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Austin Cajiao
1 Copper

DELL Dimension XPS T800r CMOS Maintenance Mode worries...

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Greetings, good people of the DELL universe!

I am working on a DELL Dimension XPS T800r desktop for a neighbor.

Original complaint: No video

Some things have changed since yesterday when I worked on it, so read on...

Here is what I have done so far in order:

(855) 935-7526 ***. Swapped video cards from a known good donor.  No change.

2. Discovered the DIAGNOSTIC LIGHTS on back panel.

3. DIAGNOSTIC LIGHTS remain DARK during attempted boot-up.

4. Consulted DELL documentation to learn about DIAGNOSTIC LIGHT codes.

5. Code is: All DARK - Power up default.

6. Again consulted DELL documentation to identify what to do:

   a) Reseat Microprocessor

   b) Remove all expansion cards

7. After doing both.  No change.

8. Using previous computer knowledge, I pulled EVERYTHING from the motherboard except power connections and front panel connections.  I disconnected all disk drive power connectors as well.  I left only the CPU fan connected to the motherboard.  I checked the power supply voltages against the DELL norms and all is good.

9. Now, knowing about CMOS batteries, I checked the voltage in-board.  It was 3.1VDC.  Seems good.  I did NOT want to remove it, so in order to be sure it is connected securely, I rotated the battery in-socket to create a better connection.  This is where things changed from yesterday...

10. Leaving the board BARE, I plugged in the power supply.  Silence.  Only the amber light on the motherboard was lit.

11. I installed the CPU and VIOLA!, the DIAGNOSTIC LIGHTS flash YELLOW for a second and both fans spin up quickly and then stop altogether.  The amber light on the motherboard remains lit. 

12. DELL documentation shows this code to represent: System board is receiving power,
but the BIOS is not executing.

13. I believe rotating the CMOS battery created a better connection (the computer IS almost 16 years old) thus giving me a response to power-up now.

14.  I began the process of re-installing everything and documenting what happens after power-up.  Nothing changes past that point.  DIAGNOSTIC LIGHTS flash YELLOW briefly, and the power supply and CPU fan spin up for a second, then stop.

15.  DELL documentation suggests putting the system in MAINTENANCE MODE by means of the CMOS jumper

This computer is almost 16 years old and the owner most likely does not have the BIOS settings recorded.

This is what is installed, front panel:

A CD-ROM drive

An IOMEGA Zip drive

A floppy drive

Now to the question:

Since I have no way to back-up or retrieve the CMOS settings, I am hesitant to put the jumper into MAINTENANCE MODE to see if the computer will boot all the way up.  I don't want to potentially render the computer useless by using MAINTENANCE MODE or changing the battery, although I'd like to replace the battery due to course of action because of age.

From DELL documentation:

NOTICE: Entering Maintenance mode returns all settings in the
system setup program to their defaults. Dell strongly recommends
that you record or print all current settings before entering this
mode so you can correct them when the system is reset to Normal
mode.

What do you think will happen if I reset the BIOS to default by moving the jumper and replacing the battery?

Will I cause a catastrophic failure?

Now, the flip side to the coin is that the system is relatively basic, so me having to enter boot sequences and such isn't a big deal.  I hope...

At worst, I'll have to use a drive caddy to retrieve her data from the hard disk.

Thanks in advance for all your help and assistance!

Austin Cajiao

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3 Solutions

Accepted Solutions
Austin Cajiao
1 Copper

RE: DELL Dimension XPS T800r CMOS Maintenance Mode worries...

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In case this can help anybody, re-seating the microprocessor and expansion cards got the computer fully functioning again.  I would suppose that for a 16 year old computer, the gold tabs oxidized some and created resistance which prohibited the computer from POSTing and powering up.  It works fine now.

- Austin Cajiao

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Austin Cajiao
1 Copper

RE: DELL Dimension XPS T800r CMOS Maintenance Mode worries...

Jump to solution

In case this post can help anybody, re-seating the microprocessor and expansion cards got the computer fully functioning again.  I would suppose that for a 16 year old computer, the gold tabs oxidized some and created resistance which prohibited the computer from POSTing and powering up.  It works fine now.

- Austin Cajiao

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kirkd
5 Rhenium

RE: DELL Dimension XPS T800r CMOS Maintenance Mode worries...

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If you reset the BIOS, you only lose whatever changes were made to the default values. The defaults are stored in an EEPROM. I would also replace the CMOS battery, as 16 years may be a record for one !!!

XPS M1530, Win 10 CU Pro 32-bit
Inspiron E1705, Win 10 CU Pro 32-bit
Dimension 9100, Win 10 AU Pro 32 bit
Inspiron 660, Win 10 CU 64 bit
Inspiron 3668, Win 10 CU 64 bit
Asus T100 Tablet, Windows 10 CU 32 bit

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7- Thorium

RE: DELL Dimension XPS T800r CMOS Maintenance Mode worries...

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This model uses NON STANDARD power supply Dell part number 9228C


Report Unresolved Customer Service Issues
here

I do not work for Dell. I too am a user.

The forum is primarily user to user, with Dell employees moderating
Contact USA Technical Support






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Austin Cajiao
1 Copper

RE: DELL Dimension XPS T800r CMOS Maintenance Mode worries...

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Hello, Speedstep!

First, thank you for your reply!

Second, are you saying my power supply is bad?

This is what the DIAGNOSTIC LIGHTS are showing me:

DIAGNOSTIC LIGHTS: All 4 lights blink YELLOW momentarily

Diagnostic Code : System board is receiving power, but the BIOS is not executing.

I checked the power supply voltages on the motherboard connectors with a multimeter to DELL specification and they were all within tolerance levels.

Thanks!

Austin Cajiao

 

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7- Thorium

RE: DELL Dimension XPS T800r CMOS Maintenance Mode worries...

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That model is a modified INTEL 440BX motherboard.  There is a Recovery vs Boot Jumper mode.  This is a WIN95 WIN98SE system.

The 9228C power supply is the ONLY one that will work. A standard power supply will blow up and catch fire.  Same thing will happen to standard motherboard if you plug the 9228C power supply into it.

The jumper has 3 modes.  Normal,  CMOS Setup Mode, and Recovery.

1 -2 is normal

2-3 is Setup

No Jumper is recovery

The Jumper is near the corner of the board by the speaker and Cmos battery.  Page 50 in the manual

 

 

 




Report Unresolved Customer Service Issues
here

I do not work for Dell. I too am a user.

The forum is primarily user to user, with Dell employees moderating
Contact USA Technical Support






Get Support on Twitter @DellCaresPro

Austin Cajiao
1 Copper

RE: DELL Dimension XPS T800r CMOS Maintenance Mode worries...

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I understand everything you've told me so far. I have the owner looking for a paper which may have the CMOS settings written on it. If she can't find it, I'll refer to the DELL documentation which walks you though the various settings and see if I can configure it correctly.

I am really just trying to make sure I don't brick the motherboard by doing what I'm soon to be doing -- re-entering the BIOS settings without the possible benefit of the original settings at hand...

Thanks for all your help and assistance, Speedstep. You are a good man!

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Austin Cajiao
1 Copper

RE: DELL Dimension XPS T800r CMOS Maintenance Mode worries...

Jump to solution

In case this can help anybody, re-seating the microprocessor and expansion cards got the computer fully functioning again.  I would suppose that for a 16 year old computer, the gold tabs oxidized some and created resistance which prohibited the computer from POSTing and powering up.  It works fine now.

- Austin Cajiao

0 Kudos
Austin Cajiao
1 Copper

RE: DELL Dimension XPS T800r CMOS Maintenance Mode worries...

Jump to solution

In case this post can help anybody, re-seating the microprocessor and expansion cards got the computer fully functioning again.  I would suppose that for a 16 year old computer, the gold tabs oxidized some and created resistance which prohibited the computer from POSTing and powering up.  It works fine now.

- Austin Cajiao

0 Kudos
Austin Cajiao
1 Copper

RE: DELL Dimension XPS T800r CMOS Maintenance Mode worries...

Jump to solution

In case this can help anybody, re-seating the microprocessor and expansion cards got the computer fully functioning again.  I would suppose that for a 16 year old computer, the gold tabs oxidized some and created resistance which prohibited the computer from POSTing and powering up.  It works fine now.

- Austin Cajiao

0 Kudos
kirkd
5 Rhenium

RE: DELL Dimension XPS T800r CMOS Maintenance Mode worries...

Jump to solution

If you reset the BIOS, you only lose whatever changes were made to the default values. The defaults are stored in an EEPROM. I would also replace the CMOS battery, as 16 years may be a record for one !!!

XPS M1530, Win 10 CU Pro 32-bit
Inspiron E1705, Win 10 CU Pro 32-bit
Dimension 9100, Win 10 AU Pro 32 bit
Inspiron 660, Win 10 CU 64 bit
Inspiron 3668, Win 10 CU 64 bit
Asus T100 Tablet, Windows 10 CU 32 bit

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Austin Cajiao
1 Copper

RE: DELL Dimension XPS T800r CMOS Maintenance Mode worries...

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  Thank you, kind sir!  THAT is the answer I was originally looking for!  I was worried I would not be able to set up the computer properly after entering MAINTENANCE MODE because I did not have the original BIOS settings at hand, but it didn't even come to that.  You put my mind at ease now!  Re-seating the microprocessor and expansion cards did the trick!  Thank you so much for your advice!  I'll take that to the bank!

Thanks!

- Austin Cajiao

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