Dell Precision 390 not booting

Randomdeath

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When i try to boot my system (Dell Precision 390) it gives me a beep error. 1-3-2. I believe this is memory (correct me if im wrong) so i bought a new 4gb kit just like it had and installed it with no luck, same error. Tried three sticks, two, and one in all different slots with all different stick combos i could think of to make sure they werent all DOA. I'm starting to think its a motherboard issue but i'm not sure. It powers on and all, yellow light on the motherboard. Nothing shows on screen. On the front panel, 3 and 4 light up but i have drives 1 and 2 plugged in. no other drives in the system.

Core 2 duo e6600
MSI HD 6870
Dell OEM 4gb ddr2 ram
Everything is standard.
I believe the motherboard number is 0DN075
 
Randomdeath,

I have a Precision 390 (now Xeon X3230 (4-core @ 2.66GHz) / 8GB / Quadro K600 / 2X WD 320GB with the same motherboard.

______________________________________________

1. The OS drive should be attached to SATA 0

2. These so seem to very fussy about memory. I had to buy RAM twice to get it to work and to make sure the second time, I bought RAM that was listed on Ebahhh as having been pulled from a Precision 390.

3. Ensure the BIOS is the latest version.

______________________________________________

The 390 - with a Core2 E6400 1.86GHz with 2X WD 320GB drives was a gift from an architectural office that was closing, along with a Dell E520 which is very similar. It's in such pristine condition, I couldn't bring myself to sell it.

But, I spent the minimum in upgrades on the 390 really- the Xeon X3230 was $25, RAM was $25, and the GPU was left over from a new HP z420.

And as nice as the 390 is I've never really used it.

Not to throw a wrench into the works, as I like the 390, but if you get the 390 going properly, consider selling it and applying the value to a Precision T3500- two generations newer as those use up to 24GB of DDR3-1333 and up to the W3690 hyperthreading 4-core @ 3.47 / 3.73GHz and X5687 4-core @ 3.6 / 3.86. The upgrade effort and cost is really the same unless you buy the fastest 4 or 6-core CPU. I bought a T3500 for only $53 and changed to a Xeon X5677 3.47 /3.73GHz 32nm ($60), 12GB of RAM ($43), the Quadro 4000 (2GB),PERC 6/i RAID controller with 146GB and 300GB 15K SAS drives came from a T5500 that I bought and upgraded (to PERC H310 + Samsung 840 +WD RE4).

The T3500 works really well, although a PERC H310, which would make it 6GB/s and an SSD would be the thing to make it really useful. You can also consider the T5500 for somewhat more ( mine cost $171) and those have 875W PSU's and can use two CPU's (mine has 2X X5680 6-core @ 3.33 /3.6GHz) with the addition of a somewhat expensive 2nd CPU riser board and 96GB of RAM.

My local particle accelerator facility designs the 18m, supercooled, super precise +- .001mm, accelerator modules in Siemens NX- also used to design Airbus and BMW's- on Precision T3500 with Quadro K6000's- $4,600!

I tried a Quadro K4200 (4GB) in the T3500 and the Passmark 3D score was 4707, among the better results for the K4200's tested, so the T3500 doesn't hold back good GPU's tas will a 390.

Cheers,

BambiBoom
 

Randomdeath

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Thank you for all your help! I was trying to update the bios when i hard-reset out of impatience. It was working fine before that, then it asked for a restart. Just in case, which of the four ports on the board is sata 0? And the new RAM i bought for it was a specific Precision 390 OEM and all that replacement/upgrade straight from Dell. I have a core 2 Q6600 on the way, and since all i play is CS:GO I dont feel like rummaging through the internet looking for a decent pc on the cheap, even if i sell this rig for 200 bucks it will be hard to find something good. Again thank you for all your help!
 
Thank you for all your help! I was trying to update the bios when i hard-reset out of impatience. It was working fine before that, then it asked for a restart. Just in case, which of the four ports on the board is sata 0? And the new RAM i bought for it was a specific Precision 390 OEM and all that replacement/upgrade straight from Dell. I have a core 2 Q6600 on the way, and since all i play is CS:GO I dont feel like rummaging through the internet looking for a decent pc on the cheap, even if i sell this rig for 200 bucks it will be hard to find something good. Again thank you for all your help!


Randomdeath,


I think the first thing to try is clearing CMOS as the hard reset during the BIOS upgrade may well have corrupted it. I don't have access to the 390 User Manual at the moment, but you you can download it from dell.com. Clearing the CMOS may be either removing the CMOS battery or moving a 2-pin jumper. This will reset BIOS to the original default settings and may solve your problem.

The SATA connection cables are a bit buried on the motherboard end but have little numbered labels. If that is not the case, consult the motherboard diagram in the User Manual and trace the cable back. Conventionally, the drive towards the front of the case will be SATA0 and the back on SATA1.

The Q6600 is a very good, reliable CPU. I've had an HP m9624f for 7 years as my dedicated sound recording /editing computer and it's never missed a beat -literally.

Cheers,

BambiBoom





 

Randomdeath

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I got the sata all worked out, but removing and resetting the cmos battery gave me more/different beep errors. They are hard to count so i'll record a video, and list it below if you want to see it. I might just try to find another OEM board, and drop it in there, and get it working then sell it. I'm using my chromebook right now, ill use this until i can save up enough cash to get something that isnt as finicky.

Heres the vid (sorry, its a little quiet) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixxuw0MGITc
 
" I got the sata all worked out, but removing and resetting the cmos battery gave me more/different beep errors. They are hard to count so i'll record a video, and list it below if you want to see it. I might just try to find another OEM board, and drop it in there, and get it working then sell it. I'm using my chromebook right now, ill use this until i can save up enough cash to get something that isnt as finicky.

Heres the vid (sorry, its a little quiet)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixxuw0MGITc <END

Randondeath,

Sorry you're still having the troubles.

The Precision 390 User Manual does explain the diagnostic lights' meaning and a clear record of the lights should give an indication of the problem. For example on P. 125, under "Diagnostic Light Codes During POST", light No. 4 means: "A possible BIOS failure has occurred; the computer is in the recovery mode" and the solution is to: "Run the BIOS Recovery utility, wait for recovery completion, and then restart the computer." Light 3 "A possible processor failure has occurred.", Lights 3 and 4: "Memory modules are detected, but a memory failure has occurred." Apropos of your idea about the motherboard, Lights 1 and 4 means: System board failure has occurred and Lights 1, 3, and 4 =possible system board resource and/or hardware failure has occurred.Perform the procedures in Resolving Software and Hardware Incompatibilities.

Thanks for the video with the beep codes. I ran this several times at .5 speed and it seems to me to be:

3-3-3-2 / 3-3-2

Users Maual, Page 127 concerns the beep codes:

1-1-2 Microprocessor register failure
1-1-3 NVRAM read/write failure
1-1-4 ROM BIOS checksum failure
1-2-1 Programmable interval timer failure
1-2-2 DMA initialization failure
1-2-3 DMA page register read/write failure
1-3 Video Memory Test failure
1-3-1 through 2-4-4 Memory not being properly identified or used
1-3-2 Memory problem
3-1-1 Slave DMA register failure
3-1-2 Master DMA register failure
3-1-3 Master interrupt mask register failure
3-1-4 Slave interrupt mask register failure
3-2-2 Interrupt vector loading failure
3-2-4 Keyboard Controller Test failure
3-3-1 NVRAM power loss
3-3-2 Invalid NVRAM configuration
3-3-4 Video Memory Test failure
3-4-1 Screen initialization failure
3-4-2 Screen retrace failure
3-4-3 Search for video ROM failure
4-2-1 No timer tick
4-2-2 Shutdown failure
4-2-3 Gate A20 failure
4-2-4 Unexpected interrupt in protected mode
4-3-1 Memory failure above address 0FFFFh
4-3-3 Timer-chip counter 2 failure
4-3-4 Time-of-day clock stopped
4-4-1 Serial or parallel port test failure
4-4-2 Failure to decompress code to shadowed memory
4-4-3 Math-coprocessor test failure
4-4-4 Cache test failure

If the pattern is actually 3-3-2, that's "Invalid NVRAM configuration"- quite close to the idea of a corrupted BIOS.

Perhaps clearing CMOS again and trying to flash the BIOS from a flash drive?

Cheers,

BambiBoom
 

Randomdeath

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lights 3 and 4 are showing... Seems it is memory after all. I'll try the cmos thing again, and i do have a flashdrive. Do i just load the latest BIOS onto the flashdrive and plug it in? Nothing comes on the screen so far so im not sure how that would work.
 

Randomdeath

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http://www.dell.com/support/Article/us/en/6099/SLN284985 I followed some things on this, and after finding two, two pin jumpers (one near the back of the case and one right under the cpu cooler) When i plug both jumpers it doesnt power. When i remove the one at the back and put it on a tan/beige two pin connector it powers on but revs the fan on and off.. and it says 3 and 4 again and flashes 1 right before the fan revs then calms down. I'm afraid i've ruined my board...
 

Randomdeath

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Randomdeath,

I'm really not sure of the proper solution- I wish I were a better diagnostician, but there may be multiple problems- memory and BIOS- very difficult to sort out at a distance.

The diagnostic lights and beeping both do indicate a memory problem, and that would cause a system to just not appears to be getting anywhere, but the complete lack of responsiveness after having worked seems to be corrupted BIOS.

I'm not certain of how to flash a corrupted BIOS when there is no error display.

Given the large amount of work involved in changing a motherboard, I'm reluctant to recommend it. I would say however, that the MB in the 390 is special - notice the notch in the shape and angled CPU socket, the alternative Gigabyte will not fit, the rear panel, the cooling and wiring would be trouble.

I'll think about it some more and meanwhile see PM.

Cheers,

BambiBoom

 

Randomdeath

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I forgot to mention beeping is gone.. I was trying the ram that came with the system, i might try the stuff i just bought. Thank you so very much for all of your help. Yes i have noticed the unique shape of the dell motherboard, i do have another ATX case that will fir the gigabyte one however.
 

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