• Checking media presence


    Dell XPS PC, W10 2H21.

    Apparently there was an unexpected shutdown of my computer last night. This morning I was getting no signal to the monitor. Finally, shutting down and unplugging the PC and then re-plugging and restarting after 15 seconds brought the monitor back, but I got the Checking media presence and followed a prompt to restart, which might resolve the problem. It got me back to my Windows login screen and everything appears to be working, but restarting goes back to the Checking… screen for a while, then a black one with the churning, finally to Windows login.

    I went into the BIOS to check boot order. Secure boot is enabled, IPV4 is option one, IPV6 #2, and Widows Boot ____er (I’m drawing a blank) third.

    No indication of my C drive, which is an NVMe, or my other two (hard) drives.

    If I should select the Window Boot something, how do I do so, please? What else do I need to do?


    Viewing 5 reply threads
    • #2491466

      Don’t change the boot sequence until / unless you find a problem.

      Windows should be the first boot option. Booting from the network (IPVx) should not be used.
      If you get a “checking media” message, the machine may be having trouble seeing the disks.

      Maybe one of the disks has died and is upsetting the boot sequence. Try disconnecting the two hard disks and then booting. What happens?

      Run the Dell diagnostics to check the hardware.

      cheers, Paul

      p.s. make sure you have an image backup in case it is a disk issue.

      • #2491528

        Thank you, Paul. CrystalDiskInfo reports all the drives are in good condition, and Device Manager also gives a report clear of any exclamation marks. I have read (not everything’s true on the Internet; in fact…) that Dell machines typically have this problem when the boot sequence is out of order.

        I should have thought of  the Support Assist. I’ll see what that comes up with.

        • #2491567

          Support Assist found two updates in addtion to one for itself, a BIOS update and one for my NVIDIA GTX 1660, both marked Critical. I ran both, but on restart, I go the Checking… again, with the same behavior. I tried going back to a restore point  4 days ago, but after churning away for 10 minutes, Windows said it couldn’t complete, maybe due to anti-Virus. Malwarebytes is running; I  guess I can try again, but I’m more inclined to take this to someone who knows more about what he or she is doing.

          I have a feeling it’s just the boot order, as you indicated, but as I said, I couldn’t figure out how to change it. The up and down arrows only moved the focus, not the item.

          • #2491646

            To rearrange the boot order, highlight an item using the arrow keys and then use the +/- keys to move it up/down.

            BTW, for UEFI, Windows Boot Manager is normally the first item.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2492666

      Here’s an update.
      The experts at the service center were unable to resolve the problem initially, so they kept the machine to run more hardware diagnostics. Fortunately, one of them called me the next day, saying that the hardware is all fine, that they had resolved the boot error, but that booting remained too slow, and that they would proceed with backing everything up and wiping the drive for a fresh Windows install, as we had discussed as worst-case. I called back immediately and rescued my PC, due to immediate, pressing work with programs I didn’t want to have to reload.
      I asked whether the kind of W reset that doesn’t remove programs would be an option and was told that it wouldn’t be effective. I am here asking for a second opinion on that. I realize that you don’t know any more than that booting is slow, and I certainly don’t. I will get the full treatment done if I need to, at a time when I can spare time for the laborious program-reloading game. Ugh. But If I don’t have to, and if someone has any suggestions to make, I am open.
      Thanks as always!

      Moderator Edit to remove HTML. Please paste into the “Text” tab of the Entry box.

    • #2492731

      I asked whether the kind of W reset that doesn’t remove programs would be an option and was told that it wouldn’t be effective

      How can they know that if they don’t know what the issue is?

      How slow is the boot? Can you put up with the delay? If so, choose the “do nothing” option. 🙂

      If you want to play with a reinstall and keep software – no guarantee your software will work afterwards – make an image backup and then reinstall. You can always restore the image if it goes pear shaped.

      cheers, Paul

    • #2493087

      Thanks, Paul. All seemed fine til this morning. About an hour ago the monitor suddenly went black. The machine was still on apparently as, when I gently tapped the power button thinking it had somehow gone to sleep though no Windows screen showed, it shut down. There was no power event that I know of and it’s on an APC backup battery.

      I powered it back up after about 30 seconds and waited. Nothing showed onscreen, though the mouse lights lit up several times briefly over the next 5 minutes before the Windows login screen returned. Now it seems fine again.

      Is there a place where a log is recorded of what happened that I could show you or someone else?


    • #2493232

      A long delay before the login screen is usually caused by updates being applied. You should get a message on screen, but nothing is guaranteed.
      To check, view installed updates and check the installed date.

      I would see how it goes for the next day or 2 and report back.

      cheers, Paul

    • #2493432

      Bleepingcomputer.com is another resource for trouble shooting.

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