Tesla1856
6 Thallium

Re: Vostro-460 (XPS-8300) Upgrade Adventures


@Philip_Yipwrote:

I have been using my XPS 8300 as a primary PC at home for about 7 years, it's still going strong (it's been on for most of the time). It had an i7-2600, 16 GB of RAM (the RAM for it is relatively pricey nowadays). It still has it's original video card the HD-5770.

 

@Philip_Yip

Are you doing all that on the original power-supply?
Does yours still have the stock 350watt Dell power-supply? If so, I noticed it did have ONE 6-pin PCIe power, so I guess you've proven that it's OK to use it for extended periods (ie years).


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Tesla1856
6 Thallium

Inatech USB-3 Failed

Well, I ordered an Inatech USB-3.0 4-port PCIe card (KTU3FR-4P). It has the Fresco chipset controller. It came in a nice sealed box.

I installed it and hooked up the internal (SATA) power. It's tiny-green-led lights to indicate that part is working.

Strangely, the Vostro-460 did a "sad-face BSOD" on the first boot. It was the first time I've ever seen this machine do that (or really, hardly any Windows machine do it in years).

Anyway, after power cycling, the machine booted fine and I could see the Fresco USB 3.0 card in Device Manager (with the driver already loaded). I tested it with a 8gb flash drive and then shut down the machine.

A few days later, I booted-up the machine to do a Crystal DiskMark on it ... to compare with the Renesas-card in the other machine (using the same Seagate external USB-3 HDD on both). Well, the card is dead now and not appearing in Device Manager at all. I guess I will troubleshoot it later, but I think it might be going back to Amazon for a refund.

I was bad-mouthing Renesas cards (with all the drivers, firmwares, and what not) ... but they were never this much trouble to get initially working ( and none of them ever died on me ) .

EDIT - Troublshooting:
- Re-seating card did not help.
- Installing into a different slot again results in a BSOD (Stop Code: MACHINE CHECK EXCEPTION) on initial boot. Windows boots ok the next time, but it's still not appearing in Device Manager or working.

Looks like it's a gonner. I'll contact Amazon about a refund.

 

 


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Tesla1856
6 Thallium

USB 3.0 Card - Back to Renesas

At least my old Renesas cards work (and don't die after 1 hour). The firmware should be solid by now, and maybe Microsoft has the WHQL drivers ready to download.

I thought these posts might be helpful to others. Not only for those looking for a good USB-3.0 card (for "still good" machines like this one released just before it made it to the motherboards) but also, it seems the VR-users sometimes use them for extra sensors. 

I found this. It's a bit old ( but so is this Vostro-460 / XPS-8300 )

http://vrzone.com/articles/usb-3-0-speed-tests-7-way-host-controllers-roundup/13358.html

So, I'm going to try this (yeah, back to good-ole Renesas) :

https://www.startech.com/Cards-Adapters/USB-3.0/Cards/2-port-PCI-Express-USB-3-Card~PEXUSB3S24

For reference, this is my old StarTech Renesas card (in other older machine):
StarTech  PCIe USB3.0 2-Port Card (PEXUSB3S2)
- NEC uPD720200a Chipset (Renesas)
- Chip visually confirmed as D720200AF1
... a 4 year old version of the card, with an older version of the NEC controller chip.

NEC/Renesas USB-3.0 controller-chips were released in this order over the years ...
uPD720200, uPD720200A, uPD720201, and uPD720202 .

This upgrade is concluded here.


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Tesla1856
6 Thallium

Rufus - FreeDOS BIOS firmware flashing guide [Error SOLVED]

I noticed BIOS was still A03, and not A06 (like I thought I flashed it to the other day).
Tried flashing A06-BIOS again, and noticed I was getting "Problem Allocating Memory" during middle of the process (you have to read screen closely).

While this Rufus-made FreeDOS boot-flash has worked for other Dell machine's BIOS updates,
https://www.howtogeek.com/136987/how-to-create-a-bootable-dos-usb-drive/
Seems to be a problem with FreeDOS and this particular updater.exe .

As with any firmware update, there is a motherboard "bricking" or killing risk. However, it's been my experience that flashing them like this (outside of Windows) in DOS or FreeDOS is MUCH MORE reliable. If this is a desktop, it should be connected to a good UPS, and any unnecessary peripherals should be disconnected.

So, I found this:
http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-3594782/updating-bios-a03-a05-aurora-error-problem-allocating...
These direction are derived from that page (thanks to Ragnatok with his Alienware Aurora ).

I had this same (Error: problem allocating memory) problem when upgrading an Dell Vostro-460 (XPS-8300) BIOS using a FreeDOS bootable USB drive created by Rufus.

To get it working, I needed to add extra files to the FreeDOS installation that came with Rufus. In particular, the FDCONFIG.SYS file includes a few settings related to memory management. I listed the steps below. Creating a FreeDOS USB boot drive might have worked, but I didn't try that.

1. Use Rufus version 2.18 (latest a time of writing) to create a FAT32 bootable FreeDOS USB drive.
2. Download FreeDOS's USB "Full" Installer from http://www.freedos.org/download/. (FD12FULL.zip)
3. Unzip FreeDOS
4. Use 7-zip to extract all files from FD12FULL.img.
5. While working with these FreeDOS system-files, you may need to edit your "Windows File Explorer options" and un-check "Hide protected operating system files" to see the files mentioned in the next steps.
6. Copy the following extracted items to the root of the USB drive:

COMMAND.COM
FDCONFIG.SYS
KERNEL.SYS
COUNTRY.SYS
HIMEMX.EXE

7. Use notepad or a similar text editor to edit FDCONFIG.SYS on the USB drive (don't accidentally update the original copy) so that the paths correctly point to the files we copied to the root of the drive.
I've copy-and-pasted my version below.

!COUNTRY=001,858:\COUNTRY.SYS
!LASTDRIVE=Z
!BUFFERS=20
!FILES=40

DOS=HIGH
DOS=UMB
DOSDATA=UMB

DEVICE=HIMEMX.EXE

SHELLHIGH=COMMAND.COM \ /E:2048 /P=\AUTOEXEC.BAT


7b. Be sure to set your Windows File-Explorer options back to normal.

8. Copy your BIOS update-files onto the USB drive. I use folders/directories and this same flash-drive for all machines.
9. I shortened the names of the BIOS updates on the USB drive to A5.exe and A11.exe to make things easier on the command line (or eight-dot-three naming), including any folders . FreeDOS might display a different name for the files if the names are too long.
10. Boot up the USB drive . Notice memory is allocated better now.
10b. Run the TR-A06_QS.exe file (or whatever you renamed it to).
11. Notice that ONLY NOW does the AMI-Updater actually Read, Erase, Write, and Verify. It Works.  
12. The version of the ME is also checked. It said v7.0.4.1197 was current. Restart when finished.
13. I booted into Windows to make sure everything was okay. msinfo32 says BIOS is now "Dell Inc. A06 10/17/2011"
14. Also shows Legacy (non-UEFI) and no SecureBoot available (but we know all that already) Smiley Happy
14. Checked BIOS and all looks fine.

good.JPGXPS-8300 / Vostro-460

This procedure should work for practically any Dell/Alienware BIOS firmware flasher ... designed for older machnes that are Legacy-BIOS (non-UEFI) based. If I have a reason to update the BIOS, I like to install all available BIOS updates in consecutive order. For newer UEFI-based machines, I would think you would just load the BIOS file from the provided (F12 on initial-boot) UEFI environment.

My machine is Sleeping, Waking, and Shutting-Down fine. If yours is not, try flipping the option at BIOS/Advanced/CPU Config/CPU C6 Report.

With its bootable SSD ... (from completely off) it cold-boots to usable desktop in about 20 seconds. Waking from Sleep takes less than 5 seconds.


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Tesla1856
6 Thallium

Installed XFX AMD-7750

XFX let me RMA a dead AMD-6770. It had a lifetime-warranty. They sent me a AMD-7750 in return.

It appears to be in the same performance-tier as the 6770 and 5770. Unlike the others, it's "single slot" . Since it only uses 55w max (for basically the same performance), it does not require the 6-pin PCIe-Power cable either. It's also a slightly newer card than those (I think circa 2013).

Looks like the AMD-7750 has 
- Could use PCIe-v3.0 lanes if I had them.
- Is DX-12 compatible
- Windows loaded a better v17.x driver (not being held-back as far as the 5770 was).
- Driver is called “Crimson ReLive” so that sounds pretty new.
- It has a DisplayPort in addition to the HDMI and DVI
... making it slightly better than AMD-5770:

So, while it might be a tab-bit slower than the power-hungry AMD-5770 was, it appears to be more-advanced and I think maybe a "better match" for a HTPC. Anyway, it needed to be tested, so I'll leave it in for a while. 

Here is the old info about ATI Radeon HD-5770 (1gb) that I pulled back out:
- At 22x11x4cm and dual-slot, no cards much bigger will fit (because of drive-cage).
- According to @Cass-Ole , it uses over 75w-max, so that's why it needs the 6-pin PCIe-Power-cable.
- Windows-10/64bit loads old v15.201.x driver from 11-2015 (only)
- And Windows does install a working Catalyst-Control-Center (as hoped)

So, these cards have all been previously installed, drivers loaded, and tested as working:
Nvidia: 7300-GT, 9600-GTS
ATI/AMD: HD-5770, HD-7750
And while I also have an old dual-slot AMD-5870 also, it won't really even fit (too long).

I think only older ATI/AMD cards will work with this non-UEFI motherboard, unless they have a Legacy-BIOS/UEFI Switch.

Another general tip is ... after you install the new video-card in this particular machine, go into BIOS and flip-flop the "Intel Multiple Monitor Feature" option in the BIOS (but leave it Disabled). That seemed to help the new card get detected properly once for me. While is was happening, it was starting to look like a dead video-card (but it was fine). You might have to use the on-board video-port temporarily to see what is happening.


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Tesla1856
6 Thallium

Installed new StarTech Renesas USB-3.0 PCIe Addin card

I ordered and installed this USB-3.0 PCIe Addin card

StarTech PEXUSB3S24
Chipset ID Renesas/NEC - µPD720202
Industry Standards USB 3.0 Specification Rev. 1.0
PCI Express Base Specification Rev. 2.0
Intel xHCI Specification Rev. 1.0
UASP Support
Two external USB-3.0 ports
Uses x1 PCIe slot

Installation was normal.
I used a spare Molex-to-reverse-SATA power adapter cable.

Windows-10 detected the card and loaded a working WHQL 64bit driver. I tested it with a flash-drive and did a few tests and reboots ... all still working.

Using Crystal DiskMark, and the same Seagate 3tb USB-3.0 HDD (with UASP and 5400rpm spinner) I tested two different Renesas cards in two different machines:

Vostro-460     StarTech PEXUSB3S24 (new) with Renesas µPD720202     read 190/161 write
Aurora-R1      StarTech PEXUSB3S2 (old) with Renesas  uPD720200A      read 168/110 write

So, yes ... the new card and controller is faster than the old one from around 4 years ago. Both are faster than if the spinning HDD was installed inside a machine on a conventional SATA-2/300 speed controller.

Best of all, it's still working after a few hours and some testing. 

I'll update this post if anything note-worthy happens with it.


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7 Plutonium

Re: Installed new StarTech Renesas USB-3.0 PCIe Addin card

I've never had issues with ORICO PFU3-4P Cards that have Fresco Logic FL1100-1G0-SX Chipset. However My goal was getting it working in Mac Pro Tower with OSX as well as with windows.  There are no OSX drivers for NEC-based USB 3.0 chipsets. Compatible with Windows 2000/XP/VISTA/7/8/10 , MAC OS,Linux 

https://www.amazon.com/ORICO-Express-Controller-Compatible-OS、Linux/dp/B01J4CHJNA/

You may want a

https://www.amazon.com/Coolerguys-4-Pin-Molex-Sleeved-Extension/dp/B0014XDBIA

Sata to Molex

https://www.amazon.com/Power-Cable-Adapter-Female-8-inch/dp/B07BQFKTG7

 

 


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Tesla1856
6 Thallium

Re: Installed new StarTech Renesas USB-3.0 PCIe Addin card


@speedstep wrote:

I've never had issues with ORICO PFU3-4P Cards that have Fresco Logic FL1100-1G0-SX Chipset.

Thanks for the recommendation.

I also found Orico a while back. I like their External USB-3.x HDD Enclosures. They support UASP so speed is real nice and they seem to be reliable ... inexpensive but I say still good. 


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- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
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RC_Ed
1 Copper

Re: Rufus - FreeDOS BIOS firmware flashing guide [Error SOLV

Dude!!! This Works!! Took me a while to get my head around it. . Thank you so much! I've just gone from A03 to A06 and Im doing A07 now. . Looking at getting to A014.. Ill let you know how I go 👍

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7 Plutonium

Re: Rufus - FreeDOS BIOS firmware flashing guide [Error SOLV

You don't have to go one by one but you cannot jump 14 versions from A00 all the way to A14 in one step.

 


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