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Manuals
Troubleshooting Tools and Utilities: Dell OptiPlex GX280 Systems User's Guide

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Troubleshooting Tools and Utilities

Dell™ OptiPlex™ GX280 Systems User's Guide

  Dell Diagnostics

  System Lights

  Diagnostic Lights

  Beep Codes

  Error Messages

  Resolving Software and Hardware Incompatibilities



Dell Diagnostics

CAUTION: Before you begin any of the procedures in this section, follow the safety instructions located in the Product Information Guide.
NOTE: The Drivers and Utilities CD (ResourceCD) is optional, and as such, may not ship with all computers.

When to Use the Dell Diagnostics

If you experience a problem with your computer, perform the checks in this section and run the Dell Diagnostics before you contact Dell for technical assistance.

It is recommended that you print these procedures before you begin.

NOTICE: The Dell Diagnostics works only on Dell™ computers.

Enter system setup, review your computer's configuration information, and ensure that the device you want to test displays in system setup and is active.

Start the Dell Diagnostics from either your hard drive or from the Drivers and Utilities CD (also known as the ResourceCD - optional).

Starting the Dell Diagnostics From Your Hard Drive

  1. Turn on (or restart) your computer.

  2. When the DELL™ logo appears, press <F12> immediately.

NOTE: If you see a message stating that no diagnostics utility partition has been found, run the Dell Diagnostics from your Drivers and Utilities CD (optional).

If you wait too long and the operating system logo appears, continue to wait until you see the Microsoft® Windows® desktop. Then shut down your computer and try again.

  1. When the boot device list appears, highlight Boot to Utility Partition and press <Enter>.

  2. When the Dell Diagnostics Main Menu appears, select the test you want to run.

Starting the Dell Diagnostics From the Drivers and Utilities CD (optional)

  1. Insert the Drivers and Utilities CD (optional).

  2. Shut down and restart the computer.

When the DELL logo appears, press <F12> immediately.

If you wait too long and the Windows logo appears, continue to wait until you see the Windows desktop. Then shut down your computer and try again.

NOTE: The next steps change the boot sequence for one time only. On the next start-up, the computer boots according to the devices specified in system setup.
  1. When the boot device list appears, highlight IDE CD-ROM Device and press <Enter>.

  2. Select the IDE CD-ROM Device option from the CD boot menu.

  3. Select the Boot from CD-ROM option from the menu that appears.

  4. Type 1 to start the ResourceCD menu.

  5. Type 2 to start the Dell Diagnostics.

  6. Select Run the 32 Bit Dell Diagnostics from the numbered list. If multiple versions are listed, select the version appropriate for your computer.

  7. When the Dell Diagnostics Main Menu appears, select the test you want to run.

Dell Diagnostics Main Menu

  1. After the Dell Diagnostics loads and the Main Menu screen appears, click the button for the option you want.

Option

Function 

Express Test

Performs a quick test of devices. This test typically takes 10 to 20 minutes and requires no interaction on your part. Run Express Test first to increase the possibility of tracing the problem quickly.

Extended Test

Performs a thorough check of devices. This test typically takes an hour or more and requires you to answer questions periodically.

Custom Test

Tests a specific device. You can customize the tests you want to run.

Symptom Tree

Lists the most common symptoms encountered and allows you to select a test based on the symptom of the problem you are having.

  1. If a problem is encountered during a test, a message appears with an error code and a description of the problem. Write down the error code and problem description and follow the instructions on the screen.

If you cannot resolve the error condition, contact Dell

NOTE: The Service Tag for your computer is located at the top of each test screen. If you contact Dell, technical support will ask for your Service Tag. Your computer's Service Tag is listed in the System Info option in system setup.
  1. If you run a test from the Custom Test or Symptom Tree option, click the applicable tab described in the following table for more information.

Tab

Function 

Results

Displays the results of the test and any error conditions encountered.

Errors

Displays error conditions encountered, error codes, and the problem description.

Help

Describes the test and may indicate requirements for running the test.

Configuration

Displays your hardware configuration for the selected device.

The Dell Diagnostics obtains configuration information for all devices from system setup, memory, and various internal tests, and it displays the information in the device list in the left pane of the screen. The device list may not display the names of all the components installed on your computer or all devices attached to your computer.

Parameters

Allows you to customize the test by changing the test settings.

  1. When the tests are completed, if you are running the Dell Diagnostics from the Drivers and Utilities CD, remove the CD.

  2. Close the test screen to return to the Main Menu screen. To exit the Dell Diagnostics and restart the computer, close the Main Menu screen.


System Lights

Your power button light and hard-drive light may indicate a computer problem.

Power Light

Problem Description

Suggested Resolution

Solid green

Power is on, and the computer is operating normally. On the desktop computer, a solid green light indicates a network connection.

No corrective action is required.

Blinking green

The computer is in the suspended state (Microsoft® Windows® 2000 and Windows XP).

Press the power button, move the mouse, or press a key on the keyboard to wake the computer.

Blinks green several times and then turns off

A configuration error exists.

Check the diagnostic lights to see if the specific problem is identified.

Solid yellow

The Dell Diagnostics is running a test, or a device on the system board may be faulty or incorrectly installed.

If the Dell Diagnostics is running, allow the testing to complete.

Check the diagnostic lights to see if the specific problem is identified.

If the computer does not boot, contact Dell for technical assistance.

Blinking yellow

A power supply or system board failure has occurred.

Check the diagnostic lights to see if the specific problem is identified. Also, see "Power Problems."

Solid green and a beep code during POST

A problem was detected while the BIOS was executing.

See "Beep Codes" for instructions on diagnosing the beep code. Also, check the diagnostic lights to see if the specific problem is identified.

Solid green power light and no beep code and no video during POST

The monitor or the graphics card may be faulty or incorrectly installed.

Check the diagnostic lights to see if the specific problem is identified. See "Video and Monitor Problems."

Solid green power light and no beep code but the computer locks up during POST

An integrated system board device may be faulty.

Check the diagnostic lights to see if the specific problem is identified. If the problem is not identified, contact Dell for technical assistance.


Diagnostic Lights

CAUTION: Before you begin any of the procedures in this section, follow the safety instructions located in the Product Information Guide.

To help you troubleshoot a problem, your small form factor, small desktop, and small mini-tower computers have four lights labeled "A," "B," "C," and "D" on the back panel. The lights can be yellow or green. When the computer starts normally, the patterns or codes on the lights change as the boot process completes. If the POST portion of system boot completes successfully, all four lights display solid green. If the computer malfunctions during the POST process, the pattern displayed on the LEDs may help identify where in the process the computer halted.

NOTE: The orientation of the diagnostic lights may vary depending on the system type. The diagnostic lights can appear either vertical or horizontal.

Y = Yellow

G = Green

Light Pattern

Problem Description

Suggested Resolution

The computer is in a normal off condition or a possible pre-BIOS failure has occurred.

Plug the computer into a working electrical outlet and press the power button.

A possible BIOS failure has occurred; the computer is in the recovery mode.

Run the BIOS Recovery utility, wait for recovery completion, and then restart the computer.

A possible processor failure has occurred.

Reinstall the processor and restart the computer.

Memory modules are detected, but a memory failure has occurred.

  • If you have one memory module installed, reinstall it and restart the computer. (see "Memory" for instructions on how to remove and install memory modules.)
  • If you have two or more memory modules installed, remove the modules, reinstall one module, and then restart the computer. If the computer starts normally, reinstall an additional module. Continue until you have identified a faulty module or reinstalled all modules without error.
  • If available, install properly working memory of the same type into your computer.
  • If the problem persists, contact Dell.

A possible expansion card failure has occurred.

  • Determine if a conflict exists by removing a card (not the graphics card) and then restarting the computer.
  • If the problem persists, reinstall the card that you removed, remove a different card, and then restart the computer.
  • Repeat this process for each card. If the computer starts normally, troubleshoot the last card removed from the computer for resource conflicts (see "Resolving Software and Hardware Incompatibilities").
  • Move each card one at a time to a different PCI slot and restart the computer after each move.
  • If the problem persists, contact Dell.

A possible graphics card failure has occurred.

  • If the computer has a graphics card, remove the card, reinstall it, and then restart the computer.
  • If the problem still exists, install a graphics card that you know works and restart the computer.
  • If the problem persists or the computer has integrated graphics, contact Dell.

A possible floppy or hard drive failure has occurred.

Reseat all power and data cables and restart the computer.

A possible USB failure has occurred.

Reinstall all USB devices, check cable connections, and then restart the computer.

No memory modules are detected.

  • If you have one memory module installed, reinstall it and restart the computer. (see "Memory" for instructions on how to remove and install memory modules.)
  • If you have two or more memory modules installed, remove the modules, reinstall one module, and then restart the computer. If the computer starts normally, reinstall an additional module. Continue until you have identified a faulty module or reinstalled all modules without error.
  • If available, install properly working memory of the same type into your computer.
  • If the problem persists, contact Dell.

Memory modules are detected, but a memory configuration or compatibility error exists.

Other failure has occurred.

  • Ensure that the cables are properly connected to the system board from the hard drive, CD drive, and DVD drive.
  • Check the computer message that appears on your monitor screen.
  • If the problem persists, contact Dell.

The computer is in a normal operating condition after POST.

None.


Light Pattern 

Problem Description

Suggested Resolution

Beep Codes

Your computer might emit a series of beeps during start-up if the monitor cannot display errors or problems. This series of beeps, called a beep code, identifies a problem. One possible beep code (code 1-3-1) consists of one beep, a burst of three beeps, and then one beep. This beep code tells you that the computer encountered a memory problem.

If your computer beeps during start-up:

  1. Write down the beep code on the Diagnostics Checklist.

  2. Run the Dell Diagnostics to identify a more serious cause.

  3. Contact Dell for technical assistance.

Code

Cause

1-1-2

Microprocessor register failure

1-1-3

NVRAM read/write failure

1-1-4

ROM BIOS checksum failure

1-2-1

Programmable interval timer failure

1-2-2

DMA initialization failure

1-2-3

DMA page register read/write failure

1-3

Video Memory Test failure

1-3-1 through 2-4-4

Memory not being properly identified or used

3-1-1

Slave DMA register failure

3-1-2

Master DMA register failure

3-1-3

Master interrupt mask register failure

3-1-4

Slave interrupt mask register failure

3-2-2

Interrupt vector loading failure

3-2-4

Keyboard Controller Test failure

3-3-1

NVRAM power loss

3-3-2

Invalid NVRAM configuration

3-3-4

Video Memory Test failure

3-4-1

Screen initialization failure

3-4-2

Screen retrace failure

3-4-3

Search for video ROM failure

4-2-1

No timer tick

4-2-2

Shutdown failure

4-2-3

Gate A20 failure

4-2-4

Unexpected interrupt in protected mode

4-3-1

Memory failure above address 0FFFFh

4-3-3

Timer-chip counter 2 failure

4-3-4

Time-of-day clock stopped

4-4-1

Serial or parallel port test failure

4-4-2

Failure to decompress code to shadowed memory

4-4-3

Math-coprocessor test failure

4-4-4

Cache test failure


Error Messages

Fill out the Diagnostics Checklist as you complete these checks.

CAUTION: Before you begin any of the procedures in this section, follow the safety instructions located in the Product Information Guide.

If the message is not listed, see the documentation for the operating system or the program that was running when the message appeared.

A filename cannot contain any of the following characters: \ / : * ? " < > |  —   Do not use these characters in filenames.

A required .DLL file was not found  —  The program that you are trying to open is missing an essential file. To remove and then reinstall the program:

  1. Click the Start button, click Control Panel, and then click Add or Remove Programs.
  2. Select the program you want to remove.
  3. Click the Change or Remove Program icon.
  4. See the program documentation for installation instructions.

Alert! Previous attempts at booting this system have failed at checkpoint [nnnn]. For help in resolving this problem, please note this checkpoint and contact Dell Technical Support  —   Contact Dell and report the checkpoint code (nnnn) to the support technician.

Attachment failed to respond  —  See "Drive Problems."

Bad command or file name  —  Ensure that you spelled the command correctly, put spaces in the proper place, and used the correct pathname.

Bad error-correction code (ECC) on disk read  —  See "Drive Problems."

Controller has failed  —  See "Drive Problems."

Data error  —  See "Drive Problems."

Decreasing available memory  —

 See "Lockups and Software Problems."

Diskette drive 0 seek failure  —  See "Drive Problems."

Diskette read failure  —

 See "Drive Problems."

Diskette subsystem reset failed  —  Run the Dell Diagnostics.

Diskette write protected  —  Slide the write-protect notch to the open position.

Drive not ready  —  Put a floppy disk in the drive.

Gate A20 failure  —

 See "Lockups and Software Problems."

Hard-disk configuration error  —

 
Hard-disk controller failure  —

 
Hard-disk drive failure  —

 
Hard-disk drive failure  —

 

See "Drive Problems."

Insert bootable media  —  Insert a bootable floppy disk or CD.

Invalid configuration information - please run SETUP program  —  Enter system setup and correct the computer configuration information.

Keyboard failure  — See "Keyboard Problems."

Memory address line failure at address, read value expecting value   See "Lockups and Software Problems."

Memory allocation error  —

 

  1. Turn off the computer, wait 30 seconds, and then restart the computer.
  2. Try to run the program again.
  3. If the error message appears again, see the software documentation for additional troubleshooting suggestions.

Memory data line failure at address, read value expecting value 

 
Memory double word logic failure at address, read value expecting value 

 
Memory odd/even logic failure at address, read value expecting value   —


Memory write/read failure at address, read value expecting value 

 
Memory size in CMOS invalid  —
 

See "Lockups and Software Problems."

No boot device available  —  

  • If the floppy drive is your boot device, ensure that a bootable floppy disk is in the drive.
  • If the hard drive is your boot device, ensure that the cables are connected and that the drive is installed properly and partitioned as a boot device.
  • Enter system setup and ensure that the boot sequence information is correct.

No boot sector on hard-disk drive  — Enter system setup and ensure that the computer configuration information for the hard drive is correct.

No timer tick interrupt  —   Run the Dell Diagnostics.

Non-system disk or disk error  —  Replace the floppy disk with one that has a bootable operating system or remove the floppy disk from drive A and restart the computer.

Not a boot diskette  —  Insert a bootable floppy disk and restart your computer.

Not enough memory or resources. Close some programs and try again  —  Close all windows and open the program that you want to use. In some cases, you might have to restart your computer to restore computer resources. If so, run the program that you want to use first.

Operating system not found  —   Contact Dell.

Plug and Play Configuration Error  —

 

  1. Turn your computer off, unplug it from the electrical outlet, and then remove all but one of the cards.
  2. Plug in your computer and reboot it.
  3. If the message reappears, the installed card might be malfunctioning. If the message does not reappear, turn off the computer and reinsert one of the other cards.
  4. Repeat this process until you identify which card is malfunctioning.

Read fault  —

 
Requested sector not found  —

 
Reset failed  —
 

See "Drive Problems."

Sector not found  —  

  • Run the Windows error-checking utility to check the file structure on the floppy disk or hard drive. See Windows Help for instructions.
  • If a large number of sectors are defective, back up the data (if possible), and then reformat the floppy disk or hard drive.

Seek error  —  See "Drive Problems."

Shutdown failure  —  Run the Dell Diagnostics.

Time-of-day clock stopped  —

 
Time-of-day not set-please run the System Setup program  —
 

Enter system setup and correct the date or time. If the problem persists, replace the battery.

Timer chip counter 2 failed  —  Run the Dell Diagnostics.

Unexpected interrupt in protected mode  —  Run the Dell Diagnostics.

WARNING: Dell's Disk Monitoring System has detected that drive [0/1] on the [primary/secondary] EIDE controller is operating outside of normal specifications. It is advisable to immediately back up your data and replace your hard drive by calling your support desk or Dell  —

 If no replacement drive is immediately available and the drive is not the only bootable drive, enter system setup and change the appropriate drive setting to None. Then remove the drive from the computer.

Write fault  —  

Write fault on selected drive  —

 

See "Drive Problems."

<drive letter>:\ is not accessible. The device is not ready  —  The selected drive cannot read its medium. Depending on its medium type, insert a floppy, CD, or ZIP disk into the drive and try again.


Resolving Software and Hardware Incompatibilities

If a device is either not detected during the operating system setup or is detected but incorrectly configured, you can use Device Manager or the Hardware Troubleshooter to resolve the incompatibility.

Microsoft® Windows® XP

To resolve incompatibilities using Device Manager:

  1. Click the Start button and click Control Panel.

  2. Click Performance and Maintenance and click System.

  3. Click the Hardware tab and click Device Manager.

  4. In the Device Manager list, check for devices that are incorrectly configured.

Incorrectly configured devices are indicated by a yellow exclamation point (!) or a red X if the device has been disabled.

  1. Double-click any device marked with an exclamation point to display the Properties window.

The Device status area in the Properties window reports the devices that need to be re-configured.

  1. Reconfigure the devices or remove the devices from the Device Manager. See the documentation that came with the device for information on configuring the device.

To resolve incompatibilities using the Windows XP Hardware Troubleshooter:

  1. Click the Start button and click Help and Support.

  2. Type hardware troubleshooter in the Search field and click the arrow to start the search.

  3. Click Hardware Troubleshooter in the Search Results list.

  4. In the Hardware Troubleshooter list, click I need to resolve a hardware conflict on my computer, and click Next.


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