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In a bind, need advice.

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November 3, 2006 2:58:04 PM

Hey all, I think I'm screwed. I'm running a Dell XPS Gen2 3.2, with 2g ram. I beleive the mother board is dead, as power cycles through the system(lights blink on keyboard, drives) but nothing actually activates.. No vid no bootup. I managed to dig up my specs and my CPU is a socket N? I can't find a Motherboard thats socket N, if there was one. It's just going to suck if I have to toss a working cpu.

More about : bind advice

a b V Motherboard
November 3, 2006 4:12:08 PM

You can get a replacement motherboard from Dell.
November 3, 2006 5:49:29 PM

Out of warranty.. I forgot to put that up :( 

Plus I was looking on the dell site for motherboard/system boards and didn't find a thing. Everything else yeah.
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a b V Motherboard
November 3, 2006 6:44:50 PM

Unfortunately, Dell is so big that they have their motherboards, cases and power supplies made for them to their non-standard specs. You usually cannot just buy a non-Dell replacement and drop it in. The Dell website probably does not list parts. You will have to call them and talk to techies.
Another option:
Chuck the case, psu, and motherboard.
Keep the cpu, ram, keyboard, mouse, monitor and drives and rebuild a industry standard system around them.
I have never heard of a socket "N". It will either be a 423, 478 or 775.
Anyone else here heard of a socket "N" Intel?????
November 3, 2006 6:56:39 PM

The documentation they sent me is so half asses.. It calls itself a socket N, yet after MORE digging.. I found the board info as 875 chipset, after more digging online it's a 478.. I agree, I'll toss the dead weight. Was just hoping I could just pop it out and replace it. Nothing is ever really simple eh?
a b V Motherboard
November 3, 2006 7:59:15 PM

I'll bet it's the last Dell you ever buy!
November 3, 2006 8:04:26 PM

Yes. Yes it is..
November 3, 2006 8:17:33 PM

It's either a 478 or 775 socket mobo you have there.

In the lucky event that it's a 775, I'd suggest you follow the advice that someone here already mentionned - salvage all you can from you current setup and buy a new socket 775 board. Be sure to buy a board that supports your current CPU and also the Pentium D's and if possible CORE2. That gives you a very cheap upgrade path later on, when you want to upgrade your CPU.
THere are some quality boards available from Asus (P5B series) and Gigabyte (p965-s3 or ds3), as well as some cheaper variations from Foxcon and Asrock. These can be had from 70-150$, and you get to keep virtually all of your current components.


If your board is a socket 478... then you're in trouble. I'm not sure if it's worth spending money on a new 478 board now, when your PC will become outdated fairly soon (depending on what you use it for, of course). Additionnaly, be sure to find out what kind of ram it uses - DDR or DDR2, and make sure your new board supports it. IF your original MB is indeed a 478, consider buying a used board or an open box product to get the cheapest possible board ... no sense investing in a dying platform.

CHeers
November 3, 2006 8:23:21 PM

Sadly it's a 478, using DDR.
November 3, 2006 8:28:03 PM

One more thing that I remembered.

Sometimes a board will not POST if there's a faulty memory module or a burnt/incompatible CPU. Be sure to eliminate these possibilities before you assume your MB is the problem.

I was building a PC for a friend of mine a month ago, and wasted an hour troubleshooting a weird POST problem (his system seemed to start to power up normally, but nothing would ever be displayed on screen) ...
Turns out his MB didnt support a Pentium D 8xx series CPU.

So the point is - it could be a RAM stick crapping out or even your CPU. Try pulling out your RAM 1 stick at a time and booting that way. To test the CPU, the best way would be to try it in a friend's computer.... but not everyone has that option.
a b V Motherboard
November 3, 2006 9:53:47 PM

Quote:
One more thing that I remembered.

Sometimes a board will not POST if there's a faulty memory module or a burnt/incompatible CPU. Be sure to eliminate these possibilities before you assume your MB is the problem.

I was building a PC for a friend of mine a month ago, and wasted an hour troubleshooting a weird POST problem (his system seemed to start to power up normally, but nothing would ever be displayed on screen) ...
Turns out his MB didnt support a Pentium D 8xx series CPU.

So the point is - it could be a RAM stick crapping out or even your CPU. Try pulling out your RAM 1 stick at a time and booting that way. To test the CPU, the best way would be to try it in a friend's computer.... but not everyone has that option.
While what you say is possible, it is more likely that either the motherboard or the psu took a giant crap. Dell uses Hynix DDR which is reliable stuff. So is the cpu, as I assume it is the original system processor.
Reviving a 478 system is not a waste of time. Budget issues always play a role. Need more specifics to help further.
November 3, 2006 10:07:15 PM

it's all original parts. My budget is helped out a bit since I still have (as far as I know) a decent working Video card(radeon 9800 256) sound card, HD etc..

This is driving me a bit nuts. Not a big price difference but, p4 3.4 550 and p4 3.4 550j... I can't find a difference in ATACOM's descriptions.. Is there one?
November 4, 2006 12:28:07 AM

Uhg, my brain.. All I need to do is get 3 things.. a case/psu (thinking Antec sonata II) a Motherboard and CPU.. I can't figure out if a Dual Core 2.8 is better than my old P4 3.2.. nor can I match them with a decent board.. is this a gray hair? how do you guys do this? lol
November 4, 2006 1:32:39 PM

In my stupidity I just ramble on.. Here are my full specs.. XPS Gen2 3.2 (socket 478) 2g ddr 400mhz (4 sticks)
DIGITAL VIDEO DISK DRIVE, DVD+RW, 4.7, TEAC, 8X, DVD+R
DIGITAL VIDEO DISK DRIVE, 680M, 16X, I, 5.25" FORM FACTOR, HITACHI LG DATA STORAGE
HARD DRIVE, 80G, I, 7.2K, 80G/P, Maxtor Calypso
3.5 floppy.
Sound Blaster audigy
PSU seems to be a 460w

My video card (Radeon 9800) is unfortunately a damn AGP, and upgrading the CPU/Board while finding an agp slot in the world of pci-express is, as difficult as finding a 478 motherboard. also the new boards I seem to find say ddr2 ram
a b V Motherboard
November 4, 2006 3:35:17 PM

Quote:
my orginal board was an 875p chipset, should I try to find another like it or is 865 good? some times I wonder if numbers mean squat.

I did find some thing interesting http://www.asrockamerica.com/Products/P4Combo.htm

This looked good http://www.abit-usa.com/products/mb/products.php?categories=1&model=4 But ofcourse, it's discontinued!

or http://www.msicomputer.com/product/detail_spec/product_detail.asp?model=865PE_Neo2-PFS_(Platinum_Edition)

The availability of good skt478 motherboards is an issue today.
I found this which may serve your needs well. Don't bother to buy a new cpu, it's a waste of money.
MSI 865GM3-LS skt478 mATX AGP $48+6 11/4/06
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813130062
http://www.msicomputer.com/product/p_spec.asp?model=865GM3-LS&class=mb
November 4, 2006 3:59:06 PM

Thanks! but I got 4 sticks of ram I need to fit. it's frustrating.
!