Can you get in in Safe Mode?
I hope this is the correct thread for my question. If not, I apologize in advance.
Here's my situation.
I've been pulling discarded computers out of the electronics recycle box at my local trash disposal site in the hopes of 'restoring' them.
Some of these computers work and some of them don't. Most of them don't have hard drives, but some of them do.
So, I've been using the working hard drives to test the computers that don't have a hard drive. Basically, I've been starting them up in Safe Mode so the drive won't go through the whole process of recognizing and installing software for the hardware in a computer they're not 'familiar' with.
So far, I have 'restored' several computers, one of them being a Dell Dimension 2300, that had a 40GB hard drive (which refused to boot to WinXP) and which I reformatted and installed Linux Fedora 8. It's now working fine although I'm still looking for a compatible 256MB RAM stick to put beside the existing 256MB stick.
What this venture is basically turning in to is a crash course in computer repair & re-building.
But anyway, here's my question:
I put one of the spare hard drives (Seagate ST34311A, 4.3GB with Win 98 installed) into a Gateway GP7-700 which has a label on it saying it was designed for Win NT, and pushed the power switch. (I found two of these Gateways and one of them boots up fine with the Seagate Win 98 hard drive.)
Both the Gateways power up, but this one refuses to boot and I'm getting the following message:
"Invalid vxd dynamic link call to device number 3, service B. Windows configuration invalid. Run Windows setup again to correct the problem."
And then, after about 10 seconds, the computer automatically shuts down.
Does anybody know what the error message means and what I could do to 'correct' the problem? Is it some kind of a BIOS issue?
I haven't had to re-install Windows on any of these computers and I don't wish to (and can't) do that for obvious reasons. If I can't get one working, I use it for parts.
I made a mistake in my first post. I'm switching so many hard drives around that I got confused. The HD that wasn't working in this Gateway GP7-700 is a Maxtor Draco II 14.2GB that I took out of a Dell Optiplex GX1 that won't power on (maybe a bad power supply).
Anyway, I'm not sure if I tried it in Safe Mode the first time or not. But I did that just a few minutes ago and it worked. So then I rebooted into Normal Mode and it worked that way too. So now I don't have any idea what the problem was because I didn't change anything when in Safe Mode.
I tried several of my other spare hard drives in Safe Mode and they worked too.
In other words, I can't seem to duplicate the error.
Any idea what the deal is here or what the error message means?
The only thing I did was pull a RAM stick out to take a look at it because I noticed that one of the Gateways has PC100 RAM and other one has at least one PC133 stick in it. Maybe these Gateways will work with both kinds, I don't know.
They problem is a very typical one when changing installed Windows to a different motherboard...one or more of the devices/drivers on the old machine was not present on the new one (or new devices on the new one...etc). So basically, when you started in Safe Mode, you made it use minimal drivers/hardware and lucky for you, when you rebooted, Windows properly detected the hardware...
Yes, they should be able to use PC133....you do know that the PC1xx is the maximum speed and that if the FSB is lower that the RAM will run at that lower speed, right?
And that raises another issue.
I can't seem to get a memory stick to work in the Dell Dimension 2300 that I have 'restored'. It has slots for 2 sticks. The one that's in there now is 256 MB, PC133. PC133 is the type the computer is supposed to take. I pulled a 256MB stick out of another of these found computers and tried to use it but the Dimension wouldn't boot up. It gave 1 beep, and then 2 beeps and then just sat there with a blank screen. I tried several times, by shutting down and restarting, to get into the BIOS but couldn't.
The computer is supposed to take non-ECC memory. That's what both sticks are. I know the stick I'm trying to put in is good because it works on another computer. Is it possible that the one slot is bad and won't work with ANY memory stick?
And by the way, thanks for your help. I found this forum when I was reading about power supply form factors on a Wikipedia page. You should see the strange looking power supply that's in one of these found computers. But I guess that's another topic.
There is one other factor that is usually where the problems develop...density. The Dell probably requires low density sticks (usually have chips on both sides, but not always a perfect indicator).
I did find another stick though. A 128MB stick and I got it to work, so at least I know the memory bank is good and 384 MB is an improvement over 256 until I can scrounge up more memory out of the recycle bin.
The Dell can handle up to 1GB but I doubt I'll find a pair of 512s in the junk pile although I suppose it's possible.
Still can't figure out why that other 256 stick didn't work. I stuck it in one of the Gateways and jacked up the memory to 512 MB and it worked fine.
Maybe Dells are just super-finicky for all I know.
Hey, I just noticed that I've gone from 'New Member' to 'Neophyte Geek' to 'Novitiate Geek' in just one day of posting.
And I didn't even have to fast and pray.
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