Clean Windows 7 install on a Dell Optiplex 160 (Atom 330/4GB) system. Had it running fine, with all MS and Dell driver updates. Then I Installed SP1. Now it wil not boot. It seems to show the glowing "Windows" icon, then a blank screen then nothing. Beware of SP1 !!
Dell Tech support says: Contact Microsoft, it's their problem. But, to their credit, they suggested a clean install of Win7 without drivers, then install SP1, then update drivers... I'm trying that now...
The first thing to do, if you have an install disk, is to try to recover to a time before the SP1. It's a lot easier than doing a clean install and you don't lose all your programs and data.
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I have 4 brand new optiplex 160 with nothing on them except how Dell Shipped them. Worked fine for several days, did all updates, then proceeded to Sp1. Sp1 killed all 4 machines. Keep in mind I am the IT guy, and have done 40+ installs of sp1 on a variety of other machines, no issues. I did everything I could think of, and the only sure fire way to get back into OS was to roll back the sp1 install using windows recovery, at which point all 4 optiplex could get back into OS. I tried a few more times, each time sp1 killed the OS, and eventually I even let Dell play around. I was eventually told to call MS, since it was not Dells fault. I imagine every single optiplex 160 owner has called dell in the last few weeks, and they dont want to deal with it.
Long story short, there is something about the 160 that currently does not like sp1. Could be the atom processor, which was not really meant for desktops, even mini ones. Could be the dell bios for these things. Dont have any solutions for you, but I did want to make sure you didn't feel crazy, as I can confirm your excact symptoms.
Did a quick look on the web, and WHOA!!!!
There are a lot of problems with SP1, and not just with Dell. I won't live long enough to read them all. Best to start reading and look for possible issues. One that popped up was that MS thinks the copy of Win 7 was NOT legit.
The problem with the Optiplex 160 and Win7SP1 is the SIS video driver. If you uninstall the video driver before you install SP1, then reinstall the video driver, it will work. The only problem that I've noticed is that if you are running dual monitors, it seems to want to revert back to single display mode whenever you first log in.
Windows 7 Service Pack 1 should be installed before the system drivers unless you want a system that is performing at less than half of what it should. Seems bad in Dells and worse in HPs 64 bit from what I have seen. Driver culprits seem to be particularly with:
• Audio particularly Realtek.• Video particularly ATI and maybe nVidea to an extent.
Sometimes uninstalling these in Computer > Uninstall or change a program and also Device Manager (right click every audio and video device select uninstall and ensure that delete driver software for this device is ticked. I would however recommend a clean install method.
I have experienced reduced functionality with the Dell factory settings because the drivers are preinstalled; then windows update and out comes a huge mess making the factory settings completely useless. This seemed to happen with Windows Vista Service Pack 1 also.
My friend got a new Latitude recently and the performance was poor, worse than my 4 year old Inspiron despite his Latitude being very good hardware. We rectified it with a clean install.
It works like a dream if you install Windows 7, then the standalone Windows 7 standalone Service Pack 1, standalone Internet Explorer 9 and then the system drivers. If you have the Dell DVD you are best to use that and apply these updates. Alternatively a retail .iso which includes Service Pack 1 can be used if activated via phone. I have put forward to Dell (on IdeaStorm) that they make Dell Windows .isos with the latest Service Packs and versions of Internet Explorer readily able to download to rectify such problems. This is under review however.
Since this problem is so common, and since the factory settings in my opinion are highly flawed. I have wrote a wiki on performing a clean install you may find it in my post footer. The wiki "a clean install of Windows Vista/7" will tell you precisely how to proceed and where to download all you need and what order to install things in for best results.
Windows Reinstallation Guide and Related Wikies See here for other wikies such as Customising and Using Windows 8.1, Dell Wireless Cards and Unofficial Drivers.