I hope somebody can help me, but I'm trying to repair a clients inspiron 1545 which:
Startup, beeps and shuts down and does the same continually
But has booted to the Windows 7 login screen, if the power adapter is not plugged in.
It has also booted with the adaptor plugged in after the error beeps.
Only certain keys on the keyboard work although the keyboard keys when checked were perfectly mechanically functional.
Although it is symptom 1 that happens mostly as 2 and 3 have only happen once or twice.
I know some of you are going to point me towards the Dell beep code error description pages, but I have been there myself and the beeping is far too rapid and long at least 8 beeps for it too be a useful diagnostic tool.
I have tried replacing the hdd, in case of failure
Reseating and replacing the original DIMM
Installing the original hdd into my external HDD dock and virus scanned it, as on the occasion when I could get to the login screen, when a clicked on the user names, the password entry boxes would appear, for a fraction of a second and the user name pictures would reappear, pointing me to the possiblity of virus'
If Somebody who has had a similar problem, could point me in the right direction, I would greatly appreciate it.
Try daves suggestion but possibly corrupted windows install or bad clusters, try chkdsk. Sounds like it could be bad MB but you will have to rule out window and the other hardware fist. Have you tried booting with a linux disc or something like the ultimae boot cd to see if it's capable of booting into an OS at all? That will help you narrow this down.
Thanks to supersonicdave but especially PCS, who got me part way to a complete solution, as it turns out it was a combination of two things, a badly messed up hard drive and defective keyboard which would alternately stop the system from booting or strangely force the system to load into GRUB for windows. But after a clean install of Windows 7, removing the keyboard ribbon from the MB and using a USB keyboard, everythings working as it should.
I am not really sure if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your great job is clearly identified here. Thanks to supersonicdave for making me conscious about this latest expertise and find out the actual size of his knowledge.