I have a Dell 690 workstation fitted with two quad core E5320 processors. I have had trouble with this PC possibly due it being damaged in delivery - it weighs 30 or so Kg. Perhaps I should have returned it :( Too late now. After using it and updating etc I gave it to my daughter and did a Windows Easy Transfer (WET) to replace her aging Dell. Apparently, the Outlook Profile was corrupted and then there was an unidentified hardware issue that prevented the 690 PC from booting. I replaced the PC with another 690 that has been fine. However, I am currently trying to sort the issue out. It seems that I have made progress but since the 690 has two quad core CPUs fitted I thought that it would be prudent to update the BIOS from A01 to A08 this was completed successfully. But now I have an incompatible processor system Halt! message. Added complexity, after the BIOS update the DOS white on black text was fuzzy suggesting a graphics card issue? This info may be irrelevant.

I am wondering whether the original hardware issue that prevented the PC from booting up was due to one or the other processor(s) failing or malfunctioning.

Footnote: I have bought and installed about 15 Dell PCs both new and second hand and have had no hardware issues apart from a broken CPU fan clip! Any problems have been due to software. I have had my first hard drive failure, fortunately in a RAID mirror. and I have owned computers dating back to 1984 or when the hard drive was invented. My MPhil thesis was stored on Sinclair Microdrives, one for each chapter, and I was using a 128 Sinclair Spectrum!

Edited by ggeoff: spelling

4 Years
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Last Post by ggeoff

Have you contacted Dell tech support about this? If you beat on them hard enough (I've had Dell systems for many years, so this is something I know about), they will usually fix the problem. The fact that there may have been a problem with delivery originally should have been communicated with them, but I have had them replace stuff that was out of warranty when I had indicated (in no uncertain terms) that the problem started before the warranty ran out.


Thanks rubbberman,

I bought the 690 second hand on eBay. It was damaged in transit. The damage was to the front making the case interfer with the on/off button. I had to spring the case to get it to open. Onee of the memory slot retaining clips was broken - I found the broken bit inside. I came to an arrangement with the seller involving a partical refund. The 690 seemed ok. But as reported I had a message about hardware and it wouldn't boot. I reseated the memory and the graphics card was replaced, I think. The curretn situation is that there is an incompatible processor message and the System Halt prevents further investigation.

The system accepted the xeon E5320s before updating the BIOS from A01 to A08. But there was a strange situation before anyway. On bootup the system displays two screens. Screen one didn't detect the two hard drives, even though the drives are seet to ON. Screen two AHCI BIOS Installed the hard drives are not found. The system was starting up though going into Windows. Before the incompatible processor message happened I did have a loook at the Boot Sequence and the two hard drives were listed but as below:

558 ID00 LUN0 ATA ST375064

558 ID01 LUN0 ATA WDC WD10

Not sure what to do now. Can I roll back the BIOS upgrade?

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