I have a Dell Dimension 2400 that I've been upgrading recently. I want to upgrade the processor to the one that is a Pentium 4 @ 3.06 GHz with 512kb of cache, a 533 MHz FSB and hyperthreading. I've managed to find it (I looked at some other posts and people were having trouble) and I installed it. However, it won't work. I get an orange power light. The BIOS version is A03. From the posts I read, this version is supposed to support this processor. I was wondering if that's a typo, and I need BIOS version A05, or if I need to do something else. I'd rather not update BIOS, as it requires Floppy Disks, but I will if that's the problem.
Incompatibility with the BIOS version would not normally bring you to an orange light on the power button. I would expect instead that the computer would halt at some point during the attempt to boot and give you an error message. I think you have a problem with the processor, and you might want to make sure the computer still works with the original processor.
With regard to BIOS upgrade; what you have stated, that a floppy drive is required for the update to version A05, was true more than two years ago. Since that time, however, Dell has posted a new version of the "unpackaged" update file that will run in Windows. I tried it myself on my daughter's Dimension 2400 just a month ago, and the update worked fine. You might want to perform the update in Windows safe mode, however, to minimize the stuff that gets loaded so you will help avoid interference from some random driver file.
Well, from my previous experience with upgrading my Vostro 200's processor, I got an orange light on the power button and it WAS from BIOS incompatibility. I had that issue twice with that machine (Finally got it fixed though). The computer does work just fine with the other processor in it. The place I got the processor from is pretty good on replacing stuff, even if it was used. I'll check down there for another one. As far as the BIOS issue, I hadn't seen the "unpackaged" version. It didn't give me an option when I downloaded it. When I ran it, it said that I needed to insert a floppy disk, which is where I got the idea that I needed a floppy.
What question I do have is, did the BIOS version A03 support the 3.06 GHz 512kb Cache 533MHz Pentium 4 processor? Do I even need to update to version A05? If the processor will work on version A03, I don't see a reason to update. And just wondering if someone could point me to the BIOS release notes. I'm interested to see what they added in A05.
The unpackaged or "Non-Packaged" version of the Dimension 2400 BIOS version A05 update is here: Dimension 2400 BIOS ver A05.
The enhancement notes for this version follow:
The following changes have been made to BIOS rev A04 to create A05:
1. Improve splash screen logo positioning.
2. Prevent loss of audio on power-up or after S3 resume.
3. If AC lost during S3 standby, don't attempt S3 resume when AC restored.
As you can see, the modifications were made to behavior during S3 resume and a minor mod to the logo position as the computer is booted. Version A04 of this BIOS was never released. Version A03 had a number of updates, to include later versions of the P4 processor, but you already have that.
The Dimension 2400 didn't come with multiple motherboards, did it? I ask because the Vostro 200 came with a different motherboard depending on if you bought a Quad Core processor or a Dual Core processor. The Dual Core processor motherboard couldn't use Quad Cores, but the Quad Core motherboard could use Quad Core and Dual Core processors. Seems like it might be a similar issue. Hyperthreading board vs Non-Hyperthreading board.
To my knowledge, there was only one motherboard for the Dimension 2400. Unlike the newer multi-core processors, the P4s didn't have varying requirements for the voltage regulator. Hyper-threading support was provided in the BIOS code beginning with A03, but the choice doesn't show up unless the installed processor is capable of HT. Also, the default for this feature is Off.
I had one last question. I installed some DDR 400 RAM, and everything works just fine, it boots up and works normally. However, when I checked the BIOS (Because of other things), I noticed that the RAM was running at 333 MHz instead of 400, like it should. Do you know what's going on, and if it can be fixed? It's not really a big deal if it's not fixed, as I said, everything works fine. But it is annoying...
Actually, I just updated the BIOS to version A05 successfully. I went to the store where I got the P4 w/ HT and they tried pretty much every P4 w/ HT they had, and none worked. Any idea what's causing the problem?