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Dell 4200


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#1
ryantiffany

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I'm trying to format what I believe is a Dell 4200. The thing is so jacked up with viruses and corrupt files that when I go into the device manager to try to install new drivers for the CD-ROMs and everything else there is nothing in the device manager what-so-ever. I can't be certain that it is a 4200 but I don't really think it will matter too much. Anyways, in trying to format through changing the BIOS features to only boot from the CD as soon as I save the settings and exit and let it boot, it boots directly from the hard drive and the CD drives don't respond other than opening and closing.

I was thinking about trying to flash the BIOS and/ or reset the CMOS to see if that would help. I'm not sure though about the whole dell system. I built my own computer and know basically all about that but I haven't done much with Dell. I was hoping someone here might be able to help me out, because Dell's site is for novice users and doesn't go into much detail.

It's my girlfriend's comp and she recently moved to FL while I am still stuck in Columbus so this may be a topic that will last a month before I can get down there if you guys wouldn't mind sticking around till then I would appreciate it. Thanks,

Ryan

Edited by ryantiffany, 23 August 2006 - 02:57 PM.

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#2
ryantiffany

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ok so apparently no one has any advice or I'm in the wrong topic or I'm on the right track? anyone? If there is no hope could someone tell me that too?




Go BUCKS!!
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#3
Dwight

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Hi ryantiffany, Welcome to geeks to go.
Please be patient it may take some time before they get to you.

The Staff gets to every one as fast as possible.

Every one here at geeks to go are volunteering there time.

Thank You
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#4
bobthemailman

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Ok you did change it to boot to cdrom first? Also try disabling all the other boot options and make sure you have the windows install cd in the primary drive.

Bob The Mail Man :whistling:
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#5
ryantiffany

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I changed everything in the bios so that, theoretically it wouldn't try to boot from hard disks or floppy, just the primary CD-ROM. After I saved and exited it restarted and booted from the hard drive. I wasn't sure if somehow the bios might be affected by a virus and clearing that might help get it to boot to the CD. I was using her boot disk from Dell so I figured it would work but no such luck. It's basically like it doesn't want to listen to what I try to make it do because it was predetermined by something. I thought about slapping another hard drive in there without the one that is in it hooked up and then installing windows on that, then trying to format the old hard drive from the new one just to restore it to working order. It's just a lot harder to do that now that she is in florida and I'm in Ohio. She had Kazaa on there and there is no way of erasing it for whatever reason. Everytime it gets deleted it pops back up. I don't know if this thread should go to software instead of being in hardware now that I think of it


Thanks for the suggestion though
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#6
acklan

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Hi Ryan.
You may have a bad motherboard (BIOS) battery. If you remove the cover you will see a small battery about the size of coin in a mount on the motherboard.
If you are set on formatting your hard drive and believe a virus is interfering, you could do a simple or "Quick" wipe. The is a program called Kill Disk that will overwrite the data on your drive, destroying all programs including virus'. I use this on every computer I do a clean install on to make sure all malware is destroyed.
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#7
ryantiffany

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I'll give it a try but I can't get the computer to respond to anything that goes into any drive nor will it connect to the internet or anything like that. I only mention that because I don't know how I'm going to install it without those options. I figured I'd to flash the bios but I'll check out the battery too. Thanks for the tip.

Edited by ryantiffany, 07 September 2006 - 09:34 PM.

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#8
Samm

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Hi there

Although it sounds like there's little doubt the computer is heavily infected with malware/viruses, it's very unlikely any of these are responsible for the systems failure to boot from CD

First thing to check is that the CD you are using is bootable. By that I mean make sure you are not using a copied or pirated CD. All genuine Windows CDs will be bootable obviously

Also, bare in mind, that sometimes when you attempt to boot from a CD, you will see a message flash up on the screen briefly asking you to press a key (normally space bar) to boot from the CD. If this key isn't pressed, the system will continue to boot from the hard drive as usual regardless of the boot priority order in the bios. If you don't see this message appear, try disabling the Dell Logo screen - this can be done in the bios I believe. If not, try pressing the ESC key as soon as the logo screen appears.

You could try resetting the bios as suggested. acklan mentioned a bad cmos battery as a possibility. If you notice that some or all of the bios settings are reverting back to the original values after being changed (e.g system date/time etc) , then the battery is a likely culprit. Otherwise its probably fine

You can reset the bios by disconnecting the main 20 pin power connector from the motherboard, then either remove the bios battery for a couple of mins or use the jumper next to it. The jumper should be labelled something like cmos reset or password reset. Place the jumper over pins 2-3 for approx 30 secs, then return it to it's original position.
Remember to disconnect the mains power lead first obviously!

After that, check that the CDROM drive is actually working. If it doesn't work in Windows, then you may need test it either in safe mode or by booting from a floppy disk that has DOS CDROM drivers installed - a windows 98 boot disk is perfect for this. The other option is to hook up a different cdrom drive temporarily or test your cdrom drive on another machine.

To be honest, it does sound like the actual CD drive or its cable, may be faulty. Check that the ribbon cable is securely connected at both ends & if possible, replace it entirely.

Is it a Windows CD or Dell Recovery CD?

Let me know how you get on
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