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bios update

Posted on 2011-02-15
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I'm trying to update my friends bios on his computer which it is a dell xps 400 and it doesn't have a floppy drive. Cause the computer keeps on rebooting on windows loading screen. Windows Xp is installed on it. What should I do.
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Question by:cledoux
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Expert Comment

by:silemone
ID: 34899591
Why do you think the rebooting is a bios problem?

Most of these machines that don't have a Floppy or CD rom have recovery system by pressing F12.  Did you try to repair with this option?
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by:Chris Millard
ID: 34899689
This is more than likely a problem with the operating system or drive. Can you boot in Safe Mode or using Last Known Good configuration?

Also, try booting wit F8 and choose the option to disable automatic restart on system failure - you might be getting the blue screen of death, and if so, it may give you some idea as to what is causing the issue.

Can you take the drive out of your friends PC and put it in as a slave in yours and run a full checkdisk?
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by:10023
ID: 34899743
I agree with the first two comments but your computer provides a diagnostic response for analysis..please review the led patterns on the front of the computer using this page for help
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/xps400/sm/adtshoot.htm#wp1054146
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by:silemone
ID: 34899767
BTW, it can be dangerous to play with the BIOS with a machine thats restarting...if BIOS update is interrupted, it can cause the machine not to function.  As I asked, why do you think its a BIOS problem?  I think it more likely a pesky virus that has removed some files or changed them to always reset the system.  More than likely, System Restore / Last Known Good Config were probably disabled.  So as I previously stated, try the Recovery partitioned on the drive.  If not, roy suggestions aren't so bad, however, I would try the simpliest approach first.
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Author Comment

by:cledoux
ID: 34900633
I deleted everything off the harddrive and did a clean slate on the computer so it is a fresh brand new windows xp. The HDD works great in my computer. I tried to boot it into safe mode and last known good configuration and its still boots on windows screen. the HDD is a sata and i tried the diagnostic on the computer and the hdd past. But now i will go check out   this page: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/xps400/sm/adtshoot.htm#wp1054146

I had this happen to me once on my computer, the IT person at my college in which i'm taking IT classes, He told me that the bios needed to be updated so I took it to him and that is what was worng with my computer and now it works great. I will get back to you guys tonight to see what else i can do after i get home from work
thanks.
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 34900698
Agreed ... a BIOS update will not fix this, and as has been pointed out, if you have some kind of hardware problem causing this, then you risk the BIOS update ruining the entire motherboard.

If it is restarting at the Windows screen, chances are you don't have any LED codes that would help - but if you do ... what is it?

While the system is coming on, you'll see F2/F12 at the top right of you screen.  Start tapping F8 about once per second.  You must hit F8 BEFORE the Windows screen appears (or would normally appear).  Once into Windows Advanced Boot Menu, try:

1) Last Known Good Configuration, if that does not boot normally, then ...
2) Safe Mode.  If you can boot to Safe Mode, then we can attempt to fix it from here, if not, then ...

You will need your Windows XP CD to attempt to repair Windows using Recovery Console.  You will boot to the CD, and when asked to hit Enter to Install, hit R for Repair using Recovery Console.  Let us know how it goes and once you've gotten to this point.
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 34900731
BIOS updates can fix some hardware issues, but it is not likely that it would cause Windows to reboot repeatedly.  It is most likely Windows' files or file system have been corrupted.
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 34900740
You should check the release notes for any such "fixes" ... if it is not listed specifically in the release notes, chances are it will not fix it.
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Author Comment

by:cledoux
ID: 34900757
I went to this website like the one person told me http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/xps400/sm/adtshoot.htm#wp1054146 and now it is to confusing cause when i turn the computer likes blink then they go out, and come back 1, 4, 2,3 comes wish i can send a video cause i took it with my phone
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Author Comment

by:cledoux
ID: 34900860
Tried the Windows using Recovery Console and it said setup not find any hard drisk drives installed on your computer????
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by:10023
ID: 34900976
Reseat the pci express graphics card or test with known good one
when you reseat make sure it firmly bottoms out
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by:
PowerEdgeTech earned 500 total points
ID: 34900999
You need this driver:
http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/download.aspx?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd&releaseid=R130118&SystemID=XPS/DIMENSION%20400/9150&servicetag=&os=WW1&osl=en&deviceid=8615&devlib=0&typecnt=0&vercnt=2&catid=-1&impid=-1&formatcnt=0&libid=41&typeid=-1&dateid=-1&formatid=-1&source=-1&fileid=173456

You need it on floppy and hit F6 during Windows Setup (as soon as it boots to the CD) to load it.  

If you don't have a floppy, you can create a new install CD with nLiteOS.com and integrate the driver into it.
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Author Comment

by:cledoux
ID: 34901022
what will that do cause that do. For the lights number 4 stays on the most and then it will go 123, then 2 and 3 blinks then it will be 1 and 4 in between 2 and 3 and 123 if you know what i mean
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 34901080
Those lights will change during the various stages of POST ... if it encounters an error during POST, the light pattern at the point where it stops is what we're after.  However, since the computer is attempting to boot Windows, the computer has completed POST, and those LED's are no longer helpful.

"what will that do cause that do."  Is that for my "driver" comment or 10023's "graphic" comment?

Driver:  Since XP does have the drivers for any SATA controller, it is necessary to give it the driver so that it can see the hard drives connected to that SATA controller.

Graphics:  I think 10023 is suggesting this as a possible fix for your issue ... if the video card is somehow causing the reboot, reseating may help.
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Author Comment

by:cledoux
ID: 34903106
i did a disable boot and found this error msg is
 
stop: 0x0000007B, (0xF7A40524, 0xC0000034, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)
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by:10023
ID: 34903182
Did you get STOP: 0x0000007B (parameter1, parameter2, parameter3, parameter4)
INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE
Did you get this above...
Here is microsofts take on this;
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/324103
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Author Comment

by:cledoux
ID: 34903198
this is what i got from the blue screen
stop 0x0000007b (0xf7a40524,0xC0000034)
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Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 34903256
Exactly when do you get this message?
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Author Comment

by:cledoux
ID: 34903280
well i don't i just disable the reboot on startup and this what comes up other wise i don't get this message
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Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 34903338
Oh, I see.  Refer to post #34900999 for instruction on how to boot to Recovery Console and begin your repairs - if repairing is your plan.
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Author Comment

by:cledoux
ID: 34903348
or can i just reinstall windows again or will it do it all of again
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Assisted Solution

by:PowerEdgeTech
PowerEdgeTech earned 500 total points
ID: 34903388
Chance are, it is a problem within Windows (vs. hardware), s reinstalling will fix the issue.  You might make sure it is not hardware first, by running diagnostics on the system and specifically the drive:

You just need to burn this ISO image to CD (different from merely copying the ISO file to the CD), then boot to it and run the diagnostics there:
http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/download.aspx?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd&releaseid=R133063&SystemID=XPS/DIMENSION 400/9150&servicetag=&os=WW1&osl=en&deviceid=3841&devlib=0&typecnt=0&vercnt=4&catid=-1&impid=-1&formatcnt=0&libid=13&typeid=-1&dateid=-1&formatid=-1&source=-1&fileid=176977

If all comes back clean, you can be fairly confident that reinstalling will get rid of the issue.

Drivers and Downloads for the XPS 400:
http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/driverslist.aspx?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd&os=W732&osl=en&SystemID=XPS/DIMENSION%20400/9150&catid=-1&impid=-1

Note, you will need to follow the steps outlined in comment #34900999 to start the install - otherwise it will not find any hard drives to install to.
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Author Comment

by:cledoux
ID: 34903454
i go to this website nLiteOS.com  but i don't know what to download
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 34903473
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 34904302
since it was a new XP install  - and the disk works in another pc, here is what i would do :
-to be sure a bout the disk status, i  run a disk diag (you did that i believe, with Dell diags?)
if the disk is found OK, i would assume it is a motherboard problem
to check that, i would download the live knoppix ce, and boot from it -  if that runs ok (check disk access, internet, etc..) your hardware is ok - if it locks up -  hardware is bad :
ftp://ftp.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V6.4.4CD-2011-01-30-EN.iso  

**to be sure the knoppix is ok, you can run it on a known good pc to test !
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by:Chris Millard
ID: 34904315
I deleted everything off the harddrive and did a clean slate on the computer so it is a fresh brand new windows xp. The HDD works great in my computer

I'm confused with this comment - did you part the hdd in your PC and do a clean install, or did you do the clean install on the original PC?

If you installed XP while the HDD was in your PC, then that's going to cause driver issues unless your PC is exactly the same model.

If you clean install XP with the HDD in the original PC, then how far did the install get to? Did it fully install? If this is the case, were there any drivers missing in Device Manager? If so, did you download them from the Dell website?
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