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Crazy PC


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#1 alexcraw

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 04:04 PM

I recently formatted a PC for a friend and put win98 back onto it. It is a very old (433MHz, 128Mb [was 64] SD RAM, 6Gb HD) machine though, hence it needed more memory before they could do pretty much anything with it. The plan is to have it in the kid's bedroom and allow them broadband access through a wireless router connected to the main PC in the house. It won't be used for anything else really.

I got the new OS on, and D/Loaded the Graphics and sound drivers ready to go. Then I discovered a virus on the main PC. I thought I would take the main one to work and clean it out there (which I did tonight, I hate spending ages in someones house farting around with their computer), and load their Broadband software onto the older PC to get them online while I have the "better" main one away.

So I asked them to move the one from the kid's room to where the main one was, and I'd come and get it online. Turns out that the older "kids" PC is now fu***d!!! Since moving it from the kid's room, it has had some sort of fit! It won't boot, I press the on button, the fan whirrs, but no beep. No signal gets through to the monitor, and it certainly will not boot up. I checked all the plugs on the board, they are all plugged in the right places, the cards are all seated perfectly (I took them all out and replaced them perfectly). I took out the new 64Mb memory and tried it with only the older stick, nothing. I tried it with only the new memory, Nothing. It's Dead.

Is there any explanation for this?

(can you understand all that's gone on?) LOL

Many Thanks in advance

Alex

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#2 rigel

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 09:16 PM

Since moving it from the kid's room, it has had some sort of fit! It won't boot, I press the on button, the fan whirrs, but no beep. No signal gets through to the monitor, and it certainly will not boot up. I checked all the plugs on the board, they are all plugged in the right places, the cards are all seated perfectly (I took them all out and replaced them perfectly). I took out the new 64Mb memory and tried it with only the older stick, nothing. I tried it with only the new memory, Nothing. It's Dead.



Try taking it back to the kids room with known good components. See if there is some strange incompatablility with the monitor or if something is shorting (Bent pin while plugging in the new one?). It sounds like you did everything I would have. You may want to pull the battery and kill the cmos settings and see if we can get lucky here. Check to make sure the processor didnt unseat during the move.

Good luck Alex
Rigel

Edited by rigelslight, 23 March 2005 - 09:16 PM.

"In a world where you can be anything, be yourself." ~ unknown

"Fall in love with someone who deserves your heart. Not someone who plays with it. Will Smith


#3 alexcraw

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 04:45 AM

Thanks Rigel

I tried to use the monitor it was using in the kid's room, but it still did not function. All the pins and sockets look fine and dandy.

When I remove the cmos battery, will I need to do anything, or will it just re-set when I replace it?

I can't believe this chain of events.

1. I was asked to sort out the wireless broadband router for 2 PC's.
2. Loaded all software (with great difficulty) onto main PC. Main PC is filthy with spyware.
3. Started on kid's PC, It had some wierd Infant network software which barred me from loading anything without a managers password. (the kid had changed it and forgot what she'd changed it to)
4. Formatted Kid's PC, Loaded Win 98 onto it.
5. Went to main PC to D/load Graphics and sound for kids PC.
6. Found many a Virus on main PC! (they'd been surfing for hours after I left)
7. Told them I'd come back next day, get kid's PC through to use while I tried to clean main PC.
8. Kids PC is dead!!!!!
9. Cleaned main PC.

All I need to do now is sort out the kid's PC and I'm done. What an experience. BEWARE OF FRIENDS WITH SIMPLE JOBS FOR YOU TO DO. THE MORE SIMPLE IT IS, THE MORE THAT IS WRONG WITH THEIR PC!!!!

Alex

#4 Leurgy

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 06:34 AM

Hi Alex

I would suspect that a jumper may have fallen off the motherboard of the kids pc or something else was jarred loose when it was moved. I've seen that happen. When it happened to me the jumper was shorting out the mobo and wouldn't boot just like the way you describe it. An older computer like that will have jumpers that are set for a particular cpu also and if that came off your going nowhere. Try reseating any cards in that computer also.

When I remove the cmos battery, will I need to do anything, or will it just re-set when I replace it?


When you boot after changing the battery go into the bios and auto-detect the hard drives (if it has that function) and reset the defaults (usually one of the "F" keys), save and exit.

When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail. Abraham Maslo

**** We use our powers for good, not evil ****

 Trying to remove your data from the web is like trying to remove pee from a swimming pool


#5 rigel

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 08:37 AM

Yep...

Reset the system board settings via cmos setup and try it. Take a another once over and make sure nothing came undone. You may wish to even unplug everything, run the computer with just memory and video, and see if you have any life signs.

Hope all works out... :thumbsup:

Rigel

"In a world where you can be anything, be yourself." ~ unknown

"Fall in love with someone who deserves your heart. Not someone who plays with it. Will Smith


#6 alexcraw

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 12:22 PM

All the jumpers are OK.

Looks like I'll need to take it into work. The battery is beneath the CD drive (it's not a tower). Looks like I'll need to do some removals first. Unluckily for them, I'm not back in work until Tuesday, so I'll let you know how it is then.

If that doesn't work, will I suggest they bin it? We could go on forever, and they got the PC from a school clearout for zilch anyway.

Thanks for all your help so far.

#7 rigel

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 12:54 PM

My opinion is yes, trash it. It sounds like it is an older computer. Working for a school myself, we don't get rid of equipment until it past obsolete. There is a member on here that goes by acklan that does have a source for upgrading systems. You may wish to talk to him to see if he could recommend a solution.

Take care Alex

Rigel

Edited by rigelslight, 24 March 2005 - 12:56 PM.

"In a world where you can be anything, be yourself." ~ unknown

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#8 Gothmog

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 03:27 PM

hey alex your problem sounds just like a problem i had with one of my computers. when you say:

It won't boot, I press the on button, the fan whirrs, but no beep. No signal gets through to the monitor, and it certainly will not boot up.

this sounds just like a no POST (Power On System Test if you didnt know) problem which seems fairly common as i found out. basically the system cant get stabel power or good drive communication and wont go any further. when it happened to me the system fans turned on as well as the HD read light but no video or system beeps.

the best way to fix this I found was to unplug all drives, both data and power, completely or at least from the board side. then build upstarting with CPU, Ram, video, floppy drive. if it goes thru BIOS great, shut down and then add the primary HD. keep adding one device at a time until it all works or you find a conflict. also i found it helps to be very sure the plugs are very securely in, because a loose plug can cause it to not POST i believe. once you have the floppy and HD both working you may want to get a diagnostic program from the HD manufacturer's website a) since that may be the problem or :thumbsup: because the comp and drive a probably fairly old and you dont know what its got left.

If that doesn't work, will I suggest they bin it? We could go on forever, and they got the PC from a school clearout for zilch anyway.


on a side note: i am the maintainer for my friend's computer. he's not too tech savy so i have to fix all his problems, but he has almost the same system as you describe. it is a PIII 450 with only 64mb PC100 ram and a 4 gb HD. i recently added a 6 and 2 gb hd to it that i had around cuz he likes d/ling music. its on a DSL connection and runs fine although slow when you get a lot goin on in it. but if its just for a kid to surf that should be plenty as long as they keep the spyware out. just remember that 98 is very annoying to work with after XP even though XP is far from perfect too.

also if it is hard to pull the CMOS battery there should be a jumper near it that you can move for 5 sec to reset it. then replace it. i guess that if its under the cd drive though both would be hard to reach

Edited by Gothmog, 24 March 2005 - 03:31 PM.


#9 alexcraw

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 04:16 AM

Well

The problem was easily fixed, after I'd done it the hard way.

The graphics card was not responding due to dust or a bump during the move :thumbsup:

I tried it with the plugs all out, took out the cmos battery but it was perfect, there was a network card in there, I tried it with that out. I tried another AGP graphics card, nothing changed. I tried it with a PCI graphics card (it must be a dud) that didn't work either.

So I thought I'd give it a clean with an air duster and give it one last go - Hey Presto, It decided to go again with all the original components. :flowers:

So i took it back to the house for them - pretty pleased with myself - only to be confronted with more bad news! The Main PC has crashed all together :trumpet:

So i formatted the hard drive. Or I tried to. There are a load of bad sectors in there, it stopped to retrieve things during the format, but carried on after it had seemingly retrieved whatever it had lost.

I finally got it formatted, and it would not take either XP or 98!! XP was unable to run in DOS mode from the A: prompt; and 98 had difficulties with files immediatley.

I think the main PC needs a new HD.

What do you think.

Alex

#10 Leurgy

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 09:22 AM

What is the brand name of the hard drive? If you go to the manufacturers website you will often find they have diagnostic utilities that will run from a floppy you boot with. These utilities can sometimes repair or mark bad sectors and can also partition and format. If there is something wrong with the drive these utilities will often tell you.

When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail. Abraham Maslo

**** We use our powers for good, not evil ****

 Trying to remove your data from the web is like trying to remove pee from a swimming pool


#11 rigel

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 09:35 AM

I'm glad everything worked out with the kid's pc. In hind sight, I have used a pencil eraser to clean the contacts on the adapter edges. It shines then up nicely.

Leurgy is right! Go to the hard drive makers website and download diagnostics for your hard drive. It will tell you if it is broken beyond repair.

Thanks for letting us know about the kids pc.

Rigel

"In a world where you can be anything, be yourself." ~ unknown

"Fall in love with someone who deserves your heart. Not someone who plays with it. Will Smith


#12 junkdk

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 12:32 AM

Dear Alex,

Late on the scene but I may have something to offer. I had the virus's from hell on my computer at one time and found that a simply format did not get rid of them.

I bought a program called WipeDrive and it worked great. But you must be careful to have the programs to reinstall everything and I mean everything.

If you use this program to wipe the drive and wish to load windows 98, you will have to load the computer the old fashion way. Sys Com stuff....

If you want to load Windows XP its a whole lot easier, just change BIOS to boot cdrom first. Drop win cd in and follow prompts.

I also agree with the above posts in going to the website of the hard drive to find diagnostics software. Western Digital will let you download it for free.

Here is the website for www.wipedrive.com

:thumbsup:,

Junkdk
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#13 junkdk

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 01:09 AM

Dear Alex,

On a side note, I work with Engineers daily who will take any problem and make it catastrophic!

For example, one of my favorite BSEE's was working on a circuit card for the past three days and getting very frustrated. Seeing this I took a look at the circuit. It was a fairly simple circuit, signal data bus going through some MUX chips to create a frequency...a timing issue.

I asked what the fails were and found out that both fails were outputting on the same pin. I looked at the pin and found a cold solder joint. I re-soldered the pin and the tests passed. It took me 20 minutes.

While he was tearing apart the circuit, he missed the obvious. It burns all of us technicians more than once.

My point is just that. Step back, take a breath, then look at the problem or let a friend look at it. Believe me it works.

:thumbsup:,


Junkdk

Edited by junkdk, 01 April 2005 - 01:12 AM.

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#14 alexcraw

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Posted 02 April 2005 - 12:10 PM

The Problem here is that I don't have much time to go running up and down to their house all the time to fix their PC. If it was my own, I'd persevere. I think I have done enough on this one and I have told them to buy a new hard drive and give the base unit to me to get things done. They did mention that they needed more storage space anyway.

I do admit that I should have taken a step back and had a look at the big picture though. Alot of surprises cropped up along the way. I'll keep everyone posted.

(the kids PC still does not have the wireless adapter installed - the thing I went to do in the first place)

Cheers guys

Alex




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