checkpoint [Ithr]

A customer bought a computer from us a few months ago and came back this week with this problem: his computer stopped booting up last week. It hangs at this screen:

Alert! Previous attempts to boot up this system have failed at checkpoint [Ithr]. For help in resolving this problem please note this checkpoint & contact Dell Technical Support.

When he brings the computer in, it shows the message really briefly the first time I turn it on, and every other time after that it works just fine.

Googling the problem shows that lots of people have it. Here’s the most comprehensive thread: http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/Dell-GX280-ITHR-problem-t45171.html&p=235115#entry235115

It could be anything. Bad USB port. Some incompatible USB device. Some bizarrely incompatible … monitor. Bad power source. Bad power cable. Bad motherboard. Broken internal thermal probes on the CPU. Actually… since the problem only happens at home, I’m betting that it’s some peripheral. I showed them how to change the BIOS settings to “no boot” for USB stuff, and maybe it’ll stop looking for USB things to boot off of /shrug. For now, they’re gonna bring it home again and try it at different outlets and with different devices… they were like “maybe it’s because we’re using a ps2 keyboard with a USB adapter??” … etc. Have any of you had this problem before? It’s really frustrating to not know the answer at all. Well, I mean I think that the problem’s disappearance at Eudemonia must say something, and it must be that it’s not like THE MOTHERBOARD IS FAILING ZOMG.

They’re all playing board games without me. =(

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