I have two DELLs, a Dimension 2300 and an Optiplex 170, both of which I have recently wiped for a complete reinstall of XP. Both machines have Intel video chipsets on the motherboard for which I have correctly identified the appropriate drivers from the Dell website.
I have also followed the correct order of reinstallation stated on the Dell website:-
2) Dell DSS
Everything goes smoothly until the reboot after step 4 at which point during the bootup of XP a BSOD STOP error with something like 0x00000007f error message comes up and I cannot continue.
I got round the first occurrence by installing a PCI graphics card and disabling the onboard graphics, but once the second machine did the same thing it became clear I must being doing something wrong and I have to admit I am stumped....any suggestions.
I have tried a few permutations of the above install order including booting/not booting between each stage, with/without step 2, with/without step 3 and manual/auto install of step 4 - all ended with the same BSOD.
Thanks in advance for any assistance.
Some additional information might be helpful. The questions that occur at the moment are:
1. What version of Windows are you using, does it have Service Pack 1, 2, or 3, and is it a Dell supplied reinstallation CD?
2. Which version of the drivers are you using? In other words, are you using the Dell supplied Resource Disk, or are you downloading the latest drivers from the Dell site?
For my first question, although variations in the operating system are not supposed to affect the way the computer runs, it doesn't always turn out that way in practice. Service Pack 3 has been giving a few users problems with various hardware and software items, for example. On my Dimension 2400 shipped in the fall of 2003, I always begin with the original Windows XP Service Pack 1a installation disk supplied by Dell. I follow that with the Resource Disk drivers as I know they have always worked and given me a good installation. Any updates to later service packs (I use SP-2) are performed after I've done the basic installation and verified that it's working properly.
The second question is sort of joined with the first; the Dell Resource Disk that was supplied with the machine was validated by Dell on the version of the OS that was shipped with it. Normally it makes absolutely no difference whether you use the Resource Disk with the original Dell installation disk, or an updated replacement of the Dell installation disk. When you are running into problems, however, I think it makes sense to minimize the things that might not be quite right. If you are using a later version of the Windows XP installation CD than the one that came with the machine, it likely makes more sense to use the latest drivers from the Dell Support Tools page.
Next, on the Optiplex 170, I notice you have two drivers to choose from. Looking at the titles I can see that the chipset supported by the drivers are different. Which chipset does your computer have? You need to select the driver accordingly.
I can't see anything immediately that might be a problem with your Dimension 2300 as you have only one driver choice. Given the age of the machine you might consider replacing the NVRAM back-up battery as low voltage from this has been known to create odd symptoms. If you leave the battery out of the machine for fifteen minutes or so it will also have the advantage of resetting the NVRAM, forcing the computer to redetect its devices so that all shows up properly in the stored configuration.
My procedure for the Dimension 2300 is:-
1) Newly formatted hard drive
2) Dell XP Pro SP2 disc (from a later Dell PC)
3) Drivers from Dell driver disc and also from website.
4) Install XP and reboot.
5) Install MDAC system util and reboot.
6) Install chipset drivers and reboot.
7) Install VGA drivers and reboot - BSOD Crash during Windows splash screen.
The error is STOP: 0x0000007F (0x00000000, 0x00000000, 0x0000000, 0x0000000). I can get in by F8 at boot and selecting "last known good config", but I am then stuck back with the low res setup.
For the Optiplex I use the same basic procedure, but the XP disc and drivers are the ones that came with it so compatability should not be an issue.
I am working around at the moment by using a PCI graphics card which is my backup for the Dimension, but given the identical (and I do mean identical) nature of the issue, it must be something pretty dumb that I am overlooking.
I do not wish to try the battery removal procedure as I really do not think this is the issue here. Firstly it occurs on two machines, one of which is only a couple of years old. Secondly it is only after the VGA drivers install and reboot that there is a problem at all. Thirdly, it gets through the full BIOS bootup and (based on time) over half way through the Windows bootup before crashing. It has to be a driver based problem.
The only thing I see different from my own procedure is the installation of the MDAC utility. I don't see why that should bother the video driver, but you could try omitting that installation until you have the basic OS up and running.
I don't disagree with you with regard to the driver, but the error you report can result from a number of things, including cards and memory modules that need to be re-seated. One additional thing is that you should have only the keyboard, mouse, and monitor attached to the computer while attempting the installation; I figure you've done that already, though, which is why i didn't mention it earlier.
What method are you using to install the video driver? Do you open the file and allow the installation wizard to install it, or do you expand the files and do an update driver from the Device Manager?
Well I could have sworn I had tried the "install via device manager" permutation, but obviously not because doing it that way worked - thanks for the suggestion.
The only conclusion I can draw from this is that there is something fundamentally wrong with the Intel install wizard. If Dell technicians are reading this then it would be a good idea to modify their FAQs for reinstallation accordingly.