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

Posted on 2009-02-12
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?

Question by:Robert
    LVL 62

    Accepted Solution

    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.

    Author Comment

    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.

    LVL 62

    Assisted Solution

    by:☠ MASQ ☠
    >>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.

    Author Comment

    Sure, if you have a link, please post it!
    LVL 62

    Expert Comment

    by:☠ MASQ ☠
    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

    Author Comment

    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.



    Featured Post

    Why You Should Analyze Threat Actor TTPs

    After years of analyzing threat actor behavior, it’s become clear that at any given time there are specific tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) that are particularly prevalent. By analyzing and understanding these TTPs, you can dramatically enhance your security program.

    Join & Write a Comment

    The article will include the best Data Recovery Tools along with their Features, Capabilities, and their Download Links. Hope you’ll enjoy it and will choose the one as required by you.
    Great sound, comfort and fit, excellent build quality, versatility, compatibility. These are just some of the many reasons for choosing a headset from Sennheiser.
    This video teaches viewers how to encrypt an external drive that requires a password to read and edit the drive. All tasks are done in Disk Utility. Plug in the external drive you wish to encrypt: Make sure all previous data on the drive has been …
    This Micro Tutorial will teach you how to reformat your flash drive. Sometimes your flash drive may have issues carrying files so this will completely restore it to manufacturing settings. Make sure to backup all files before reformatting. This w…

    728 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    20 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now