Watch where you put that probe !

First thing in the morning – I headed into the office to be greeted by a dead machine. Thats a two month old Dell T7400. Dead ….

After checking power I was greeted with a windows message offering to boot normally or run repair. So gave it a chance to boot and lo nothing on screen. Tried the repair option – nothing. Tried booting from Vista64 Bit cd that came with system.

No joy.

Eventually I manage to get a message out of this very ill patient …

“Alert! Previous attempts at booting this system have failed at checkpoint [Ithr].
For help in resolving this problem please note this checkpoint and contact Dell Technical Support”

Well – the solution for me was to disconnect everything other than the usb keyboard that came with the unit – then remove the power from the unit – press and hold the on off button for 5 seconds and finally remove the on board cmos battery for 30 seconds and then replace it before closing case and powering on.

It boots and works but leaves me wondering why that message gets displayed since my research showed various explanations such as

1: the bios can be malfunctioning (a bios reset or flash can give a solution)
2: the cpu can be malfunctioning (this requires a new cpu)
3: the cpu socket can be failing (this requires a new mb)
4: the problem can be with bad usb sockets
5: even a bad uplink to a usb hub can cause this error to appear.

the strange thing is that ITHR refers to the Internal Thermal Probes on the CPU ……

My guess is something related to USB but for anyone who experiences this heart stopper – the process above worked for me…