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  1. #1
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    Changed BIOS Battery, Can't Boot/Access Setup; However USB Keyboard OK

    I have an Old/Great Dell Desktop [Dell Inspirion 531; SvcTag J26CZD1] that I did two things at same time, now no boot up and can't access BIOS setup to make changes.
    BTW, not sure if this (hardware) is where I should be asking for help but hardware seemed to me to be correct.

    1) Changed bios battery;
    2) Added power to USB 3.0 PCI controller card that had been installed month earlier but power to USB connectors just added at same time as BIOS battery changed;
    3) Now, PC boots to Dell logo and nothing else; no flashing cursor in upper left corner of monitor;
    4) USB keyboard not getting power so F2, F8, F12, ESC do not work (no PS/2 outlet to try PS/2 keyboard). None of 6 USB ports are getting power; verified with different USB memory sticks and no LED lights are shown. I did try a new USB keyboard and still not fixing issue;
    5) Years ago added a 500gb harddrive [SATA3] with three partitions (J,K,M);
    6) Computer was upgraded years ago, before 500gb drive added, from original OS-VISTA 64 on original C drive [SATA0] to
    OS-Win7 64 on new drive partition J and working for long time;
    7) Back to PC not booting now, at times the attached file info appears which may be of help.
    8) Tried swapping Harddrive cables (SATA 0 & 3) to see if that would help but no luck. What I did get was a new checkpoint failure at [50H]. Does this help me determine my problem? What is [50H] mean?
    9) Ok, I tried clearing CMOS at the motherboard jumper and no improvement just a new checkpoint error [7FH].
    10) I have searched Dell technical support and no help.
    11) Have tried another forum and no answer there either.
    12) Oh, also tried booting with Win7 recovery, BART PE Boot and U Boot DC (Hiren's) utility discs; with no help. two DVD-ROMs have power.


    Any non-sarcastic advice is much appreciated since on SS (72) and can't afford another PC now.
    Last edited by bob3677; 2016-06-20 at 09:09.

  2. #2
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    Well, I'm not sure this will be much help, but...
    1) When you changed the battery did you have the power supply disconnected from the motherboard?
    2) If you haven't yet done this, please do:
    Turn off the computer, and disconnect mains power from the power supply.
    Remove the PCI controller card (leave it out), temporarily swap the CMOS reset jumper (for thirty seconds), and then put the jumper back in the normal position.
    Reconnect mains power and turn on the computer.

    If that doesn't help your situation, then I'd start measuring voltages (again).

    We need to get past the DELL logo in the boot process before expecting much of anything else to work. Try pressing F2 repeatedly when the Dell logo appears.

    Here is info about your BIOS:
    DELL BIOS facts for Inspiron 531
    http://www.dell.com/Support/Article/us/en/19/SLN284433

    RockE
    Last edited by RockE; 2016-06-10 at 11:54.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    I would disconnect everything except memory, keyboard, and video and then see if you can get into BIOS. If so reconnect one item at a time. Also, make sure the CMOS battery is installed with the correct polarity.

    Jerry

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  5. #4
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    Thanks RockE and Jerry for the quick support reply:

    1) Before working inside a PC I always disconnect main power cord and press power button to discharge components.
    2) The BIOS battery was installed with proper polarity,
    3) I will read BIOS link later today (doing custom Bathroom exhaust fan install); and then try Jerry's advice about disconnecting what ever
    I can before rebooting. If Dell logo comes up, will press F2 often (have done this before)
    4) I'm now reminded that I installed an external video card (in preparation to install free W10 OS). So if I remove that card will monitor work without updating BIOS video options?

    Thanks much RockE and Jerry

    Bob

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob3677 View Post
    4) I'm now reminded that I installed an external video card (in preparation to install free W10 OS). So if I remove that card will monitor work without updating BIOS video options?
    Very much a guess, but assuming this video card was installed prior to the BIOS battery replacement, it seems likely that the BIOS is defaulting to using the previous (internal ?) video adapter, so try connecting your monitor to that.

  7. #6
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    Thanks Jerry and mngerhold for your latest input to my saga but, no resolution yet:

    1) unplugged main power cord and pushed power button to discharge components.
    2) removed PCI cards installed in last few months; USB 3.0 and graphics card.
    3) plugged monitor into internal video adapter.
    4) checked BIOS battery polarity.
    5) Booted desktop and pressed F2 repeatedly and same on other reboots for F12, deleted and space bar
    6) no good results and monitor video quality bad so BIOS may be remembering external graphics card setup changes when install months ago.

    Again, thanks to all who have helped but, still still willing to try any ideas anyone may have.

  8. #7
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    Could you explain a bit more with regards to "monitor video quality bad"?
    Does booting still stop at the DELL logo?

  9. #8
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    RockE,

    1) Boot stopped at Dell logo as usual.

    2) Monitor image (Dell logo) was jittery/shaking/vibrating and repeated three times close (1/8th inch) together somewhat like TV shadowing of old times.

    Thank you RockE for "hanging" in with my issue.

    I haven't given up yet but, with two good tech forums not being able (thus far) to resolve my issue, I will begin looking for a cheap refurbished desktop that I can improve by adding some of my components to enhance the desktop.

  10. #9
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    bob3677,

    The loss of power to your USB ports, and a jittery video output sets me to wondering.
    The following may not be a cause of your problem; I'm simply speculating.

    This is an example of what bad electrolytic capacitors can look like:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:A...i-07-02-17.jpg
    Sometimes they only bulge on top, and don't ooze like those shown. Similar capacitors which are still healthy will be seen to be flat across the top -- not bulging upward. (Note that your motherboard's capacitors aren't necessarily green like those in the picture.)

    I'm curious to know if your motherboard shows any such indications of bad capacitors(?).

  11. #10
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    OK RockE,

    1) looked at the capacitor link, then checked motherboard and all electrolytic capacitors are OK. looked carefully at top and sides for bulging and none seen.

    2) replaced external graphics card and monitor video quality back to normal.


    Thanks, again, for your input and advice.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob3677 View Post
    2) replaced external graphics card and monitor video quality back to normal.
    Sorry for delay - juts back from bike trip to Germany. I don't think I helped with my observation about default video output, as if you were seeing the logo, the monitor was getting a signal (unless the logo was a Dell monitor feature). It seems your BIOS switches to the connected monitor automatically (as it should).

    But on re-reading the messages above, I realise no-one has suggested your USB power (and maybe control) is bust - you told us in the initial message that no USB devices light up. In which case, your USB keyboard obviously won't work either. Since the fault appeared at the same time as you connected the PCI USB-3 card, a coincidence seems unlikely. Perhaps your connection messed up the motherboard USB system? In your first email, what does

    2) Added power to USB 3.0 PCI controller card that had been installed month earlier but power to USB connectors just added at same time as BIOS battery changed

    mean? How do you add power to a PCI card? Do you mean you connected its USB outlets to something? In which case, what? Hope you haven't given up! Martin

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    Thanks mngerhold for your latest input and here's my reply:

    1) I have attached/inserted two images of the USB 3.0 PCI card and there is a molex 4-pin power connector shown. When I first installed card 2-3 months ago (before current issue) the USB controller didn't show in device manager listing. At the time I assumed I needed to hookup power to molex connector to get USB controller to work which I did when I changed the BIOS battery. There were no detailed instructions to help understand what the molex connector was for; now I believe the connector provides power to the devices plugged into the USB 3.0 controller.

    In another tech Forum, I was told W7 doesn't have drivers for USB 3.0 and for card to function properly I needed to download USB 3.0 drivers. I was going to do that when/if I could get this Dell desktop working.

    USB3-0_PCI_Card.jpg

    Not sure if card image is inserted; first time I have attached file...

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob3677 View Post
    Not sure if card image is inserted; first time I have attached file...
    One image appeared, and i now understand. Re-reading all the above, I can't see if you have tried booting with the keyboard plugged into the (now powered) USB3 card. If not, give it a go. I think the only issue with W7 & USB3 is that the W7 installation media does not contain working USB3 drivers - once W7 is installed, it does. So the only problem is installing from a USB3 media.

    You mentioned an 'attached file info' in your first post, but there was no attachment, which apparently contained error messages. Can you post the messages?

  15. #14
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    Tried using USB3 for keyboard and no change/help.

    As for images:

    USB3-0_PCI_Card.jpg



    50hError.JPG


    D531_CMOS_ClearedNoHelp.jpg

  16. #15
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    Well, I finally googled for the error message and 7FH & 50H, and found this interesting response to another with a similar problem on Dell's support forum. I can't help with the 7FH (NMI check error), but the 50H 'stop point' suggests some memory corruption. As in that response, I suggest you remove all the RAM, and try restarting with just one stick at a time (assuming it is multiple sticks).

    Its also possible your keyboard is bust, that was the solution for the link above, but this surprises me becasue some of the earlier check points which access the keyboard had apparently passed (as in your case).

    If you can get hold of a borrowed KB to try it would be worth it.

    HTH, Martin

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