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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My home desktop is a a 8400 with 3.0ghz P4 with HT technology, 512 ram etc etc and 250gb (less in reality) hd. Bought for me as a b'day present in July 2004. After the 1st years warranty expired I extended the warranty to next onsite.

To date it has been back to Dell twice, and been plagued with minor problems in the past. When it first went back it'd packed it completely and needed to have motherboard and hd replaced. The second time was 2/3 weeks ago back to Dell (strange they didn't come out because couldn't get the problem - the system wasn't powering on at all this time). They took ages to return my pc and replaced hd, motherboard and processor.

Its always a wind up phoning them and being a weekend they are closed. Anyway, I was having problems with preloaded XP (loaded by some company Dell had repair my system). Cut the long story short Dell HD has been wiped clean. The software I have to hand is:

  • Ms Dos boot cd (from an image I got off limewire...seem's to work but calls itself A drive when I boot off cd)
  • All OEM dell cd's + the Windows XP SP1 reinstallation cd

When I try to boot from windows xp cd (set up looks like DOS style), and ask to install it says no hd found. I know the HD is connected as drive 0: and drive's 1-5 switched off in BIOS.

When I turn the system on the screen is blank (cursor blinks) after the initial Dell logo. I suppose I need to format and paritition. But how???? I have pressed the F12 key and tried system partition thing, it just says none found.

I would appreciate anyone's help. This forum has been much helpful in the past.
 

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Its probably a SATA hard drive, hence why it can't find the hard drive.

You need to find the SATA drivers for your PC which should be on the dell supprt site by typing in your tag number, or I have done it with just the system and you need to put the file found on the following page onto a floppy disk clicky here

However, have you got a floppy disk drive? I take it you have as your saying you have a boot disc (which you don't need).

Basically once you have the file on a floppy disk, turn on your compuer with the CD in the drive, press F6 when it asks if you have any additional devices (something along those lines) and be ready to insert the floppy disk when it asks. Once it asks, it will either pull up a menu of the drivers on that disk or just go ahead, if it brings up a menu, you want SATA or Serial ATA or ATA, something along those lines.

That then tells it that its a SATA drive and not an IDE drive.

You may need to configure BIOS under Advanced to boot from CD first, which I reccomend looking at as you can then chuck that DOS boot disk that you got.

Any probs let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Many thanks for your prompt reply, I mean it. Just went into BIOS before reading your post and changed RAID Autodetect from AHIA (I think) to ATA. Setup has started to format my hard drive and something seems to be happening.

I will keep the forum posted.
 

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So your motherboard doesnt have a problem detecting it. You won't have a problem now, windows should load fine. Hopw you done a full format and not quick?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah I think at the repair centre's they pre load hd's, and click everything in. So it all boots and works dandy until a situation like mine arises. The motherboard was set to another default as mentioned.

I was given two options, NTFS format quick and NTFS format. I opted for the latter. I haven't yet gone into DOS mode etc to check but seeing as Windows is formatting the HD. It shouldn't be a problem.

Thanks.
 

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Once the NTFS stuff is done and setup's finished the first leg, you won't be able to read the drive anyway with your boot cd unless it's got some NTFS tools on it (you can't read NTFS from DOS cos it can't hack it because of the security around NTFS).

You're right about Dell - everything is just core imaged, and bits plugged into it so that when it arrives it just goes. You definitely took the right option, if you're running a Windows install, never take a quick format option, it's caused me some real jip in the past [:)]

Once you get it up and running (which it soundsl ike should be fine now if the format's going), you may find the display doesn't look right and you may not have sound. If this is the case, as Graham said above, pop over to Dell's support site (http://support.dell.com I believe - should get you roughly there anyway). You should then be able to find links to all the drivers for all the devices in your box, using the support tag that your machine has (I'm assuming you've used this before as it's been back to Dell a few times - if not find a flap on the front it's normally tucked under that, or stuck to the back of the machine somewhere)

Good to see Graham expertly on the ball again and so quickly, nice one G [y]

C
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cool. I'm running the Windows Xp re-installation cd right now and formatting using it. It was 15% done at the point of my first reply and now 73%.

I suppose its not the end of it just yet, as Windows will need installing too. I will go to Dell's website for drivers/updates and may use the dell resource cd, on second thoughts I'm probably better off using the dell's website for sake of later versions.
 

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I will go to Dell's website for drivers/updates and may use the dell resource cd, on second thoughts I'm probably better off using the dell's website for sake of later versions.
Forgot about the Resource CD to be honest with you, sorry [:)]

But yeah, I'd still recommend go with the website if you've got a nice connection to download stuff - for precisely that reason [:D]

C
 

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God damn resource CD's.

I always chuck em...then get a computer at work on the network and format it, thinking no probs I'll just download all the stuff.

Can't get on the network can I....silly me, so I end up making my own resource CD! Bah!
 

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God damn resource CD's.

I always chuck em...then get a computer at work on the network and format it, thinking no probs I'll just download all the stuff.

Can't get on the network can I....silly me, so I end up making my own resource CD! Bah!
LOL - although if the network card isn't drivered from XP, it shuoldn't be in the machine (what isn't nowadays after all!)

C
 

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Lol, most motherboards come with onboard ethernet/network card as well...all integrated.
Yer Dell optiplex machines are all onboard, don't help though if windows XP aint put the drivers in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'd like to thank you guys again for keeping me entertained and for helping me along. I have good news, not only is everything installed and tested, I have also managed to do the following extras:

  • All the latest drivers for everything
  • All new updates for all softwares
  • HP Photosmart All in one reinstalled & firmware upgraded
  • Four individual user areas set up in XP
  • Desktop organised
  • Downloaded and installed Nero Premium 7, Pro product
  • Installed Limewire Pro
  • Got the McAfee installed (full suite, just waiting for it expire late this year)
  • Microsoft Office Pro 2003
  • Cleaned and defragmented

Thats it I think. The machine is running very nicely and I'm at last pleased with it.
 

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Dude - one thing left to do then! [:D]

Get a DVD, pop it in the burner, and make a bootable image for that PC. Next time the PC goes pop, or it slows to a crawl, back up your docs somewhere (another DVD for example), and restore from this DVD. Much quicker than formatting and runnning Windows setup normally

Just a thought - G may have a better idea of course (tuck in son!)

C
 

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Can't get on the network can I....silly me, so I end up making my own resource CD! Bah!
lol, had this exact situation with an Optiplex GX280, I didn't have my memory stick on me so had to download the drivers and fish out the W2K it and stick it on a floppy.

Graham, out of interest, have you had any Dell machines with blown/domed capacitors on the mobos?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
CKb - Definately will do, any excuse to get hold of some more blank DVD's. I did keep a backup of all the things I needed.
 

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Can't get on the network can I....silly me, so I end up making my own resource CD! Bah!
lol, had this exact situation with an Optiplex GX280, I didn't have my memory stick on me so had to download the drivers and fish out the W2K it and stick it on a floppy.

Graham, out of interest, have you had any Dell machines with blown/domed capacitors on the mobos?
Nope non at all. Actually thinking about it, haven't had any problems with ANY of the optiplex's I look after. Of which there are about 60. The only probs I have had are software probs, these machines are used 9 hours a day 5 days a week.

Noticed that the new SFF GX620's are getting quite hot but that's about it.
 

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Dude - one thing left to do then! [:D]

Get a DVD, pop it in the burner, and make a bootable image for that PC. Next time the PC goes pop, or it slows to a crawl, back up your docs somewhere (another DVD for example), and restore from this DVD. Much quicker than formatting and runnning Windows setup normally

Just a thought - G may have a better idea of course (tuck in son!)

C
External Hard Drive? An actual hard drive in a caddy though so you can take the hard drive out and pop it in? Just do a ghost every now and then?

Silly idea! You'd be ghosting your problems too! [:D]

I have a USB HDD, a normal HDD in a caddy which I got off the bay. Back up everything to there via XCOPY now and again.

No other 'better' ideas though mate!!
 

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Wouldnt doing a ghost of the pc while it was "new" and working b4 the end user gets hold of it be ok though??

Then just back up the important docs on a dvd, run the ghost copy the docs over and away you go??
 

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Wouldnt doing a ghost of the pc while it was "new" and working b4 the end user gets hold of it be ok though??

Then just back up the important docs on a dvd, run the ghost copy the docs over and away you go??
Yer thats fine, so long as you have got the PC EXACTLY how you want it before ghosting it.
 
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