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Try to access the BIOS by going into setup after you power-up the computer. In the BIOS check to see if the harddrive is listed. If it isn't then the harddrive is bad. Also, set the BIOS so that the computer will boot from the CD drive. Save the new BIOS setting, load the CD, then reboot the computer. Follow the prompts from the setup process. Usually a "repair" of the XP operating system may fix the problem.
You can also go to the Dell website, enter your service tag number and read the troubleshooting section for your computer.
If you don't have the CD, ask a friend who also owns a Dell with XP and barrow their CD. It will work with yours.
Have you tried booting up in safe mode to see if it comes on then. If you can then you will have installed something that isnt working with your computer which is causing it not to boot properly. When you swith the comp on you should see some option ie f2 for boot menu. I think its f8 you need to keep pressing then you will get another menu after a couple of seconds saying boot in safe mode, boot in safe mode with networking, boot windows normally or boot windows in last known working state. boot in safe mode see if it works. Hope this helps.
Here are the Dell instructions for PC-Restore. The actual process is listed in step 3
When you start the system, after the Dell Splash Screen, there should be a black screen with a blue bar across the top with www.dell.com in white letters. If that page does not show, then PC-Restore will not work. If you do see that screen, you have to be very fast with the CTRL+F11 key combination at that screen. It should open PC Restore by symantec. On a system this old, it if very likely the restore image is no longer intact and my not function. If you get into the tool and it errors out, or you have no PC-Restore, then you will need to install XP from the CD and load drivers.
Try Cleaning the RAM Like this image, but first turn off the computer. than install it again to the DIMM slot, and turn on the computer. boot-up should be successful. Otherwise, replace the RAM, Hope this helps.
The 2 and 4 LED error code indicates “Video subsystem configuration or failure”. You either have a bad video circuit or your video drivers have a problem. Try booting into “safe mode” by tapping the F8 key when powering on the computer. If the computer comes up in safe mode then your video drivers may have to be reloaded. Your responses are intended to improve the level of service provided. Please show your appreciation by rating your experience. Thank You.