Question about Dell OptiPlex GX280 PC Desktop

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Windows XP won't load - black screen

My Windows XP PC froze up today with several apps running and about 12 windows open. MS Outlook 2007 was the active application at the time, and was donloading emails when the freeze happened. after trying unsuccessfully to exit Outlook and other applications, I pressed ctrl+alt+del but no Task Manager appeared. then I tried to force shutdown by pressing ctrl+alt+del twice, no luck. Eventually I forced a shutdown with the power button.

When I restarted (after waiting a couple of minutes, with the power cord unplugged, I re-plugged the power cord and hit the power button. The Dell splash screen appeared briefly, then screen went black with nothing but a flashing command prompt at the top left corner.

Dell OptiPlex GX280 Processor Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.20GHz Processor Speed 3.12 GHz Memory (RAM) 2048 MB Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Professional Operating System Version 5.1.2600
All current XP Pro updates installed.

Any suggestions?

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  • Victor441 Sep 25, 2009

    Here's how the problem was solved: I shut down the PC, and disconnected an external (USB) hard drive. I also disconnected an external (USB) smartcard reader. I also unplugged the PC's power cord.

    After I left the PC alone for about 1-1/2 hours, I reconnected its power cord (but not the external hard drive or the smartcard reader) and tried rebooting. This time it booted into Windows, and started to load the startup applications. First app to load was McAfee, but then the process stalled and nothing else loaded. After about 20 minutes of the stalled startup, I shut the system down with the power button again (ctrl/alt/del did not work), disconnected the power cord and let the system rest for anothe 20 minutes. After reconnecting the power cord, I then tried rebooting and - PRESTO! Everything worked fine. All startup apps loaded in 1-2 minutes, and the system functioned fine.

    Several possible culprits:

    1) The system may have overheated and caused CPU problems. Waiting a while may have allowed it to cool down & function OK again.

    2) One of the external USB devices may have caused Windows to become confused at boot-up until I disconnected them.

    3) McAfee may have been doing something in the background (I couldn't tell, because the Task Manager wasn't working) that slowed the system to a snail's pace, making it appear to be frozen.

    Hope this info is helpful to others who have the same issue, but I really have no idea what's going on with my PC!

  • Pal
    Pal May 11, 2010

    hi, when the computer is booting up.hit F8 and get into LKGC (last known good configuration.)

  • Anonymous Mar 12, 2014

    say system halted must power down

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Refresh all the connection on your motherboard like ATX power supply, HDD and CD/DVD ROM cables, and specially the RAM. You may have to clean the RAM as shown in the image below. windows XP won't load - black screen - c4d62f6.jpg
then hopefully your computer will return to normal. Hope this helps.

Posted on Sep 24, 2009

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