Imaging Dell Optiplex 5040 Desktops

We just received our first Dell Optiplex 5040 Desktop for the summer refresh at the Middle School.  Boy this thing has fought us from the beginning.  It’s been very frustrating.

We encountered a bunch of problems (and solved them all, thankfully):

  1. Windows 7 would not install from USB media.
  2. Windows 7 would not detect any USB drive, but would power and respond to mouse/keyboard on the same ports.
  3. Windows 7 keyboard driver strangeness including not responding to Num/Caps/Scroll Lock keys.
  4. Windows 7 keyboard driver strangeness including keys responding to input but not working properly (typing in a password and finding that you could not login despite KNOWING that the pressed the right keys).
  5. Altiris Deployment Services not collecting the image (Failed claiming “RDeploy: The EFI variable could not be read”).

Our solution to these issues is presented below.

  1. The problem here is that the Optiplex 5040 has nothing but USB 3.0 or USB Power+ ports.  Windows 7 has no driver support for any of these built in.  This means you cannot use USB install media.  You could put the USB driver INF on a CD and use that to get the installer started, but honestly at that point save yourself the hassle.  Make a Windows 7 Bootable DVD installer instead of a USB installer.
  2. This is the same issue as Problem 1, just at the desktop stage of the system build.  You need to install the Windows 7 USB Driver from here and here.  You’ll need to put it on a CD or DVD.  You won’t have USB disk support on any of the ports until you do.  Honestly, just go download all the drivers from here and install them all via CD/DVD.  You’ll thank me later.
  3. Same exact solution as Problem 2.  If you complete the solution in Problem 2 section above, you’ll probably solve this too.
  4. Same exact solution as Problem 2 and Problem 3.  If you complete the solution in Problem 2 and Problem 3 sections above, you’ll probably solve this too.
  5. This was an interesting one.  We went into emergency mode and grabbed Clonezilla to make a clone of the disk drive.  Cool.  We started the process, and then we got an error: “This disk contains a mismatched GPT and MBR partition.”  This was a result of a poorly formatted hard drive.  The Optiplex 5040 comes with Windows 10.  We downgraded it to Windows 7.  Windows 10 means UEFI.  UEFI means GPT.  We formatted the disk and it did not correctly update to MBR.  Following the guide here we were able to recover the install we had already worked so hard on without having to redo the entire installation process.  Good thing too, because we were starting to be very discouraged by the entire process.

I post this here for posterity (note taking!) and in hopes that it will help someone else out.

Good luck!

1 comment

  1. As you have expected that someone might had an issue like this..i was a headache and i was just myself doing all the work because in our conpany i am the only one who knows computers..but thank you alot..i will be glad to get ur east africa

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