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Dell Optiplex GX110 (I know, it's old)

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by invierno, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. invierno

    invierno Nibble Poster

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    I recently purchased an old Dell Optiplex GX110 from my university to convert it into a test/development/Linux machine. The problem is though that I cannot get it to load past the BIOS screen; it beeps once and displays a black screen with the words:

    Strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for setup utility

    I can enter the setup utility but pressing one just causes this line to display itself again; nothing I have done gets me past this screen. It initially showed an intrusion detection alert but I think I cleared that in system setup and still have not been able to load windows. I have removed the hard drive and replaced it with another one that I know works (Windows XP), but with that drive connected it shows the "Windows did not load properly screen" and allows me to select safe mode, recovery console, etc. I have tried selecting three of the options and letting the timer run out but the screen freezes at that point.

    Anyone have any ideas? Is the motherboard bad? The CD drive was bad and I am willing to replace that along with the motherboard if necessary.

    Here are the specs as I know them:

    Nonfunctional CD-ROM

    Floppy Disk drive

    BIOS version A08

    Windows 98 SE

    40GB IDE hard drive

    933 Mhz Processor

    Motherboard with riser card

    ZIP Drive​


    Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     
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  2. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Can you boot from CD?

    Just to double check the CD drive. 8)
     
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  3. invierno

    invierno Nibble Poster

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    I don't know just yet but I will post if I can after I get the replacement drive.

    Thanks!
     
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  4. juice142

    juice142 Megabyte Poster

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    The old Optiplexes have a switch on the case which will complain once it's been opened. Ignore it.

    You suggest that you have a 'known good' HDD. Is it from the same hardware? i.e. exactly the same mainboard model, RAM, etc etc?

    Cos if not, that's why you're getting the error, Google HAL (hardware abstraction layer).

    Nuke and pave Sir. :biggrin

    J.
     
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  5. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    I believe the error message can be cleared in the BIOS. Been a while since Ive worked on an old skool optiplex though. :biggrin
     
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  6. juice142

    juice142 Megabyte Poster

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    Or you can just ignore it! Makes no difference mate. Cripes I used to support a couple of hundred of the buggers. Just pull the wires off the switch. Solved!

    :biggrin

    J.
     
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  7. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Ahh, yeah. But then I wont know if someone has tried to break in and steal the 40GB IDE drive. :biggrin
     
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  8. juice142

    juice142 Megabyte Poster

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    And while we're at it, have you ever tried to do anything with one of these little sods:

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Running W2k and Navision the little darlings used to beep at every keystroke, driving the users mad.

    Only fix (nope, not software, or BIOS)?

    Take a screwdriver to prise the case away from the chassis. Then, believe me it's the only way, get a tyre lever behind it :ohmy and with some long pointy scissory type things (I think I used some specially sharpened gardening shears) to cut the wires to the speaker.

    Ah, we all got a bit of peace and quiet after that. 8)

    J.
     
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  9. juice142

    juice142 Megabyte Poster

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    But wouldn't you get an error message similar to the OP's?

    Unless, you've got an NTLDR missing, which would probably not be on the floppy that's in the FDD. :biggrin

    J.
     
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  10. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Never had the pleasure but supporting a network with 300 "home build" PCs was my worst nightmare. Was glad to get some (decent) Dells in there.
     
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  11. Sparky
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    Errr, um, yes. :oops:
     
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  12. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    FAIL

    I had the exact same problem with the exact same model. Solution:

    Device Manager - Show Hidden Devices - Non Plug & Play Devices. Find 'Beep' - set to disabled. Refroot - 'error' (or 'feature' as Compaq support put it) resolved.

    Only reason I remember this (it was about five years ago now) is that I had a batch of crummy 6120 laptops come through a couple of months back with the exact same problem.
     
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  13. juice142

    juice142 Megabyte Poster

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    WIN

    It gave me great pleasure to take a tyre lever to them all.

    It was either that or the flippin users. :rolleyes:

    J.
     
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  14. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    Yes as has been mentioned there is a case switch that puts that intrusion detection message as part of the bios. the hit F1 to continue is generally caused by a lack of OS on the computer (you'll probably find that the drive has been formatted). As long as it only complains about those 2 things then should just need to install the linux OS of choice. That in mind the gx110 are old beasts now so you will have to select something like DamnSmalllinux or similar to get any performance out of the box.
     
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  15. invierno

    invierno Nibble Poster

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    Just to finish up the thread, Dales was right -- no OS. I bought an old CD-ROM and installed and voila - I have a CentOS system up and running.

    Thanks for everyone's input!
     
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  16. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    I had computers with the same damn issue... I used your method as well a while back!
     
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