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Thread: Computer - Bad Motherboard??

  1. #1
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    Computer - Bad Motherboard??

    I picked up some Dell GX560's (I think thats the model) g'ment surplus. Got four of them dirt cheap knowing that probably were not working. Being G'ment they come minus a HD. My goal was to make two working computers to replace to aged ones in my house. My wife wants to start working at home one day a week and we need another decent computer.

    Finally got around to working with them. I put an old HD in them and loaded W2K OS. One would give me random errors. Sometimes it wouldn't recognize the keyboard or mouse, next time it would but could find the OS on the HD. Pretty sure that one has a bad MB.

    Two others give me the same (but different than the first) error. It can't find the OS. Thinking it might be a bad HD, I pulled one from a working computer that I knew was good. Installed the OS on there and get the same error. Can't find the OS. In order the eliminate hardware issues nothing but the CD drive that I installed the OS from were connected.

    I am thinking that I am dealing with bad MB on these two and that is why these were pulled from service. When I picked them up I went by a conference room with probably 50 or more work stations set up. So they obviously go through a few units. And being G'ment don't fool with repairing them.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  2. #2
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    Have you checked to see if there are any Dell disk controller drivers that need to also be installed when you install the OS? During the OS installation, there's a prompt to press one of the function keys (F6, I believe) to load a third-party disk controller driver. Not sure if Dells require one or not, but that's my hunch.

    On the other hand, you can likely go somewhere like Newegg.com and find a low-cost motherboard and processor combo that you could drop into the case. If you go that route, check to confirm the new mobo can support your existing memory. (Or just plan to buy a stick or two of memory.)
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Have you checked to see if there are any Dell disk controller drivers that need to also be installed when you install the OS? ......
    No, but that is why I asked. Never had to do that before with a computer, but will look into that. That does make sense.

    I have found used MB's pretty cheap. I wish I could find a factory CD for one of these. It would help eliminate some things.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  4. #4
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    Ran several searches in Google and I can't find any references to installing a disk driver of any kind. I found a/the disk driver on the Dell site. Might download it and see if it will let me load it. Nothing to loose by trying.

    But one thing I don't follow. If there were no disk drivers loaded, how would the OS get loaded on the drive in the first place? Wouldn't they have to load for it be able to even drive the HD and copy from the CD to the HD?

    Leaning toward a bad MB as the reason these were pulled but hate to buy one and then still be facing the same problem.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  5. #5
    Biggest problem is DELL, like AOL it is a One of a kind and exclusive to its demands.... MS is all by itself and agreeable with all but those who try to coop on the idea.... Go general and fell better for it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Horton View Post
    ...But one thing I don't follow. If there were no disk drivers loaded, how would the OS get loaded on the drive in the first place? Wouldn't they have to load for it be able to even drive the HD and copy from the CD to the HD?...
    I don't know the ins and outs of it, but I have a Dell at work with the OS loaded on a SATA drive. (It was originally on a PATA drive.) When it starts to boot, I get a message saying the operating system cannot be found, and to press F1 to continue. I press F1, and it boots up as it should.

    If you plan to try loading the driver during the OS installation, you'll need to put the driver you downloaded on a floppy. I've learned the OS installation will only look on drive A: when it prompts you for third-party drivers.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    I don't know the ins and outs of it, but I have a Dell at work with the OS loaded on a SATA drive. (It was originally on a PATA drive.) When it starts to boot, I get a message saying the operating system cannot be found, and to press F1 to continue. I press F1, and it boots up as it should.
    I have the same thing at home. At least, I assume it is the same thing. I replaced the stock drive in my Dell with a larger aftermarket one, using the utilities that came with the new drive to copy everything over. Set the jumpers every way that made any sense, but I still get the "Press F1" prompt when I boot.

    In my case though, I think the message is about not finding the drive (rather than the OS). ??

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Burton View Post
    ...In my case though, I think the message is about not finding the drive (rather than the OS). ??
    I'll have to check my office machine next time I boot it. You may be right about it not seeing the disk. (Although I think my OS is on that disk. I'll have to check that, too.)
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  9. #9
    As someone who uses a government computer and has for much of the past 25 years, lemme say that as a rule by the time they hit the excess auction they've been sitting around a warehouse for a period of time before that... and some poor schmuck had been complaining about it not working properly for quite awhile before it made it to the warehouse to begin with.

    Also don't know how it is across the government or if it makes any difference, but where I work our PCs (Air Force) are only powered off for scheduled electrical maintenance/generator testing. Otherwise, they're 'on' for years.

  10. #10
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    Most likely you wouldn't need any special drivers for a GX series machine--usually just the servers with PERC raid controllers, and I assume the high end workstation machines with raid controllers. Regarless, if the OS installed in the first place, you didn't need it.

    There were some GX series machines with defective motherboards (ones that had capacitors that blew up), but I believe they were totally dead when that happened. As far as I know, Dell will only fix them under warranty though.

    If you go to support.dell.com you can enter the Service Tag number and download any necessary drivers. I doubt that's your problem though.

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