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Old 12-15-2002, 01:18 AM   #1
aethereal
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Unhappy startup/CDROM/hardware problem(?) Can somebody please help me with initial diagnosis?


Hi everybody,

I've got a Dell Dimension 4100 which I have been using for a couple years now as a dual boot WinXP/Red Hat Linux machine.

Within the past week, I suddenly began experiencing the following new behavior on my machine upon startup: When the machine starts up, where I used to see the Dell splash screen for a few seconds (e.g., 3 to 5 seconds or so), I now see the Dell splash screen for well over a minute.

In addition, my regular factory-installed CDROM drive is suddenly no longer visible or accessible from either Windows or Linux. (In addition, if I press the button to try to open the CDROM drive tray, this has no effect; basically, I cannot open my CDROM drive at all as I might choose.)

So, I think my basic question is: If I had a bona fide CDROM drive problem of some kind, could this also explain my slow startup? [I'm guessing my machine may be trying to figure out my CDROM drive, but can't, so this may explain the delay.] If not, what else hypothetically might be the cause of this very slow startup? (i.e., What might the now very lengthy Dell splash screen indicate?)

A few additional facts: Occasionally (in a non-predictable fashion), upon startup, the CDROM tray will now either open or try to open (only open part-way) by itself (with no intervention on my part).

Btw: As usual, I have been tinkering somewhat with my Linux machine recently. However my machine had been running fine since then until very recently. Nonetheless, I should ask the following seemingly central question: Could (even inadvertent) changes made to my Linux system also affect CDROM drive recognition within WinXP? [I don't think so, I think the failure of my CDROM drive to be recognized within WinXP *and* Linux is indicative of a hardware problem, but perhaps I'm wrong. Any insights with regard to that conclusion?]

P.S. I called Dell for technical support, since my machine is under a service contract until 3/2003, but they indicated that since I have upgraded my Win98 to WinXP (about a year ago), they cannot help me (unless I reinstall my Win98!) Ha! : )

Thanks in advance for any offered help or suggestions,
Benjamin
 
Old 12-15-2002, 03:20 AM   #2
Mara
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I suppose it's something with the cdrom. It's rather a hardware issue.
Changes in Linux should not affect XP and it's really hard to break a cdrom drive just by configuring something...
 
Old 12-15-2002, 09:04 AM   #3
michaelk
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Looks like a bad CDROM drive. The long boot up is probably caused by the BIOS not being able to detect the drive. Disable it in the BIOS and see what happens.
 
Old 12-15-2002, 10:30 AM   #4
Aussie
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Try changing the ide cable, I recently had problems with both my hard drives that were caused by a dodgy cable.
 
Old 12-15-2002, 05:07 PM   #5
aethereal
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Thank you all very much!

I can't believe how awesome you guys are. [Within 24 hours, three people have offered their concise suggestions/diagnoses of my (apparent/seeming hardware) issue.] Thank you so much.

I agree with your comments, and I think I have a good idea of how I should proceed from here.

Thanks again *very much* for your help!

Very sincerely,
Benjamin
 
Old 12-15-2002, 06:45 PM   #6
Aussie
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Your welcome, let us know how it goes.
 
  


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