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Old 03-23-10, 12:57 PM   #1
ElJamoquio
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Computer help - Computer reboots halfway through BIOS load?

All you computer experts - my Laptop (Dell 5160) is now going into an infinite reboot mode - the initial 'Dell' screen comes up, and the BIOS load progress bar goes maybe 2/3 of the way across the screen - and then the computer reboots itself and starts over again.

I can press the F2/F10/whatever key to attempt to get to the BIOS options screen. The computer recognizes that I press the button, but it then doesn't get far enough into the BIOS load to actually do anything about it - I can't get to the screen where I configure BIOS options.

Any help?
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Old 03-23-10, 01:13 PM   #2
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Open the laptop and remove the bios button battery for about 5 minutes. That will reset the bios to some degree.

If that does not work, you need to go to another PC and download the bootable bios utility and burn it to a bootable CD or FDD.

http://support.dell.com/support/down...eckFormat=true

http://www.computerhope.com/boot.htm

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Old 03-23-10, 01:27 PM   #3
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But you can boot into the OS ok?
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Old 03-23-10, 01:46 PM   #4
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Open the laptop and remove the bios button battery for about 5 minutes. That will reset the bios to some degree.

If that does not work, you need to go to another PC and download the bootable bios utility and burn it to a bootable CD or FDD.
Agree on pulling the battery in an effort to reset. However, unless the OP was fooling with his bios or installed something, BIOS corruption is unlikely. This sounds like a hardware problem. I would be mentally prepared for the battery test not to work.

It will be no use to download a BIOS utility because his machine is resetting before the hardware is recognized. If the battery trick doesn't work, I'd open the case and reseat everything, including the memory. If that doesn't work and there is more than one stick of memory, remove all but one (I'm wondering if this could be a symptom of bad memory). You may need to consult the manual for which slot to use since it often matters. Try with multiple sticks.

If something's wrong on your motherboard, you're SOL.
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Old 03-23-10, 02:06 PM   #5
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That is why I am asking him if he can boot into the OS. He stated that he cannot boot into BIOS. If he can boot the OS then it's not a hardware issue.
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Old 03-23-10, 02:16 PM   #6
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That is why I am asking him if he can boot into the OS. He stated that he cannot boot into BIOS. If he can boot the OS then it's not a hardware issue.
If he can get into the OS, it's a sign that the BIOS is fine -- the most important thing the BIOS does is load the OS.
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Old 03-23-10, 02:39 PM   #7
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Have you tried slapping it really hard whilst trying different combinations of expletives? Make sure to use an open hand and modulate your voice in volume, tone and inflection.
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Old 03-23-10, 03:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ElJamoquio View Post
All you computer experts - my Laptop (Dell 5160) is now going into an infinite reboot mode - the initial 'Dell' screen comes up, and the BIOS load progress bar goes maybe 2/3 of the way across the screen - and then the computer reboots itself and starts over again.
Did you do a BIOS update recently? Was it the correct version for your computer? All indications point to a hardware issue during POST. RAM is checked during this time, remove all the memory and insert only a single DIMM of the smallest size. Also remove all accessories like USB devices and pull the CD-ROM as well.
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Old 03-23-10, 03:56 PM   #9
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If he can get into the OS, it's a sign that the BIOS is fine -- the most important thing the BIOS does is load the OS.
Am I thinking CMOS here? Seems to me he is trying to enter his BIOS to make some changes and can't do it. The battery would reset CMOS not BIOS right?

Crap it's been too long since I've been in hardware.
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Old 03-23-10, 04:48 PM   #10
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That is why I am asking him if he can boot into the OS. He stated that he cannot boot into BIOS. If he can boot the OS then it's not a hardware issue.
No, I cannot boot into OS. I tried the battery thing - the battery is soldered onto the board so I had to unsolder it. Waited 30 mins or so, re-soldered, now I don't have any video at all. Tried re-seating the monitor and video card with no change. I don't get the 'beep' when turning it on any more either.
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Old 03-23-10, 04:49 PM   #11
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Did you do a BIOS update recently? Was it the correct version for your computer? All indications point to a hardware issue during POST. RAM is checked during this time, remove all the memory and insert only a single DIMM of the smallest size. Also remove all accessories like USB devices and pull the CD-ROM as well.
No, no BIOS updates recently. It was the correct and most up to date version. Of course now it appears as if I've f-d my video as well.
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Old 03-23-10, 04:50 PM   #12
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Have you tried slapping it really hard whilst trying different combinations of expletives? Make sure to use an open hand and modulate your voice in volume, tone and inflection.
Is drop-kicking it a suitable substitute for slapping it? Which expletives are required?
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Old 03-23-10, 04:50 PM   #13
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If he can get into the OS, it's a sign that the BIOS is fine -- the most important thing the BIOS does is load the OS.
No, it does not load the OS.
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Old 03-23-10, 05:01 PM   #14
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Am I thinking CMOS here? Seems to me he is trying to enter his BIOS to make some changes and can't do it. The battery would reset CMOS not BIOS right?
Correct. One of the symptoms of a bad battery is that a system can't see the OS. When the battery dies, CMOS forgets everything so it doesn't know it has a hard drive attached, so no OS found.

CMOS controls the POST tests including the memory test. If CMOS is effed up, you won't be able to boot.

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No, I cannot boot into OS. I tried the battery thing - the battery is soldered onto the board so I had to unsolder it. Waited 30 mins or so, re-soldered, now I don't have any video at all. Tried re-seating the monitor and video card with no change. I don't get the 'beep' when turning it on any more either.
Damn, we should have asked you about the beeps -- any beeping you hear is a diagnostic code you can look up in a manual. The other thing we should have asked is if your motherboard has instructions on how to reset it since the battery is soldered in. Do you have a tester -- can you verify that you're getting the correct voltage off the battery? And I'm afraid to ask this since you are comfortable with a soldering iron, but there's no way you soldered the battery in backwards?
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Old 03-23-10, 05:03 PM   #15
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No, no BIOS updates recently. It was the correct and most up to date version. Of course now it appears as if I've f-d my video as well.
If you tried to identify bad memory chips before getting out the iron, chances are excellent that you were screwed already. Actually, the odds never favored you, but you gotta try.
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Old 03-23-10, 05:06 PM   #16
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I was going to say it's either bad RAM or you're doomed. But I decided to wait and say it anyway.
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Old 03-23-10, 07:57 PM   #17
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Is drop-kicking it a suitable substitute for slapping it? Which expletives are required?
the same ones you would use if Pcad outsprinted you to the line...................
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 03-24-10, 08:31 AM   #18
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No, I cannot boot into OS. I tried the battery thing - the battery is soldered onto the board so I had to unsolder it. Waited 30 mins or so, re-soldered, now I don't have any video at all. Tried re-seating the monitor and video card with no change. I don't get the 'beep' when turning it on any more either.
Are you good with a soldering gun? Because you can easily damage stuff. Assuming you are, sounds like a dire situation. As long as your HD's are ok then you shouldn't have to worry about data loss. Just order a ne Main Board and go from there.
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Old 03-24-10, 03:50 PM   #19
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The other thing we should have asked is if your motherboard has instructions on how to reset it since the battery is soldered in.
Not that I'm aware of.

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Do you have a tester -- can you verify that you're getting the correct voltage off the battery?
Do you know what 'correct' is? I was thinking about checking it while it was out, but I figured I didn't really care if it was dead.

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And I'm afraid to ask this since you are comfortable with a soldering iron, but there's no way you soldered the battery in backwards?
No, it's idiot-proof. Also eljamoquio-proof.

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If you tried to identify bad memory chips before getting out the iron, chances are excellent that you were screwed already. Actually, the odds never favored you, but you gotta try.
Indeed. Those motherboards are expensive.

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Are you good with a soldering gun? Because you can easily damage stuff. Assuming you are, sounds like a dire situation. As long as your HD's are ok then you shouldn't have to worry about data loss. Just order a ne Main Board and go from there.
I wouldn't call myself 'good' with a soldering iron, but I work with pro's. And I borrow their equipment. The battery was off on the side pretty far away from anything, so the pro's let me do it myself.

And... Fortunately I already took everything off of the hard drive.
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Old 03-24-10, 04:35 PM   #20
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Do you know what 'correct' is? I was thinking about checking it while it was out, but I figured I didn't really care if it was dead.
This varies and is normally 3-6 volts. On most modern laptops, it's closer to 3 volts. Seems to me there's a 3.6 volt solder in battery you might find. To know the exact voltage, you'd need to know either exactly what kind of battery you have or be able to consult a motherboard manual.

If the thing is still acting dead and you're getting no current off the battery, you have nothing to lose. My gut reaction is that you have a hardware issue that requires a new board, but all the same, I'd take the desperate and high tech approach of just manually holding wires against a 3v watch battery or even use a couple AAAs in series.
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Old 03-24-10, 04:47 PM   #21
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I don't really have much input except that if you find the laptop to be a lost cause and you need a replacement; a Macbook/Macbook Pro wouldn't be such a bad idea
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Old 03-24-10, 04:52 PM   #22
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I don't really have much input except that if you find the laptop to be a lost cause and you need a replacement; a Macbook/Macbook Pro wouldn't be such a bad idea
because those are user serviceable
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Old 03-24-10, 05:00 PM   #23
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because those are user serviceable
Because they have great customer support/warranty service
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Old 03-24-10, 05:14 PM   #24
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Because they have great customer support/warranty service
For what they charge for their products, they should be offering breakfast in bed after reaming your wallet.
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Old 03-24-10, 05:18 PM   #25
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Because they have great customer support/warranty service
only if you buy applecare, and only if it's within 3yrs + 1~2 months.
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