1 Nickel

Re: XPS 720 fans blowing at max, hard drive wrecked

Thank you so much for your valuable input!

The thermal paste shouldn't be an issue. I changed processors a few times, always completely cleaning off any residue and the thermal paste looked like it is supposed to look: one even patch in the right spot.

I left the system alone for a couple of days and today I gave it another shot. I installed a hard drive from another XPS 700 system,. This time the system booted without any problems, fans at normal.  Now, with the Dell formatted drive, I have access to the utility partition, so I tried running the diagnostics, but I received an error message: "SYSTEM_ERROR Unable to locate required Intel ICH controller". I had been wondering before about the hard disk controller, because Acronis' utilities could not even find a hard drive, already with the previous hard drive. And I CAN run Acronis on this particular drive from another XPS 700 machine.

When I remove the RAM sticks and the video card, and unplug the drive, I get one long beep, then 3 beeps, then 2 more. The color of the power button is green. When I start the system WITH these components in place, then (after going through a series of combinations) I end up without any numbers.

This is the second xps 700 series motherboard I'm having trouble with. The first one just died without any further response. This one seems to have problems with one or more components. I bought this motherboard on eBay, so my chances for a warranty replacement are extremely slim. It seemed to work just fine, except for those card-cage fan error messages. And it still isn't entirely dead. But what can I do with a bad ICH controller? Can it be repaired?

                                                                            *  *  *

 I made another attempt. I formatted the Dell drive using Acronis on another machine, which cleared the way for a fresh install of WIndows XP (iI always got blue screens with this drive before). I installed all the latest Dell drivers for the 720 (I did this on a 700 and it took it without a problem). I then installed this drive in the problematic XPS 720 - and it works! No fan issues, no error messages, AND no drive controller issues! How is that possible?

Isn't that strange? Well, I'm holding my breath for the next issue...


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