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insane computer

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#1 zz4


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Posted 29 September 2005 - 02:44 AM

I hate to throw away things without at least trying to figure out problem.(s)

Now I'm not gonna spend money on an old 400mhz computer.

I guess that brings a laugh but I find these things useful still for simple things if you sit on old software/hardware.

(hmmm..just a FireFox browser desires minimum 500mhz?)

This thing was picked up for almost nothing. Classified as 're-furbished'.

I sat on it for several years. Never used except once turned it on to dial up to get Microsoft 98 Updates feeling they might disappear.

ok--I bring it out a week or so again.

No signal to monitor.

Oddly that seemed to correct itself.

I download or install various programs. All seems ok.

Last I remember I install drivers for some old Canon Printer.

A couple days later I go to dial up and modem seems dead.

(I had another modem here die of recent.I'm getting suspicious as somebody operates an Amateur Radio station next to my computers and all kinds of stray 'electrical' 'radio wave' stuff)

I get another modem. I've yet to know if it works due to the insane computer.

It has 3 memory slots. 2 64 chips sit in there. I don't know what they are but assume 64 DIMM SDRAM PC100. I buy a 128 chip and install it in vacant slot.

From here nothing seems to work right.

I have one 'quick restore' disk from Compaq. I feel if this computer is so screwed up could it not use a RESTORE?

I ran the disk and things just got more insane.

The disk also contains a Compaq Diagnostic program. I've run that a couple times and once it said 'memory' was bad---too much noise...(?) Otherwise it indicates everything is ok except A-drive.(I think I'm supposed to put a disk in there but---)

I've run scandisk...all aok

I was able to install some Vcom System Suite? software. It brings up no real errors.(except a bunch of registry ones)

If the HARD-DRIVE is OK does not a RESTORE return everything to PERFECT?


(1)In running the restore disk it quits 6 or so times saying can't read the drive (CD-DVD drive I assume)--do you want to continue? Press ENTER and it continues where it seemed to leave off. (66%--61% etc.) Is this normal?

(2)The major problem is when booting into Windows the desktop will finish its display and in very short time it shifts to blue ERROR page. An FATAL EXCEPTION OE has occured at 0028:0000008D in VXD. This was called from 0028:C000AB74 in VXD (01)+00009B74.

This never ends and the numbers can/will vary.

IF the hard-drive is OK and a restore end up with this?

I can't use unit with these errors and it will shut down.

Can this be bad 'memory'? I pulled the 3 memory chips. Tried just the 128. No signal to monitor. Tried just one 64 and signal to monitor but all these VXD FATAL things.

(3) A dumb pop-up is driving me crazy. Your C\CPQS\BACKWEB\PROGRAM\BACKWEB.EXE is corrupted.

I read about this a little and guess it can be deleted. I have not tried yet.

All this with a RESTORE?


Is there a way to check Ram Memory sticks without buying new ones guessing they are ok?

A RESTORE with no programs loaded except default with computer.

CD-DVD drive? It has to be an ancient first edition DVD thing. Replace with a cheapie CD-drive?

Before I toss this thing are not all these FATAL VXD things possibly hardware related?

Yep...Compaq Re-furbished. Somebody assumed returned. They resold it and included a new RESTORE disk.

Best of my knowledge Compaq only offers new RESTORE disks with XP now. I also have an almost indentical to above but a Compaq 475mhz. In initial trials it seems to behave almost normal.(except had to replace CD-DRIVE)

I presume RESTORE disks from Compaq have everything including drivers? Registry like it was NEW?

A RESTORE and all these VXD FATAL things......

PS:Excuse the discussion of ancient material. I am fairly new to any computer stuff and I'd rather get some education on machines you can't really care about...

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#2 stidyup


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Posted 29 September 2005 - 02:49 AM

How to trouble shoot error messages

Ultimate BootCD will give you all the necessary tools to test your ram.

#3 zz4

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 10:57 PM

wow...thats a bunch of interesting links...

I already snooped Microsoft site for my error codes and as my normal luck never find an identical match.

QUESTION:Is that UBCD for Windows? I see a link for a Windows version so?

I am on a dial-up...a slow one....

Also a habit of getting dis-connected.(I blame the phone company)

A 100mb download. I don't think I'd ever get there. If something is 10mb I cross my fingers and pray for luck.

I see many offer it via disk for a small fee. (but is it for Windows and 98?)

I'm new at this stuff but seems very interesting.---if you know what your doing.....

I hate to have a machine beat me. Get lazy and soon you will be junking new computers after 5 minutes of errors.

#4 Herk


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Posted 30 September 2005 - 12:00 AM

I have a 7-year-old AT computer with a 233mhz processor, and it runs Firefox browser just fine.

Memtest86 is what I always use to test RAM. It runs without starting the Operating System, so it doesn't matter which operating system you have.

Memtest Link

Unfortunately, this requires the ability to download the file, and then burn an image to a disk. It's a very simple program - you simply set the BIOS to boot the machine from the CD and it starts and runs as long as you want. (Press the Escape key when finished.) Best to run it for at least several passes or overnight.

I'm wondering what sort of condition your power supply is in, and if it's sufficient for the things you're running. Intermittent problems are often caused by a bad power supply. Bad memory tends to cause the computer to freeze.

#5 zz4

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Posted 01 October 2005 - 11:16 PM

ok--thanks again for reply...

I have been busy with other things more necessary than trying to figure out a dysfunctional 400mhz Compaq.

I have an old Packard-Bell 200mhz Pentium and another with a 266 Cyrix chip stuffed away in a box. Last I knew both could dial up and surf the web fine.(I think they have MSIE 5.5 on them)

I wrote everything else off below 200mhz a year or so ago.

Your mention of power supply is interesting. This thing the 'turn on' switch on front does not work and have to use the switch on rear of computer. I recall times it would not turn on at all. You know..turned on some lights show and fan runs.

What can go wrong with a power supply? The transformers actually go? Otherwise it provides a certain voltage of which I know not and I assume has capacitors and regulated voltage. Radio Shack parts?

A unique transformer with multiple voltages?

Never took a power supply out. Its simple electronics I have to guess.

As to memory the last thing I did was with the 3 slots played with the 64 chips and the 128. With just the 128 in there oddly not even a signal to the monitor. Put a 64 in and monitor came back. Still have the FATAL VXD error messages.

I bought the 128 locally and got an exchange yesterday. I hate to stick the 'exchange' in there and potentially ruin it?

I'll study that memory tester link.

All in all good for my education. Getting old but maybe some day I'll be testing hardware and putting together my own computers. (even if it costs more?)

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