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Bad video problems


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#1 Phxpcman

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 12:23 PM

Greetings, most helpful and attentive BC community...

 

I am new in the world of IT/PC repair.

I just got a $10 computer from a yard sale to tinker with.

It is a Compaq Presario SR1620NX tower.

 

It powers on, and has the XP home edition OS. But for some reason, the display is very fuzzy in some areas of the screen and clear in others. There is a constant scratching noise from the HDD, and something like "white noise" that matches the HDD sound on the screen, in the form of little horizontal white lines.

My monitor is fine. That's not the problem.

The problem is in the computer, and I have no clue what it could be.

 

I have run diagnostics on the HDD and Memory, and both passed.

 

Any ideas?


Edited by Phxpcman, 30 June 2013 - 12:24 PM.


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#2 hamluis

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 07:33 AM

Well...first of all, the computer was available for $10 for a reason.  That has to be recognized.

 

The system dates from 2005.  If the system had been owned by someone who exercised due care...that would be one thing:  since you (obviously) have no idea what type of care the system endured...my opinion would be to expect the worst.

 

System specs.

 

A noisy hard drive...is always a reason for concern, since unexpected noises of any kind indicates a physical problem, IMO.  I'm curious to know what diagnostics you ran on the hard drive.

 

Any of the components could be damaged...the CPU (usually from overheating or bent pins), the motherboard (difficult to troubleshoot,  If onboard graphics are being used, the video function could be impaired without any real way of testing other than by subsituting a physical video card in lieu of the onboard.  Assuming that the onboard video chip is fine...then the drivers for the video function can be uninstalled, then reinstalled.

 

System Drivers.

 

My approach would be to try drivers first...then try a new, cheap video card.  I would also replace the hard drive and reinstall Windows, to relieve myself of "old problems" and venture forward only with "new problems".

 

Others here may have better ideas of how to proceed.

 

Louis



#3 slgrieb

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 07:48 AM

 

 

Well...first of all, the computer was available for $10 for a reason.  That has to be recognized.

 

The system dates from 2005.  If the system had been owned by someone who exercised due care...that would be one thing:  since you (obviously) have no idea what type of care the system endured...my opinion would be to expect the worst.

 

Honestly, with a machine this old, it's surprising that it still runs. At the same time, it probably isn't going to perform adequately even as a simple Internet or email box, unless you are willing to dump Windows and try Linux on it. All the same, this hardware is way past it's design life. Frankly, I'd say that this machine is just a money pit.

 


Edited by slgrieb, 03 July 2013 - 07:53 AM.

Yes, Mr. Death... I'll play you a game! But not CHESS !!! BAH... FOOEY! My game is... 
WIFFLEBALL!

 


#4 Phxpcman

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 09:48 AM

Thanks to you both, and I will try the things you mentioned, Louis...

 

I understand that it is an old machine, and obsolete...I just picked it up to tinker with for some experience. 

$10 is a fair price for a lab rat, so to speak...  :)

 

Have a blessed day.



#5 hamluis

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 02:03 PM

To illustrate what I previously stated...I spent 3 days working with a friend's business system that dates back to 2000.

 

When I got it, first thing I did was make a backup AND clone the 40GB hard drive to another drive.  O/S installed on board that had no SATA support.

 

Tested hard drive...failing and weak sectors revealed.  Ran into problems booting, so I replaced the CMOS battery.  Booted successfully 1 more time...and then nothing.

 

I swapped PSUs in and out...I connected the cloned drive to one of my working systems and discovered the clone had many damaged files...I bought new PC2100 RAM...nothing helped.

 

Ultimately...I just gave away one of my systems and my XP Home licenses...with strong advice to conduct backups, etc...all of which I had previously advised before this year.

 

The big problem that I see with trying to salvage older systems...too many things can be going wrong and it only takes one to be a show-stopper...and the hardware presents some challenges.

 

Louis



#6 Phxpcman

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 02:11 PM

Thank you, Louis.

I always appreciate your input.

 

I still have no experience in cloning and backups, but that is on my list of things to master, as well as making bootable disks and flash drives to use for diagnostics.

I have been researching that for weeks, and still have not been successful...

I have been trying to make a bootable UBCD4WIN.

 

Also, to let you know, that is the method I used to diagnose the HDD and memory on that Compaq. I had an Ultimate Boot cd and ran the tests from there. But I don't have that disk anymore, and am trying to make one for myself.

I keep following the steps on tutorials, and it keeps not working...

 

Anyway, thank you for your time and help. I really appreciate it.



#7 hamluis

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 04:00 PM

Easily done, happy computing :).

 

Louis



#8 dpunisher

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 04:47 PM

Couple of things before you throw too much effort at it.

 

Pull the side of the case and verify the hard drive is the noisemaker, and not the power supply.  Also inspect the capacitors for bulging/leaking.  Sometimes the display weirdness is caused by bad power/interference.   A bad PSU, and/or capacitors are cause #1 in a unit of that......vintage.

 

Have fun with it.


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#9 Phxpcman

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 07:22 PM

Couple of things before you throw too much effort at it.

 

Pull the side of the case and verify the hard drive is the noisemaker, and not the power supply.  Also inspect the capacitors for bulging/leaking.  Sometimes the display weirdness is caused by bad power/interference.   A bad PSU, and/or capacitors are cause #1 in a unit of that......vintage.

 

Have fun with it.

You were correct. Bad PSU....

Thank you for that.

I'm not sure that it's worth a new one, and I tried using one from a different machine to see if it would resolve the problem, but it didn't have the Molex connectors for the HDD, so I couldn't test it.

But the one in the Compaq is bad. It tested bad with a PSU tester.

Maybe I'll just use this one for parts, or for a crash dummy...

Thanks again.  :)






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