The best thing to do is to ask Dell support. I realize that you may or may not have it covered, but I've had good luck in getting a diagnosis from tech support without a warranty and was helpful in making decision on whether I want to fix, replace or whatever.
This only works if you call by phone, though. I don't think anyone can circumvent the prompt for service tag online, though.
Well, a few things first..... this pc went to separate homes.... with the same results..... I would highly doubt that this is wiring, but it could be.... it would be an incredible coincidence.
The next thing you have to ask yourself is, why would it hang on the BIOS post? Well, obviously, something's not checking out. Does your Hard Drive spin up when it hangs? If it does, here are some possible scenarios:
1. RAM - a very easy suspect as RAM errors are often intermittent
2. HDD - even though it spins up, disconnect it and boot to a bootable CD
3. PSU - Power Supplies can be responsible for all sorts of weird problems
4. Fans - An overheated computer can do weird things. Make sure the PC can breathe (not locked in a closed cabinet). Make sure all the fans (including the PSU fan) are spinning freely and fast enough.
as far as the new pc hanging once, then booting on a diff outlet..... well, computers do hang from time to time.
If the PC has 2 strips of RAM try removing one, then rebooting, then switch and reboot.
Note: Before doing any kind of work with your boards, memory, fans, hdd, psu, etc.MAKE SURE THE PC IS DISCONNECTED FROM ANY POWER SOURCE FOR AT LEAST 10 SECONDS AND PROPERLY GROUND YOURSELF.
Thank you, sbenj69...you made it sound so logical..I will check to see if hd spins when we have the problem again...I believe the fans have breathing room but the power supply is the thing I wonder if it is the culprit.
Just paid an electrician to put in a dedicated line, new breaker, wiring, everything,,,would not even boot up the first time with the new wiring, only thing on that breaker...carried it to my bedroom that has same wiring as rest of house, booted up..
He could not believe it!!!! He knew the wiring and ampage was good.
Okay, I wanted everyone that helped me to know what I found out about my computers.
As I said above, I had a new dedicated line run, new breaker, the works..and my new computer would not boot up.
So, I just thought I would plug my Dell up and just see if it would work (just let it sit on floor). It came right up!!! I realized I hadnt plugged in my mouse or keyboard, turned it off, plugged them in and it came up again. So, I set it up on my desk, took my new computer down, and plugged everything back in, including my phone line to the modem. WOULDN'T COME UP!!!!
Unplugged phone line, came up...plugged my new computer up, came up.
Plugged both computers (one at a time) into outlet that quit working before, they came up...
Now, I don't know why they won't boot up with phone line connected, I really dont even care, I just know that I always wait to plug modem up AFTER I boot my computers.
Is that crazy, too?
Thanks to each and every one of you for your help.
In my house (yeah, that one with old-skool knobs & tubs wiring), we do have a phone line UPS which was installed prior to me moving in. Presumably it was firing all phone devices left and right and if wired to a computer unprotected, could fire it as well. So, there's a UPS specially for phone lines, but I run the phone line through my UPS anyway for twice the protection (unless my understanding of electricity has deluded me). It came with my UPS so I figured I'd put to a good use anyway.
BTW, to clarify something. Analog devices are more tolerant with fired lines and can keep working away while digital devices (e.g. DSL modem, fancy newfangled phone, and whatnots) are definitely more sensitive.
AFAIK, US phone installations have very little protection compared with UK installations which are electrically isolated from the wire to the phone exchange. In theory this is to protect the phone company equipment, but it works both ways. A fault on the phone company side is less likely to affect your home equipment.