I've been having some serious problems with my Dell Dimension 8400 computer, including losing my hard drive twice, my network card(probably), and, for the past few months, I can't load a driver for my 1704FPT monitor. Moreover, in the Dell "present" configuration it shows no card loaded, but it's in there. I've unplugged and plugged it back in, checked cables and connectors, etc., but to no avail.
I run off a Belkin huge battery backup, with surge protector, but from the problems I've had I'm suspecting that somehow a surge made it through, sometime. Replacing the network card re-established my network connections, e.g. And my monitor is failing after about 20 minutes of running.
Bought the d______d system in April, 2005 . . . . pretty penny. Not pleased.
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Dell has been including a "factory restore partition" on the hard drive for several years. Your Dimension 8400 should have the Dell PC Recovery software and files on the original drive.
Is the original hard disc installed? Have you ever upgraded the OS from the original XP? If you have not upgraded these two items or changed the partition structure on the drive, then shut down the computer and restart it. When you see the blue bar with www.dell.com, press <Ctrl> and <F11> simultaneously. (The Control (Ctrl) key is usually duplicated on most keyboards on both ends of the row with the space key. F11 is the second to the right among the function keys if they are in a line at the top of the keyboard. Three other keys (and possibly media control keys) will be to the right of the function keys on many keyboards.)
Sometimes it is hard to correctly time this. If you reach the windows boot-up, restart the computer and try again. (I usually have to do this 3-4 times.) Select Restore and then confirm the action on the next screen. Then wait for the program to reformat the C: partition and copy the files from the recovery/restore partition. When the computer restarts, it will display the End User License Agreement and other "start-up" screens for a new computer.
If the hard drive has been changed so that the PC Restore doesn't work, find someone with a copy of your version of Windows (DVD). Note your current license key. Then use a program to reformat the C: partition and reinstall Windows. (You'll lose the Dell extras that came with the computer.) Members of MUGs (Microsoft Users Groups) or Microsoft Technet may have these disks.
Dell Dimension 8400 PC"s use either Broadcom Extreme Ethernet controllers OR, on SOME models of the 8400 that do NOT have ON-board Ethernet connections, SMC Networks Ethernet Drivers. I've seen MANY a Dell Dimension.
This might be caused by hard-drive failure. You should run hard drive test from BIOS to make sure hard drive is ok. You can access BIOS by pressing F2 during start up, from there start hard disk self test and wait for it to complete.
If hard drive is ok after test, insert in your original Windows installation media and reinstall OS.
Unfortunately the dell website (not me) is not very helpful. Here's what is says about your diagnostic lights
Another failure has occurred.
Ensure that the cables are properly connected to the system board from the hard drive, CD drive, and DVD drive.
there is an error message on your screen identifying a problem with a
device (such as the floppy drive or hard drive), check the device to
make sure it is functioning properly.
The operating system is attempting to boot from a device (such as the floppy drive or hard drive); check system setup (see "Boot Sequence") to make sure the boot sequence is correct for the devices installed on your computer.
you can try to hook up everything back up and then take out the video card and clean the place that it llides into and the card itsself and reinsert it and see what happnes but please make real sure that u connect everything back just like it was cause if there are cablkes that are switched there will be problems
check to make sure the hard drive cables are connected properly and securely. Make sure all your cards are seated firmly and properly. Take the cmos batter out for about 30 seconds and then place it back and make sure it is firmly seated and in the proper position. If this still does not help please let me know for further help.
all u do is make your new hard drive the master by setting the correct jumper for it the manual will tell u more. then make the old drive a slave. install yr opreating system it should be installed in drive c: thats the master when done, u do yr normal copy and paste to transfer your files from old drive to new drive.