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sarel
13-05-2008, 09:55 AM
Hi guys

Got a PC yesterday from a friend, she just said "it freezes" and asked for help. (Why me, I don't know). Tried to start it up, freezes on Compaq screen, NONE of the F1/F10/Esc buttons working. It sounds as if it is starting to load drivers/whatever, fans are going, and then it just stops. She said she changed nothing.

Tried to boot up with her recovery disk - no chance, same screen. Will try Ultimate Boot disk tonite. Did check seating of RAM - no problem. Did check all connections - no obvious problem. Changed keyboards - no change.

I've got the funny feeling her RAM is somehow fried, but then I don't know. About the PC - I don't know much, I know it's XP, it looks like a 512RAM, and I think 1.4 Pentium.

Any other suggestions other than trying the ultimate boot disk and mem86 tests? What to do if it does not boot, even with ultimate boot disk?:badpc:

Thanks for the advice in advance

sarel

wratterus
13-05-2008, 10:21 AM
Three things you can try....

Reset the BIOS. If there is no obvious jumper on the motherboard (saying something like clr_cmos), rip the battery off the motherboard and leave it unplugged for a half hour. Then put the battery in again, try starting it up again.

Second thing, unplug the hard drive. Turn on the PC. You should get a:

"disk boot failure, insert system disk and press enter message."

If the PC doesn't get to that stage, swap out RAM, try again.

If it does, possibly the hard drive has thrown a wobbly,. and there is the possibility of data loss.

Third thing, unplug everything, including optical/hard drives, PCI cards, front USB/audio etc. If it works, plug them in one by one. Eventually either it will just work, of you'll figure out which bit is causing the problem.

Or...the motherboard's faulty.

If you can get into the UBCD, run full memory and hard drive diagnostics. (Obviously the HDD needs to be plugged in for this)

autechre
13-05-2008, 10:41 AM
The Compaq screen is just covering up the memory check & various POST screens that show on a normal PC.
If it's freezing there, then there is usually some hardware fault.

Compaq used to have diagnostics disks that you could download, but you'd need to reset the BIOS as in the post above to get it to boot from a floppy.

sarel
13-05-2008, 10:43 AM
Thanks guys - will try that tonite and report back

sarel

wainuitech
13-05-2008, 10:44 AM
If you can get Ultimate to boot and load, you can also try winding the system back to yesterday using windows restore - sometimes works, just in case its some sort of software issue.


IF ultimate will boot, heres the path (http://www.imagef1.net.nz/files/Ultimate.jpg), select C:\windows, follow the prompts.

I may be able to shred some more light later today - got to go get a customers PC that is doing the EXACT same thing, something downloaded and installed over the weekend, I'm thinking it may be SP3.< thats only a guess till I get the PC.

pctek
13-05-2008, 11:04 AM
Check the RAM. Then check the PSU- or swap it out is easier.

sarel
13-05-2008, 12:02 PM
Wainuitech, I don't know what they've done - they can't tell me and they say they've done nothing. It may be SP3 or it may be PSU or RAM or whatever. I will wait to see what you found with your clients as well.

Just one question - if I couldn't get any XP or recovery/boot disk to boot up, how the heck is ultimate boot disk going to boot? Does it "force" the system to boot?

PCTek - I'll try swapping but when you really do not have spare RAM and PSU's lying around it becomes a bit more difficult. I got this job because about a year ago I reformatted the HD, reinstalled XP and solved their virus and related software problems and was seen as sitting up there with Peter at the Pearly Gates. This time I don't think it's a virus, I think it's hardware - but then I'm not an ubergeek like you guys working on this every day.

sarel

wainuitech
13-05-2008, 12:08 PM
No No No :lol: if you look both wratterus and myself mentioned IF Ultimate would boot - then options given.

Quite simply if a CD wont boot from the drive when it used to then there is more than likely a hardware problem - BUT not always - I have actually seen viruses sometimes disable the optical drive so CD's wont boot to allow repairs.

First you need to find out if its hardware or software. So try what wratterus & Pctek suggest.

wratterus
13-05-2008, 12:11 PM
No No No :lol: if you look both wratterus and myself mentioned IF Ultimate would boot - then options given.

Quite simply if a CD wont boot from the drive when it used to then there is more than likely a hardware problem - BUT not always - I have actually seen viruses sometimes disable the optical drive so CD's wont boot to allow repairs.

First you need to find out if its hardware or software. So try what wratterus & Pctek suggest.

Definitely. :p

sarel
13-05-2008, 12:19 PM
Peace, peace. :p :D OK I get the message. Will see what happens.

sarel

wainuitech
13-05-2008, 06:45 PM
Hope you didn't think the comment was meant as nasty/ angry :xmouth: :lol: Sh1t no - Sorry if it came across like that - any way got the customers PC here I mentioned above - Drives Knackered - bad sectors at the beginning of the drive.

Put in a new drive to make sure and it booted right away.

Jen
13-05-2008, 07:32 PM
If this PC has never (or you don't know) been able to boot from a CD, then you may have to change the boot order in the BIOS. You want the CD drive to boot before the hard drive. Just yell out if you need more specific instructions on how to do this. :)

sarel
14-05-2008, 08:52 AM
OK Report back time.

Couldn't get into Bios Jen. Yes, last year I did boot off the PC quite successfully.

Tried the battery thingie Wainuitech - no change

Then I started unplugging stuff and see where it goes wrong. Replaced the HD with an old one of mine - lo and behold, it runs (and my old drive is a bit knackered, one pin broken but it worked). So Wainuitech - it seems we had the same problem but I will check the HD tonight.

The only thing left for me is to finish installing the Ultimate Boot CD on my PC so that I can slave her buggered one to see what's wrong. Will also see whether she wants to buy a new HD or just a new cheapo box (I think the box is a better option) BUT b*gger, the installation process for UBCD is quite intensive - I got sh*t scared when I saw it first time.

I do wish to thank you guys for the info on the UBCD - sh*te, with a program like that I could have prevented a lot of problems on my old PC's (where I could not pinpoint the problems, and I just replaced it).

*High fives to Wainuitech, Wratterus, PCTek and Jen.*

sarel

wratterus
14-05-2008, 09:02 AM
Glad we could help....;)

When you say install the UBCD, what do you mean by that?

You don't need to 'install' it as such, just download the UBCD .iso (http://web0.v608.ncsrv.de/data/ubcd411.iso) (image file), and simply burn it to a blank CD using ImgBurn (http://fileforum.betanews.com/sendfile/1128426215/1/1210709582.dbc76ba7a1b69007b7f8dc2603b49232a8ab9ba c/SetupImgBurn_2.4.1.0.exe), then boot off the CD.

Both those links are direct - click and download - if you haven't already got the necessary software/files.

sarel
14-05-2008, 09:38 AM
Wratterus - LOL I'm trying to do it the long way - d/l'ing to my HD, and creating the disk from that. A bit stupid, you see. Cheers for the short cut.

sarel

wratterus
14-05-2008, 10:17 AM
Aha.

:lol: :p ;)

This way will be decidedly quicker. :thumbs:

sarel
15-05-2008, 09:02 AM
Two report backs this morning:

Burning of the ISO - jeez, never knew it could be so simple and easy. Pity that my Lightscribe did'nt want to scribe when I wanted it to (no connection between DVDBurner and PC), so thanks for that Wratterus
Checking HD - bad sectors at beginning of drive too so it's toast. Will advise the lady of the expert opinions coming from this forum and that she should now either replace the HD or go for a lappie


Damn that UBCD is good, I wish I cottoned on to this a bit earlier, would have saved me lots of time and trouble. You techie guys must be using it a lot?

sarel

wratterus
15-05-2008, 09:23 AM
Glad you were able to make a correct diagnosis. :thumbs:

I would be lost without the UBCD. Use it probably 6+ times a day, if not more.

There is a possibility that data can still be recovered from the drive. If theres anything on there she desperately needs, I'd recommend taking it down to your local friendly PC repair shop, and let them have a go at it. (If she really needs the data on there.)

sarel
15-05-2008, 09:58 AM
No, she got no need for any data recovery (luckily, heh?)

sarel

wratterus
15-05-2008, 10:05 AM
Sweet deal, makes it much easier! :punk