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Windows 7: Dell Optiplex GX 280

27 Nov 2009   #21
Ridn2Lo

Windows 7
 
 
Windows 7 Install on Optiplex GX280

Hello. I have a Dell Opitplex GX280 that I was able to successfully install Windows 7 on. It is running on factory specs: P4 2.8GHZ, 3 GB RAM, stock Nvidia graphics card, stock sound card. I was previously running Windows XP Professional on this system. First off, you cannot boot from USB Drive on this system. It's lame. I tried first to upgrade from XP, but you sadly cannot do that. Here is how I did it. Go to the dell website, drivers and downloads, and find your system. Download the drivers for your ethernet port so you will be able to connect to the internet after installation. Put them on a cd or jump drive and sit to the side. I placed the Windows 7 install cd in the internal dvd drive and when booted up, hold down F8. Go to boot selection option and move boot from cd/dvd drive up to the top. Also go to your graphics card memory setting and set your video card setting from 1MB to 8MB. Restart the computer. Once you see the press any key to boot from cd, press a key to start installation. Once you get through to where you select your partition, select the partition you want to install on and format the drive. After the drive has formatted, installation should begin. If during the end of installation you get a message about your graphics card not being big enough to support Aero, ignore the message. Continue on with the install and when you get to the home screen, upload your ethernet driver. If your using a wireless card, install your drivers for that. From here, you should be able to go to the dell website and download whatever remaining drivers you may need or you can obtain the drivers if you use Windows Update. I found that windows 7 already contained a majority of the drivers for the optiplex, except for my sound card. I recieved the blue screen of death a few times during install, but just kept retrying and it eventually worked. I did this same procedure for my Dell Dimension 3000 with a P4 2.4GHZ and 2GB RAM and it worked like a charm. I also even tried installing Windows Vista Home Premium and then upgrading to WIndows 7 that way, but sadly it did not work.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Feb 2010   #22
DuncNZ

Windows 7
 
 
Having a similar problem; any other ideas?

Hi,

I've got two Dell Optiplex GX 280 machines purchased at similar times that I'm trying to install Windows 7 on; one installed without blinking an eye but the other just wont play ball. It gets to the "starting windows" screen, then the machine completely freezes and you have to remove the power lead before it will restart.

- I've updated the BIOS to the latest version (A15)
- I've reset the BIOS settings
- I've tried the built-in video card and an external video card
- I've tried both an IDE and SATA hard drive
- I've tried both an IDE and SATA DVD ROM
- I've disabled the floppy drive, and all non-essential devices in the BIOS
- I've tried installing windows in Safe Mode (it gets to disk.sys and freezes, though I suspect that's just because it's the last process before something else happens as opposed to the disk being bad).

The machine has a 3Ghz processor and 1GB of RAM, and should run fine. But it just doesn't.

Any suggestions, or is there any other way I can get more information about the crash?

Thanks in advance,

Duncan
Welcome to Fluid Foundation London
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2010   #23
gregrocker

 

Yes, this is what I do when I don't want to spend any more time troubleshooting why Win7 won't install:

Remove the HD from the problem machine and plug it into the other machine. Unplug HD which belongs in that machine first.

Now clean install Win7 normally but don't activate or install any Updates or extra drivers. Instead SysPrep the HD to remove all drivers, SID, Hardware ID, activation: SysPrep to move HD to another computer

Move HD back to problem machine. It will change out all of the drivers, requesting several restarts, but there should be no performance problems especially because it is the same model machine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Feb 2010   #24
DuncNZ

Windows 7
 
 

Thanks for the response.

I tried that; in fact both ways - took the good machine's hard disk with full install and moved it to the bad one, and it hung when starting windows.

I've now swapped the power supply and memory as well, so I can only suspect a faulty motherboard. Or case (!!!). Or I've done something silly.

A bit odd, though, as that machine has worked just fine under XP for quite a while now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2010   #25
gregrocker

 

What is the SATA controller setting in BIOS?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2010   #26
DuncNZ

Windows 7
 
 

I've tried on both "Normal" and "Combination", both with an IDE and SATA drive no joy on either. SMART reporting is set to "off" as well.

D
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2010   #27
gregrocker

 

See if there is a setting for SATA to ACHI. Try that. Then IDE.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2010   #28
MarcosFabian

Windows Ultimate 64 Bit
 
 

Hey guys!
Is it possible to install Windows 7 on this machine?
My dad found this computer (Optiplex GX280) lying around somewhere.
He brought it back home and I was pretty impressed by it's specs. (I attached it to the ZIP file also)

Windows Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3 (Build 2600)

Memory (RAM) 503 MB

CPU Info Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.80GHz

CPU Speed 2773.4 MHz


Am not so sure about a graphics card,
I opened it up and it seemed like something was missing.
It doesn't really matter now.

I will use this computer as a secondary in my home,
Am going to set it for my dad,
So he won't use mines anymore.

Am having second thoughts about installing Windows 7 on this machine because of it's low RAM and older chipset.

If I do install Win7 on this machine,
Am going to remove all the eye candy from it so it won't rely as much on it's graphics.

Should I go for it?


Attached Files
File Type: zip Optiplex Specs.zip (1.3 KB, 179 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2010   #29
gregrocker

 

Those Optiplex's are being phased out after workhorse service in schools and libraries.

Googling GX280 + RAM Crucial says it takes 2 gigs in 4 slots @ around $20 per gig, so you could spec it carefully to upgrade then test install Win7 with a gig with the option to upgrade another gig later if you like it.

You'll need at least a gig of RAM to run Win7. I've run with 512mb before and couldn't run gadgets or even an AV. Win7 is already so lean it will default to run on the lowest hardware specs, but 512 is just asking too much.

Once I upgraded to a gig my old HP 510 beach laptop runs fine without hesitation with it's Celeron, and a Pentium4 2.8ghz is a better processor, so it might be doable if you're wanting to experiment.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2010   #30
MarcosFabian

Windows Ultimate 64 Bit
 
 

Quote:
Those Optiplex's are being phased out after workhorse service in schools and libraries.

Googling GX280 + RAM Crucial says it takes 2 gigs in 4 slots @ around $20 per gig, so you could spec it carefully to upgrade then test install Windows 7 with a gig with the option to upgrade another gig later if you like it.

You'll need at least a gig of RAM to run Windows 7. I've run with 512mb before and couldn't run gadgets or even an AV. Windows 7 is already so lean it will default to run on the lowest hardware specs, but 512 is just asking too much.

Once I upgraded to a gig my old HP 510 beach laptop runs fine without hesitation with it's Celeron, and a Pentium4 2.8ghz is a better processor, so it might be doable if you're wanting to experiment.
Thanks for your reply!

I don't really want any eye candy on the machine,
Or anything else like Gadgets or Aero.
But I will need a Antivirus because I don't know what he is going to be looking at.
Am building the computer for my dad.
It's kinda like his Christmas present.
The computer is just mostly going to be used for online shopping and watching a lot of YouTube videos.
So I don't really want the machine to be fast or anything.

Am almost done with the computer,
I just need a Wireless adapter for it,
I have the router in my room.
He is going to have his own computer in his room.
Since it's a desktop, it needs a wireless adapter.
Although am not sure which wireless adapter I should get.

I think I might try a dual boot for the sake of experimenting!
If it doesn't work, or if it's any more slower that Windows XP.
I'll just delete the dual boot and stick with Windows XP.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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