Dell Optiplex 170L, 512MB memory, 80 gig HD Windows XP Pro This is the machine I am interested in using.
Have a broken old Dell Dimension 4400, but I am not interested in using it.
This is a continuation of what happened in this thread, but there are whole new problems now:
I received 2 gigs new memory, (184 pin), 400MHz for the Optiplex even though the BIOS says it only takes 1 Gig. Since the unit is listed as taking 2 gigs I figured I just had to get the latest BIOS and it would it change the reading to 2 gigs. I went to the Dell website and downloaded and installed the BIOS they said for the Optiplex. The Optiplex BIOS still said 1 gig after that.
I put in the two 1 GIG DIMMs and turned on the machine. The green light in front went on but little else. Tried it again, still nothing, reinstalled the two 256MB DIMMs and it worked.
I had two 512MB DIMMs from a now defunct Dell Dimension 4400, (it went defunct when I tried to install them and botched the job, lol) and tried them in my Optiplex 170L. Nothing. Seeking to get some improvement, I replaced the #2 slot, (according to Belarc), with a 256 DIMM and the machine worked. The Optiplex now had a total of 768MB RAM, and was faster than it was with the two 256MB's in there.
Figuring that maybe the Optiplex is configured so that the #2 slot only takes 256MB for some reason, so I went to the #1 slot, removed the 512MB and replaced with a 1gig MB. Turned it on-nothing, but got some bell like sound. I suddenly remembered that when the old Dell Dimension 4400 went kaput, it made a similar sound. I shut the Optiplex off and put the 512MB back into slot #1.
My Optiplex did not want to boot into Windows. Said some stuff on the screen about memory modules, then said I needed SYSTEM32\Drivers or something, and that I needed a boot CD. I bought this machine used and it came with no software.
From the old Dell Dimension, Dell had sent me a reinstallation disk some years after I bought that one used, and I still had it. However, the reinstallation disk is for Windows XP Home, SPII. The present Optiplex has Windows XP Pro. I put the reinstallation disk into the Optoplex's hard drive, had it boot from the HD, and it wouldn't go very far, said I needed various files. I went to the BIOS, clicked on the Install option, which limited memory to 256MB, and tried. The machine now works that way, except that with 256MB memory it goes very slow and forget about YouTube graphics or anything of the sort. I don't watch much graphics outside YouTube, but still the machine is barely functional.
Any suggestions how to go about things now? I would point out that I would not mind simply installing Windows XP Home on the Optiplex from the reinstallation disk, but I am worried about the code number. I have the code number for the Windows XP Professional on the Optiplex, (the previous owner had put on the sticker). I have the old code number for the Windows XP Home from the old, defunct Dell Dimension 4400-owner put on the sticker there, too. I do not remember if the reinstallation disk Dell sent me years later for the Dimension had its own code number, or if I used the original one on the Dimension.
If I could use the code from either the present Optiplex or the defunct Dimension 4400, I would not mind wiping the Optiplex's HD clean and installing Windows XP Home, SPII.
Any advice about how to get the most memory on the machine and about the Operating System would be appreciated.
Edited by balderdash, 09 February 2014 - 12:00 AM.