Blank blue screen after startup
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Thread: Blank blue screen after startup

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Blank blue screen after startup

    Hi all, I offered to fix this lady's computer but it has me stumped.

    Shortly after the welcome screen, the whole screen goes blank. I am not talking about the infamous blue screen of death. This one has no errors or codes written on it. Just a blue background and mouse cursor.

    I can hit CTRL ALT DEL to get the task manager to come up though. Then I go to file>new task and typed in "explorer" It says explorer is not found. So I type in C:\WINDOWS\explorer and that's not found either. I think I also tried C:\WINDOWS\explorer.exe and got the same result.

    Booting into safe mode does the same thing except the screen is black instead of blue. And it says safe mode in all the corners. But still no icons, not task bar, no start button. Just a lonely mouse cursor.

    It's a Dell Dimension 2350 running Windows XP home and of course the lady who owns it has no idea where the recovery disks are.
    My system:
    Windows XP Pro w/ SP2
    AMD athlon XP barton 2800
    Biostar mobo M7NCG400 Micro-ATX w/ Nvidia Geforce4MX video card, onboard LAN
    Kingston PC2700 RAM - 1 stick of 512
    Western Digital WD800JB hard drive-
    80 gig
    CASE: ASPIRE XDREAMER II ATX w/ 350 watt power supply

  2. #2
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    If you can find a Windows CD, you need to do an over-the-top reinstall. Boot up with the XP CD in the drive and let Setup run. Go past the "C" and "R" repair options by pressing Enter just as if you're doing a clean install and you'll eventually get an option to "Repair an existing installation". That's the one you want. If it asks about formatting you've gone wrong, so start over.

    You'll get to keep your existing apps & settings, but you need to re-install SP2, Windows Updates & any unsigned drivers afterwards. NOTE: Be aware that you'll lose any protection from Blaster / Sasser type worms. Don't go online without a firewall, whether the built in Windows one or 3rd party.

    How to perform a re-install of WinXP

    Repair XP

    WinXP Non-destructive Total Rebuild

  3. #3
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    Supersparks
    Can you do an over the top repair on a Dell with a retail version of XP Home?
    I thought you had to have the Dell CD? I know I could be wrong as I have been many times before.
    Thanks for all you have helped me with in the past.......Gary

  4. #4
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    You should use a Dell cd since they are bios-coded.

  5. #5
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    Dell, then you can probably use a OEM cd , but if the Dell works, use it.
    SMILE
    and post back. Let us know if it worked.
    [ Book mark this post to find it again]

  6. #6
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    Unfortunately she doesn't have the Dell xp cd that came with the computer. Isn't that always the case when someone asks you to fix their machine?

    Anyway, I'm sure I can probably borrow an XP Home disk from one of my friends. Then when it asks for the CD key I can enter the one from the sticker attached to the Dell. Do you guys think that will work?
    My system:
    Windows XP Pro w/ SP2
    AMD athlon XP barton 2800
    Biostar mobo M7NCG400 Micro-ATX w/ Nvidia Geforce4MX video card, onboard LAN
    Kingston PC2700 RAM - 1 stick of 512
    Western Digital WD800JB hard drive-
    80 gig
    CASE: ASPIRE XDREAMER II ATX w/ 350 watt power supply

  7. #7
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    Now if it is OEM cd it should.

    Remember retail and OEM use a different series of keys. As do home and Pro.

    Get the right combination and it should work like you want it to.
    SMILE
    and post back. Let us know if it worked.
    [ Book mark this post to find it again]

  8. #8
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    Would it have to be a special "Dell OEM" or would any OEM XP cd work with that key?
    My system:
    Windows XP Pro w/ SP2
    AMD athlon XP barton 2800
    Biostar mobo M7NCG400 Micro-ATX w/ Nvidia Geforce4MX video card, onboard LAN
    Kingston PC2700 RAM - 1 stick of 512
    Western Digital WD800JB hard drive-
    80 gig
    CASE: ASPIRE XDREAMER II ATX w/ 350 watt power supply

  9. #9
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    Well, Dell does add garbage to their cds.
    SMILE
    and post back. Let us know if it worked.
    [ Book mark this post to find it again]

  10. #10
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    The Dell disc look at the motherboard bios and if it's a Dell board, it will bypass the key. I haven't tried using an regular OEM disc with the Dell key, but it might work.

    You don't need the exact Dell disc that came with the system; you just need a Dell XP disc.

  11. #11
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    With Dell, it's faster in the long run to use the proper disk. Been there, done that, tore out hair.

    You can get the correct disk almost as fast as you wish. There's no shortage of'em on eBay; the purple ones are the real McCoys.

  12. #12
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    It depends on the service pack and home/pro. Some are purple, blue, green, teal, etc.

  13. #13
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    After a bit more thinking on this, I suggest you check your motherboard for leaking/bulging capacitors. I looked up the 2350 on a hunch; it's about the right age to be having this problem, and when this board was made there was a rash of defective capacitors on the market as well.

    If you see any brown leak streaks, drip trails or burst tops you won't need to worry about a CD.

  14. #14
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    I'll open it up and check the capacitors, thanks.

    Also, I noticed that the disks on ebay all have different service packs. I suspect this computer originally didn't come with SP2, so if I buy an xp disk on ebay that has SP2 will that cause a problem or will it still work? And is the answer the same if I get one with SP3?
    My system:
    Windows XP Pro w/ SP2
    AMD athlon XP barton 2800
    Biostar mobo M7NCG400 Micro-ATX w/ Nvidia Geforce4MX video card, onboard LAN
    Kingston PC2700 RAM - 1 stick of 512
    Western Digital WD800JB hard drive-
    80 gig
    CASE: ASPIRE XDREAMER II ATX w/ 350 watt power supply

  15. #15
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    The higher the SP level, the better. You'd want to use a slipstreamed disc with SP3 anyway.

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