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Author Topic: Help - Can't Figure Out How To Fix This Problem  (Read 2358 times)

Smallie_Stalker

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Help - Can't Figure Out How To Fix This Problem
« on: October 24, 2016, 06:17:14 PM »

I apologize from the start because in order to explain the situation to those who may be able to help this is going to be a bit long. When it comes to most problems with a PC I can usually figure things out and get myself back up and running within a day or two, but not this time. Here is my predicament:

My warranty on my PC expired on October 15th. Friday night (October 21st) my desktop PC with Windows 10 was running fine and when I was done I shut down normally. Usually if there are updates waiting to be installed I see a couple of messages saying either "update and shut down" or "update and restart". I did not see  either of these when I shut down.

Saturday morning I woke up and turned my PC on and got my Dell logo as usual. But instead of booting  to the lock screen  it just went to a black screen. I have seen this in the past after updates were installed, and the way Windows 10 sometimes installs them at odd hours of  the night I figured that was what was happening and I waited. After 90 minutes I was still staring at a black screen. That was NOT normal. I rebooted three more times to the same results.

I shut down by holding the power button, rebooted while holding the F12 key and got into the UEFI/BIOS menu. I ran a thorough diagnostics test which took upwards of an hour and it said there were no problems with the PC. I chose the option to exit and reboot and was right back where I started.   :bang

Based on the results of the diagnostics I conclude it is (most likely) not a hardware problem so I decided to restore, or if necessary,reinstall windows. I shut down, inserted the recovery flash drive that Dell provided me when I bought the PC and rebooted expecting to be brought to the menu to choose the options to do the restore or install. Nothing but a black screen.  :'(

At this point a call to Dell was in order. I explain the problem and how I have run the diagnostics and tried the recovery drive they gave me. Even though the PC is now out of warranty I was lead to believe they would get me up and running for a small one-time charge. They didn't even ask for a credit card number saying they would only ask for it once the problem was solved. Sounded good to me.   

So I follow the instructions, boot my PC while holding the F12 key again, but now I am told to choose the "Legacy Boot" option and reboot. Knowing this is not a good idea I state my opposition, but am assured this is the way to go. Against my better judgement I listened.  :ass

My PC reboots, but now I can't even get the Dell logo to come up.  I am instructed to put in my recovery flash drive and reboot and follow the prompts to Restore my PC. The only problem is that when the PC rebooted NOTHING happened again. It won't recognize the flash drive, won't boot to the hard drive and I am told that is because I am in Legacy Boot mode and need to get back to UEFI.  :o The only problem is I can't get back into the UEFI/Boot area to change back out of the "Legacy Boot" mode. Holding down F12 or tapping F8 while the PC boots no longer does anything.

So, now comes the biggest kick in the backside - I can give them my credit card number NOW, buy an extended warranty for $149 and they will send a tech out on Tuesday or I am stuck with a very expensive paperweight.  >:D

I am not about to give them one red cent because I believe the problem NOW lies in the fact that I am stuck in Legacy Boot mode which THEY told me to choose.  if I can just find a way to get back in and change back to UEFI I believe I can reinstall Windows 10 from disc and be good to go.

Does anyone know anything I can do at this point to get back in and change the setting back to UEFI?

I apologize again for the length of the post. Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions.


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caddyjoe77

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Re: Help - Can't Figure Out How To Fix This Problem
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2016, 07:08:46 PM »

If you have a serial port or a USB to serial connection you can likely get a really crappy display.  Settings should be something like 8100/n/n for the serial connection and you will need a terminal emulator program. 

Also, to me it sounds like a video card issue.  Like maybe the device guard built into Windows 10 is not allowing the drivers to attach to the kernel when you boot.  Just a guess.  But, here is something else that you can try.  But first, do you have an onboard video card you can force the PC to use?  Just pull the video card and see if you can get some kind of display. 

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BeerMe

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Re: Help - Can't Figure Out How To Fix This Problem
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2016, 07:24:43 PM »

Try resetting the BIOS to the default values. The Dell splash screen you're used to seeing comes from the BIOS. Afterwards, I'd attempt to boot Linux either on a USB stick or DVD. That should help diagnose the hardware.

I'm not convinced it's hardware.
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Smallie_Stalker

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Re: Help - Can't Figure Out How To Fix This Problem
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2016, 04:18:10 PM »

Joe, I don't have a dedicated graphics card, it's on board video. I am getting a signal to the monitor.  Just for the heck of it I hooked up via a VGA cable instead of HDMI  but got the same result.

Jim, I do believe it is a software issue too. I did  try to boot Linux from both a DVD and a USB drive. Now that I am in Legacy Boot mode in the  BIOS when I turn the PC on the power light comes on but it doesn't read from the DVD or USB stick.

My biggest problem is that I can't find a way to get back into the BIOS to reset it. After they had me set it to Legacy Boot mode and I rebooted the normal ways to access  the BIOS don't work anymore.

I was hoping somebody knew an undocumented  trick or back door way to get back into the BIOS. I am convinced if I can get it set back to UEFI it will allow me to boot the Linux DVD or even a Windows 10 DVD so I can  do either a restore or a clean install.
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caddyjoe77

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Re: Help - Can't Figure Out How To Fix This Problem
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2016, 06:49:05 PM »

Joe, I don't have a dedicated graphics card, it's on board video. I am getting a signal to the monitor.  Just for the heck of it I hooked up via a VGA cable instead of HDMI  but got the same result.

Jim, I do believe it is a software issue too. I did  try to boot Linux from both a DVD and a USB drive. Now that I am in Legacy Boot mode in the  BIOS when I turn the PC on the power light comes on but it doesn't read from the DVD or USB stick.

My biggest problem is that I can't find a way to get back into the BIOS to reset it. After they had me set it to Legacy Boot mode and I rebooted the normal ways to access  the BIOS don't work anymore.

I was hoping somebody knew an undocumented  trick or back door way to get back into the BIOS. I am convinced if I can get it set back to UEFI it will allow me to boot the Linux DVD or even a Windows 10 DVD so I can  do either a restore or a clean install.

ok.  have you tried resetting the bios on the board via the CMOS jumper or the battery?  Pulled the memory?
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Re: Help - Can't Figure Out How To Fix This Problem
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2016, 06:55:55 PM »

Begin pressing F2 as soon as you press the power button to turn it on. That should get you into the Dell BIOS. On some laptops you have to press the Fn and F2.
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caddyjoe77

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Re: Help - Can't Figure Out How To Fix This Problem
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2016, 08:09:33 PM »

Also, this may sound like a dumb suggestion, but are you sure the source is correct on your monitor?  I have seen monitors where they dont pick up the correct DVI or VGA source so you have to cycle through. 

Making the easy suggestions first.....
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Smallie_Stalker

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Re: Help - Can't Figure Out How To Fix This Problem
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2016, 06:33:24 PM »

Thanks guys. Appreciate all the help and suggestions. Tried everything you recommended but still no change.  I'm at a total loss at this point.  :bang





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Princeton_Man

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Re: Help - Can't Figure Out How To Fix This Problem
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2016, 07:29:39 PM »

Jim is that thing a Dell laptop or desktop? What model?

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Smallie_Stalker

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Re: Help - Can't Figure Out How To Fix This Problem
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2016, 08:08:17 PM »

Desktop.  Inspiron 3847.
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Princeton_Man

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Re: Help - Can't Figure Out How To Fix This Problem
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2016, 09:24:39 PM »

It's a PITA but here's a couple of ways to get back into the BIOS setup;

1) is open the case and disconnect the SATA cable on your hard drive. When you power up you'll get a "device not found F2 to enter setup". Press F2 to enter the setup and make the changes. Save, power down, and reconnect the SATA.

2) instead of removing the SATA cable, you can remove and reinstall the BIOS backup battery. replace the cover, power up, F2 to enter setup, restore to defaults, and reboot.

Either method should get you the F2 setup option. While you're in the BIOS setup you can change the startup to display to offer F2 option on startup along with the boot option F12.

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Smallie_Stalker

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Re: Help - Can't Figure Out How To Fix This Problem
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2016, 05:15:15 PM »

Thanks Jim. I will give these a try and report back.

Quick related question. When I opened the cover before I only noticed one battery and that was the battery for the clock (RTCRST). Is this the same battery, or is there a different one for the BIOS?

Sent from my STUDIO X PLUS using Tapatalk

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Re: Help - Can't Figure Out How To Fix This Problem
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2016, 10:28:15 AM »

Same battery. Probably a CR2016 or CR2032 button battery. If you go the battery method, you'll need to leavr the computer unplugged for a bit to discharge.
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Smallie_Stalker

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Re: Help - Can't Figure Out How To Fix This Problem
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2016, 04:44:08 PM »

Same battery. Probably a CR2016 or CR2032 button battery. If you go the battery method, you'll need to leavr the computer unplugged for a bit to discharge.
Okay, that's what I thought but wanted to double check.

Unfortunately neither method worked. I also tried a couple of things I found online from Dell's support site. None of that worked either. ~bang

I had a thought as I was watching the PC as it turns on. It appears to me that it is probably not going through POST. To my way of thinking that might explain why it won't boot a recovery drive. Am I way off here?

Sent from my STUDIO X PLUS using Tapatalk

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Smallie_Stalker

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Re: Help - Can't Figure Out How To Fix This Problem
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2016, 10:20:41 PM »

Jim and Joe, thank you both so much for all of the help. My desktop is back up and running!!!  ;D

I found something on the Dell support site for resetting the BIOS by manipulating the RTCRST jumper on the system board. Works in a no POST situation. I was able to get back into the BIOS and take it out of Legacy Boot Mode and put it back in UEFI/Secure Boot. All is working fine at the moment.  ~sweat

Thanks again to both of you for all of your patience and help. I owe you both a  ~beer~

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Re: Help - Can't Figure Out How To Fix This Problem
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2016, 06:51:08 AM »

I've found that the gentle application of a 10 lb maul applied at the correct spot works wonders, makes you feel better also. lo
Rodney
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Re: Help - Can't Figure Out How To Fix This Problem
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2016, 11:51:41 AM »

I've found that the gentle application of a 10 lb maul applied at the correct spot works wonders, makes you feel better also. lo
Rodney


Smallie glad you got it working again.  ~c~ ~c~ It's great having friends around here who know how to work on   ;D
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Re: Help - Can't Figure Out How To Fix This Problem
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2016, 12:57:07 PM »

Jim and Joe, thank you both so much for all of the help. My desktop is back up and running!!!  ;D

I found something on the Dell support site for resetting the BIOS by manipulating the RTCRST jumper on the system board. Works in a no POST situation. I was able to get back into the BIOS and take it out of Legacy Boot Mode and put it back in UEFI/Secure Boot. All is working fine at the moment.  ~sweat

Thanks again to both of you for all of your patience and help. I owe you both a  ~beer~

Awesome!

I thought about that but thought forcing a bios setup was easier. Didn't take into considerationthat it wasn't POSTing. Good deal!
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Re: Help - Can't Figure Out How To Fix This Problem
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2016, 03:18:08 PM »

It was a last minute thought on my part too. Your advice was solid and I'm sure if it was actually going through POST one of your suggestions would have had me up and running a lot sooner. Thanks again brother.
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