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Help Needed With Memory and Reinstallation Disk


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#1 balderdash

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 11:37 PM

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:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/522264/reinstalling-old-ddr-memory/

 

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.


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#2 KingdomSeeker

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 10:41 AM

As we're talking about a very old computer, the best way to get more speed and memory would be to retire it and buy a new computer. If finances don't allow this (which I can totally relate too) you can probably achieve a little more speed by uninstalling programs and files you don't need, running Ccleaner to remove junk files, defragragment your hard drives, or purchasing a second or external HDD for storage freeing space on your machine.



#3 balderdash

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 02:01 PM

Probably gave too much information at once, let me shorten it.  I have a Dell Optiplex 170L with with Windows XP Pro with missing files.  I have an old reinstallation disk from a previous Dell desktop which Dell sent me years ago-it's for WinXP Home.  I don't know if the reinstallation disk had its own Product Code or if I used the old machine's Product Code  to install WinXP Home.

 

I would like to wipe WinXP Pro with the missing files  off my Optiplex, and use the reinstallation disk to install WinXP Home.  My question is:  will I run into problems with the Product Code?  Or can I use my Optiplex's Product Code, (which is for WinXP Pro) to install WinXP Home?  I also have the Product Code from my old Dell desktop as well-the one which I originally used the reinstallation disk on.


Edited by balderdash, 09 February 2014 - 02:21 PM.


#4 KingdomSeeker

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 02:49 PM

Either way it would not work unfortunately. The product key would be for that computer only. If you put it on your currrent computer it won't recognize the product key. I know support for XP has stopped or will soon so there's a remote chance you still may be able to download an installation disk from microsoft.



#5 balderdash

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 08:07 PM

Thanks for your help. 

I bought the old computer used w/o software, and on a message board I was PMed by someone in Dell support who said he would scour around and try to find a disk.  He found one in someone's desk, perhaps the last one in the place. He didn't mention in his PM the model number, just WinXP II.  I used it on my old computer.  So I don't think the reinstallation disks can be matched up for one computer.  I just forget if it came with a Product Code or if I used my computer's original Product Code when using this reinstallation disk.  I don't want to erase everything and then get to the end when it asks for the Product Code and find out it won't work once everything is erased.

 

Microsoft will let you download software for boot diskettes.  This Optiplex doesn't have a floppy drive, but my old defunct Dell does and it wouldn't be hard to transfer the drive.  The Optiplex is still working-I'm using it now to post this-but with only 250MB memory activated I have to treat it gingerly.  Only thing hard now is to find some diskettes-Walmart didn't have any.  Hmmm...Staples maybe.

 

I know Windows will end support for XP soon, so I'm planning to see if I can get enough memory in this so that I might be able to upgrade the system. I know from an old netbook which quit that Windows7-32 bit version-runs reasonably well on 1 MB RAM, plus I'm considering using virtual memory as well.  Haven't done that before, but one thing at a time.

 

I could buy a new one but I'm an audio hobbyist, have rebuilt loudspeakers and such and there is nothing vital or work related on this computer.  So I'm game to see if I can get the thing running and working.


Edited by balderdash, 09 February 2014 - 08:13 PM.


#6 KingdomSeeker

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 08:22 PM

If it was sent by someone at Dell then I don't know how it would work. It may be a repair disk.



#7 OldPhil

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 09:25 PM

You can find the correct disk just Google it, one of my buds just picked up a disk an older Dell He said it was $15.95.


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#8 dc3

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 01:54 PM

If you are considering upgrading to Vista or Windows 7 you should run Microsoft's Upgrade Advisor.

 

Upgrade Advisor for Vista

 

Upgrade Advisor for Windows 7


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