Dell Inspiron 8200 laptop help

Reply

  #1  
Old 11-17-05, 07:13 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 618
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Exclamation Dell Inspiron 8200 laptop help

Dell Inspiron 8200
1.7G P4
256MB RAM
Nvidia GeForce 2 Go video
30 G Hard drive

Bought this used and when I got it, it was having various problems. Have since reformatted to Win XP Pro and that didn't fix it. Did some research and people who had similar problems reported that using a fan utility cured their ills. Downloaded and am using the fan utility and that didn't help. Did some reseearch and people with similar problems reported updating the motherboard BIOS fixed it. Did that, didn't help. More research and updating the video drivers....., yep, downloaded the special Dell Nvidia drivers and no dice.

CURRENT symptoms (they change every time):

Windows will appear to load normally, but I have a black display.
Windows will load in safe mode normally, but I have a black display with the usual Safe Mode thingies in the corners of the screen.
Won't boot at all.
Will get to the Windows screen and the little bar will stop scrolling and lock up.

I have 1 Gig of RAM on the way. Previous searches led me to believe this is/was a RAM issue as people simply swapped RAM sticks and it fixed their problems. 256M of RAM isn't that great for Win XP Pro, so the 1 Gig purchase isn't a bad one, even if it doesn't fix it.

Ideas of things to do? If it's not the RAM, I'm really at the end of my rope.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 11-17-05, 09:00 AM
John Whorfin's Avatar
Member
Join Date: May 2005
Location: CT
Posts: 170
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Many Possibilities

There are multiple reasons why this could be happening.

First off, did you have these problems when you first got the laptop?
Did you completely reformat the laptop and then have the same problems?
Was it the same operating system both times?


Have you tried an external monitor?

Have you checked the event viewer?

When you re-installed the OS, did you use a restore disk or do it from scratch?

You say you have a black display but thingies in the corners? Does the display work but you are just not seeing anything? Can you do stuff, not quite following the black display but seeing thingies.

Have you checked the device manager, any of the devices getting the yellow exclamation point?


Possible reasons:
- Bad drivers - make sure you have the up to date device drivers for all the components, video card, Nic, drives, etc.. Download the correct drivers for the OS and component from the manufacturer.

- Outdated bios - Could be the bios on the motherboard or video card.
 
  #3  
Old 11-17-05, 04:44 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 117
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Red face Dell Inspiron 8200

Have you looked in display settings? I think there is an option for dual monitors and I have heard of people having those type of problems on that laptop. I think there is an option to set the default monitor.

Just a guess from some memories I had about that laptop.

Good Luck
 
  #4  
Old 11-18-05, 01:24 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 618
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Today I have new errors! Every day is a new day with my computer, the only difference is that this time is the second day in a row with no OS load. Usually it takes like 10 attempts, but it does load.

Todays error:

The Dell screen appears.
Then a black screen with white letters:
memory write/read failure at 0fff0000, read ff10ff00 expecting ff10ff10
memory address line failure at 0ff0000, read ff10ff10 expecting 00000000
memory write/read failure at 08000008, read f00ef00ff0 expecting 00ef00ef
decreasing available memory
strike the F1 key to continue, F2 to run set up utility

This screen also has two loud system beeps that accompany it.

Doing F1 leads to a black screen with the cursor that does nothing, even right click fails.

Doing F2 takes you to the BIOS, which doesn't do poop.

I tried Safe Mode again with the same effect.


To answer John's questions:

When I got the system, it was very buggy. Every day had a different error or BSOD or crash or reboot. It was originally running Win XP Home Edition. I did a 100% format and reload of Win XP Pro. Then the problems returned slowly.

Problems I have seen: BSOD, OS freezing, auto reboot, not loading, power and HD lights flash for 6-7 seconds and then go out when trying to turn the computer on.

Most BSODs have been IRQL_not_less_or_equal_to or Page Fault in non paged area. Sometimes the BSOD is so quick I don't have time to read it.

I haven't tried another moniter as the screen isn't the problem. I can always see the Dell pre-boot setup screen 100% fine and the cursor fine once it "loads" to the black screen.

Since all I get is a black screen I can't user Event Viewer or device manager.

Motherboard BIOS has been updated. Video card driver has been updated. Maybe, I'll see if I can find the video card BIOS if there is one.

Sometimes this computer will for no reason run 100% fine with hours of DVD play, Photoshop use, etc. It's a darn hair pulling problem because the symptoms change day by day and hour by hour.
 
  #5  
Old 11-18-05, 03:47 AM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 117
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Red face Dell Problems

If you have not done so I would start by creating a DOS boot floppy if you have a floppy drive and run a DOS based memory test.

I would let it run for several hours since memory problems can act up like what you are seeing. Also before running memory test if you can get at the RAM module you might want to remove it and reinsert it in case you have bad memory connections.

I use this program and it really works. I have found problems with ram modules numerous times with this.

http://www.memtest86.com/

It is free and works.

If not a RAM problem you might want to get your hands on a utility to test your hard drive to make sure it is not dropping sectors due to damage from being dropped or just other mechanical preoblems.
 
  #6  
Old 11-18-05, 04:49 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 618
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I've downloaded memtest and I'll see if that finds the problem. I'm also just going to format and reload Win XP Home Edition to see what that does too. Will post back later with results. With any luck, my RAM should be here tomorrow if my RAM is to blame.
 
  #7  
Old 11-18-05, 05:24 AM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 117
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Wink Laptop

Originally Posted by Wallpaper
I've downloaded memtest and I'll see if that finds the problem. I'm also just going to format and reload Win XP Home Edition to see what that does too. Will post back later with results. With any luck, my RAM should be here tomorrow if my RAM is to blame.

If you going to rformat anyway this would be time to run thorough tests on the hard drive. If you don't test I would Fdisk the drive and re-create the partitions. This will get rid of any boot sector virus or others that may be hiding on the drive. When you fdisk it should show 100% allocated space on a partition. If it is less maybe 1 or 2% there are some virus that con even survive fdisk. To be totally sure, you could download a freeware disk eraser program that will write the entire disk erasing everything. Then you can repartition and load.

This would eliminate a virus as the problem and if you use a sector test program usually available from the hard drive manufacturer you can eliminate that as a problem.
 
  #8  
Old 11-18-05, 06:31 AM
John Whorfin's Avatar
Member
Join Date: May 2005
Location: CT
Posts: 170
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
tons o fun

I have had these types of problems before, they are not fun. I had one motherboard combo that would just not run Win2k or Xp would only be stable with Win98. Had to do with the ATA-100 drivers for the hard drive, would randomly blue screen, could not resolve it. I was beaten that time and just ran Win98, wife has that PC now, runs fine with that OS.

It sounds like you have multiple problems or maybe the laptop is just possesed.

If you have memory on order, you may just want to put this to rest for a few days and try the new memory when it comes. Sounds like a lot is stemming from that and just taking some time off may help your sanity. Memory errors can cause some bizarre and inconsistent problems.

All the different issues you are reporting can be from memory and/or driver issues. Could very likely have both. If it was a PC it would be easier to troubleshoot.

You keep saying the black screen and you cannot see anything sometimes when the OS boots up. This part sounds like a video driver issue or at least how the OS is interacting with the video card. The fact that you can see everything till the OS boots up (when it does) implies it is not a physical hardware issue but rather how the OS is interacting with it. (but you never know)

Had you used the XP supplied drivers or downloaded ones from the video card manufacturer? Check the Vid cards support knowledge base or even try an older version of the drivers.

Keep us posted and good luck
 
  #9  
Old 11-19-05, 12:39 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 618
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I finally have a cure.

I reformatted and reloaded Win XP Home Edition. During the reboot process after the reload, I got the same error described above during the boot process. Hmmm, obvious hardware issue. I installed the new RAM and it booted up like a champ. I've since loaded a bazillion drivers and pieces of software and been running stuff like crazy and so far no errors at all.

The darn thing actually runs like it's supposed to. I didn't run any memory checks on the old RAM and I have lots of satisfaction from throwing them in the trash. One might have been good, but I don't really care.

Thanks for the advice folks and it looks like this one has a happy ending.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: