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Replacing primary HDD, so OS as well


Best Answer Alzeimer , 05 January 2014 - 08:05 PM

My questions: Can I just whack in any old sata HDD, or would it have to be the exact same one as it was shipped with? As far as I can gather I can use any one which fits the PC's power and sock... Go to the full post »


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#1
Locla

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Hi Everyone, Happy New Year first of all :)

I recently acquired a Dell XPS/Dimension Gen 4 PC: ftp://ftp.dell.com/Manuals/all-products/esuprt_desktop/esuprt_xps_desktop/dimension-g4_Service%20Manual_en-us.pdf
It's an older system from way back in 2005, but it still packs twice the punch of anything I've ever had, which is why I'm bothering with it. I think it retailed for a good couple thousand £'s back then.

My problem is that the HDDs were removed as there was private data on them, and the PC wasn't staying on long enough to wipe them clean.

My friend's father nearly threw it out, but I asked if I could have it instead. After removing all components, cleaning them, reapplying thermal paste to CPU and heat-sink etc. it sure enough works (I think the CMOS battery is dying due to Checksum Error in Event Log) enough for viewing and altering BIOS, so far about 12 hours and it's just a little warm at the back. I tinkered around a bit with a burned bootable CD but of course it said a HDD was required to continue setup.

So now I have a powerful, if older, build that appears to be working fine except for that it has no HDD.

The Hitachi Deskstar® 7K400 is the HDD it came with: http://www.hgst.com/tech/techlib.nsf/techdocs/073ba9ea10daaccd86256E46005C5B7E/$file/7K400_ds_final.pdf

My questions: Can I just whack in any old sata HDD, or would it have to be the exact same one as it was shipped with? As far as I can gather I can use any one which fits the PC's power and socket requirements, but you are the experts.
After that: Would I be able to install any old OS, or would it have to be the windows xp professional OS that the PC was designed for? There's even a sticker on the side of the case with 'windows xp professional' and a product key for it. Does that mean that the motherboard is tied to the original OS, and that nothing else could work with it?

Retrieval of the original HDDs is not an easy option! It's a long way and I don't have a car, and it would be no mean feat to take this beast of a desktop on public transport ;) And no, the father would not be content sending me HDDs full of his data.

Of course, I'm also hesitant to go and buy HDDs and OSs before checking in with people in the know; your expertise and guidance would be most appreciated!
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#2
Alzeimer

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✓  Best Answer

My questions: Can I just whack in any old sata HDD, or would it have to be the exact same one as it was shipped with? As far as I can gather I can use any one which fits the PC's power and socket requirements, but you are the experts.
After that: Would I be able to install any old OS, or would it have to be the windows xp professional OS that the PC was designed for? There's even a sticker on the side of the case with 'windows xp professional' and a product key for it. Does that mean that the motherboard is tied to the original OS, and that nothing else could work with it?


Your product key is tied to your motherboard and not the other way around so you can install any other OS that your computer can accept as long as the OS as it's own product key.

So either buy an HDD and find a copy of your XP professional with the same Service Pack as indicated on your sticker and you will have no problem installing it using the product key on your sticker.

Or verify with Del website to see which OS your Dell XPS/Dimension Gen 4 PC can handle.


Hope that helps

Edited by Alzeimer, 05 January 2014 - 08:06 PM.

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#3
Locla

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Thanks Alzeimer!

That makes the problem far more simple. All I need to do is get a HDD.

I was looking at the specs for the 'Hitachi Deskstar® 7K400,' the original HDD, and it's SATA interface speed is only 1.5GB/s. I'm going to closely inspect the motherboard to see if it says how fast it's SATA ports can be. I doubt it will go up to 6GB/s, as this was almost 10 years ago, but hopefully at least 3GB/s... I will post back with answer.

Thanks again :)
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#4
Locla

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Ok, the mobo is an Intel® 925X/925XE Express Chipset: http://download.inte...ts/30146403.pdf

This only has SATA 1 ports, so I'm restricted to 1.5GB/s! No SSDs for me on this system, though I didn't seriously expect it to go at 6GB/s.

As SATA is backwards compatible, I've set my eye on the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11, at 1TB: http://www.seagate.c...uda_7200_11.pdf

Found it for a cool £45 on eBay from a trusted vendor: http://www.ebay.co.u...E-/121096703088

Does this choice look good to you?

Edited by Locla, 06 January 2014 - 07:08 AM.

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#5
Alzeimer

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This looks like a good choice.

All you will beed now is a cd of XP Pro (with the appropriate Service Pack) and you can install it using the product key on your sticker.

I do not know if you have ever installed a fresh copy of Windows before but in case you havn't here are some tips.

As soon as Windows will be finish installing the first thing you should do is:

Download all the drivers from Dell website for you Computer (if you can download them in advance on another computer and put them either on a CD/DVD or on a memory stick) once downloaded. ftp://ftp.dell.com/Pages/Drivers/dimension-g4.html#Chipset

1- Install the chipset drivers
2- Intel Matrix Storage Manager
3- Audio driver
4- Video driver
5- Network interface card or ethernet drivers
6- any other driver or application Dell as for your system that you think you will need or use

Once you have your inernet working you can have windows do its update by making sure automatic updates is on.


Hope that helps
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#6
Locla

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Service Pack 2 is the version it came with, I'm sure I can find a copy somewhere.

The driver link is great, I will download those when I've ordered the HDD.

You've been very helpful, thanks for clearing up my questions!
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#7
Alzeimer

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For your Hard Drive there is one thing you should check before inatalling it. Check the jumper settings because some HDD need to have a jumper set to be able to run at 1.5gb/s because the default is 3gb/s and since your motherboard only have the 1.5gb/s option make sure the hard drive is set correctly (check on the label) if needed.


Hope that helps
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#8
Locla

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I didn't have a clue about jumpers; I wonder how many drives I could have doubled the speed of for 3GB/s mobos... haha!
I hope it comes with a jumper to limit it to 1.5gb/s for this mobo...
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#9
Alzeimer

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The model you shown earlier to be interested in buying should have a jumper but if you buy another kind do not worry if a jumper is needed to limit the tranfer rate it will be indicated if it is not the it is a drive that will automatically adjust to the right speed.
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#10
Locla

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I think I'm going to go for that particular HDD, I imagine it will come with a jumper if it's not automatic.

Before I order it though... I'm worried about the battery on the motherboard. I thought that if I left the PC on for a few hours the battery may have recharged, but unfortunately I'm still getting the following messages onscreen:

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#11
Locla

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I'm not certain, but I'm pretty sure I need to replace this battery:

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#12
Alzeimer

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Yes you should replace the battery.

Before you do unplug the power cord from your computer and touch the case to discharge any static your body may have.

Make you do not leave fingerprints on the battery before installing it.

After replacing it make sure you reset your date and time and any other setting in your BIOS.

Edited by Alzeimer, 09 January 2014 - 08:15 AM.

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#13
Locla

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Success! I had a quick look in case I had a CR2032 type battery and luckily I did :D

A strange error message came up after I correctly set the BIOS and rebooted though: R480 VGA DVI TVO BIOS BR10007

Upon a third reboot, however, all was fine; no more low battery voltage alert! HDD to be ordered.

Thanks!
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#14
Alzeimer

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The error message R480 VGA DVI TVO BIOS BR10007 could be due to your RAM, it might be possible that when changing your battery one or more of your ram stick were slightly unseated. You should remove them clean the slots (with air) if they look dirty and firmly put them back in.

Edited by Alzeimer, 09 January 2014 - 11:31 AM.

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#15
Locla

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Took all the RAM sticks out, used compressed air and replaced; no more error :) Ordered the above mentioned HDD so that should be here by Monday. Unfortunately after searching high and low, and in the process re-organising lots of things, I have been unable to locate my copy of windows XP.

Now... hypothetically speaking, of course... if I acquired the correct version of windows XP online, theoretically, would I be able to use that with the license key on the PC case? I would think so, but I'm uncertain.



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