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cannot install Vista or Windows 7 on a Dell Optiplex GX520

Posted on 2009-05-05
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hi folks, I'm at my whit's end now. I am trying to install Windows Vista or (preferably) Windows 7 onto a Dell Optiplex GX520 system with 4Gb RAM and a 250Gb HDD. Basically it will start the installation routine, but after the first reboot it just hangs with a flashing cursor in the top left of the screen... Gets no further... Windows XP works just fine.

I have checked all hardware using PC Check and the MS Memory tester and all seems okay there...

500 pointer :)
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Question by:Jeremy Bromley
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11 Comments
 
LVL 59

Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
ID: 24307267
For Vista, have you run the compatibility check?

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-vista/get/upgrade-advisor.aspx

Have you uninstalled (physically, I mean) all peripheral devices except those you need, e.g. the monitor, keyboard, mouse, hard drive, CD/DVD drive?

Have you tried the Vista and Win7 DVDs on another pc to see if there is any problem with the media?
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Jeremy Bromley
ID: 24307557
Hi, ran the Compatability check -no issues.
No devices attached apart from Kbd,Mouse & Monitor
All media works fine on other systems.
Tried virgin install and upgrade from XP - same result.
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LVL 59

Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
ID: 24307680
I hope you have Windows XP lying around, on a retail CD.  If so, then you can download the files necessary to create this wonderful tool:  Ultimate Boot CD for Windows.  With it, you can run hard drive checks and memory checks.  I think those would be the most likely source of your problem.

www.ubcd4win.com

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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Jeremy Bromley
ID: 24309098
Nope - that didn't come up with any errors. As I say, PC Check and Microsoft Memory checker failed to find any issues.
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:tenaj-207
ID: 24310005
This is an issue with the BIOS.  Hit F2 to go into your BIOS and change the setting from IDE to AHCI.  Remember if you ever want to go back to XP you have to change it back to IDE.

That should fix it.
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Accepted Solution

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tenaj-207 earned 2000 total points
ID: 24310049
Some addition details.  We need to change the SATA settings in the BIOS.  The setting should be under "Onboard Devices" or something similar to that, then under SATA Operation switch it from ATA (or IDE) to AHCI.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Jeremy Bromley
ID: 24312298
Okay, I'll do a BIOS upgrade whilst I'm about it too... On a related subject, is there a way to reset the BIOS Password apart from removing the battery?
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:tenaj-207
ID: 24312620
Good idea, and probably not.  Try the password Dell.  BIOS manufacturers sometimes put a backdoor password into the BIOS.  Here's a couple places to look.

http://www.tech-faq.com/reset-bios-password.shtml
http://crack0hack.wetpaint.com/page/BIOS+Backdoor+passwords+updated

If those don't work then post any BIOS information you have.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Jeremy Bromley
ID: 24324680
Tried the Dell one, but that didn't work unfortunately... I'm trying to get hold of the technician from the original place.
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:tenaj-207
ID: 24327853
Okay, let me know if you need to pull out the battery and I can help you reconfigure the BIOS settings.
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LVL 1

Author Closing Comment

by:Jeremy Bromley
ID: 31578126
Sorted - thanks.
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