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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi - using the Microsoft CD provided with my Dell Dimension 8200 I am unable to install XP Home addition on a Dell GX240. The installation appears to work perfectly, with no error messages, and nothing unusual. After the installation is complete, XP tries to boot, the Home Edition splash screen displays, then the screen goes blank and stays blank. Using the keyboard and mouse have no effect.

Some background: I purchased the GX240 from the company I work for. It was working well prior to my purchase. Before bringing it home, the company required that I boot it with a "wipe-out" diskette that removes everything from the hard drive. However when the initial Dell screen appears it still shows the company name, and when I use F2 to view the bios information there is an uneditable tag number. Could the bios settings be preventing XP from starting properly?

Thanks for any suggestions,

- mestran
 

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Hi mestran

Dell CDs are keyed to the Bios on the motherboard in most of their systems. You can only use that license for the computer it shipped with.

A retail XP CD should install fine, if you erase the hard drive first. XP Home has been on sale at some stores as low as $40 or $50, now that Vista has been released.

Best of luck
. . . Gary

[P.S. ... a no-cost solution might be to see if your company's IT department will install XP for you - they should, since they sold you the otherwise unusable system.]
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
how do I know if the motherboard is bad?

I talked to Dell, and they sent me the installation CD's for XP Pro f(ree of charge). However, after doing another clean install, I have the same problem.

The installation appears to work fine, but when the sytem reboots, the XP logo appears, then the monitor goes blank, with no response from the keyboard or mouse.

I ran the diagnostics CD and got no errors. I'm able to logon in safe mode.

I talked to Dell again, and they believe I need a new motherboard.

Before I go any further, I wanted to see if anyone may have another possible solution, and/or a way to test to see if it really is the motherboard.

Thanks,

- mestran
 

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TSF Team Emeritus , Microsoft Visiting Expert
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Hi again

If Dell would provide the new motherboard free-of-charge under a warranty, sure, let 'em do it. It's last a bit longer that way, too.

If they want you to pay $400 for the repair, say "No thank you" and ask your IT department for a refund. You can get a brand-new laptop for $500.

Laptop repairs are expensive repairs. If the warranty is still in effect, the vendor is the one to deal with - they have all the parts, & if something goes wrong during the repair - they'll replace those damaged parts as well. It's very easy to damage a part during a laptop repair.

Since Dell does hook the installs to their motherboards, and they suspect something wrong there - that seems the most likely problem. [Otherwise, you'd figure something low-level really wrong - drivers, system files, something.]

One trick to see if it really is hardware - boot the laptop with a Knoppix CD [it's a Linux version that can run entirely from the CD - doesn't bother your hard drive, or your currently installed Windows]. If everything runs fine in Knoppix, call Dell again & let them know that. You can download a CD-Image of Knoppix from this link --- http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html

Best of luck
. . . Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
get an HP monitor to work with a dell optiplex?

Just for kicks I tried connecting a different monitor to the optiplex, and it booted without a problem. I was previously using an old HP crt. So I contacted dell again (using their tech support chat) and they won't troubleshoot 3rd party devices -- and no apologies for telling me to replace the motherboard.

Anyway, any ideas on how I can get an HP monitor to work with a dell optiplex?
 

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Hi again


Seems that most any standard monitor should work with the Optiplex. So long as the connector is standard, it doesn't matter who made the monitor. Any 15-pin VGA connector should be able to plug in and work with any 15-pin VGA compliant monitor, whether CRT or LCD. Many recent computers also have the digital connector, called DVI, and many monitors have this connection (often alongside the older analog 15-pin VGA connector). So long as the types match, though - brand doesn't matter.

In one of your earlier posts, you mentioned that the monitor works in Safe Mode. This would seem to indicate that the video driver isn't working properly with the monitor. If the video card is sending a signal at either a resolution or a refresh rate that the monitor doesn't support, it will blank it's screen to protect itself (monitors don't like go up in smoke just because the video driver is having a bad day). While in Safe Mode, you could reinstall the video driver, and if the Hp monitor has an ".inf" file available over at Hp.com, you could use that, too, to provide Windows with detailed information on the monitor's capabilities [although most monitors from the last five years should be detected automatically] -- (you can right-click the monitor's ".inf" file and select "install" to let XP have all the details upon the next restart).

Seems like that should do it, so long as the monitor is physically sound.

Best of luck!
. . . Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
monitor solved the problem

Your explanation solves the mystery, but my old HP monitor is circa 1995...so I decided not to bother trying to get it to work. Instead I went out to freecycle.org and discovered there are a lot of people trying to give away old crts. I thought about getting the sony trinitron 21-inch, but decided that was just too big and heavy. So instead I nabbed a 15-inch compaq that works great with the dell optiplex. Thanks for the help. - mestran
 
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