I purchased a Dell XPS 600 in February of 2006. Everything has been running great until about a month ago. I received and error when booting that said my PATA-0 and PATA-1 ports could not be detected (those are my dvd drives). I can still boot fine into windows but the drives are totally undetected by both BIOS and windows. I have tried formatting and BIOS is flashed with most up to date version. To make matters worse sometimes when I boot I get the error that my SATA-0 and SATA-1 ports cannot also be detected (the hard-drives) which leaves me unable to boot into windows. Usually letting it sit for 10-15 minutes allows me to get back into windows, but the dvd drives will not be recognized no matter what. I have tried swapping cables for all four devices as well as using other ports on the mobo, I have also tried the drives in another PC to verify they are in fact working. When all four devices fail to be recognized I get an error: Previous boot attempts failed at checkpoint [Bye] contact tech support blah blah. It is currently out of warranty so I am not sure what to do. I thought it may be the motherboard but I can not figure out how to get a replacement as I do not see one offered on Dell's website and I am not sure which one will be compatible with my current system. Thanks for any ideas/help you can come up with.
I had the same exact problem with my xps600 this last summer. I had the extended warranty on mine. I went round and round with dell support trying to find the problem. I new for sure that my dvd/cd rom drives were fine. Both were not being recognized by bios and when in windows. Dell ended up replacing the motherboard and it has worked fine after that. It appears my replacement must ve been reconditioned because I have been unable to find a new and so far reconditioned backup when my warranty expires. Plus it looks like dell was nice enough to not allow this xps motherboard to be upgraded. This is a bummer for someone who spends $5000 for a system and great for dell who forces you to buy a new system every 3-5 yrs. Although, I will be exploring other options. I also have not been impressed with their support reps.