Need help fixin old PC

By SgtBlades
Jul 25, 2009
  1. First the system specs:
    Dell Dimension 8300
    PSU: 305 watt psu came with the comp (used almost every day for 3 years)
    CPU: Intel Pentium 4 3.00ghz
    grfx card: Nvidia Geforce 5200 FX 128mb (AGP 8x)
    RAM: 2 1GB Patriot cards
    floppy drive: yes
    CD/DVD Drive: TEAC DV-W58E (2004 model)
    DVD read only: Hitachi GDR-8162B (2003 model)
    not sure mobo but the chipset: Intel 875P
    HDDs: #1-Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 80GB ATA/133 HDD #2-Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 300GB

    My problem:
    I formerly had attempted to fix it but, to no avail. Now, after wiping it with the Guttman wipe available with Darik's Boot and Nuke, I tried going through the standard Windows XP Professional (with SP3) installation: insert the CD into the CD drive and close it. Does not work. The computer reads it as nothing being there. (Yes I have checked ALL BIOS settings to ensure that it is set to boot first through CD-ROM and it still reads as nothing in the drive.)

    On my next attempt I try using Windows XP PRO floppy bootables and then put in the CD and it reads it. But, when it tries to copy it's contents onto the partitioned NTFS hard drive (partitioned with the use of the Windows XP Professional SP3 CD) it stops at certain points each time and says it is unable to copy this particular file to the computer and gives me the option to ignore it and continue or to abort operation or to retry (retrying does not work on any of the many freaking times it tells me it can't copy a file.)

    So, my guess with the floppy bootables problem is that they're just really old and I should've updated them before my computer died or something with compatability with the CD (it coming with Service Pack 3 and not being the original Windows XP Professional only.) And then the problem with the CD not being read in the drive would probably be some cable problem or drive issue.

    If anyone, ANYONE can help me remedy this issue, I would be oh so grateful. This has been plagueing me for quite some time.
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    You have an excellent but older computer... built in 2003 or 2004 at the latest.
    If you have not replaced the Teac and Hitachi optical drives before now, they are likely worn out from use or from deterioration of the components or alignment issues.
    Also, the Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 80 does not have a good history of reliability. It may be bad or dying rapidly after what might be four to six years of use. I would replace it immediately. You can get a new copy of your Dell Restore Disk set with Service Pack 2 instead of 1a, which will enable the installation of any size EIDE drive. They are very low cost right now with the 160 GB commonly selling for $39 to $59, and 400 GB drives going for $60 or less.
    Time to reinstall and update your system... and everything will settle down.
    The replacement of optical drives, both DVD, can be as little as $18 to $21 each... just avoid the HLDS or HL that is commonly found around Dell... also avoid the Sony Nec, and HP. Pioneer, LG, LiteOn, Plextor, and Samsung have good reliability records.
  3. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    optical drives can and do wear out. replace it. They're cheap.
  4. SgtBlades

    SgtBlades TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Awesome yall. Thanks so much for the help. I've tried gettin help from others and they had no idea what the problem was. Probably because I didn't give my entire system information to em haha. Thanks again, but I won't be able to si nk any money into it for at least another month. Not even a penny. All going towards this mission trip I been saving for for quite some time.
    Anyway, thanks!
  5. SgtBlades

    SgtBlades TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Woah! How can I get a new restore disk? I lost mine years ago. Do I just go to the site and go through customer support or something?

    Edit: nevermind. Just did it. And it only costs $25 to replace the OEM disk!
  6. FoReWoRd

    FoReWoRd TS Rookie Posts: 204

    the Windows XP Professional SP3 CD is the same thing just without the crappy DELL bit
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