Question about Dell XPS™ 600 PC Desktop

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Windows XP won't boot with "CREATIVE SOLUTIONS" PC

I have a "Creative" built Windows XP Pro platform with 256 System Memory, 13 GB HD; CD ROM, 3.5" floppy drive.
When booting it gets stuck on the following:
Intel PC 133 Pentium® processor, 733MHz
128 MB PC133 RAM
It will sit awhile then "sees" my peripherals (mouse, Keyboard etc) and
Then the screen clear and goes to "Drive Not Ready-System halted"
It boots OK at times but I can’t count on it.

I got this machine 2nd hand so no software. It was surplus property of the State of California and built "custom" to their specs I presume, but nothing exotic, not even a large hard drive, just 13 gigs.

Any ideas?
Hardy

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  • 4 more comments 
  • hardco58 Feb 04, 2009

    I'm not sure what an optical drive is. I don't have anything on this machine driven by optics as far as I know. I suspect "gymowner" is right with his analysis in that XP Pro is too much of a memory hog to run this machine right.

    I have another machine, a Compaq Deskpro. Also from the Stone Age, but I'm from that era too. it has a Pentium III processor, 598 MHz, 256 MB RAM. It runs but I often get low memory warnings. It's slow but I never thought it was because it too has too little RAM. Figured it was the Net that was the cause.



    Sounds like I need more memory for both my machines. How can I tell what's what with memory, short of taking my old ones into the store like Frye's. They advertise "2GB DDR2 PC4200 Memory, Speed 533 MHz single module, for $19.99. Am I getting close?



    If I do have something "optical" in my "Creative" machine, it's probably my eyeglasses I can't find since I had that case open last.



    Hardy C.

















  • hardco58 Feb 04, 2009

    AntiochPC: I just reread your note to me and it looks like you're telling me that these are the minimum to run XP Pro.



    1.6 GHz CPU, 256MB Ram, and DirectX 9 hardware-accelerated GPU


    Looks like adding RAM alone isns't gonna do it for me, I need a new processor and that probably means a new motherboard and that puts it out of range of my budget. I don't know where to get a copy of bargain basement Win 98 and am likely stuck with a door stop with my Creative machine and a slow Deskpro. If the Creative comes up once in awhile it'll be enough to continue to use it as a backup for my files and the other one, well, I'm kinda slow myself and don't have much of a need for blazing speed, as long as it keeps running at ANY speed.



    Thanks to both of you for your fast response. Now I know.

    Hardy C.

  • hardco58 Feb 04, 2009

    * Unplug the optical drive from the motherboard and see if it boots.



    No it didn't. Drive not ready came on without the usual text that shows 128 Ram.



    If not, unplug the hard drive and plug back in the optical drive. It will boot to an operating system not found error, but see if it pauses for a long time on the processor/ram screen. If it goes normal, then you know the problem is either the hard drive or the hard drive controller.



    * It came back with the last line of 128 Ram.

  • hardco58 Feb 04, 2009

    If and when that Creative machine should ever boot again, would it work to increase the virtual/emulation memory, which I've done to my Net connected Compaq? That was really done by MaCafee but I'm familiar with how to do so.Can't try it until/unless it boots though.

    I wonder if I should face Mecca, Jerusalem, or St.Peters to petition for a miracle......



    Hardy



  • Kevin Shafer
    Kevin Shafer May 11, 2010

    Optical drive = CD drive (ran by optics)

    I've succesfully ran windows xp on a 233 MHZ machine with 128 MB Ram. Not very efficiently, mind you, but the specs you have will run XP.

    Just to note what fry's is advertising in the way of RAM won't work on your machine. Your machine takes an older type of memory module that you probably won't be able to find in a retail store anywhere. What you need is 128 or 256 MB SDRAM PC 133 memory chips, but I can't guarantee the 256 will be able to be seen by your motherboard.

    That being said, that does not address your original problem. The reason your machine "gets stuck" on the cpu/memory display is because it is having problems reading either the optical (CD drive) or the hard drive. It could be a fautly drive as I outlined earlier or even perhaps a faulty motherboard.

    Again, windows XP will run on that system. But that is not the issue you are faced with at the moment.


  • Kevin Shafer
    Kevin Shafer May 11, 2010

    bad hard drive or cd drive. Unplug the optical drive from the motherboard and see if it boots. If not, unplug the hard drive and plug back in the optical drive. It will boot to an operating system not found error, but see if it pauses for a long time on the processor/ram screen. If it goes normal, then you know the problem is either the hard drive or the hard drive controller. Let me know if either of these tests work for you. Thanks.

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  • Dell Master
  • 1,314 Answers

So you need to replace your CD drive and you need to install an operating system on the hard drive. I've got to run now but any other questions, please feel free to ask and I'll come back in a few hours :c)

Posted on Feb 04, 2009

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  • Master
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That machine is too underpowared to run xp pro.
Windows XP Media Center Edition
1.6 GHz CPU, 256MB Ram, and DirectX 9 hardware-accelerated GPU
you may get it to run but it is going to be dead slow. you will be waiting forever to load any apps with a processor under a gig, and less than 512 mhz of memory, it may work for emulation, but that's even questionable. I don't want to aggrvate you but that config is a decade old. Vista for instance needs at least 2 gigs of ram and a dualcore to run right. sorry bud, if you are dead set on it, the only thing you coula do is juice up the memory, to whatever the board is rated to take, or I would run windows 98, peace

Posted on Feb 03, 2009

  • George Bill
    George Bill Feb 04, 2009

    No i would guess yo are looking at pc133 memory, if you can pull up a schematic of the motherboard, "google it" it will give you the specs. Look on the board itself for a model number. You aren't dealing with DDR ram it's either pc100 or pc133

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