[Dell Vostro 1310] Can't install ANY Microsoft based OS but just Linux. Bios lock?

Discussion in 'BIOS Mods' started by effelle, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. effelle

    effelle MDL Novice

    Mar 3, 2012
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    #1 effelle, Feb 25, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
    Hi there,

    I hope this is not the wrong section to ask help.


    I bought a Vostro 1310 on 2008 and was originally equipped with Vista. I have the full set of disk, including the Restoration DVD.
    I'm an happy Linux user since 2004 but now I need to reinstall Windows to avoid issues with my new job.
    I didn't change the hardware configuration of my notebook but when I installed Xubuntu years ago I formatted the entire disk, loosing the recovery/diagnostic partition. My mistake, I know.
    Now I tried to put it back Vista but the system hangs after the first loading page. Same thing with a brand new Windows 7 Ultimate.
    With an old WinXp OEM the installation starts but hangs on the next reboot. Yes I change to ATA compatibility on BIOS even if i put SATA drivers on the disk.
    Obviously I tried with an external DVD and USB install too.
    Latest Xubuntu install without a glitch and I can use Windows 7 on a virtual machine, but some proprietary software refuses to work. I can use a portable edition of XP too starting from a CD, and that solve a bit.
    If I set the diagnostic screen on BIOS I can see just an error of TPM (No TPM or TPM has problem), but since I don't have the TPM module (the socket is empty) I never didn't care about it.

    I ran an extended Dell diagnostic from the cd, no issues so far. Tried new ram and new disk with no luck.
    Since I was starting to think on it as a bios issue I completely disassembled my notebook to pull off the coin cell. After 12 hours I put all back. No luck. I then updated my bios (was A13) to A15, the latest available on dell site. Nothing changed. Update again with the V15 with SLIC 2.1 found on this site. Idem.
    The Dell bios offer, as usual, very few setting and my attention drop on Computrace. Seems activated, but I'm 100% sure I never activated it and now I can't deactivate: it's grayed out. I don't know if it is the cause of my issue but so far is the only thing I found "out of place". No one could have modified my bios since is protected by password.

    I tried to force bios in maintenance mode changing asset tag to PASS: (12/31, 12/34 and 1234) and my service tag following the how-to found in this forum but again with no luck. Didn't enter to maintenance mode.

    I wonder if someone can help me to clear completely the bios (including computrace or whatever thing is blocking Windows) since Dell support isn't offering this service but just a motherboard replacement. Sorry but that's not a solution for me! Again linux works pretty well.
    All I want is to have back the ability to install the Vista I bought. No piracy here.


    Can someone drive me to the right path?

    Thanks.

    PS: I do apologize but I can't insert a link to the latest bios... I'm a novice!

     
  2. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

    Feb 27, 2011
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    #2 LatinMcG, Feb 26, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
    usually changing the asset tag should help you disable the computrace which might be part of the issue. (it tries to inject a backdoor into svchost.exe)
    however one time i did run into something close to this symptoms.. it was cpu or ram issue if i remember correctly.
    EDIT.. this one suffers of chipset reflow issue!. youtube!
    try 1 ram stick
    try usb windows 7 to install> take DVD drive out of laptop.
    for the computrace.. change the svc tag with asset tool then disable computrace permanent.

    i would make a dump of bios and we can compare it with original and see if maybe a change is there.
     
  3. effelle

    effelle MDL Novice

    Mar 3, 2012
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    LatinMcG,

    thanks for your reply.

    Sadly changing the asset and the service tag doesn't unlock computrace. I used asset.com V2.02, because is the only version that works: previous versions doesn't identify the board and newer doesn't let modify the service tag but just the asset tag.

    I've already tried with a single 1GB stick (brand new), buy a new cpu it's not fairly practical. Ram was tested with memtest for many hours, without find a single error.

    I tried to install Windows 7 via USB too, but honestly I didn't try it detaching the DVD drive (can't disable it from bios), Need to open up notebook again.

    Speaking of bios dump, it's safe to do a renew of DMI with the update? I see an option on Winphlash that says "Update DMI and the BIOS (renew DMI)". Can be helpful here?

    F.
     
  4. effelle

    effelle MDL Novice

    Mar 3, 2012
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    #4 effelle, Feb 26, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
    (OP)
    Ok. I've disassembled again my notebook and then removed the flat of the dvd drive.
    I tested the Windows 7 retail Sp1 (ahci enabled/disabled) both from USB and DVD and my Vista restoration DVD using an external DVD.
    On the system I left just a 1gb module. Nothing changed so far.

    For the sake of knowledge my notebook is a Intel Core 2 Duo T5670 with 4GB ram and 160GB HDD with a X3100 Integrated graphics.

    F.

    EDIT: I've uploaded in a folder on my GDrive the bios I've installed (a15 slic2.1 found in this forum) and the backup pulled after the flash.

    hXXps://drive.google.com/?usp=chrome_app#folders/0B4nTol4ND28beGZnQ0FIa2FyeFk
     
  5. wuhoatu

    wuhoatu MDL Member

    Apr 24, 2009
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    Activated Computrace will block your system only when you connect to internet and I do not think that Computrace has any effect to OS installation.
    Try to clean your HDD by deleting all exist partitions as new one could help.
     
  6. effelle

    effelle MDL Novice

    Mar 3, 2012
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    #6 effelle, Feb 27, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
    (OP)
    wuhoatu,

    I have already tested with a brand new disk (Seagate 250GB) with no results and I have also tried deleting completely the old 160gb disk with DBAN. Again, any Linux distro I tested installs and works fine out of the box.
    Luckily for me, the 90% of the work I make doesn't need Windows. I need it just now, when this project ends I'll back to my pure linux experience. :D
    If computrace works as you told and it is not the guilty, then what could be?

    When I bought the notebook the bios was the A10 version. It's safe to downgrade from A15 to A10 for tests purposes?

    F.
     
  7. wuhoatu

    wuhoatu MDL Member

    Apr 24, 2009
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    #7 wuhoatu, Feb 27, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
    I don't know what happen with previously Linux installed system but Computrace only block you from log-on Windows after internet connection.
    I blocked my laptop (HP one) once by downgrading BIOS.
     
  8. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

    Feb 27, 2011
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  9. effelle

    effelle MDL Novice

    Mar 3, 2012
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    LatinMcG,

    I have just a desktop based on Intel G33 but I'll try to install anyway. What a pity! I bought a retail W7 64bit Ultimate!

    I'll "find" a W7 32bit then, or more simple I'll try to install my Vista from restoration DVD.
    If you really don't need the processor I'm interested in, I live in Brazil (and I'm Italian, long story) but I have my uncles in Miami. I'll contact you in PVT. :)

    Here is the link:

    hXXps://wwwDOTmediafireDOTcom/folder/dp9p1gcx9odm4/bios_vostro1310

    Thanks for your time.

    F.
     
  10. effelle

    effelle MDL Novice

    Mar 3, 2012
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    #10 effelle, Feb 28, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    (OP)
    Ok. tried to install on another machine both Windows 7 32bit and my Vista disabling all the periferal I can and testing with both AHCI and ATA.
    On the first install reboot I put my disk back to the notebook. Nothing changed.
    Code:
    That's remind me how good Linux is: you can pull a disk from a computer, trow it on another and the system will simply works. No flame here please.
    Back on topic, I was able to start in safe mode with Windows 7 and the boot stops at windows\system32\drivers\disk.sys.
    Can not repair the install, even the Windows 7 repair disk refuse to starts.

    @LatinmMcG: I see the video but I never reflow a motherboard. Since this notebook is a production machine and if I'm suffering for an hardware failure then change the motherboard with one found on ebay should be the best solution: more than 200$ for a brand new official motherboard on a 6 years old notebook isn't really a good bargain.
    But again I'm not sure my case is hardware related because I never had issue with linux nor I have now. I would like to back to the original Bios A10, the last time I use Vista was with that version, but as the user wuhoatu reported there is a risk of brick just around the corner.
    If you will try some bios mod I'm here, otherwise let it go. I'm starting to think it doesn't worth the effort.

    F.
     
  11. nexus76

    nexus76 MDL Addicted

    Jan 25, 2009
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    #11 nexus76, Mar 1, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    effelle,

    it rather sounds like you have RAM defects. Check with memtestx86+ and let it run for several cycles.
    Even bad blocks could cause that kind of issues. Check with a spare disk.
    Never heard about a windows installation lock, btw!
     
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  12. effelle

    effelle MDL Novice

    Mar 3, 2012
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    #12 effelle, Mar 1, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2014
    (OP)
    Nexus76,thanks for your reply but if you read again my previous posts you'll see I have already tested ram e with a new disk.
     
  13. nexus76

    nexus76 MDL Addicted

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  14. effelle

    effelle MDL Novice

    Mar 3, 2012
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    Yes. A13-->A15-->A15Mod...
     
  15. effelle

    effelle MDL Novice

    Mar 3, 2012
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    Gabiz_ro,

    One of the first things I do under Linux after a fresh install is a boot in verbose mode. I boot always without bootspash or any other suppressing parameter.
    Dmesg didn't reports nothing wrong for now.
    Tomorrow I can try a insane debug mode hoping to find something useful.
    Thanks for the idea.

    F.
     
  16. effelle

    effelle MDL Novice

    Mar 3, 2012
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    Just a quick message to report that an extensive debug under linux did not report nothing aside some ACPI related warnings of suspend and hibernate state (and both works on Linux). Back to square one.
     
  17. tqhoang

    tqhoang MDL BIOS Modder

    Apr 29, 2008
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    #18 tqhoang, Mar 4, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
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  18. gabiz_ro

    gabiz_ro MDL Member

    Feb 2, 2010
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    At what exact moment freeze setup?
    How long you waited to see if is taking too long or really freeze?
     
  19. effelle

    effelle MDL Novice

    Mar 3, 2012
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    #20 effelle, Mar 4, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
    (OP)
    I'm brave enough but... What I should try? :D

    The system hangs right after the first Loading screen. After more than 4 hours without any kind of activity I gave up.