Jeff the Great Needs Computer Support

I am turning the the billions of people on the web for computer help, for the first time. My Dell Dimension 4600 (running XP, P4 processor, 1gig memory) is in critical condition and because its just a box I use a few hours a week when I am not on my work machine, I'd rather not buy a new desktop.

So, here is my problem. I'll tell you from the start that its NOT a bad hard drive:
  • I tried to install more memory than the computer could recognize
  • I was never able to get the computer fully booted after that (I got to the setup screen to verify the new amount of memory, but that's it)
  • I now get an error on a black screen that says "Disk Read Error. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart"
  • A restart by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del takes me to the same screen every time
Here are the things I have already tried:
  • Checked all the cables and connections inside the computer
  • Pulled the motherboard battery
  • Hit F2 (or was it F12) to select where to boot from, tried all options
  • Booted to the utility partition and scanned all hardware, everything checked out
  • On either the F2 or F12 screen, typed Fn+F to reset BIOS defaults
  • Researched the problem on the web and learned that it is likely a BIOS error
I cannot find my Dell disks anywhere so I can't run the Windows repair utility. I don't have a windows boot disk of any kind.

Help! If you can get my computer fixed, I'll promote you and/or your business on my blog, Twitter, CitySpeek and anywhere else. Thank you!

UPDATE 1/25/09: I have downloaded BartXP and burned it onto a CD, no luck...same outcome. I just learned that maybe its BartPE that I should be using. Sounds like I need to download and run it on a working machine, then burn it that way before trying to run it on my broken machine (opposed to just burning the bartpe.exe file to a CD).

-Jeff the Great


LazyLearner said...

Try to reflash the BIOS:


Very Lost said...

Or you can talk to one of your friends that may know something about a computer.. Like.. I don't know.. someone like myself.. and bribe them with Beer and Pizza to fix your computer. Maybe worth a shot.

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