I'm trying to fix a PC for a friend.
It's an HP Pavilion 8756C, PIII 850mhz, 384mb RAM, 30gb Quantum Fireball HD, WinME (I know, I know, WinME would be my last choice for an OP Sys, but that's what it came loaded with). She's running a high-speed cable modem connection and really hasn't had any issues - very satisfied with internet connection speed. She basically only uses the PC for internet - nothing more so PC is more than enough to handle her needs. P.S. PC has 1mb onboard video, but it also has a PCI video card upgraded by her son several years ago (if I had to guess I'd assume it's probably an 8 or 16MB video card).
Then last week, out of no where, the video stopped displaying.
Okay, so I brought the PC home where I have spare parts and can work on it better. I booted it up and it really does sound like Windows is booting up and the hard drive is spinning. Using just the keyboard, I hit the Windows Key, up arrow once, then Enter, then Enter one more time (which is effectively clicking on Start, Shut Down, Shut Down) and the PC shuts down.
I removed the PCI video card and hooked up the onboard video. Still no picture.
So I decided to put in a replacement hard drive (an old 10gb hd that I had lying around - formatted, loaded Win XP Pro, did all Win updates and installed NOrton with updates), and PC works just fine with the on-board video.
Next I put the PCI video card back in (with the temporary replacement hard drive) and no video (but I can manually shut down the PC using keyboard shortcut commands as described above.
Next, I put the original 30gb WinME hard drive back in as a slave drive with the Temporary Win XP Pro hard drive running as master. I was curious to see if I'd be able to access the folders and files on the original Win ME hard drive. Sure enough - everything is there so nothing is lost at this point. I now have all her personal files saved onto the WinXP HD.
Oh - and I also scanned the WinME HD running as slave with Norton and no viruses were found.
Is there possibly just something wrong with the master boot record (MBR) on the original WinME HD? I'm by no means an expert in this area so if someone thinks I should do something here I'll need detailed instructions
So here's where this leaves me:
A 30gb HD is better than 10gb so I'd still like to get the PC running on the original hard drive without having to format and install Windows again (plus all of the little things that are already on her original hard drive don't have to be re-installed: like printer software, Quicken - any advanced PC user knows what a pain this can be).
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.