Info

System Error Messages

Table 3-2 lists (in alphabetical order) system error messages that may appear on the display during the boot routine or during normal computer operation.

Table 3-2. System Error Messages

Message

Definition

Probable Causes

CMOS battery is dead-Replace and run Setup

The CMOS battery does not have enough charge to power the computer.

CMOS battery completely discharged. Faulty CMOS battery or system board.

Diskette drive A error

Connector loose or diskette faulty.

Faulty or incorrectly inserted diskette in drive. Faulty diskette drive. Faulty system board. Faulty or loose external cable.

Extended RAM failed at offset: nnnn

Extended memory not configured properly or failed at memory address nnnn.

Faulty or improperly seated memory module. Faulty system board.

Failing bits: nnnn

Memory failed at RAM address nnnn.

Faulty or improperly seated memory module. Faulty system board.

Message

Definition

Probable Causes

Fixed disk 0 failure

The hard-disk drive failed to initialize.

Corrupted hard-disk drive boot sector or configuration file. Faulty hard-disk drive. Faulty system board.

Fixed disk controller failure

The hard-disk drive controller may be faulty.

Faulty hard-disk drive. Faulty system board.

Incorrect drive A type—run Setup

The diskette drive is not identified properly in the Setup program.

Incorrect drive configuration. Faulty connections. Faulty diskette drive. Faulty system board.

Keyboard controller error

The keyboard controller is faulty.

Faulty keyboard connection. Faulty keyboard. Faulty system board.

Keyboard error

If an external keyboard is being used, a cable or connector may be loose or the keyboard may be faulty. If the integrated keyboard is being used, it may be faulty. A key on the integrated keyboard may have been pressed while the computer was booting.

Integrated keyboard: faulty keyboard or key pressed while computer booting. External keyboard: cable or connector loose. Faulty keyboard or key pressed while computer booting.

Operating system not found

The operating system may be corrupted. Or, the operating system cannot be found on the hard-disk drive or on the diskette in the diskette drive.

Incorrect drive configuration. Operating system not installed on hard-disk drive or diskette drive not bootable. Faulty connections. Faulty drive. Faulty system board.

Parity check 1 nnnn

A parity error was found in the system bus at address nnnn.

Faulty system board.

Parity check 2 nnnn

A parity error was found in the I/O bus at address nnnn.

Faulty system board.

Real time clock error

The CMOS battery that supports data stored in NVRAM may be dead.

Faulty battery. Faulty system board.

Message

Definition

Probable Causes

Shadow RAM failed at offset: nnnn

Shadow RAM failed at address nnnn.

Faulty or improperly seated memory module. Faulty system board.

System battery is dead—Replace and run Setup

CMOS battery dead.

Faulty CMOS battery or system board.

System cache error—cache disabled

The primary cache internal to the microprocessor has failed.

Faulty microprocessor.

System CMOS checksum bad—run Setup

The BIOS has been updated. CMOS has been corrupted or modified, possibly by an application program that changes data stored in CMOS.

BIOS has been updated. Verify correct CMOS settings, save, and exit.

System RAM failed at offset: nnnn

System RAM failed at address nnnn in the 64-KB block at which the error was detected.

Faulty or improperly seated memory module. Faulty system board.

System timer error

A chip on the system board may be malfunctioning.

Faulty system board.

Running the Dell Diagnostics

CAUTION: To prevent damage to the original diagnostics diskette, always use a backup copy of the diagnostics diskette when servicing a user's computer. Dell recommends that users make several copies of this diskette to ensure that one is always available.

The Dell Diagnostics contains tests that aid in troubleshooting the computer. The diagnostics diskette contains the following test groups:

RAM — Tests the main memory

System Set — Tests the primary functions of the system board

Video — Tests the video subsystem

Keyboard — Tests the keyboard subsystem

Mouse — Tests the mouse/touch pad subsystem

Diskette Drives — Tests the diskette drive subsystem

IDE (ATA/ATAPI) Devices — Tests an IDE hard-disk drive or a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive subsystem

• Serial/Infrared Ports — Tests the serial communications port

• Parallel Ports — Tests the parallel communications port

• Audio — Tests the operation of the audio chip set

Before starting the Dell Diagnostics, you must configure the computer correctly. For more information, see "Before You Start Testing" in Chapter 4, "Running the Dell Diagnostics," of the Reference and Troubleshooting Guide.

Follow these steps to start the diagnostics:

1 Install a CD-ROM drive in the options bay.

2. Turn off the computer.

3. Insert a copy of the Dell Diagnostics Diskette into the diskette drive, and boot the computer.

Starting the diagnostics causes the Dell logo screen to appear, followed by a message indicating that the diagnostics is loading. Before the diagnostics loads, a program tests the portion of main memory (RAM) required for loading the diagnostics. If a main memory error is detected, a message appears on the screen telling you a memory module has failed.

If no errors are found in main memory, the diagnostics loads, and the Diagnostics Menu appears. This menu lets you choose the following options or exit to the MS-DOS® prompt:

• Run All Tests — Runs all tests for a thorough test of the computer

• Run Quick Tests — Runs preselected tests to quickly locate a computer failure or to indicate where further testing is needed to isolate a failure

• Run Specific Tests — Tests a particular area or subsystem of the computer

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