F Dell: Reinstall of OS on Dimension 5150 borked

Ok, I know that I have been on the stusser Dell bandwagon after I had such a terrible experience with a custom PC builder but the experience I’m having today with my wife’s Dell Dimension 5150 is making me wonder again.

The Dimension 5150 was a low end $500ish PC that I bought her about two years ago. It’s been fine but after a recent Windows update drag-drop in explorer got totally messed up.

I decided to reinstall XP so I backed everything up, wiped the hard-drive and tried to boot with the XP CD that comes with the machine. That CD simply would not work. It would start the install but eventually say “can’t find such and such file” and crap out.

So I had to resort to pulling out one of my other XP CDs and reinstalling using that method. That worked, but then when I tried to install the chipset and audio drivers from the Dell site that are specifically listed for this stupid model, they just plain don’t work.


What kind of awful support is that?

At this point I’m skeptical that I’m even going to be able to get this machine back to normal. What a piece of crap. :(

who uses official drivers? they’re all outdated. find out what mobo chipset it uses and get it directly from the chipset maker (intel, amd/ati, sis, via etc.) except for any special custom dell hardware components.

What rei said. I’m surprised they didn’t work though; they’ve worked for me even after Windows reinstall from non-Dell discs.

Is the version of XP you’re running the same as the one Dell uses on their discs? It is entirely possible that Dell was installing a slip-streamed version of SP2 or higher and the drivers they offer require that, so make sure the XP you installed is fully updated to current. XP changed quite a lot over its entire lifetime.

But in any case, I third what rei said, you’re better off getting drivers directly from the mobo/chipset vendors.

You would have been better off if you hadn’t wiped the disk, and just reinstalled the original image from the restore partition. Yeah, it would’ve reinstalled all the Dell cruft, but that’s easy enough to clean out.

You know I looked for that but couldn’t figure out how to do it and got impatient.



Got the sound working. Thanks for the tips guys…once I had updated past SP2 I was able to install the drivers without any trouble.