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Freeze-Hardware or software?


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8 replies to this topic

#1 Odyssey42

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 03:52 PM

Not sure if this is the correct forum, but if not please move or advise which it should be in and I will repost.

I have acquired a Dell Dimension 8300 desktop which came with a clean install of XP Home, but I do not think that the drivers were updated. I tried to update the drivers from the Dell site, but found that a lot of the information regarding updating was either contradictory, confusing, or otherwise out of date, and gave up after attempting to install one.

Firstly, when it boots up, there is a message that the system battery voltage is low, and to press FK1 to continue. So I assume that it needs a new battery. After pressing FK1, it starts normally.

When it does boot up, it is really slow at everything. Then while I am using it, without warning the screen goes dark (not blue) as if it had been turned off, but the fan is still running. There does not appear to be any output from the video port as the monitor brand name comes up as if it had been turned off.

It does not respond to the keyboard, or CTRL-ALT-DEL, or anything else and must be manually shut down by holding the power button in for several seconds and rebooted.

So far I have installed Firefox, Opera, Norton AV, ZoneAlarm, and Open Office.

How do I determine if this is a hardware problem or an operating system issue, or another software issue, or some combination?

Edited by Odyssey42, 30 July 2010 - 04:17 PM.


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#2 Eyesee

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 05:41 PM

First thing to try is to replace the cmos battery
Its model CR2032. Radio Shack or someplace similar will have them for about 5 bucks.
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#3 Odyssey42

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 06:55 AM

I'm on it!

#4 Odyssey42

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 10:23 PM

After the new battery went in, and I went through the BIOS settings selecting the ones that seemed logical, it continued to randomly freeze.

So I ran a virtual desktop version of Ubunutu linux, and the computer seems happy as Larry. Stable as a brick since.

I am now reinstalling XP, and will next need to deal with driver updates. Must confess that this is a bit of a mystery to me. I think I can find the service tag number, but am very unsure about how to go about updates. I have looked at the Dell pages on driver updates, and find them totally confusing. Any guidance in the form of "Driver Updates for Dummies" would be very much appreciated.

#5 abauw

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 09:06 AM

hope the link doesnt change....sometimes the link change :thumbsup:
http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/...DIM_PNT_P4_8300

hope that link help you on installing the driver...

Edited by abauw, 03 August 2010 - 09:06 AM.

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#6 Odyssey42

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 02:59 PM

abauw,

I think that is one of the pages that I have seen. What I find confusing is that the Dell page on "How to" do the driver updates talks about the importance of doing them in a particular order. It cautions that one particular driver MUST be done first, but when you go to the page (your link) the driver is not even listed.

So I am unsure how seriously to take the "do them in order" guidance. Can you weigh in on this, and what about doing several at one time, etc?

Thanks.

#7 coxchris

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 03:13 PM

Let see what your Device Manager tells us

Right-click My Computer, click Properties, click the Hardware tab, and then click Device Manager.

Now anything with a red(X) or a Yellow(!) needs a driver using the link that you receive download the appropriated diver and install drivers one at a time.

Edited by coxchris, 03 August 2010 - 03:16 PM.

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#8 Odyssey42

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 06:04 PM

Chris,

Thanks for this, but I didn't make much progress. There are yellow marks in front of:

Ethernet Controller
MultiMedia Audio Controller
MultiMedia Audio Controller (yes, two instances)
PCI Simple Communications Controller
SM Bus Controller
Video Controller (VGA Compatible)

I right clicked and clicked on Update Drivers and in every case, the end result was:

"The hardware was not installed because the wizard cannot find the necessary software"

Very discouraging. What to try now?

------------------------------------------------

I think this may shed some light on the above. Following the reinstall, I cannot connect to the the internet. Running ipconfig /all in the shell yields only:

"Windows IP Configuration" and no other information.

I was about to update the new windows install when I realized that it would not connect. The current install is SP1 (although I would have thought that SP1 would have done that without an update). Will I have to d/l SP 2, and 3, burn them to a CD and update from the CD?

What else? Thanks.

Edited by Odyssey42, 03 August 2010 - 06:12 PM.


#9 coxchris

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 12:33 PM

ok the reason why you cannot connect is your drivers for your Ethernet Controller are not install

Please download the Recommended driver for your system located on http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/...DIM_PNT_P4_8300 Under network box 2 from the top on a another computer than transfer that to this computer. Once you get this driver install you can proceed with

right clicked and clicked on Update Drivers.

you can download SP3 here http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details...;displaylang=en and than slipstream to your windows xp disc. Be advise: I link you a standalone installation which you would do the same process of transferring it Over until you get that Ethernet controller installed. Here is how to document on slip streaming SP3 on windows xp disc http://www.howtohaven.com/system/slipstrea...ce-pack-3.shtml

Dell had a maintenance web page day yesterday i was waiting for it to come back online

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