XPS 420 core2 duo dual booting

Desktop

Desktop
Desktop computer Forums (Audio, General Hardware, Video)

XPS 420 core2 duo dual booting

This question is not answered

I have a Dell XPS420 Core2 Quad I've had for awhile now. Lightning ran in on it and fried the motherboard (I think - on/off button glows a light yellow and will not shut on or off.)

Anyway I bought a replacement from greenelectronics.com - I thought I bought a exact replacement or at least the hardware would be similar enough that it would boot right up by swapping hard drives. Apparently the XPS-420 model also comes in a Core2 Duo - my old hard drives were useless without wiping them.

I wiped out the HD that came with the new computer to get up and running again, and I bought a new 320Gb hard drive to put Ubuntu 10 on it.

My Core2-Quad model would allow me to hit F10 on startup and select the other HD to boot from. This model will not. I updated the bios on the motherboard to A07 the same as the quad. Now I am having to swap the HD cables. I thought that was a function of the Sata controller, do both models not have the same Sata controller the intel ICH9R??  I can't tell on the old one. 

Any one else have the same problem?

I think I may look and see if I can buy another Core2Quad motherboard, although I got this case and all for just under $200.

All Replies
  • Hi GregsXPS,

    The hotkey for booting to other devices is F12. Nevertheless, in order to boot to separate operating systems, you need to be configured for dual booting. There are any number of tutorials around for help doing that, such as this one.

  • The SATA controller is the Intel ICH9R on the 420

    XPS 420, Intel Core2 Quad 9650, Two Vertex 2 180GB SSD's in Raid 0, Two 1 TB WD Cavier Black 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache SATA III Drives, 8 GB DDR2 SDRAM PC2 6400 at 800MHz, Seasonic X Series 660 Watt PS,  XFX Radeon HD 6990 GPU, Windows 7 Pro 64 bit 

    Optiplex 990 MiniTower, i7 2600, Seasonic 650 Watt X Class Gold Power Supply, Win 7 64 bit Pro on Two OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS SSDs in Raid 0 array on SATA 3 Intel headers, 1 TB WD Cavier Black 64 MB Cache SATA III, 16 GB DDR3 Crucial RAM, soon to replace stock video card, NEC USB 3.0

     

     

     

     

     

  • I hit the F12 key but it doesn't allow me to choose which HD to boot from, it only gives me internal HD. My old system would let me select from 2 HD which I thougth was a function of the Sata controller or Bios

  • Guess I should have been more specific, I have two WD 320Gb hard drives, the old system would boot up normally from Sata0 slot, I simply added a second HD with Vista and Ubuntu on it. Then when I hit F12 I got a selection of the 2 hard drives, USB or CD drive. Now all I get is the 1 HD.  I am having to swap the Sata0 cable to the second HD to boot Ubuntu. The system sees both drives, I just don't get the option to select the other drive to boot from.....

  • gregsXPS

    Guess I should have been more specific, I have two WD 320Gb hard drives, the old system would boot up normally from Sata0 slot, I simply added a second HD with Vista and Ubuntu on it. Then when I hit F12 I got a selection of the 2 hard drives, USB or CD drive. Now all I get is the 1 HD.  I am having to swap the Sata0 cable to the second HD to boot Ubuntu. The system sees both drives, I just don't get the option to select the other drive to boot from.....

    Yes,  I too have the same issue..  On many other brand computers you may boot into setup and choose which drive(and OS) to boot from.. Not so with the Dell XPS-420.  I have to disconnect the default drive, turn it off in setup, and then it will boot to the second drive and OS.

    I had Windows 7 installed first and later installed a second drive with Windows XP installed on it to accomodate some of my apps that will not function in Windows 7.  Hoping someone would come up with a quick fix for this..

    Thanks for any assistance..

  • Hi Fitzger100,

    In order to dual boot Windows 7 and XP, you need to configure the boot.ini properly. There are many, many tutorials on the internet so I'm not going to reinvent that wheel. If you do not for some reason have success with one of these tutorials, please let me know and perhaps I can suggest further help.

    Since this forum is for hardware questions, you might want to peruse the Microsoft OS forum for ideas as well.

    Good luck!

  • Thanks for the lead, I'll give it a try

  • I am having this same problem except that I cant get the CD/DVD to run in order to install the 2nd OS I have used on board and I have used a external USB device except that I have Windows 7 Ultimate X64 running and 4 Gigs of ram. but I can not seam to get any other device to boot a disk so I can install a seconded bootable OS in the extra partition I have set up. and it is a XPS 420 Core 2 Quid and A07 bios update's. I also am not new to the dual booting world as I have it running on my Lap top and several other computers. but I can not get this Dell to dual Boot. I cant even get it to act like it wants to install a dual bootable partition.   

  • Hi Equilibrium24,

    So you just can't boot to an OS disc, right? Does the internal DVD drive work? Obviously, you can boot from a flash drive as well in order to install the second operating system, right?

  • Yes the DVD room drives that I tried worked just fine. the Dell XPS 420 was the dell computer I was working on. I used one thing that did work with out any problems getting the other OS I was trying to install, installed and that was I used a USB creator and made a USB Bootable device and was able to get that to work with out any Issues. then I installed the OS in the Partition and rebooted. Lucky for me Unbuntu has plenty of USB creators.

  • I think some of these computers Bios could be a little more user friendly. and not look like something only a tech would understand. I am a tech and I still get confused with somethings when I run across a weird bios like the one on this Dell XPS.

  • And I'm not a tech, so I hear you there! Sad