In desperate need of help with OS install on Dell Optiplex 755

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by zopzop, Jun 21, 2014.

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  1. zopzop

    zopzop Registered Member

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    I've been trying to help my friend install the Home Premium version of Windows 7 on his Dell Optiplex 755 with no luck.

    Here's a little background on the machine in question :
    It was a corporate machine that a friend of his got for free from his job (they were upgrading to new hardware and letting employees take the old stuff, anything the employees didn't want, the company sold). This guy put some new hardware in it : ATI Radeon 5670 1GB vid card, an extra 2 GBS of RAM, a wireless card and he updated the BIOS (I know this because the version is the most recent available).

    Then he gave it to my friend because he bought a new computer. My friend plays Minecraft and it's a very RAM intensive game. He found out the max RAM (8GBS) for the Optiplex 755 and bought RAM on EBAY :
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-8GB-4X2...top-PC-DDR2-PC2-5300-RAM-Memory-/220948907102

    He installed the RAM and everything seemed fine. The BIOS shows it, he ran a memory test on it (all passed), Windows XP showed it (but only 3GBs). I told him he needed a 64bit OS so the remaining RAM would be recognized by the OS. He purchased a copy of Home Premium from his school with his student discount.

    Now this is where it gets odd. He wiped his HD (he didn't care what was on it, he already had it backed up) and attempted to install the OS. It didn't work.

    It hung on the "Starting Windows" section of the install. We messed around with the BIOS settings to try and see what was up. The only way we got it to install was by turning "OS Install" option on. Windows finished installing.

    Then we started Windows, only 256MBs of Ram out of the 8GBs was available (the OS told us). So I remembered that the "OS Install" option in the BIOS stated that while this option was enabled RAM would be limited to 256MBs. We rebooted into the BIOS and turned that option off. We restarted and Windows 7 will NOT boot up. It resets back to the DELL boot screen. No error is given.

    So no he's stuck. If the "OS Install" option is OFF, Windows will not load at all. If it's on, Windows loads with only 256MBs of Ram out of the 8GBs available.

    I even tried to "trick" the system by enabling the "OS Install" option (so that Windows actually started), then running MSCONFIG, going into the BOOT tab, selecting the "Advanced" option, setting the number of processor cores to 2 (for some reason only 1 was selected) and setting max ram from the 256 that was forced by the OS to the max. I restarted the PC, turned off "OS Install" in the BIOS, started Windows, and again it would not load. I restarted the PC, turned on "OS Install" in the BIOS, started Windows and it started but again with only 256MBs of RAM (completely ignoring the BOOT options I changed in MSCONFIG).

    Google is no help and we're completely out of options. Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    I bear no responsibility for your results.

    I'd wipe out the whole partition & format it to NTFS with a boot flag using GParted. Then I'd try another install using only the original 2GB RAM.
     
  3. zopzop

    zopzop Registered Member

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    Nothing we do can make it any worse so we'll try it LOL

    He did a full format before he installed Win 7. It didn't help.

    The thing is, it was running fine on Windows XP with the 8GBs installed. It was only when he formatted and attempted to install Win 7 did the problems start. But I'll try it. What happens if it runs with only 2GBs? Then what? The rest of his RAM is useless and he needs it for his modded Minecraft.
     
  4. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    You can reinsert remaining RAM after OS will be installed.
     
  5. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    One thing at a time.

    It's been a loooooong time since I worked on a desktop. I've got stacks of laptops though.

    My point being is that memory looked weird to me. I'm wondering if that Dell has ECC (server memory) or regular desktop nonECC memory. I'm thinking W7 doesn't read ECC memory over a certain amount & too much fubars things. Or the power supply is so weak that adding RAM messes things. These are just random thoughts. My thoughts about fixing laptops are scattered but I fix 99.9% of the machines I work on.
     
  6. zopzop

    zopzop Registered Member

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    Ok, an update. Formatted (again), took out the 8GBs of RAM, put in the original 2GBs (noticed in bios that the "OS Install" option isn't even present now). Put in the Windows 7 DVD, it booted! It wasn't even doing that before (without the OS Install option on). Now it's installing.

    We're scared that once it's done installing and we put the 8GBs back in, it won't boot up again :(
    I'll let you know how it goes.
     
  7. zopzop

    zopzop Registered Member

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    Both the "old" and new RAM is nonECC and unbuffered
     
  8. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    Once you've got W7 installed & working with original 2GB. Then if powering down unplugging & pressing power button for 30-60 seconds waiting 5minutes & repeat the power drain press. If after the 8GB is installed you have problems then it's time play around with the DIMM slots. Install only 4GB in 2 DIMM slots start with slots 1 & 2 which are not next to each other. If this works, properly power down draining the power again & try the same 2 sticks in DIMMs 3 & 4. If that works try the 4GB DIMM switching with the other 2 sticks. If theres DIMM or RAM problem this should suss it out. Otherwise imo its a PSU problem.
     
  9. zopzop

    zopzop Registered Member

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    Ok, Windows 7 installed with the original 2GBs. I then shutdown and tried to install the 8gbs back in. I got a message saying the system memory has changed press F1 to continue or F2 to go into Setup. I pressed F1. And again it happened. It rebooted to the Dell startup screen.

    EDIT :
    The 4GB in slot 1 and 2 works. Windows booted and it shows it has 4G
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014
  10. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    What about the rest of the stick & DIMM switching?
     
  11. zopzop

    zopzop Registered Member

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    Ok when I put the other two sticks in slots 3 and 4 (not the ones i used in 1 and 2), the computer makes a beeping noise multiple times, then shuts off.
     
  12. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    You got to keep the sticks straight. Or else this is not as useful. Go back & try the same sticks in 3&4. Im tired just be logical.
     
  13. zopzop

    zopzop Registered Member

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    OK, the first set of new RAM I tried works in slot 1/2/3/4 no beeping and the pc starts.

    The second set of RAM doesn't work in any slot 1/2/3/4. The PC beeps and doesn't start. Should I try one of these at a time and see which is causing the problem? It seems like one of the RAM is defective?
     
  14. zopzop

    zopzop Registered Member

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    Ah ha! One of the RAM is bad I think. Out of the last two I tested, one worked. One caused the PC to beep and not turn on. Now what? Does my friend ask the EBAY seller to exchange the bad stick?
    If yes, while we wait for the replacement stick can he use the following RAM setup 2/2/2/1 (His old RAM it's the same speed as the new one)?
     
  15. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    Up to you. But you found the found the problem & gained troubleshooting skills for a new way of thinking into the future. Well done.
     
  16. zopzop

    zopzop Registered Member

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    Thank you so much for your help. I never would have guessed it was the RAM. I mean we saw Windows and the BIOS recognize it without even giving us a warning that it was bad or something. My friend says "Thank You" too.

    I love this forum. Even though I don't post as much here anymore, I always come back when I need help. The people here are great.


    Thanks again!
     
  17. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    You are very welcome. Glad you're sorted.
     
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