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Reinstalled Motherboard with replacement from Compaq, flashing dos prompt, no post, no bios


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#1 piratemcdaddy

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 06:14 PM

I have a Compaq Presario computer where the motherboard went bad.
It was stuck on the flash screen which had nasty graphical errors. I assumed it was a mobo problem as the video is built in.
I called HP's tech support and they said the same thing.

I ordered a replacement motherboard through our parts provider, and reinstalled it - so far as I know, properly.

What's happening now is when I turn on the computer, the fans start whirring, and everything sounds good, then all I get on the screen is
a flashing DOS looking " _ " in the upper left corner of the screen. I can't type anything. No flash screen, no bios, no POST, just that flashing " _ ".

So the display is working... Its hard to say what is causing the problem. Everything is seated properly.
Would RAM do this? Bad CPU? I haven't tried booting without CD-ROM and SATA HD attatched. I will be trying that, but if I get the same result then what?

Anyone have any ideas as to what could be causing the problem?
I know theres probably a lot of possible culprits. For now, I'll assume the motherboard is working fine. If it was the motherboard,
then I got a lemon, which is possible but unlikely.

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#2 fairjoeblue

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 06:51 PM

Go in the BIOS & make sure SATA is enabled & set to "use SATA as IDE"
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#3 piratemcdaddy

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 09:04 PM

Wish I could, but it doesn't get to BIOS or post.
As soon as you turn it on, all that you get is _ flashing in the upper left.

Is it possible for it not to have the BIOS installed? That seems far fetched.

#4 techextreme

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 09:11 PM

The next step I would suggest would be to disconnect the hard drive, CD-ROM drive, and any floppy drive cables and once again boot the computer.

If you still only the the flashing "_" in the upper left hand corner, shut down the computer and remove and reseat the memory. Once again reboot the computer.

If you get the red "Compaq" logo on the screen then try reconnecting the drive cables one at a time and also check to see that you're not connecting the drive cables backwards. Most Compaq's will not allow this but on a select few, you can.

You may also want to look for the button or jumper marked "Reset CMOS" and reset the CMOS on the board and try booting up again.

Hope this helps,
Techextreme

"Admire those who attempt great things, even though they fail."

-- Seneca

#5 piratemcdaddy

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 09:18 PM

I will try those next few steps in order to trouble shoot.

Also, the drive cables are connected properly because I remember this model having the directional tab.


I don't want to divert the topic completely, but this may be related.
I've never had to tattoo a motherboard, and as I understand it, because this is a manufactures part,
I will need to tattoo the mobo in order for windows to run.
But, I would still need to get past the bios, right? I assume this is something you do with a boot disk/floppy.

#6 techextreme

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 09:39 PM

The "Tattoo" portion on a Compaq and some HP's is for using the reinstall cd's.

When they are started they first look for a "tattoo" in the bios signature to find what was originally installed on the computer and load those portions from the restore cd's.

IF you purchased it from Compaq/HP it is very possible that you will need to "tattoo" it. That utility should have shipped with your replacement motherboard but if it didn't, you will most likely have to contact Compaq support for access to it.

Hope this makes sense,
Techextreme

"Admire those who attempt great things, even though they fail."

-- Seneca

#7 piratemcdaddy

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 10:21 PM

yep, that does make sense. They didn't send me a CD to tattoo the board with, so I'll probably have to make a call.

I'll let you know if I get it working or not tomorrow.

#8 fairjoeblue

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 10:40 PM

I have fixed many Compaq's of many different models , including replacing the motherbord, & have never had to "tattoo" anything & never had a problem installing XP .

Look at the power supply
There should be a UR on the label with a code under it [Example, the code off of my PSU is E243823]

Look at the label & post the code.

Many HP/Compaq PSU's are rebranded "Bestec" .
I have the suspicion that your motherboard is the victim of a Bestec PSU.

I can look up the code & tell you if that is the case.

Bestec PSU's are best known for going bad & frying motherboards, but appearing to still work.

They are what gave emachine a bad name.
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#9 piratemcdaddy

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 11:09 PM

good idea, i'll get back to you with the numbers tomorrow.

hopefully, if I do have a bestec PSU, it hasn't damaged the new mobo already.

#10 techextreme

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 10:06 AM

The "tattoo" is needed if you are using the "Compaq Supplied" Restore CD's and most of the newer systems no longer require this to be done as it created many many problems for both Consumers and HP Tech's alike.

Hope this helps,
Techextreme

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-- Seneca

#11 piratemcdaddy

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 08:24 PM

the problem I was having getting it to turn on was because of the PCI Modem. I took that out, and it turned on fine. I put in a different modem, and it turned on fine.
Windows booted up, and I was able to login.

OK Great. Now the problem I'm having is driver related.

Everytime I turn on the computer, Windows Vista (Home Basic 32 bit) detects new hardware in the form of an ethernet controller, and when I try to "find drivers" for it Windows not so surprisingly turns up jack. I went to HP/Compaq's support page, and they have no network related drivers. I did a little research, and that coupled with me looking into the case and seeing the ethernet chip that says REALTEK8100C, I downloaded the ethernet chip drivers. Yeah, well they didn't work either. I Still get this error in the device manager saying that the "Ethernet Controller" does not have drivers.

OK, next thought was getting a PCI Ethernet Card to work around the ethernet controller (or maybe thats flawed thinking on my part). I tried a linksys card, and I had trouble installing the drivers for it. That should have been pretty straight forward. So there's definitely something screwy if that won't work.

So now I would have a yellow exclamation mark next to PCI device in the devmgmt and a yellow exclamation mark next to Ethernet Controller in devmgmt.

I tried a Netgear card that is vista compatible. Same story.

Someone thinks that the mobo should have came with a cd for chipset drivers- which it didn't - and HP doesn't have the drivers either. So I just don't know what the hell to do.

Would a system restore take care of it? This isn't a new machine. I did install a new, but same model, motherboard into an old machine that already had windows vista installed on it for a while now.

The only other thing to note is that when I ran a virus scan with malware and SAS, it removed a couple of trojans. I don't think trojans would cause this sort of a problem though.

#12 fairjoeblue

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 09:14 PM

Viruses can do weird things to files & drivers.
Most viruses overwrite or modify things & removing the virus leaves corrupt crippled files.

Try going to the Device Manager, uninstalling the realtek network adapter & rebooying to see if it reinstalls properly.

Since you have Vista & changed the motherboard I'm suprised it even boots !

Unless the new mobo is the exact same model as the old one I'm suprised you don't have some real driver conflicts going on.

What is the model of the new motherboard ?
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#13 piratemcdaddy

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 10:06 PM

Tried the uninstall from device manager and then rebooted. Windows detected it and could not find the driver.

So, I disabled the On Board LAN in the BIOS and the ethernet controller was of course, not detected.
I reenabled it, and windows detected it, and could not install drivers for it.

The new motherboard is indeed the same exact model of motherboard as the old one.
And this ethernet controller is the only issue I've been having that may or may not be related to the new motherboard.
Everything else is running fine.

Here is the mobo model: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/documen...product=3339274

#14 hamluis

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 10:19 AM

FWIW: Blinking cursor in upper left of screen...boot record messed up, need to run fixmbr command from Recovery Console.

Black Screen (fixmbr) - http://support.microsoft.com/?scid=kb;en-us;314503

Louis

#15 piratemcdaddy

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 06:53 PM

Wasn't able to even get into the BIOS before I saw the flashing cursor, so unfortunately I wouldn't be able to attempt repairs on the MBR.
And it would be odd that removing the PCI Modem would alter the MBR.

My trials and tribulations of today consisted of restoring windows from the recovery partition.
However, when it rebooted to finish the windows installation I got an error code purple!
Which meant it was time for my first tattoo experience!!! that is a story to itself.
Anyways, I finally got windows to install just fine.
Now if you remember, I was having a problem with the ethernet controller drivers.
the device manager was saying "could not find drivers for this device," well I thought this was a software problem and a restoration would take care of it.
but it didn't!!!! So now there is a fresh installation of windows that does not have ethernet controller drivers..
what to do? I don't know.




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