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Problem booting up an HP computer


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#1 tambyte

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 08:58 PM

I'm working on a pc for a friend (just a hobby for me, but the more people find out the more they want free help, lol, oh well, guess that's what I'm asking for to). Anyway, she said one day she went to boot up the pc and she got to the HP screen and then it went black. Next day, same thing, next day it actually worked, the next few days, no go.

First thing I did was open the case and wow talk about the dust. There was a blanket of it covering the front vents where the HD sits and the heat sink was clogged. The pc is 5 years old and never been opened. No bulging or leaking capacitors, though.

After blowing it out I tried booting and it hung on the HP splash screen, won't go into the BIOS or Safe Mode. All the fans come on and the power button stays lit. Next try, the monitor did not come on at all, fans are going, and power light on. CD drive opens and closes just fine.

Next try, it actually booted into XP. But things seemed slow. The pc specs are 2.6 ghz amd, 512 ram, 60 hd. I ran AVG, Malwarebytes and removed over 50 infections, I also toggled system restore. I rebooted and things worked again. At first I thought hmmm, maybe that's it, problem fixed. But no, I tried booting a few minutes later and monitor did nothing (can't hear HD working when this happens either). So, I tried installing a known good video card, still not working. Then I tried removing the HD and booting a linux live cd, but that did not work.

After waiting a half hour I tried booting and go to the Windows splash screen this time, but then it just hung there. I've tried reseating all cables, and that didn't help.

Next day, the pc booted up so I ran a MEMtest and the memory passed. I ran the pc for about a half hour, did updates on AVG and scanned again, but found nothing. Scanned again with Malwarebytes, found nothing, then I downloaded HijackThis, but there was nothing suspicious in the log. The pc seemed strangely slow to me though even though everything in the task manager looked fine, cpu usage showed as normal to me. When idle it would be at 0 to 2 percent.

I've also tried disconnecting the the cd drive and hard drive at the same time, and that did not work. Just before posting this, I tried booting again, and get nothing from the monitor again.

I'm thinking it can only be 3 different things. The power supply, mobo, or cpu. Or maybe all three are damaged to some extent from lack of air flow. I do not have a meter to check the power supply but i might see if i can borrow one tomorrow, just to satisfy my curiosity, before I tell my friend she fried her pc.

My appreciation to anyone who can give me some advice on what my next step should be. Oh, and one more thing is that when it does happen to boot up when I shut it down it takes and a long time to shut down, about 2 minutes. I know on some pc's it can take longer, but there isn't much on this pc, she mainly just emails and puts pics on it.

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#2 HitSquad

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 08:40 AM

Hi tambyte, welcome to BC. :thumbsup:

I'm thinking it can only be 3 different things. The power supply, mobo, or cpu.


Might want to start smaller first.
If this system is 5 years old and has never been opened, there is a very good chance the cmos battery is dead or nearly dead. With a weak or dead cmos battery, the bios loses it's parameters and the hardware can no longer be correctly identified or just mis-configured. Obviously this can cause hangs, slowdowns and the inability to even enter setup.
If it were me, i'd start there first. Cheap fix if that's the issue. :flowers:

Edited by HitSquad, 03 February 2009 - 08:42 AM.


#3 tambyte

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 10:45 PM

OMG, never even thought of that, i did however remove the battery to clear the cmos. I have some batteries so I will give it a try.
Also, just FYI, I got a multimeter and tested the power supply and according to the readings it just fine.

Thanks much for the advice, this is something i will remember for the future.

#4 tambyte

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 11:29 PM

I put in another battery, and it did boot up. I thought wow...but....after I shut it down I rebooted and went into the BIOS, which again I thought was a good sign and I enable the boot sequence, which I never did before, i don't know why. Anyway I exited and what do ya know it hung after cpu dection and memory test, in the boot sequence.

So then I thought maybe the memtest wasn't right and the memory is bad. I tried putting the memory in the other slot, and what do ya know it booted into Windows. I was slightly excited, I decided to do another memtest so tried to boot to the cd and...uggghhh....it got hung up at the boot sequence again.

OK, so now i'm wondering if indeed the mem stick is bad or if it's the slots on the mobo.

I took the memory out of the mobo and powered up at the mobo beeps. Is this a good sign that probably it is bad memory or will the mobo beep anyway even if it is faulty?

#5 the_patriot11

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 12:14 AM

Id try a different motherboard if it were me. HP used Foxconn motherboards for a bit before they switched to the newer ASUS mobos, and I have had the mobos in 2 different HPs go out on me. So if you have a different motherboard ID try swapping that out, because that would be my bet.

picard5.jpg

 

Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

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#6 tambyte

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 12:40 AM

I was looking at my mobo. Couldn't find a name on it, but it had A7V8X-LA on it and the board is yellow. I looked at the HP site and it says that it is an ASUS board.

I am feeling pretty convinced that the board is just flaky, but I am going to try and find a compatible stick of known good working RAM to try in it.

#7 tambyte

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 12:42 AM

I'd love to try a different motherboard in it, but I don't have any. But if I feel confident enough in telling her it's the motherboard, she'll have to decide if she wants to spend the money on one or just get herself a new pc.

#8 the_patriot11

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 12:54 AM

you can try a different PSU in it just to be sure, that way uve tried out all the different hardware except that and the CPU, and CPUs rarely fail.

picard5.jpg

 

Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.


#9 tambyte

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 01:06 AM

The HP pc I'm working on has a stick of pc3200u RAM in it, I found some pc2700 RAM that fit in it, and comes out of a good backup Compaq pc that i have.

I put it in and it started booting and then made it to the Windows splash screen and then all went black.

I put the original stick of ram back in and it actually booted up normally, right into windows. So I opened the control panel and clicked on a couple of programs just to see if they open normally, i put my memtest disk in and rebooted and so far it's running the test.

Last time i ran the test I left the room for awhile, probably a half hour maybe forty minutes and when I came back the test was stopped and there was a message saying the memory passed, but it was only at test #6, I thought memtest just keeps going till you stop it.

Another question I have is will a faulty motherboard sometimes boot up just fine and then not boot or keep getting hung up at certain points?

#10 tambyte

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 01:27 AM

I was just checking on the memtest i'm running on the troubled pc and so far it's on Test #8 and everything is looking good. But I don't understand why it stopped at Test#6 last time i ran it , and gave me the message that it passed. Can anyone explain?

#11 HitSquad

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 07:42 AM

Hi again tambyte.

I put in another battery, and it did boot up. I thought wow...but....after I shut it down I rebooted and went into the BIOS, which again I thought was a good sign and I enable the boot sequence, which I never did before, i don't know why. Anyway I exited and what do ya know it hung after cpu dection and memory test, in the boot sequence.


Just so we're clear, you did double check all your hardware settings (cpu, memory, video, etc) in the bios setup menu after you replaced the battery didn't you? Obviously it's not going to do it by itself. :thumbsup: Those parameters all need to be reset manually. Since this system has never been opened, you can probably just use the ""load system defaults" setting, typicly at the bottom of the main bios screen. Make sure you put back in only the memory that came with it first though. You never wan't to "mix and match" memory on an hp\compaq system. They are far to fussy for that. After a save and reboot, check device manager to make sure there are no issues there. I cannot condemn the mainboard yet because if it were bad, the cmos battery would have done nothing to help, which the opposite is true.

Edited by HitSquad, 04 February 2009 - 08:03 AM.


#12 tambyte

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 01:11 PM

I am fairly certain that I did check the BIOS settings, but I am going to check again, if it will let me in.

Also just wanted to say I think I'm understanding the memtest86 program better. If i understand right, it made one pass of the RAM and it passed, and it was continuing on with another pass and it was probably on test 6 of the second pass.

Also, I was thinking about maybe trying to flash the BIOS, although I don't know if that would make a difference, since when it does boot and let me into the BIOS everything seems normal.

#13 tambyte

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 01:29 PM

This morning before I made any posts, I did try to boot up the pc, and I got a black screen after the Windows splash screen.

I just went into the BIOS a few minutes ago, and checked to make sure the settings were alright, which they were. When I exited it started booting up and it actually went into Windows.

Starting to get fustrated with this box.

Do anyone think flashing the BIOS would make a difference? It booted straight thru to Windows this time, but why? It didn't this morning and I didn't do anything except check out the BIOS, didn't even change any values. Although, when i exited, i did press the save and exit button. Could doing this make a difference?

#14 tambyte

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 02:50 PM

I figured what the heck and did a BIOS update, since there was one on the HP site.

Everything went well the pc rebooted and went right into Windows no problem.

I shut the pc down again and waited a few minutes and booted, i got to the screen where it asks whether you want to go into XP or the Recovery Console, and it froze on that screen. I pressed and held the power button to shut down, and then I started it up again and it went right into Windows. After a couple minutes I shut down and rebooted, once again it froze at that same screen. I used the power button to shut down and restart and it went right into Windows.

I have to leave, so I decided to leave the pc on and leave a movie playing on it, so that the cpu is actually doing something and see if it's still going when I get back or if maybe it freezes up or something.

#15 tambyte

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 04:06 PM

The pc has been streaming video from the internet for over an hour. I shut it down and booted up again and it went the the boot diagnostic screen (which I think I formerly called the boot sequence, oops) and then I get a black screen with a cursor in the upper left.

I tried booting to the BIOS and it let me, all the settings are the same as they were before. Upon exiting the BIOS, it did the same thing with the black screen and cursor. I tried booting it 3 different times now in the past 10 minutes and am getting the same thing.

Could it be that the BIOS chip on the board is faulty?

Cause it seems that if you can actually get into Windows that the pc will run fine from there.




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