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DELL VOSTRO 230 won't boot past bios help

dunvarna 976 169 June 10, 2011 at 09:19 AM More Dell Home & Office Deals
We have a Dell Vostro 230 at our small business....Here is the scenario. We leave our pcs on during the week. (unless bad weather of course) and power them off for the weekends.

Anyway, one of the Vostro's is stuck on the Dell Splash screen. It will not get past that window. I have done all the trouble shooting I can as well as discussed it with Dell, paying the $69.00 fee etc. We determined, which I thought it was in the first place, the mother board.

My question is can any one recommend a good replacement board. Dell wants $156 for a "refurbished" board with a 90 day warranty. I asked the tech this question as well, and would like someone to confirm it, If I switch out a mother board, will I lose my windows 7 activation?

I am exploring several $50- $90 boards at Frys or Newegg. Here are the specs on the machine.

Its an Intel Q-8400 with 4-gig ddr-3...small form factor or mini is the correct term motherboard. Have to pull the trigger today on one. Have a nice weekend.

Any input would be awesome.Thanks in advance.



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Have you hit esc to watch the boot process? Can you get into the bios? Can you run the dell diagnostics.

I am fairly certain your windows license will complain if you go with a model of motherboard other than what you have because it will not have the dell thumprint in the bios and your version of windows is an OEM. Since the machine starts at $299 I am not sure its worth paying the $156 for a mb from dell. You might look on ebay and see if you can find one. You also might post this in the Dell Community forums as I am not convinced it is the motherboard at this point.

In the future you might look at the optiplex line. They are really designed for business and cost a bit more but do have a 3 year next day warranty on them which is quite nice.
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Original Poster
Thanks for the quick response. I can't get into the bios at all. period. Removed everything. even the battery no luck, won't post. The keyboard won't light up. No beeps until i removed the battery.
Hind sights 20/20. Tried ebay. short supply of "good" on es. guess I will bite the bullet and buy the one from dell. Live and learn from my mistakes I suppose.
so say i did swap the motherboard with a non-dell motherboard, would I have to call for an activation code, install a new version of Win 7 or buy a new Win7 professional version and use that code?
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Don't blame me, I voted for the other guy. Of course I do have TWO JOBS , I am a Legal Citizen and I am not on Welfare. Go figure! Frown
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With a non dell MB I believe you would need a new license of windows, possibly a format too because the OEM version is tied to the current hardwares profile. I dont think calling for a new code would fix it. Someone else may be more sure about this.
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Just to be clear, you removed/unplugged everything possible from the motherboard?

-Hard Drive
-CD/DVD Drive
-PCI Cards
-Memory card reader [if its on there]

If you have done all that, have you also taken the RAM out and then put it back in? If you have done that, try putting one stick in by itself, and try it in each slot. Then try the other stick in each slot.

If you have done all that and still no go, then try taking the power supply from another computer and hooking it up to this one.

If none of that works, then yes, you should probably save yourself the headache and order another computer.
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LiquidRetro is correct, if you change the motherboard to anything but a straight-up replacement, your license is no longer valid. You must purchase either

- A full retail Windows license.
- An upgrade Windows license, if you have another previous license of Windows you can transfer in, such as a full retail license of XP.
- A Microsoft Action Pack Solution Provider Subscription. Your business must meet certain requirements, and it does cost more than a single Windows license, but you do get a lot more support and software in one go.
- A volume license.
- There's probably other options I'm not thinking of, but those are the most common.

Then once you acquire a valid key, you can attempt to put your key in when it tells you it's not a "genuine" copy of Windows. If it doesn't like your key, you can call the number on the wizard and the phone line might just activate it for you or a representative might to it after you explain that you replaced your computer's failed motherboard and bought a new copy of Windows.

Additionally, you may run into an issue with the front panel header. Sometimes Dell puts a custom header on these things and leaves you on your own if you want to split the wires out and figure out what's what.

What color is the power button? Is it blinking? Are there any beep codes?
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Last edited by redmaxx June 11, 2011 at 02:25 AM.
Steve Gibson on password policies []: I mean, I don't get this change it every eight weeks. ... It's not as if passwords are traveling by camel after they've been stolen, going to the bad guys, and so there's, like, some weird eight-week window, like, oh, we're going to change your password so that the stale password no longer works. ... And all this does is make IT people despised because users, who are not dumb, they think, why am I - why do I have to do this? What problem is this solving?
Did you get any disks with this machine? If you have a drivers and utilities disk, perhaps you can get it to boot from CD and run some tests. I'd actually think of a hard drive issue before a bad board.

If you happen to have an extra hard drive sitting around and you have an install and a drivers and utilities disk, you can try to just reinstall from the OS disk and then load drivers from the other disk.

I know many newer machines don't come with disks. You might be able to download the disk to run diagnostics from the site -- using your service tag to get the right one. You'd probably have to burn it yourself, but could be a good thing to do.
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