Dodgy Dell PC


Well-known Member
Hope someone can help me with a problem.

I'm trying to fix my brother's computer as it has just about ground to a halt. It is a Dell Dimension desktop and about 4 years old now and running Windows XP. Recently it has been taking an absolute age to start up. I thought this might be a Windows issue at first, but when I visited him to check what was happening I noticed that the machine won't even get past the initial DOS bootup for about 10 minutes.

I've checked all connections both externally and inside the case and there isn't a loose cable, card, drive, etc to be seen. I thought about going into the BIOS settings to check things out, but it won't even do this. Instead, upon powerup it just sits there with a black screen and flashing white cursor for about 10 minutes before eventually going into Windows. Even then, it takes another 10 minutes for Windows to get going.

I asked him how the hell he has been putting up with it and he said him and the missus just leave the machine on for a few days at a time now to save all the faffing around at boot-up.

Anyone got any ideas as to what might be wrong and what I can check out on it? :confused::lease:

Deleted member 30535

To me it sounds as though it's a hard disk problem. A quick boot off a floppy (or Linux CD) should give a hint as to whether it is a disk or another issue that is slowing the whole PC down. It'l be a process of elimination I'm afraid.


Active Member
I was going to post a similar reply. Sounds like a dodgy harddrive. Try disconnecting it completely and see if you can quickly get into the BIOS without the long flashing cursor.

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