Question about Dell Dimension 2350 PC Desktop

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Blank Screen after WinXP Splash Logo

Whenever I turn this workstation on, it completes the post test without any issue and goes to the Windows XP splash screen. It then vanishes like normal, leaving a blank screen. The problem is that's as far as it goes.

It seems as though the login prompt is coming up, as I can have the user enter her password and it seems to allow her to login based on the startup sounds.

This is where I'm at:

It will not boot into Safe Mode, it gets hung on Mup.sys

It does not have an additional video card installed (this was my first inclination).

On-board video is enabled in the BIOS.

I tried installing a PCI video card whilst disabling the on-board, this achieved the same exact result.

She just installed a piece of financial software called Otter (I think). IIRC she had indicated she encountered a problem with this installation but I don't know if it's related. I can't really find any documentation on the software and I'm not really familiar w/ it.

Any idea's?

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  • 7 more comments 
  • Kenneth monson Mar 28, 2008

    Sure do. Where do I begin?

  • Kenneth monson Mar 28, 2008

    Man I'm having trouble getting this thing to boot to a cd. Under the somewhat forward assumption one of the two cd roms should be functioning, I'm starting to wonder if maybe there isn't a larger problem here.

  • Kenneth monson Mar 31, 2008

    I hooked up another drive and that seemed to work for a little bit but it quit again. I was able to boot into System Rescue once but could not access the GUI, then tried again and the screen started blanking out again.

    I booted to the WinXP CD (or tried) and it started skipping it and going directly into Windows. Tried swapping ram as well thinking maybe I had a bad module with no success. I also tried the stupid Dell utility which got me nowhere. No big surprise.

    This seems like a stupid problem to have. Not stupid because I can't figure it out, mind you...

  • Kenneth monson Mar 31, 2008

    Found a ruptured cap on the mobo... I don't think I'm wrong to tell her the mobo is beginning to fail regardless of whether or not that's the root cause. At some point the rest of 'em are at risk of puking.

    If I can get this drive to boot in another machine, I'll try sysprep and see if I can get it to work elsewhere. Thanks for the help everybody.

  • Kenneth monson Apr 01, 2008


    @ Psionics: I hit F12 to get into the boot menu, as well as changing the boot order to the CD ROM first, HD second. Both failed, however I was able to install a different drive and boot to it successfully. I guess both drives that are installed are not operational after all :/. Strangely enough, the 3rd drive ultimately ended up failing in short order, this could have been a coincidence. I didn't see anything regarding a timer for booting to another device in the BIOS but I'll take another look.

    After a little bit more research it looks like the video driver could have gone corrupt (from Dell's website). They give re-installation directions if you can get into Windows which doesn't help me at all. I don't know if there is a way I can go in with something like System Rescue and delete the registry key's that might be causing me drama -or- Windows repair or getting the HD to boot in another environment. I still have a few options that I need to exhaust before I throw in the towel. It's less about $ at this point and more about the challenge. I'll likely not charge this woman a dime either way.

    Mobo model #: Bluford E139765 - Intel chipset

  • Kenneth monson Apr 02, 2008

    The boot CD your referencing, would it let me run an install package? Like for a new driver? That might be easier -if- I can get it to boot to a CD again (going to try a different drive).

    Haven't tried anything else discussed yet, haven't had time in the day!

  • Kenneth monson Apr 15, 2008

    Sorry Psionics, I haven't had much time to invest into getting this thing back on it's feet. Work has been slammed!

    I'm downloading the UBCD as we speak. Unfortunately I'm on my way out the door to a conference and will not be back until the end of this week. I probably won't have time to work on this machine until the beginning of next at the earliest.

    I will keep you updated though! Thank you very much for your help w/ all this.

  • Kenneth monson May 06, 2008

    Well I don't know if your still following this or not, but she ended up buying another PC and she's keeping this one for parts :/.

    I never did get the UBCD to work yet but I only tried it the one time. Regardless it still sounds extremely useful.

    Thank you again for all your suggestions despite the fact that I didn't quite get it conquered.

  • Patrick Michaels
    Patrick Michaels May 11, 2010

    methinks you are suffering from re installtion pre you have the install cd, handy?



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  • 236 Answers

Sounds like an issue with the software or a windows update that caused it. Seems to occur more with versions of windows that are not genuine.. Have you tried booting from the XP disk, running microsoft recovery console, and then running chkdsk /r

Hopefully that will fix it.. Otherwise you might have to re-install windows.

Posted on Mar 28, 2008

  • 3 more comments 
  • Dave MacPhee
    Dave MacPhee Mar 28, 2008

    Check the bios and in the boot settings, see if CD is before HDD, if not, move it up in the list

  • Dave MacPhee
    Dave MacPhee Apr 01, 2008

    what is the mobo model #?

    Sounds like a bad mobo as well, but for the booting to XP CD, there may be a setting in the bios that delays the "boot to cd" option, and is set to 0 seconds.. If that's the case, you won't even see the option to boot to cd, as it will go by so fast, but not do it automatically..

  • Dave MacPhee
    Dave MacPhee Apr 02, 2008

    There is boot software out there that will let you get into a windows interface and change the registry.. Problem is, you can't really boot from CD....

    Have you yet tried the drive in another PC?

    Also, in the bios (which I am currently looking up a manual for the mobo) is there a setting for "plug and play O/S" set to yes? If so, change it to no and reboot.. Perhaps the cd rom drives are not responding due to the OS not being able to load the drivers... Highly unlikely, but It's worth a shot anyways...

    Getting into the windows repair would work if there is a recovery drive on the HDD... Usually, accessed by pressing F10 (when you would normally press F8 for post options)...

    Looking into more options...

  • Dave MacPhee
    Dave MacPhee Apr 03, 2008

    Yes, the boot cd will let you access the internet and download drivers, as well as install them and access/edit the registry.. It is a little daunting to set up, but once done, can provide a vast array of useful tools..

    You can download it here

    Make sure you follow all the instructions carefully..

  • Dave MacPhee
    Dave MacPhee Apr 05, 2008

    any updates?



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