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Dell Dimension 4700 motherboard - standard size?  CD/DVD won't write

Robert asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
Hi EE,

Am considering replacing the motherboard but don't know if it's ATX, microATX, or neither.

I have a Dell Dimension 4700 that was running fine except when trying to copy a text (Notepad) file to the CD/DVD RW drive.  Details follow.  I replaced the drive, but the same problems exist.  Here are the details:

The CD/DVD+-RW would read discs fine.  Windows Explorer would not give an error during the copy, but would not show any files on the drive (a blank CD-R).  When it came time to shut the PC down, it would not shut down, saying that Windows was copying a file.  Trying to terminate the copy was unsuccessful.

Occasionally - after hard-power down and restart - the PC would crash with BSOD, no driver mentioned.  Now it boots to the Desktop but crashes rightaway to BSOD.

The ABCD lights on the rear panel are solid green.

So - two questions really - what's wrong with the CD/DVD drive, and is the motherboard replaceable with a standard size board?

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Most Valuable Expert 2013
Well one question is certainly easier to answer than the other!
Normally I'd say nothing is standard about Dell PC's but the motherboard on the Dim 4700 is a standard ATX form factor and so the holes in your replacment board will line up with those in the Dell case.
Check the current board for blown capacitors.

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I have done some more testing on the system - and after removing Pinnacle Studio InstantCD software, the CD/DVD drives are now working - writing files just fine.

There were some phantom drives as well - VOBID CD drive - that went away after Pinnacle was uninstalled, also.

So I'm blaming the BSODs and the copy problems on software conflicts, and leaving it to that.

As far as the motherboard goes - are you sure about this?  I mean, have you replaced one?  I've not seen any documentation that says that these mobos are micro-ATXs, and I don't have one to test it, either.  I've seen vendors selling Dell replacement units (exact replacements), but they don't specify form factor at all.

Most Valuable Expert 2013
>>have you replaced one?
At least one yes :)
Will try and find a link to back this up but sounds like you won't be needing it.


Sure, if you have a link, please post it!
Most Valuable Expert 2013

You're right it's difficult to find it in print anywhere.
I tried M3918 (The Dell P/N for the motherboard) and ATX though Google and got a few hits


Hmmm.  Without removing the mobo, it measures about 9.5" x 9.5" which is almost the maximum for a micro ATX format.  

No search I found, including your link, list it as a micro ATX board.  

Still, if I were replacing it, I would not try to fit an ATX board in this case.  But I don't know if an off the shelf micro ATX board would match up for mounting.  Which is what I was looking for.

But, if you said you've replaced one, I'll take your word for it.


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