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Stuck blinking cursor after hd swap


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#1
BrendonLuvsU

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Hi-

I recently brought home a Dell Optiplex GX270. I had the intention of putting the hard drive from my old pc in it, which has win xp pro. When I first turned on the new Dell, it's info light on the front stayed on right after pressing the power button, and it would not show anything at all on the screen. I researched this problem, and found that some capacitors on the motherboard had been recalled, with info on how to detect bad capacitors. Mine were not leaky or corroded, so I did more research and took the advice to re- seat the CPU. (P4 2.60ghz- stock) Well that worked, after fighting with Dell's horrible heatsink design. (Bad attempt at hot swap) So, "YIPEE!" came next. The hard drive that came with this Dell evidently has an Ubuntu system on it, but I just proceeded to swap with mine. The one that was already in the Dell was a 40gig maxtor, and it was thinner than my old 60g maxtor (win xp) from my old pc. I didnt think this mattered, so i just took out the smaller 40g and put in mine by itself. I used the same power and data cables and plugs, but after getting past the BIOS, I get the blinking cursor (black screen, of course), and pressing enter wont help. I had used this hard drive in my old computer 30 prior to trying it in the new Dell.
All of the lights- (a, b, c, and d) on the back for diagnostics are lighting up, but i dont know which color, and i dont figure that would help determine the problem, since we already know that it is my hard drive. They were not lighting up before i re-seated the cpu, which is of course not a good thing.
Thanks in advance for you patience with this unecessarily long essay, and your help.

Love and Rockets
-Brendon
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#2
Ferrari

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Brendon,

You can't just swap a hard drive from another machine into the other. The machine won't boot, just as you are experiencing. I'm assuming you are wanting XP as the OS. You need to freshly install XP onto your old drive (i.e. the one you want to use) while it is connected to the GX270. But you need the COA/Product key.

Does the machine have a COA (Certificate of Authenticity) on it? If so, you will need a Retail XP Install Disk, install XP and enter that COA product key whenever prompted.

Also note, IT DOES MATTER, which version of XP you install, you need whatever version the COA says, i.e XP Home or XP Professional.

If your machine does not have a COA on it, then you will need to purchase a copy of XP and install it on the machine using the COA/product key that comes with the purchase.

EDIT: Also note that if you install XP on the same hard drive as you have all of your files, pictures, videos, etc... it will be wiped clean as formatting the drive is part of the install process. So you will need to back up all of your files before you install the new OS. Also, programs are generally bought for one computer and not transferable, so you would need to purchase new programs after the clean install or use free programs (which there are a ton of). The most popular purchased/needed program however, is Microsoft Office, i.e. Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, etc.

Edited by Ferrari, 17 February 2010 - 04:45 PM.

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#3
BrendonLuvsU

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Hm! well this is helpful to know. Not good news, but i suppose its normal. Thanks very much. If i dont have an xp pro cd, but i have my coa product key, what is the best way to reinstall? Reinstalling is just fine with me. More than hapy, actually.
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#4
Ferrari

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If i dont have an xp pro cd, but i have my coa product key, what is the best way to reinstall?

You need the disk, I believe OEM manufacturers like Dell, HP, etc have disks you can buy for a small cost, like $12, but don't quote me on that. Go to their website, or contact their customer support and ask.

Reinstalling is just fine with me. More than hapy, actually

A clean install is nice if that's what you want. There will be no other peoples files or viruses on the system, completely fresh as if the computer were new.

Here is a link from Microsoft. Windows XP Installation. It will be very helpful.
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#5
BrendonLuvsU

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Well thats not too bad. I can go for that, since its worth the new hardware of this here Dell.
Thanks alot, bud. Heck with Lambos.
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#6
rshaffer61

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Just to add in here guys. If oyu have a hd with a installation of XP pro on it and it came out of another branded system then that installation is married to the original system.
If you are planning on installing a fresh copy of XP on the Dell system then just a word of warning, go tot he Dell site and get all the original drivers for that model.
Also you won't be able to take a retail version of XP Pro and install it on the dell with the COA off the Dell. It won't work.
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#7
BrendonLuvsU

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Whoah- rshaffer61, you said that I cant use the COA off of my Dell on a retail xp disc. Does this mean that I cant use that COA period? If so, its time to start Ubuntu-ing. (Which is no problem)
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#8
rshaffer61

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The COA on the Dell is considered a OEM key and the retail copy will not accept it. The same way goes if you were using a Dell recovery disk on a non branded system.
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#9
BrendonLuvsU

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ah. i get it. thanks alot. suppose im done here.
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#10
rshaffer61

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I would suggest like Ferrari stated that you can contact Dell themselves and try to purchase the original Recovery Disk for the system. This normally will include the original OS and all the drivers for your system.

Edited by rshaffer61, 17 February 2010 - 05:57 PM.

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#11
BrendonLuvsU

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ooh! i'm SO getting on that right now. thanks! (sorry for my lack of attention)
have a good day, fellas.
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#12
rshaffer61

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No problem and please let us know how everything works out for you. It may help someone later with the same problem.
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