Question

Dell 8400 system settings for BIOS A01

I started having trouble with the screen freezing up. As my install of XP Pro SP3 was many years old I tried to do a fresh install. The screen still froze up about the timeI got to enter my name. I then decided to do a factory default reset of the setup. Since then I get a BSOD on startup. What I need to know are what all the setup parameters should be set at. The BIOD version is A01.

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Answer
That's proper. Here's the usual.

This is EXPECTED with XP and a SATA HDD. I can't find a bios screen shot so look around for any IDE EMULATION or SATA MODE. Try changing that one entry.

All the other settings should be stock or default.

And yes, there is the old F6 FLOPPY INSTALL XP method but I find most users blow up on impact when they discover how rough that install is. Nod to IDE emulation.

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Dell 8400 system settings for BIOS A01

I'm afraid I was unable to find any IDE EMULATION or SATA MODE entry.

The BSOD STOP message is 0x0000007B (0xF789E528, 0x0000034, 0x00000000, 0x00000000). Not sure if that will help, but that's all I've got.

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Here's a video about the stop 0x7b.

It's towards the end.

About 52 minutes into this one.


While you could supply a link or images for me to check out this BIOS, I don't own this Dell but have changed HDD controller settings for years.

Hope this helps.

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Dell 8400 system settings for BIOS A01

Thanks for this. I did check the AHCI mode and it was enabled. I copied the Ultimate Boot CD for W XP, but when I tried to run it, it kept telling me that the device wasn't available and press F1 to reboot. I did it first off a thumb drive after making it first to boot from. Then I made the CD-ROM drive first, but it didn't work there either. I'm at a loss for what to try next.

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I didn't know AHCI was supported in XP.

That would be news to me. There's also other reasons for XP to BSOD on SATA drives.

I can't see your BIOS screens but for a Dell that ran XP (the XP that came with the DELL, not some XP CD you found) the BIOS defaults were fine. Then ONE LAST THING.

If I were to say install a huge HDD (over 120GB) then partition and format that XP will BSOD as noted. Why this is, is on the web but I don't see exactly what you are doing here.

-> As to the fix for the 0x7b via a Ultimate Boot CD/USB, that failed boot points to old drives or a procedural error. Since I'm not there I can't see where or why it failed.

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Dell 8400 screen froze

Under Drives/SATA Operation, one of the selections is 'RAID Autodetect/AHCI'. One thing I did was run the HD Diagnostics under Boot Device and both passed.

I now have a new 250G HD installed that I got last March. I reboooted it off the Dell reinstallation CD and now it appears to have installed XP ok. I got all the way to the 'Welcome to MS Windows' screen..... Except now the screen just froze up. Cursor doesn't respond. No response from Ctrl/Alt/ Del. I did a restart, after about 15 minutes it froze again.

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That's no BSOD so...

The full lockup points to other issues. For example this machine is so old I'd replace the heatsink compound on all heatsinks (there are more than the CPU) then before the cover goes on I power up and inspect the fans. They must start up just like a new fan and not like what you see in old fans.

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Fan replacement

The fans both seem marginal. I've ordered a new case fan, but the power supply fan is 2 wires and all the replacements I see are 3. Do you know where I can get a 2 wire fan? Maybe my best option is to just replace the power supply with a higher wattage model?? I can get one for about $45 delivered.

I thought I had some heat sink compound but can't locate it. Will get some.

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3 and 4 wire fans work with 2 wires.

There red and black so that's easy. The other connections can be ignored.

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Fans and heat sinks

I'll get a power supply fan and rewire it. Will also renew the heat sink compound on the mother board.

Will let you know how it works out when I get it back together.

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Display freezing up

I got both the fans replaced and redid the heat sink compound on the CPU heat sink and another one on the mother board too.

Powered up and it ran for about 3 minutes before freezing up again.

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