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code28 12-29-2005 03:07 PM

new mother board question(s)
I've got a Dell Dimension 8400 that I think has sustained some type of damage to the mobo. The computer is dual drive and my DVD-RW took a dump about 2 months ago; since then I've been experiencing issues with the PC including faulty playback on the replacement drives that I've tested as well as degraded system performance (both in Windows and during Windows loading, system idle, system usage, etc). In addition, I'm also getting "cheep" (like a bird) sounds coming from what I believe to be the mother board at random times (almost like there is a device conflict, but everything in the system checks out as ok), again.. whether I'm in the OS, idle or active, and when the computer is loading up, pre-OS boot up (which is why I rule out OS corruption).

At any rate, I've tried swapping several DVD-RW drives into the machine (including a stock warranty replacement from Dell) and all exhibit the exact same symptoms. I've also changed out the IDE cable several times, no change. So I now suspect a defective mother board, but Dell is giving me a hard time about replacing this item.

My questions are:

1. does it sound like a problem with the mobo itself, or am I jumping to conclusions?

2. if I opt to replace the mobo on my own, what replacement (that is compatible with my system) should I get?

3. will a mobo swap result in me needing to reinstall my OS and losing all my current programs and data?

Thanks guys!

Beyeohazard 12-29-2005 03:44 PM

You have an issue here, I grant you that.
It sounds to me like you may indeed have a mobo issue going on. My stock answer to this problem is to call Dell and ask for a replacement. Unfortunately, Dell is horrible with customer service, especially if the solution costs them any money. I think you may be stuck with fighting them to replace it, which is going to be frustrating, as I can attest from past experience.
To answer your second question, I have never installed anything but a Dell mobo in a Dell rig. Can you put another brand in it? I honestly don't know, all I have to refer to here is my Dell Inspiron, which is a laptop. I would think the first step is to look at the chassis in your rig and see if it will accomadate a nomal ATX mobo. If you have an extra mobo in the house, see if it will fit in the tower.
As for your last question, you may get an error when the rig boots up saying, "Non system disk" or it may just boot right up. I've had both scenarios happen to me. At the least, you're going to have to install drivers for the various components on the new mobo like the ethernet adapter, usb hub and onboard sound if that's what you get.
I think your best bet is to try and get Dell to ship you a new mobo, just be persistant with them. You might also try and find a used one on Ebay, I've done that with HP rigs before and had success with it.
If you do manage to get another brand of board to install and work, let us know how you did it.

code28 12-29-2005 04:06 PM

Cool, thanks for the response.

Any other comments are appreciated.

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