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CMOS battery dead?


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#1 Sock Monster

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 08:30 AM

Hi people at Bleeping Computer...

My laptop (an old Compaq [800-series] Presario 3000 [not v3000 or r3000]) just died a week back. It isn't going through the usual POST, it gets stuck at the COMPAQ splash screen. Pressing any of the keys doesn't seem to help at all.
My first guess was that the CMOS battery, having supported the laptop for 6 years, finally bit the dust. It's a BR-1225 battery, as I found out when opening the laptop.
Having checked startup without the ram sticks OR the hard drive, I concluded that it was the CMOS battery that needed replacement, ruling out faulty RAM or a corrupted HDD.
However, I was wondering, did plugging in too many USB devices fry the board or something?
What was plugged in before the system died:
C-Media USB Headphone Set (external headphone jack)
HUAWEI E220 USB 3G modem
WD Passport 300GB external HDD
Genius USB mouse

At first I wondered why all four USB devices wouldn't work at the same time, so I decided to restart the computer. However, it got stuck at "Windows is shutting down" so I pushed the power button. After that, the problem began. I could not hear any beeps, as the system sound died after its headphone jack separated off the main board (I have it in a small container so that it can be soldered back on when I have the time)

Immediate help would be appreciated, as I can't remain using my roommate's laptop forever...

P.S. I am poor. I cannot afford to buy a new laptop. So, yeah. Plus, I'm like, 16, so budget's really tight.

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#2 YHB318

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 08:46 AM

Doesn't look like a CMOS battery issue to me - Usually they'll still run with a dead battery, but the clock and other settings get reset.

Was the battery easy to get to? Maybe you unplugged something that didn't get plugged back in, or plugged back in properly. That might cause seomthing like this. Anything along those lines happen?

#3 Sock Monster

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 08:55 AM

I followed the disassembly instruction manual for this. The battery wasn't easy to get to, took me 1 hour or so to disassemble, and nearly the same time to reverse all procedures and put the laptop back together. However, the problem still persisted.
Also, when I keep my laptop plugged in (I don't have a battery) the clock still runs, so I keep it plugged in all the time.

Another thing: None of the keyboard shortcuts on BIOS seem to work (F10 for setup, etc) Even the full discharge thing didn't work, either.

#4 YHB318

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 09:47 AM

Hmm - is it possible you didn't connect the keyboard back properly? Sometimes those thin cables are hard to work with. I have seen computer hang in the BIOS if the keyboard isn't connected, or connected properly.

Hmm, going back and reading again what you wrote, this started before you tore it down, right? Probably isn't the keyboard. Maybe the USB finally did get overloaded.

Edited by YHB318, 15 May 2009 - 09:58 AM.


#5 Sock Monster

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 03:14 AM

It started before I tore it down. Any suggestions now?

#6 Zllio

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 05:07 AM

It's possible that one of your device drivers is faulty and this is interrupting the boot sequence.

A few questions:

If you have Award bios, are you no longer getting the bios beep? Do you get to the bios anyway?
Does your computer run - i.e. do the fans turn on?
Did you try a non-usb keyboard, since the trouble started when you noticed all four usb devices weren't working at the same time?
Which of the four was not working? Do you think it was due to the devices? The USB port? Did you try the different devices in different ports?

If you see text on the screen after you start the computer, for instance, the text giving the name of your bios company, then this means that your motherboard, video system and monitor are all functioning okay.

Zllio

#7 Sock Monster

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 08:21 PM

It does not get to the BIOS. Also, when I opened up the laptop and turned it on, the fans did go on, also, I was using the laptop keyboard.

It's just sitting there, stuck on the COMPAQ splash screen, like I said on my first post.

If it was a device driver failure, what do you suggest I do then?

Edited by Sock Monster, 16 May 2009 - 08:22 PM.


#8 Zllio

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 04:39 AM

Your system sound would be helpful, depending on which BIOS you have. Award Bios will only tell you if there's a problem with the video, whereas Ami also gives beep codes for the motherboard and CPU. Of the two, I think Award is the more common.

The reason I thought you were getting as far as the BIOS is because you wrote the following: "Another thing: None of the keyboard shortcuts on BIOS seem to work (F10 for setup, etc) Even the full discharge thing didn't work, either."

F10 is used to save changes, and the del key is usually the one that will get you into the BIOS.

If you're not getting as far as the BIOS, then I think it's a hardware problem with the CPU. The motherboard is active, because your keyboard is lighting up. Take a look at the first paragraph below the schematic in the following link :

http://duartes.org/gustavo/blog/post/how-computers-boot-up/

With regard to the device drivers, you can get these off your operating system cd, however, if you're not getting as far as the BIOS, then it's unlikely that your bootup is being interrupted by a device driver failure.

I wouldn't want to tell you might need a new CPU without some backup from someone else here.

Zllio


Edit: added a comment

Edited by Zllio, 17 May 2009 - 04:48 AM.


#9 hamluis

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 11:28 AM

Hi :thumbsup:.

According to the following link...that laptop may be as old as 8/9 years...which is asking a lot for a computer system that had an original warranty of 1 year.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compaq_Presario_3000

Based on the advanced age and the difficulties of anyone troubleshooting a laptop via the Internet (no hands on), I would suggest that you either attempt to do a repair install of the O/S...or take it in to someone local who has some background in troubleshooting laptop.

Do you have the Quick Restore disk mentioned in the Wiki link?

From what you've posted...it seems to me that hardware problems may be operative, rather than O/S problems. But I still would try to reinstall the O/S in an effort to eliminate something from consideration.

The fact that you cannot even enter the BIOS...could indicate a problem with any number of things (motherboard, power supply, RAM), IMO.

I think that the ambiguities surrounding your situation...probably need a little hands-on knowledge.

Just something to think about...

Louis

#10 Sock Monster

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 12:52 PM

Just a question.
If this is a motherboard problem (which I also suspect it is) how come the effect of overloading my USB ports only came AFTER I restarted?
Wouldn't it just cut off my work, and just die while it's on, like a previous computer did before this one?

@Zllio
It isn't getting past BIOS at all. What I meant by F10=setup, is that the COMPAQ splash screen prompts to press F10 if you'd want to enter BIOS setup.

Any suggestions now?

#11 Zllio

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 01:37 AM

Hi Sock Monster,

Whether a defect shows up before or after you've shut down your computer may not be consequential but coincidental. In other words, it's possible something was in the process of breaking when you noticed the usb overload, and then it broke. It showed up when you turned the computer back on. It's important that you read the following and then I'll comment on it below:

Things start rolling when you press the power button on the computer (no! do tell!). Once the motherboard is powered up it initializes its own firmware - the chipset and other tidbits - and tries to get the CPU running. If things fail at this point (e.g., the CPU is busted or missing) then you will likely have a system that looks completely dead except for rotating fans. A few motherboards manage to emit beeps for an absent or faulty CPU, but the zombie-with-fans state is the most common scenario based on my experience. Sometimes USB or other devices can cause this to happens: unplugging all non-essential devices is a possible cure for a system that was working and suddenly appears dead like this. You can then single out the culprit device by elimination.

If all is well the CPU starts running. In a multi-processor or multi-core system one CPU is dynamically chosen to be the bootstrap processor (BSP) that runs all of the BIOS and kernel initialization code. The remaining processors, called application processors (AP) at this point, remain halted until later on when they are explicitly activated by the kernel. Intel CPUs have been evolving over the years but they’re fully backwards compatible, so modern CPUs can behave like the original 1978 Intel 8086, which is exactly what they do after power up. In this primitive power up state the processor is in real mode with memory paging disabled. This is like ancient MS-DOS where only 1 MB of memory can be addressed and any code can write to any place in memory - there’s no notion of protection or privilege.


It seems like something happened to your computer in which the usb devices were either the cause of the problem or the symptom of the problem. At this point, you don't know which and it's important, because it might be the difference between deciding your cpu is faulty or you have a faulty device. You would not want to replace your cpu, only to find out that that was not the problem.

Is there anything left in your usb ports at this point?
Does the caps lock light up when you turn on your computer? In other words, is your keyboard turning on? If your keyboard is not turning on, then that would indicate that either your motherboard has a problem or your keyboard has a problem.
In case it's a driver problem for one of your devices, do you have a boot cd or if not, can you borrow one from someone?

Zllio

#12 Sock Monster

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 01:49 AM

No, nothing's left in the usb ports.
I'm out of the dorm right now, so I'll drop by this thread when I get back to report on the status of the keyboard.
I don't have a boot CD, and I don't know who to borrow from..

#13 Sock Monster

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 11:42 AM

Sorry for the really long gap without an update - managed to snag a glimpse of a DIFFERENT startup screen - Insyde Software MobilePRO BIOS Version 4.00.01
WARNING _ CMOS FAILURE - RUN SCU

Base memory, etc. etc.
The laptop prompted me to "Press F10 to Enter System Configuration Utility", which I did, giving me a gray screen.
I power it off, and then back on, and bang, COMPAQ splash screen again.

#14 Zllio

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 02:10 AM

Hi Sock Monster,

Look at this thread: http://www.daniweb.com/forums/thread635.html

This offers two ideas that might be helpful.

Zllio

Edited by Zllio, 04 June 2009 - 02:12 AM.





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