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Thread: Retrieve files from a no start computer

  1. #1
    Lord of the Flies WZ7U's Avatar
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    Retrieve files from a no start computer

    Here's my dilemma. The Dell took a big shit on me and the odds are the extended warranty people will take the machine away AS garbage (oddly placed Star Trek reference). So, any ideas how to fish out the data? Wishful thinking on my part?

    The research I've done so far is preliminary but the symptoms are documented out there. What happens is your box won't start so you unplug the A.C. and let it discharge. A few minutes later you put the line cord back into the power supply and without any prompt on my part the machine tries to start up but this only lasts two seconds. Pushing the button by the PS power indicator lamp will run the fans on full but nothing else. Can't get to the BIOS to check for any errors (not like I would know what to do with it anyway) and the error code scheme isn't throwing any codes. Timing really blows chunks too, just started the Spring semester of online college.

    I'm throwing this out there to see if anyone else has had a similar experience. Coincidentally, I downloaded a shit ton of software development stuff before I shut it down last night making me wonder if there was a connection here. So, wtf do I consider next? Did I mention I'm frustrated?

    System specs - Dell XPS 8900, 32gb ram, 3,1ghz, 1tb memory. What am I missing here?
    Last edited by WZ7U; 01-09-2019 at 02:40 AM.

    Like that post was...
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  2. #2
    Volcano Tamer PA5COR's Avatar
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    Power supply problem?
    Change P.S. and see if it will boot up.
    "If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop
    telling the truth about them." - Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965)
    Im not liberal/conservative, Im anti-idiotarian.
    At some point in the last 20 years, the left moved to the center, and the right moved into a mental institution

  3. #3
    Master Navigator KC9ECI's Avatar
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    I'd pull the drive, score a cheap usb to whatever connector and power supply off ebay and transfer the data off the drive.
    I am surprised at such a sudden deterioration in a woman whose only ailment was a lazy anus.

  4. #4
    The Fluid of Spock KD8TUT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC9ECI View Post
    I'd pull the drive, score a cheap usb to whatever connector and power supply off ebay and transfer the data off the drive.
    This.
    --
    So there I was, totally naked. With only a rubber hose and a stuffed animal...

  5. #5
    Master Navigator HUGH's Avatar
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    We're assuming you have another PC to run your (removed) drive of course.

  6. #6
    'Grumpy old bastid' kb2vxa's Avatar
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    In days of old when DOS was bold and AOL floppies were invented... there was an old joke that ended with "Jesus saves". I had a double redundant backup with a USB drive backing up the 4TB removable HDD. With that in mind, it's not as simple as all that, a docking base for/from an external USB drive compatible with that particular HDD is needed. They're not all compatible, there is no one size fits all.

    I wish you luck, you never know until you try. Give it a shot and tell us how it works out, I Am Curious (Yellow). https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061834...?ref_=tt_ov_pl
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  7. #7
    Master Navigator HUGH's Avatar
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    I did buy a universal drive "box" from Ebay which had it's own power supply and could be connected to almost anything as well. I can't find the listing now but it did come from China.
    'Cor suggested trying another power supply, I expect you'll find out if Dell's larger PCs use a standard connector, the Optiplex 780USFF I have is too small for that.

  8. #8
    Lord of the Flies WZ7U's Avatar
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    Update.
    Well, it gets weirder and weirder it seems. Just so we're all on the same page, I am not computer savvy despite very recently starting into a computer science degree, nor do I play a computer savvy noodnik on movies or TV. So, I'm surprised to actually be posting this on said dead box. Here's what I have so far.

    After scrounging the web from the Kindle and the phone for details about how others have dealt with this situation, I came across a pdf of a Service Manual for this computer. The power switch has been sketchy for a while and I think that is what finally took a massive shit, locking the box into a perpetual hard stop cycle. At first I thought it was the power supply too, but what made me move off that was the fact that if you pushed that button next to the AC power available led, it would spool up the fans to full speed. They wouldn't run if the supply had issues on the 12v bus. Call it hunch, since I re-purpose Server power supplies for my radio addiction. After fornicating about half the night and sleeping on it, I decided to unplug the power switch module from the motherboard and see what happens. Well sumbitch if it didn't start up and go, then went into a loop complaining of Power Button Cable failure. So I plugged the cable back in hot and haven't shut it off yet. What was weirder and weirder was how it scrambled a bunch of settings in the browser and the monitor settings areas (that I've found so far at least). I'm pretty sure I have that all worked out now but I still need to test all the software I downloaded for this semester before I can fart that sigh of relief. I will get on that tonight and tomorrow. Also, I was ashamed of how dirty it had gotten inside, so I cleaned all that out too. I still need to remove the power supply and disassemble it to super clean the fan and the board, but I have the motherboard and the other two fans spotless.
    Now I'm also on to implementing some suitable backup gear so if this machine dies I can easily have access to software and photos/etc. My bro-in-law gave me this unit, 2TB capacity. Now I just have to get it to work. Wish me luck....
    Last edited by WZ7U; 01-10-2019 at 12:20 AM. Reason: Addition of picture

    Like that post was...
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  9. #9
    Lord of the Flies WZ7U's Avatar
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    Nuts. Not quite how I was trying to do this...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by WZ7U; 01-10-2019 at 12:24 AM.

    Like that post was...
    Moving on, my posts are not helpful

  10. #10
    "Island Bartender" KG4CGC's Avatar
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    Those constant power cycles will, for "reasons" scramble settings. Thinking back, I wonder if that's what happened to a machine in 2005 when I thought the power was about to go out but someone (not I) was "cycling" the circuit breaker in the laundry room! THAT, one fried the registry. Got it so mixed up I had to reformat the HD.
    The lights kept going off. I thought it was somewhere down the grid. The xyl was flipping the main breaker on and off on and off and I was like WTF? I yelled "STOP!" Pointed at the half cocked breaker that was causing her issue. Came back 15 minutes later to let her know she fried my machine.

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