Here we go again.--Dell 8250 bad 200 gig hard drive again? & Dell's Tech line

Discussion in 'Dell' started by drcwks, Jul 12, 2003.

  1. drcwks

    drcwks Guest

    To make a long story short.......(I will try)--- This is an update of my
    problem back 2 months ago.--Not quite the same problem.

    MY MAIN QUESTIONS are at the bottom of this post.....if you want to scroll
    down first.... Sorry for the long post but I wanted to make sure you had all
    the information to help with your decision..... Thanks.

    1) I have a Dell 8250. It has the 3.06 processor, 1.5 gig of ram, 200
    gig/8meg buffer hard drive, audigy2 sound card, ati9700, dvd burner.
    Every thing has been working just fine since I had my hard drive replaced in
    May. This was diagnosed by an in house tech that was here to replace my CPU
    fan. It didn't boot up after he replaced it and after the tech talked to
    Dell, they both agreed it was the hard 2 days later I
    received the hard drive and "I" was responsible for loading all the new
    software..... (more about this later on what I did) to my NEW PROBLEM.

    ALL has been running fine with my NEW hard drive until last week. I booted
    up one night and all I got was a blank screen with a blinking cursor in the
    top left screen. This is an 'immediate' symptom right after the bios has
    loaded...since I do see the white bar increase from left to right. I turned
    power off, ctrl-alt-del, etc.... a dozen or so time and the same screen

    I called the DELL TECH LINE. I explained to them the problem and wanted them
    to UNDERSTAND I had already had a faulty drive(now I know differently)
    replaced back in MAY and now the SAME problem is occurring. AFTER 2 1/2
    hours on the phone to INDIA (nothing wrong with that..but some are very hard
    to understand)--- the TECH told me it was NOT a HARDWARE PROBLEM and I had
    to reinstall Windows XP again. I told him I CAN'T install the operating
    system EVERY 2 MONTHS --- that wasn't an acceptable option. He told me a
    HARDWARE problem CAN NOT cause a SOFTWARE PROBLEM. At one point in the
    diagnosis.... I did tell him the diagnostic lights on the back were all
    green except #4 (Letter D) . IT was Yellow.... Of course..later on through
    the trouble shooting....every time I did reboot....all the lights showed he said definitely...since all the lights were green it was NOT a
    hard ware problem. _OH.. We did switch cables out too to make sure the hard
    drive cable wasn't bad. The BIOS did recognize the HD and also DELL'S
    diagnostics on my hard drive said the HD passed. I told him there has to be
    some other quirk that makes my hard drive NOT want to boot passed the bios.
    I asked to talk to his supervisor since I wanted to elevate this to the
    point where maybe I could get another mother board, etc... He said the supv.
    was in a meeting.... SO I told him thanks...and called back to get ahold of
    another tech. I told him my problem and said I wanted to talk to his
    supervisor...That person told me the same thing...that it was the OS....
    SO...I just quit for the night....I was NOT impressed with their ONE WAY
    support..... to just LOAD the OS again....

    I remembered the next day ( I don't know why it took that long..) that I was
    thinking about how I got my OLD hard drive to work since I CLONED it using
    Norton Ghost. I bells went off when I remembered I went into the BIOS and
    picked the INTEGRATED DEVICES (Legacy Select Options).Then the sub menu I
    picked IDE Drive UDMA. I turned if from ON to OFF. I saved the settings and
    rebooted... IT BOOTED UP THE FIRST TIME!!. I then rebooted and changed the
    bios of the UDMA back to ON. The next reboot produce the BLANK SCREEN with
    BLINKING CURSOR top left corner..also cursor will not move with arrow keys,
    etc... SO.... NOW at least I was able to BOOT but I was NOT taking advantage
    of the UDMA capabilities...

    I called another Dell Tech (this time IDAHO). He looked up my case and
    wanted to know how my software installation went. I told him I didn't
    reinstall my OS. I said I Stumbled upon the boot up problem and now we had
    to figure out where to go from here... Is it a bad drive,,,, is it the
    Mother board...etc.... He had never heard of UDMA and wasn't familiar with
    the bios, etc... He told me to hold and five minutes later....he just
    said... since it works/boots with the UDMA turned off then just keep it
    turned off and it will be okay.... I insisted that for the LAST 2 MONTHS my
    BIOS has had this feature turned ON. And now it won't boot.... KEEPING it
    off is NOT fixing the problem. He said he would do some more searching....
    About another 5 minutes and he said he talked to a level 2 tech. He had me
    go to MY computer. Right click to bring up the tab for DEVICE MANAGER.From
    there I opened the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers. Right click on Primary IDE
    Channel. This opens a property window. I click on the Advanced settings tab.
    From this menu it shows Device 0 and device 1. Under device 0. There are 3
    toggle windows. Line one is Device type. It says Auto Detection and is
    underintensified....can't change it. The next line is Transfer Mode. It is
    set on DMA if Available. I can toggle to PIO ONLY. The 3rd line says CURRENT
    TRANSFER MODE. It's set at ULTRA DMA MODE 5. That line is set and no pull
    down menu available can't be changed......... ANYWAY -- The TECH told this
    menu shows the UDMA "IS" working and active and that the BIOS is SUPPOSED to
    be set to OFF on the UDMA option.. I STILL insisted that it has been ON
    since I installed my new hard drive and that there has to be something else
    that is causing the problem... I told him NOT to close my ticket out since I
    was going to do some more research.... so that's where I stand right now....

    I talked with some co-workers who have built their own computers and they
    said that if UDMA is NOT turned on in the BIOS then you are NOT running
    UDMA. They said the Property menu I was looking at was "JUST" extracting
    the info out from the hardware on what is "IS" capable of.... and by no
    means does that over ride the bios....


    1) Is the DELL TECH correct? By looking at the property window that I "AM"
    running UDMA even though the BIOS shows it turned off?

    2)I DID NOTICE after running with this turned off that my adobe photo shop,
    my ATI tv and video capture software runs MUCH slower..... very
    noticeable..... Would I SEE a difference in performance like that if I was
    NOT running UDMA if I were used to it?

    3)This goes back to an earlier question. -- CAN a HARDWARE problem cause a
    Software Problem? (I.E. A glitch in the mother board corrupts the boot
    portion of the hard drive? )

    4) Does anyone agree with the Dell Tech who said that since all 4
    diagnostics lights were GREEN A B C D -- that there was NO hardware problem?
    I can't see how 4 little lights are THAT definitive !

    Thanks in advance for your input/help

    drcwks, Jul 12, 2003
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  2. drcwks

    Don Enderton Guest

    Dean, I don't think there are people here who know all the
    answers to your questions. I suggest you post the same
    message on the Dell community forum in the Dimension General
    Hardware section (no need to post it in both hardware and
    software). You've posted there before in Customer Service
    but I recommend, for these issues, the General Hardware

    -- Don

    Don Enderton, Jul 17, 2003
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  3. drcwks


    Sep 11, 2008
    Likes Received:
    The Fix

    I will bet that you are running a BIOS that is A01 or older. There is a bug with larger hard drives and LBA that was fixed in A02. They are up to A04 at the moment and I would install that. It fixed my problem.
    NHRA21, Sep 11, 2008
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