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Skylark13
Copper

XPS 8300 motherboard

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Hello,

I think the motherboard in my XPS 8300 is dying, or at least giving me a lot of trouble.

I have been getting various blue screens lately, pretty often (up to twice a day). Almost every time, they were accompanied by sounds coming from my hard drive (for example, the drive stopping spinning, etc.). So naturally my first step was to get another hard drive and try to safeguard my data (thinking my hard drive was dying).

I tried with various cloning programs (AOMEI Backupper, CloneZilla, and so on) and they all failed to clone the drive (generally saying they could not create the partition table on the new drive). I then tried installing Windows 10 fresh onto the new drive (with the old drive disconnected), and that also failed, with Windows saying it could not format the partition it had just created on the new drive.

Given that the drive is brand new, I thought, as a test, I would try to connect it in another machine to see if it still would not work. Well it works just fine. I am currently cloning my old drive onto my new one as I wrte this, on this other machine. So at least there's that -- my data should be safe. I might have bought a hard drive for nothing, but that doesn't matter that much.

An additional tidbit of information is that even booting from the cloning software CD was much faster on this machine than on my XPS 8300.

So I suspect at the very least, the disk controller on the motherboard is giving me trouble.

Now, my question.

I want to try to buy a replacement motherboard, because the machine as a whole is still very speedy (the CPU is one of the first core i7s but it's still quick, and I've replaced the video card and RAM over the years). So if I were able to fix this problem, I could still get a lot of use from this computer.

Should I try to get the same model motherboard (i.e. a Dell replacement motherboard of this exact type) either from Dell or which I can find on ebay for example?

Or should I get a micro-ATX Socket 1155 motherboard of some other reputable brand such as ASUS or others?

Honestly, I'm worried that if I get an original replacement part of the same exact type, it will just fail again in some way not too long from now. This motherboard was actually a replacement that Dell sent a technician to install in my machine after I had bought it, because the motherboard the computer shipped with had a defect... And now this, so I'm not exactly confident in Dell original replacement parts...

I have found information on this thread:

Thread link

on this very forum explaining what the XPS 8300's motherboard's specific connectors are, so I should be able to connect any motherboard that fits the case.

What are your recommendations? Thanks in advance.

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4 Replies
beamermt79
Diamond

RE: XPS 8300 motherboard

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If you don't feel comfortable with a Dell replacement mobo, your more then welcome to replace it with something else.  I like Asus or EVGA personally.  

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RoHe
Diamond

RE: XPS 8300 motherboard

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Put the old drive back in the XPS 8300. Reboot and immediately press F12. Look for the option to run the diagnostics, including RAM and extended HDD tests. Copy down any errors that are reported.

Keep in mind you'll need to purchase a new software license for Windows from Microsoft because the version on your HDD is tied to the existing Dell board and isn't transferrable to a non-Dell motherboard.

And you'll have to reinstall Windows on the HDD too because it probably won't boot the PC with a non-Dell replacement board which may have a different chipset, etc.

You'll have to back all your files on external media and make sure you have the product keys for all your other software because everything will have to be reinstalled after Windows and drivers are reloaded.

Ron

Forum Member since 2004
I am not a Dell employee

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Skylark13
Copper

RE: XPS 8300 motherboard

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Hello RoHe,

I ran the thorough RAM and HDD tests in the diagnostics. It took forever (about 12 hours) but did not reveal any problems.

I was able to replace my motherboard.

I wanted to let you know also, that Windows was able to boot on the new motherboard (after a phase of "preparing drivers" like when you install it initially). Also, it was not activated when I booted, but I was able to use the Windows 7 Pro key that had come with my Dell to activate the already-installed Windows 10 Pro, it worked like a charm.

So it was way less trouble than you said it would be, and now my machine is back in great working order.

Thanks.

rdunnill
Diamond

RE: XPS 8300 motherboard

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Keep in mind you'll need to purchase a new software license for Windows from Microsoft because the version on your HDD is tied to the existing Dell board and isn't transferrable to a non-Dell motherboard.

The OEM license agreement allows for a similar motherboard to be swapped in for reasons of repair.  

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