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Strommer
07-02-2007, 08:22 AM
My friend's WinXP Home has this message when booting up:
To Begin Click On Your User Name

But there is no User Name or anything else on the screen, no boxes, nothing to click except the option to Shut Down Windows. I have tried pressing Enter, and right and left clicking everywhere on the screen but nothing happens.

The PC was fine 6 weeks ago but for some strange reason over the summer it has changed. Never was it configured to log on with an Administrator name or other user name. It never did this previously.

Remember it does not boot up into Windows so we cannot go into the Control Panel, etc.

What to do? BIOS ? There are no WinXP rescue disks. Thanks.

Robby
07-02-2007, 08:34 AM
gidday,

The computer may have a partition, that allows for restore or format.

start the computer, and tap F10.

cheers,

Robby

CYaBro
07-02-2007, 08:38 AM
Try holding down CTRL+ALT and press DEL twice.
That should bring up a login screen.
Put in the username you were using originally or try Administrator or Owner if you don't remember what the username was.

You may have to do this in Safe Mode

drcspy
07-02-2007, 08:39 AM
#2's a bit extreme as you may end up wiping the sytsem .......have you tried tapping F8 key at boot (repeatedly) till you get the menu screen then try 'last known good configuration' or 'safe mode' ?......test these please and report back

techiekid
07-02-2007, 09:05 AM
if all of those fail you could try accessing your system with knoppix. wont help you fix it but at least you can save your files and stuff

Strommer
07-02-2007, 04:38 PM
Try holding down CTRL+ALT and press DEL twice.
That should bring up a login screen.

That worked. Thanks CYaBro. Strange though because there was never a password on the PC - it just went straight into the desktop with no logon.

Unfortunately the third time we booted the PC, the screen went blank. It worked fine during two reboots. I did notice that the screen flickered a couple of times when all was working OK, so I checked the connections and found that everything was tight and OK.

So now we have a blank screen while the PC box makes the usual noises booting up and the light blinks indicating the usual hard drive activity. Maybe it is a weird coicidence that the screen (an old 17 in CRT) suddenly went bust but I don't think so because we did see an 'error message' on the screen saying "No Signal Input".

What else could be the problem? Would replacing the CMOS battery help?

CYaBro
07-02-2007, 04:58 PM
Does the screen display the normal boot up info, memory test, Windows XP Logo with bar moving across the bottom?

If not then it could be a faulty screen or graphics card.
If it is then try boot in Safe Mode by pressing F8 before Windows XP starts to load.

Strommer
07-02-2007, 08:40 PM
Does the screen display the normal boot up info, memory test, Windows XP Logo with bar moving across the bottom?

I guess instead of writing a 'blank' screen I should have put 'dead'.
There is nothing - as if the screen was not turned on at all. But the power light is on showing that the monitor is getting juice, and once the error message (from the monitor, not the PC) appeared as stated above.

CYaBro
07-02-2007, 08:57 PM
Don't have another monitor handy you can test on the machine?

godfather
08-02-2007, 06:04 AM
Is the PC actually booting though?

Try the Caps Lock key, it should toggle Caps Lock on and off each press.

If that does not work, then the reason for "no signal" is "no boot"

Strommer
08-02-2007, 07:31 AM
Caps Lock - I'll try that - thanks GF.

Monitor - well, I'd have to take my 17in LCD, so will do as a last resort.

Strommer
08-02-2007, 01:30 PM
GF- the caps lock (light) toggles on and off so the HD must be OK - it makes the usual noises during boot up and the HD light blinks normally.

I swapped monitors and got a monitor error message: NO VIDEO INPUT - CHECK CABLE.

Now I will go into the case and check for loose or unplugged cables. Beyond this I will need some advice. I have no idea if the PC has a separate video card. I'll try to take some photos if I cannot figure out what is what.

Strommer
08-02-2007, 09:51 PM
Ha ha - some of you techies will love this - I could get the damn case opened - the usual screws on the back were missing (except those for the PS and something else), no screws on the bottom and none to see on the front. Tried prying the case apart, then tried to slide each side panel off with my hands. No go. What the %$#X&# ????

Jen
08-02-2007, 09:53 PM
One of those cases .... I take it this is a tower case PC?

You should be able to pull off the front face of the case. See if you can put your fingers under the bottom front edge (fan intake hole) and give a pull slightly upwards and out. Once the front section is off, you should see the screws that you need to remove to get the sides off.

Strommer
08-02-2007, 10:22 PM
Thanks Jen. Yes, its a tower case. I tried what you said but guess I did not pull hard enough - was in a hurry as the office was closing up so I quickly disconnected the cables and put it in the boot of the car. Will try tomorrow morning.

Strommer
09-02-2007, 01:11 PM
Here is what I found inside:
http://www.imagef1.net.nz/files/PC10001170982509.jpg
and
http://www.imagef1.net.nz/files/PC1000_a.jpg

The monitor cable connects to the bright pink unit which is next to the yellow one. I am in new territory here, so need assistance. My guess is that the pink unit is not a separate video card but that video is part of the MB - is this called AGP or something?

A recap: the HD works but when booting up the monitor (not Windows) displays an error message "Check Video Cable".

Is there something I can do or does the PC need a completely new MB?

The PC is around 5 or 6 years old, Athlon 1 Ghz, WinXP Home, probably 256 RAM.

Thanks.

Jen
09-02-2007, 01:33 PM
Ah, I suspected it was a PC Company case when you couldn't break into easily.

You have onboard video which means it is part of your motherboard. You do not have a separate AGP slot (shorter brown slot) which is used to insert graphic cards. Seeing as you have already tried a different monitor it does suggest your onboard graphics has gone kaput. You have a spare PCI slot that you could use with a PCI graphic card to bypass the dud onboard one. The decision is whether the computer is worth that expense or is it time to gracefully retire it.

Strommer
09-02-2007, 01:48 PM
Thanks Jen. Where would I find a spare PCI slot?

The PC is used in an office for word processing and printing photos. No gaming, internet or anything special. So just a basic system is needed. It does have a CD writer which is used. I have no idea if a cheap graphics card could be found somewhere, or a complete (old) MB. Trademe? If I could fix it on the cheap I'd like to have a try since it would improve my PC skills.

Jen
09-02-2007, 01:57 PM
You have 3 PCI slots which are white coloured. It looks like you have a modem and a USB PCI add-on card in two of them leaving the middle one free.

Your motherboard is a Asus A7V-VE and you can view the manual here (http://www.motherboards.org/files/manuals/1/A7V-VE.pdf).

I am not sure how much a basic PCI graphic card costs (don't confuse with PCI-e graphic cards). I will have a looksie ...

[edit]
Using pricespy as a guide it looks like it will cost ~$72 for a new card - see here (http://www.pricespy.co.nz/cat_16.html#g30)

Jen
09-02-2007, 02:30 PM
Something like this may suit you as well - PCI Video 4MB Cirrus Logic Laguna (http://www.trademe.co.nz/Computers/Components/Video-cards/Other/auction-86935769.htm).

You should always check you can find appropriate drivers off the net first though.

Strommer
09-02-2007, 03:54 PM
Many thanks Jen. The Trademe card is only 4 Mb, so it may be best to go with something like this: GeForce4 MX 400 PCI 64M for $80, or a 32 Mb card for $63.76. ??

Jen
09-02-2007, 05:59 PM
A basic 4 MB card will suffice if you are only doing Word and printing. [edit]Second thoughts, the machine is running XP so it would be best to check out what video memory requirements it has. [2nd edit]Went and had a look, and XP only requires a super VGA adapter unless you want to view DVD playback in which case it requires a min of 8 MB of video memory.

Wait and see what the more expert hardware people suggest. :)

Strommer
13-02-2007, 04:36 PM
As of last Friday I was going to put in a new PCI graphics card. [In case anyone forgot, there is no video output - see above info.] Well, in the end we decided to put in a new MB with new RAM and CPU. There was some concern that the problem may be with the MB and not the graphics card, and besides we will have a better PC :) and I will learn more geek stuff :nerd: :D .

What do I need to be aware of when putting in the new MB RAM & CPU ?

I do know about using an antistatic strap, and I know that the CPU may need some sort of paste when mounting it (which I do not have and wonder if it will be supplied with the upgrade kit). And I know that the drivers will have to be updated, but what else? I have never done anything like this previously. I am assuming WinXP will boot up normally (from the old HD) and maybe it will ask for a reactivation or whatever.

The upgrade kit is an AMD Sempron 3000 (with fan) on a Foxconn with onboard graphics, and 512 RAM. We don't need anything powerful - the old system was a 1.2 G Athlon with 256 RAM (probably only 4 or 8 Mb of onboard graphics) and it was fine as long as the staff did not open and print too many photos at one time.

Thanks

Jen
13-02-2007, 04:45 PM
Your current power supply maybe insufficient. At a guess it is under 250W? Your existing case will be fine as it is a standard size tower case.

You will also need to completely reinstall the OS after changing the motherboard. Rarely does XP cope well with an abrupt change of hardware like that.

The CPU might have thermal tape already attached so you may not need thermal paste.

There is quite a bit of info out there on building a new machine which will aid you with the (re)assembly.

Have fun, it is a great learning experience and well worth it. :)

Strommer
13-02-2007, 06:37 PM
You will also need to completely reinstall the OS after changing the motherboard. Rarely does XP cope well with an abrupt change of hardware like that.

What are the options for saving the data on the HD?
Run Linux off a disk?
Access the HD from another PC, e.g. my desktop?

I had a gut feeling that I should have backed up the data using the CD writer, but decided to wait 'until after the summer holidays'. The HD has a Restore partition and a restore CD (we bought this from a uni student who got it from Farmers).

Strommer
13-02-2007, 06:40 PM
Jen, re: the PS. It is 250w and I was hoping it would be adequate. We tossed around various options: buy a new cheapo PC for around $800 - no, too much $$, or buy another second hand PC off Trademe, maybe $250 - $300, but then we may be back to where we are now, so we went for the upgrade kit and hoped we did not need a new PS.

Jen
13-02-2007, 09:35 PM
Well I am not sure about your PSU. I guess you can try it and see how you get on.

How much were you quoted for the upgrade kit?

You can try to slave the current hard drive to your PC and copy across data that wasn't backed up.

Just remembered something about PC Company recovery disks. Sometimes they are tied to the original motherboard BIOS and cannot be used on a different computer. Could make things a bit more complicated.

Strommer
14-02-2007, 08:02 AM
Thanks again Jen. The upgrade kit was $179 without the extra RAM and GST. Best price we could find. I have a friend who will probably help me slave the HD to get the data off it, maybe using one of his PCs to do it. My hope is to make a drive image (onto CDs) using Acronis, then transfer it to the upgraded PC. When I succeed in doing this, I'll crack open a beer or two and slap a geek gold star on my forehead! Knowing that only about a year ago I opened a PC case for the first time, it will be quite an achievement. All due to PF1, :thumbs: I might add.

If for some reason slaving the HD does not work, I wonder if we could not boot the upgraded PC using a Linux disk (I bought one last year just for this purpose, Knoppix I think) and get the data off that way? In the end even if we lose the data the staff will survive OK but it just means a lot more work for me setting things back up.

Jen
14-02-2007, 08:10 PM
I am not sure what would be achieved by making an image of the current hard drive when you are already putting the same hard drive into the upgraded computer. You will have exactly the same problem with the driver conflicts from the massive hardware changes and possibly an unbootable OS either way you do it.

What you need to do is to slave the drive onto another computer and then just copy the individual files you want to save off that hard drive to be burnt to CD. You can then try to use the old hard drive on the new machine, and if it fails to boot or remain stable, then try out your recovery disk to reinstall/repair Windows. Bear in mind there is a good chance the recovery disk will not work on a different motherboard.

Strommer
15-02-2007, 07:27 AM
Jen, Speedy, GF, et. al. - a few questions from someone who has never replaced a MB:

When a new mb is put into a PC, how are the new drivers added? Via the BIOS or some other way than doing it from Windows? I do not understand if Windows will start at all from an old HD but it does not seem so considering Jen's comments above. Or is it always necessary to boot from a WinXP installation disk?

I have a WinXP CD somewhere from an old laptop - the PC being upgraded came only with a recovery CD that restores from a partition on the HD - but as Jen says this will probably not work as the partition will be matched to the old MB.

About the drive image - I guess that I was wrong in assuming a drive image could be transferred to different PC's and not just the one that it was made from. I was in an internet cafe once and saw nearly all of the PCs being Ghosted at the same time from what I thougt was one image.

Just found this on MS Knowledge Base:

For Windows XP:

To replace a failed motherboard with a new motherboard and to then reconfigure Windows to work with the new motherboard, do the following:
1. Turn off the computer.
2. Replace the existing motherboard with the new motherboard.
3. Insert your Windows CD in the CD-ROM drive or the DVD-ROM drive, and start the computer from the CD.

a. When you are prompted To set up Windows now, press ENTER, press ENTER. Setup looks for any previous installations of Windows XP on the hard disk and then displays a list of any previous installations that it finds.

b. Use the arrow keys to select the installation that you want to repair, and then press R to select the To repair the selected Windows installation, press R option.

Cr*p, cannot find a COA sticker on the PC. It was bought at Farmers, PC Company, according to the previous owner. Well well well, if a drive image does not work and a MS serial number is needed for Repair, then Linux here we come! :lol:

Strommer
15-02-2007, 07:29 AM
Jen - OK, I will extract the files from the old HD. Thanks. I would have just made an image.

FoxyMX
15-02-2007, 10:25 AM
That method is a "dirty install" which has been mentioned quite often here if you want to do a search. And yes, you will need the COA number before it can be performed.

I would highly recommend getting the data off the hard drive by slaving it to another PC as soon as you can, if the data is important. Murphy's Law and all that kind of thing...

Strommer
15-02-2007, 10:36 AM
Thanks Foxy. Please go here where I have started a new thread: http://pressf1.pcworld.co.nz/showthread.php?t=76747

Except for Jen there were few posts on the old thread but if I would have waited a few minutes I would have seen your post Foxy.