I am putting this here, because it covers many questions

OK, I have a Dell GX 745 Optiplex computer. It is running XP Pro. It has 4GB memory, a low end nVidia card that has a single fan on top. It is a Core2 Duo Intel processor.

OK, I turned on the system and it suddenly started making a lot of noise. So I took off the side panel and looked at the guts. While I did this I was checking the Task Manager and I noticed the Performance was spiking out at 100%. Seems the noise matched up with a vibration from the fan on the graphics card. Well I tried to refrain from using the system at all, but needed to get some vital file info (*dell drivers for this piece of junk Dimension 4600 I am using at the moment). Both times I tried to get on the optiplex I got the blue screen and it said it was going to do a memory dump. So I shut down and called dell to get the drivers on cd for this one.

So I started checking around for someone to take a look at what might be wrong with the optiplex, because it has been out of the warrenty for about 2 years. If it was the CPU or the GC. I found a nice guy at an independent tech place. But to be honest if I knew how to do the dell diagnostic on the hardware I could do it for free. Now he also let slip something about the memory as well needed to be tested.

OK, so, I have my OEM & I also have the original Drivers and Utilities CD. Since this system is out of warranty could someone guide me as to how to do the hardware diagnostics myself? What to look for, or I could post the info here. And if it is cpu, gc or memory possibly? I luckily have 4 GB's of ram on hand. I have the old Radeon 1300pro card that was in the system, and I have a fair idea how to install the cpu. (*remember this is a dell, they have replaced the cpu at least 6 times that I can recall).

Someone else suggested cleaning gently around the cpu and gc with a soft bristled paint brush as air does not always clean so good?! Ideas on this???

ThanX a Bunch. I am hoping to get a new puter come march. But I want to save this system (*Optiplex) as a back up just in case. Plus until now it has worked great for photo shop and some other apps.

Now a question on this new system. I am buying the parts, and he is assembling it (*charge by the hour), I said to the tech guy who will be putting the system together for me, that I could install the OEM myself. (*I have done this more times then I can count). But he said that it isn't the same installing an OEM on a new build.

I am just asking is this so? Could someone sort of point out how it would differ? I mean everyone tells me to build it myself. But if it is such a delicate procedure, why would so many say it is easy? I was going to go for Win7 64bit Pro, but he says unless I am networking with other computers that I do not need Pro. Pro vs Home/Home Premium (* o0 ?) is a bit confusing to me coming from always having used XP Pro. Educate me please.

ThanX to any and all that help me.
9 answers Last reply
More about putting here covers questions
  1. Where do you live? If it is in the DC area I will do the stuff in person for a small flat fee rather than a large hourly one.

    Otherwise, I will tell you whatever I can over the wire for free.

    The first thing I can tell you is that annoying noises are more often from the PSU and the Motherboard than they are from the processor or graphics card.

    If a video card fan is running consistently at its highest speed, it is usually a PSU problem.

    - Edit -

    I wanted to add here that PSUs generally die after 3 - 5 years of normal use anyway, especially if they are low end models in top mounted PSU configurations common with builders like DELL. This sort of thing is to be expected. PSUs are almost always the first things to die in a system that otherwise runs just fine for many years.

    - End Edit -

    Look and see if there is a little panel on the back with some letters lit up in the back of the computer. Many optiplex models have this thing and it can be pretty useful in diagnosing what problems you are experiencing.

    I wouldn't bother with any programs that are on the CDs right now.

    Also, it is unusual even for DELL to need to replace a CPU 6 times. I have used some in the past myself and been an administrator for thousands of them in a professional setting and not one of them ever had to have the PSU replaced 6 times, or even twice for that matter.

    They do have their issues and things I don't agree with, but at least this problem you reported is still an unusual thing in my experience.

    I wouldn't bother with trying to clean around the CPU with a paint brush atm, either.

    Also, the tech guy has a point with the OEM Windows install. For it to be legal copy of Windows, somebody has to install it on a computer and then the computer has to be sold to someone else, and only the person it is sold to can use it.

    I can point you to where in the license agreement the legalese for all this is, if you doubt it.

    That isn't to say that some people don't get an OEM CD and use it illegally anyway (build the computer, install the OS, and not sell it), but the agreements do clearly say that the OS only becomes legal once it is sold.

    Additionally, for it to be a legal OS it has to be installed by a thing called an OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) which individuals generally don't have. That is also clearly in the license agreement.

    That all applies to OEM versions of Windows. If you get a legal retail copy, you can install it yourself NP, because those license agreements are different.

    It is also important to note that in the OEM license agreement, it says that whatever 3rd party installed the OS is responsible for troubleshooting it, which means the computer guy would have to take your calls about tech support and you can't call Microsoft.

    If you want to build a computer yourself you generally have to get a retail copy of Windows to stay legit.

    I don't mind telling you what you need to know to build a computer yourself, but I won't advise you on how to do illegal things, nor would I condone such activity.

    It isn't very hard to put together the physical parts. Many people are intimidated by it, but its not overly hard.

    There are quite a few major differences between Home Premium and Professional, and networking is only one of them. I can tell you more about this once the other stuff is sorted.
  2. First Thank you.

    Second, i am finding that I may be being misled. I am actually building this system, or should i say I am buying all of the parts, including the OEM from Newegg. So now i am beginning to have some doubts and am glad i asked. Since I live in Nevada.... sadly no where near you. Would you consider teaming up by phone? Believe it or not i am fairly techy (*you sort of have to be by default. Know what i mean?), did i mention this is my 5th Dell Optiplex? My first was a GX100! o0 I knew the windows 98 script by heart (dell's answer to all problems, debug and reformat! lol). The only thing that worries me is installing the power supply. I'd hate to "fry" my new puter before i even got to use it!

    As for the CPU replacements well Dell over the last 5-7 years seemed to think the answer was to basically replace the entire guts in any crisis. Seems massively cost inefficient but what can I say?

    I am going to check your info for a mailing location, and i will forward you my info.

    I look forward to speaking soon.

  3. I was having a similar problem with my XPS 410 (noise and GPU issues). It seems that in my case (no pun intended), the fact that the GPU was upside down allowed for something to get into the fan housing. This was causing my GPU to fail.

    I am not sure about your situation, but if you have another GPU handy, just try swapping them out with each other.
  4. Is GPU the Graphics Card? Sounds stupid, but I have to ask... o0


  5. yes Graphics Card.
  6. I just wanted to say that I responded to your private message and point out a few things about your recent comments.

    Firstly, there is nothing in the license that I have read that says the computer seller has to have bought the parts themselves, just that they have to install the OS with the OPK and they must transfer the license to you and they have to handle any tech support questions that you have.

    I don't see any good reason why it wouldn't be legal for them to take your parts, install the OS on it, and then give it back.

    Still, if you are a student, you have better options, IMO. You can get a full version of Windows either from the school or Microsoft's website and it will be $65 at the most. According to my knowledge anyway.

    Technically, since it is a full version copy, the license can be transferred to whoever under whatever terms, so if you know a student, it should be legit if they get it for you and then give it to you at cost. All that needs to be had is access to a student email address, so if it is a student that has graduated and still has access to their old student email then that should still work too.

    Some schools keep the school email account going indefinitely, as I understand it. Giving such people a cheap copy of Windows once a year for life if they want it.

    The school copies are also Windows 7 Professional (either 32 or 64) and thus have a few niceties that Home Premium doesn't have.

    If you wanted to go that route, you could just set up the whole thing yourself and not have to pay anyone for anything.

    I can guide you through that process no problem.

    I am familiar with DELL's warranty policy too, and I can see that it does have some plusses and minuses too it from a business standpoint. Most of my life I have worked in computers, but I actually do have a degree in business so I am pretty familiar with the business aspects of such a replacement policy.
  7. Thank you both Vollman & Raiddinn !

    I have replied to you Raiddinn so your FB should be updated. No longer a student but have a few friends at UNR who might be able to help out there.

    Seems like when you venture beyond prebuilt's into building your own, it is really simuliar to when I started learning about the different CPU/MB's and what would work best for my applications. The more I learned the more overwhelming it all seemed. But I did not want to fall back on Dell. Low-end power supplies and expensive, proprietary parts make it it's own nightmare. I just want to render again, and soon.

    HugZ to all!!! Wish you lived in Reno!
  8. Hi Everyone!

    Here is my new build!!! All the parts arrived today... I will have it done by Sunday. Thank you Everyone for your valuable input and help!!!


    New Build

    Item #:N82E16811147153
    Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm
    Model #:CHALLENGER
    Item #:N82E16811147153
    Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
    In Stock
    $59.99 -$5.00 Instant $54.99

    EVGA Z68 SLI 130-SB-E685-KR LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Intel Motherboard
    Model #:130-SB-E685-KR
    Item #:N82E16813188097
    Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
    In Stock
    Mail in Rebate Card13-188-097
    $209.99 -$60.00 Instant $149.99

    EVGA 01G-P3-1460-KR GeForce GTX 560 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
    Model #:01G-P3-1460-KR
    Item #:N82E16814130660
    Return Policy:VGA Standard Return Policy
    In Stock
    Mail in Rebate Card14-130-660
    $189.99 $189.99

    Item #:N82E16817139025
    CORSAIR Gaming Series GS800 800W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC High Performance Power ...
    Model #:CMPSU-800G
    Item #:N82E16817139025
    Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
    In Stock
    Mail in Rebate Card17-139-025
    $139.99 -$15.00 Instant $124.99

    Item #:N82E16820233143
    CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9
    Model #:CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9
    Item #:N82E16820233143
    Return Policy:Memory Standard Return Policy
    In Stock
    $94.99 -$5.00 Instant $89.99

    Item #:N82E16832116992
    Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit - OEM
    Model #:FQC-04649
    Item #:N82E16832116992
    Return Policy:Software Standard Return Policy
    In Stock
    $139.99 -$15.00 Instant $124.99

    i5 2500k
    Item #:N82E16819115072
    Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 ...
    Model #:BX80623I52500K
    Item #:N82E16819115072
    Return Policy:Iron Egg Replacement-Only Return Policy
    In Stock

    Optical Drive
    Item #:N82E16827118031
    SONY Black SATA DVD-ROM Drive Model DDU1681S-0B - OEM
    Model #:DDU1681S-0B
    Item #:N82E16827118031
    Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
    In Stock

    Thermaltake BlacX N0028USU External Hard Drive SATA Enclosure Docking Station 2.5" & 3.5" USB 2.0
    Model #:N0028USU
    Item #:N82E16817153066
    Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
    In Stock
    $34.99 -$5.00 Instant $29.99
  9. The new system is built, EVGA did an RMA and all is right with the world!
    ThanX Everyone!
Ask a new question

Read More

Prebuilt Systems