PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM/dell hd


QUESTION: I have begun a clean reinstall of vista on my dell.

I reach a screen to select my partition, and it does show my hard drive, but a message at the bottom says the "computers hardware may not support booting to this disk.  Ensure the disk controller is enabled in the bios".

I saw some threads online that said to fix this I need to go into advanced setting in your bios change your Sata from AHCI to compatibility mode.  I tried this but I do not have any AHCI listed there.  Only sata and raid.  I left raid disabled.  

Should I proceed with the install and ignore that message?

ANSWER: The BIOS in a Dell Inspiron 531 does not have such options. I was disappointed myself as an owner of that model of the lack of such a setting. Usually the only time you'd ever change that setting anyways is not for a bootable hard drive, but for the compatibility of drivers of a default install of the Windows XP operating system and older, that is if you had done such the operating system.

Too bad Dell didn't send you the XP operating system instead of the Vista operating system. XP does work on the 531 just fine, plus the drivers for the model for Windows XP are avaiable on the Dell website without any problems. You'd be 100 times better off on XP than Vista in terms of speed, reliability, security, etc. My 531 had XP on it instead of Vista and they sent me an XP CD when I requested an OS reinstall many years ago. If your computer only has 2GB of RAM, Vista should definitely not be on it since all the physical memory and more will be used up just to start the OS.

Since your second message has answered everything else you originally asked, I will now end this message and start answering your newest message.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


I am up and running like new.  She is all cleaned out and I reapplied thermal grease because I had to remove the heat sink to clean it.

I used arctic silver.  I am going to monitor my temps.  I use pc wizard to check temps.

I like how easy the grease is to clean off and reapply if I need to redo it.  It's such a small area down in there and so easy for dust particles to stir up and land on the grease before re installation.

I had a little grease smudge over the side when applying to the top of the cpu area.  It was a very small amount, as I didn't glob it on thick.  I hope the smudged out grease wont affect airflow or heat.

What do you think?

I'm going to send you another pic of my final results in the next couple days after I verify my pc is still running good.

I think I may have asked you in my last message about thermal cycling, to cure the paste.  Feel free to share any advice on that with me.


Supposedly there is a period that one is supposed to let the thermal paste sit in place for the thermal paste to finish filling in the micro cracks and bumps in the heatsink and heat spreader. It also deals with taking a final temperature while letting the thermal paste "cook" in on the heatsink to arrange the silver content in the thermal compound for the best heat transfer.

I don't play around with thermal cycling in a Windows platform. I use Linux operating systems for a close to max stress test. There are a few benchmark tests which force the CPU(s) to clock at the max rate to test how fast it can perform a certain set of instructions. In this same program I perform the tests in, there is a temperature gauge that will read the same sensors that the program Speccy will read that I mentioned in the last reply.

Hope this has all helped out Jim. Have a great day!

PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM

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I can answer most No POST problems, compatibility between parts, upgrade options, troubleshooting, etc. Before you ask me a question, please do some research. I do not give PC speed reviews for video games.


Many, many years of experience working with the hardware components of many types of computers including desktops, laptops, kiosk computers, and even running Windows 3.1, 95, and 98 on the PSP (Sony PlayStation Portable). I've replaced capacitors on desktop motherboards making them working like new again with a high success rate. This is my hobby/job every day.

Associates of Science in Computer Information Technology

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