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Advice needed in replacing motherboard in dell dimension 8400

Last response: in Motherboards
September 21, 2010 10:34:29 AM

Hi guys,

I have a dell dimension 8400 and the motherboard has packed in.

PSU is ok as are all peripherals, found capacitors bulging and one burst so it seems like it needs replacement.

I havent ordered the motherboard yet but its the one recommended from dells website. 8400 doesnt allow aftermarket motherboards as they wont fit into the case.

Dell recommends this motherboard as a replacement:

Im wondering, do I simply remove all existing hardware off the old motherboard and clip it all into the new one and switch on and my system will be as it was or is there more to it than that?


a b V Motherboard
September 21, 2010 2:53:48 PM

you can remove the CPU, RAM, VGA and plug it into the new one however since it I assume its a different motherboard (and possibly chipset). Windows may not load and you will probably have to reformat and reinstall windows to get it to work.
September 21, 2010 3:00:53 PM

your dell oem windows might not install on the new board (sometimes their locked to the hardware)
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a b V Motherboard
September 21, 2010 3:18:13 PM

maxjam said:

Dell recommends this motherboard as a replacement:

Can't imagine that, the Dell board uses a proprietary front panel wiring cable and the D8400 case only has 5 expansion slots.
a c 716 V Motherboard
September 21, 2010 3:32:34 PM

I have answered many Dell {rebuild} questions, and to date it has been unanimously to purchase a new case. Typically, the I/O shield is welded, MOBO is proprietary to Dell, etc.

Coolmaster CM690 -

Please replace your PSU ASAP!!! {best PSU's - 1 rail + Japanese capacitors}
Corsair PSU -

Microsoft XP SP3 {clean/official} ISO -
September 28, 2010 5:05:07 PM

Hey Maxjam, I've got the exact same dilema. Dimension 8400 MB, refuses to boot, bulging caps seems to be the problem. It happened after I added a blu-ray burner, may have overloaded the PSU, which is a 350W. The 4-pin connector was burnt, but tests show the PSU is ok. So I searched the Dell site, and found the same thing you did, (the recomendation of the P5N-D). So I purchased the P5N-D, a silencer 700W PSU, 4 Gigs of the fastest Crucial it could take (6400) cause current ram is (4200), a second video card for SLI (Geforce 8600 512mb w/667 clock), a new 500 gig HD, a different new CPU heatsink, & a 120mm fan. Came to see, when checking the Dell case, that the power panel connectors "are" proprietary (cannot connect the new MB's power pins to it, without spliceing new connectors. So I decided, and purchased a new case, that has the individual power panel pins. I loved the Dell case, for all it's simplicity, tool-less features, & the way it splits open, but Dell is Dell, I guess. What did I salvage from the Dell? Not much really, the 3.4CPU, the other 8600 video card, the blu-ray, the DVD burner, & two raid HD's. I guess i'll have the parts to rebuild the Dell itself, when I replace the caps, cause I have another 3.4CPU. If I had to do it over again, I would have just replaced the caps, but hey, now I have two, actually five pc's running side by side. Oh well. :whistle: 
September 30, 2010 5:11:30 AM


honestly bro. this might be a sign saying it's time to upgrade.
to get off that single cpu (P4HT) 775 socket and move on up..
if you like Dell then look for a 'barebones' and move parts over, but move to at least a dual core.
that would be a cheap option amongst others like a new build but that might not be in the budget right now.

You're right, not in the budget right this moment, but this board supports dual, & quad. Got most everything else already & all I really need is the cpu, which i'll get in due time, with maybe some faster ram too. For now, this set-up's just fine.