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Dimension 8200 Bizarre Hardware Problem

Hi Guys,

Dell's Sorry History of MicrophoneSoundcard Issue Update
Dell's Sorry History of Microphone-Soundcard Issue -------------------------------------------------- Here are the selected compilations of Dell microphone-soundcard issue posted in the Dell Dimension audio forum. Note that the problem was...

I seem to be having a bizarre hardware problem with one of my Dell Dimension 8200 systems. First let me say that I have been working on computers for years, I do it for a living, and have personally never seen a problem exactly like this before.

The system was working fine yesterday until I decided to do a system restart. I went through the normal process, the machine shutdown then brought up the Dell splash screen, but instead of re-starting windows XP all I got was a blinking cursor in the very top left hand corner of the screen. I did a hard reset on the machine but that didn't do anything to resolve the problem.

My first thought was that I either have a bad hard drive or a bad hard drive controller on the motherboard. This is where the problem gets complicated.

I went ahead and removed the hard drive and installed it in my other Dimension 8200 system. The drive works fine. It boots up properly without any issues and I'm able to get to the windows log in screen. The drive pbuttes all manufacture diagnostics. (Seagate)

Since the drive works fine in another system, I figured I must have a bad hard drive controller-motherboard. I got out a spare drive that I hard laying around and installed it in the malfunctioning system. Guess what, the system boots up just fine with my spare drive.

At this point, I've placed the original drive back in the malfunctioning computer and am still getting the blinking cursor. I can hear the drive spinning, so I know it's getting power. Another interesting note, I have run the Dell Diagnostics CD and the hard drive test pbuttes without any errors. One thing that is strange is that the hard drive makes an unusual buzzing-clicking noise when it's not being accessed, but when the tests are running it sounds normal. I don't get any of these unusual noises when the drive is connected in my other system.

I'm not exactly sure what the problem is, however I believe it is somehow related with the motherboard or integrated hard drive controller.

Dimension 8200 Bizarre Hardware Problem. 1199
James - Good job policiing this one out. The cursor symptom problem resides somewhere from the system board-BIOS-and initializing the hard drive. For some reason, the...

Here are some of the things I've tried: 1. Tried new IDE cable. 2. Used external power source for HDD 3. Disconnected CD-ROM drives and used secondary IDE connector 4. Swapped video card just to rule it out 5. Removed all un-necessary PCI cards 6. Replaced bios battery and restored bios to defaults-verified all settings 7. Reseated RAM modules

Any hints would be appreciated at this point. Right now I'm at a loss and don't know of anything else I can do except to start replacing parts, starting with the motherboard.


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