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Dell Dimension 4100 will not boot from floppy or cd

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Gary335, Jul 27, 2006.

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  1. Gary335

    Gary335 Thread Starter

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    I have a Dell Dimension 4100 system which I purchased from a friend. When I first booted it up it ran fine. However, I decided to change the hard drive, and ever since I've done that I've had nothing but problems. To start with, I could not get the system to boot at all. It would lock as soon as the Dell splash screen appeared. I now have that problem fixed, as it is now running fine. However, I cannot get the system to boot from the floppy, CD-Rom, or CD-RW drives. This wouldn;t be such a big problem, excpet that the HD I put in has an OS on it, and obviously I cannot boot from a HD that came from another system because it has all of that system's configurations on it. Even though it won't boot from the drives, it does recognize them all in the BIOS, except for the burner. I read that Dell sytems require that all drives be set to cable select, so I did that and it did not solve the problem. I've tried every other troubleshooting step I can think of including trying different IDE cables. I've also tried tweaking the settings in the BIOS a bit, but still nothing. I am not very familiar with Dell's so perhaps there are other changes I need to make in order to make it recognize all the drives. Any help would be greatly appreciated.:)
     
  2. seekermeister

    seekermeister

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    The obvious thing that comes to mind, is to check the boot sequence in the bios to see if the drives are set to boot before the harddrive.
     
  3. Gary335

    Gary335 Thread Starter

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    They are in the correct order. I am not looking for obvious answers at this point. I have already done all of the obvious.
     
  4. norton850

    norton850

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    Of course we only know what you tell us.:)
    So if you have the Windows CD in and the first boot device is the CDROM what happens. Does the system just ignore it?
     
  5. Gary335

    Gary335 Thread Starter

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    Notice on the upper right hand corner of each of my posts you'll see my join date and underneath of that my skill level, which is advanced (at least that's what I see-perhaps others see something different). That in mind I would think you'd assume that I know enough to have covered all of the basics.

    Anyhow, yes the system simply proceeds to boot from the HD as if there is no cd whatsoever. When I attempt to boot from the floppy the LED does not come on, nor does it sound like the drive is attempting to read the disk. And yes, the drives are functional, and I can tell that there is power going to them.
     
  6. Gary335

    Gary335 Thread Starter

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    Anyone else have any ideas?
     
  7. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    Edited by poster: Wrong Question.
     
  8. Skivvywaver

    Skivvywaver

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    Have you tried booting with only one stick of ram, and only one of the optical drives connected?
     
  9. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    If I recall correctly the Dimension 4100 is a fairly basic setup with the hard drive being the only drive on the primary IDE channel and the optical drives being either master and slave or cable select on the secondary IDE channel.

    If you have the optical drives jumpered as cable select are you running them with a 40/80 IDE cable or a 40/40 IDE cable? If they are jumpered to cable select you should be using a 40/80 IDE cable.

    I would try each drive separately jumpered as cable select on the secondary IDE channel and see if each drive is recognized in BIOS when it is the only drive on that channel.
     
  10. Skivvywaver

    Skivvywaver

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    One bad drive on the cable can also cut the other drive off even if the bios is seeing it. Like was mentioned, try them one at a time.

    I am thinking he might have got it though. He left. I do hope he reports back.
     
  11. Gary335

    Gary335 Thread Starter

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    Ok, let me answer everyone's questions:

    Yes, I have tried booting with only one stick of RAM and one optical drive, and the system still goes right to the HD.

    Yes, the HD is the only drive on the primary IDE controller while the optical drives are both on the secondary. I am indeed running them all as cable select, as I was told that was required. All of the drives are connected using 80-pin cables.

    I beleive both drives are working just fine, however to be sure I tried each one seperately and the system still would not boot from either one.
     
  12. pugmug

    pugmug Banned

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    It all goes back to when you changed the h/d. Dell mobo bios needs the Dell resource cd . Can you start over aad state why you changed the h/d with the Dell Windows o/s on it out in the first place?
     
  13. Gary335

    Gary335 Thread Starter

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    I sure hope it doesn't need the resource cd because I bought this system from a guy at the flea market and he did not give me any software with it.

    As for why I switched HD's, the HD that was originally in this system was 70GB. I wanted to replace it with something a little smaller. You see, I sell these PC's, and in my opinion 70GB is a little too large for this type of system. I figured I'd take it out and sit it aside until a more suitable system came along that I could put it in.

    Hopefully everyone is more clear now on why I wanted to replace the HD. Of course, I never would have done it had I known it was going to be this complicated. Goes to show my inexperience with Dell systems-it also goes to show why I usually balk at working on and selling any of the name brands.:D
     
  14. pugmug

    pugmug Banned

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    What o/s and what does device manager tell you?
     
  15. Gary335

    Gary335 Thread Starter

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    I can't get into Windows because the HD that I put in has an OS on it from when It was in a different computer. And obviously you can't boot into the OS on such a hard drive because it has all of the other systems configurations stored in it. That's why I need to get this computer to boot fmro the CD-Rom-so that I can reinstall the OS!

    Oh by the way, I've already mentioned all of this in previous posts.
     
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