quick test) and make a note of what you change BEFORE selecting Save and Restart :)
  3. Why would you want to format 'D:'?, that has the windows recovery on it, unless of course you have a Genuine windows disc.
  4. Small point, but as Notmechief says your D: drive is probably a partition of C: used for recovery and Vista is installed on C: If this is not the case it might be worth looking at as the BIOS settings are most likely set to try to boot from C:, and if thats the recovery portion you are possibly doing a system recovery at every bootup

    Alternatively you could use a boot CD to look at things and see if its hardware or BIOS (old days- bootdisk, set of basic Windows or DOS drivers which would run keyboard, mouse,CD etc)

    I suggest a copy of Upgrading and Repairing PCs (18th Edition) by Scott Mueller ( but usually have it for $38, sometimes cheaper than ordering from
    He has some video info on BIOS setup here
  5. Unplug any USB devices and then try to start the PC.

    Good chance you have something like an IPOD hanging off PC and PC seeing as external hard drive but doesnt know what to do, therefore its anging.
  6. thanks for all the replies.It seems my C:drive came as recovery[10]GB and D drive is OS 138GB.Someone said this was the wrong way around.
    After two weeks since the power cut it fired up first time then the electrician came and switched the power off to do some work and I'm back at square one !
    It seems to happen when the wall plug is removed from the mains,I can't get into bios to check Post until it runs normaly in a about two weeks.
    I would like to format the whole thing and start again but it won't let me so I'm shagged.
    Thought I'd ask but it may have to go back as it is needed for my music.Thanks for the help.
    To sum up it only happens when the power is removed,the time when it ran ok and was shut down it fired up again as long as power was not switched off at the socket.
    If that means anything.Thanks again
  7. It could be the BIOS battery this keeps all the settings etc when the PC is switched off. I found DELL very helpful when I had a serious problem, If you look through the books that came with the PC you will find the phone number for UK technical support, the geek that I got was really good (although of oriental extraction) next day early morning I had everything I needed to get going again. All the best

  8. Dell in my opinion aren't all that good -----have Acer and its a very good reliable package deal. Yes its been reverted to XP . Also I put the hard drive from my old computer into it as a slave --so never lost any doc's ,pic's that way.

    :nemo: :nemo:
  9. vista's crap
  10. No, it isn't.
  11. What's Vista, try Leopard.
  12. Seafarer, I think Yorkie has it, this does sound like a BIOS battery problem from your description of power off/on scenario, as when you shut a PC down but leave it plugged in, modern (eg Vista,XP) computers have an ACPI (advanced power control interface bus) that lets them be started up remotely if so enabled eg Wake on LAN. You might see a green LED next to where the power cable connects to the PC power supply, or on the motherboard, even if the PC is "shut down".

    That means that once your recovery run was complete the system then knows to boot from D: and not C: as most BIOS default to searching for a floppy (A:) then C: and sometimes cd (can be any from D,E,F,G etc). It is strange that they would choose to mount the OS as D: and not C: since most 3rd party software you install looks to C:/ for a place to install.

    Ah well, good luck with it whatever you decide to do.

    And Lamri....Vista is shit on 512Mb of ram (like XP is with 256Mb, Me with 128Mb etc), but I'm betting you don't have that problem, right mate! :thumright:
  13. It is when trying to cram Office 2000 onto it...[​IMG][​IMG]
  14. I have a Dell E521 mate, and it was booting pretty slowly, I found if you change the POST (Power on self test) setting to quick boot you should be ok, otherwise it probes every piece of hardware, checks the memory and the disks :)
  15. Scriv,

    It just is, is not an answer.

    Why, in your opinion, is Vista crap?
  16. Hi
    Thanks to all,finally got it sorted and I'll post it for others.
    Got through to Dell [7th try] and found out it was a build up of internal static.
    Solution; unplug everything including the power cable,then hold down the power button for 25 secs to drain the static away,up she fired, blood pressure comes down and the wife can speak again
    Cheers thanks again.
  17. You could try reflashing your bios,

    Just get the bios off the dell website (the support section)

    And put it on a usb key, set the bios to be able to boot from usb key and reflash

    That may fix your problem :)

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