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Computer booting problem


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#1
Steve McCarron

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Hello from cold Nova Scotia Canada. I have aquired an older PC (1.2 gig processor) but there is some sort of problem. I am trying to build this thing for my grandkids to play games on when they come to visit. OK< I have booted the machine with a boot floppy and all is well to this point. I have ran FDISK and partitioned the drive and then formated it successfully. I know the drive is fine as it can out of another PC and worked fine there. OK so far. I then attempt to install Windows XP. Theinstall starts fine and loads a bunch of stuff, but then it stops asking for an enter to continue, F3 to quit. At this point the computer does not respond to any key press, so I can not continue any further. I have forced the machine to boot from floppy, then run the Windows install, forced it to boot from the CD drive, and the install stops at the same place every time.

I have no idea where to go from here. I replaced the power supply in this machine several months ago when the machine went flaky on the previous owner and all seemed well for a few months, then the machine refused to boot. I have attempted to find a program to test the mother board etc, but did not have much luck.

Any help or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. I simply cannot afford to buy them a new PC as much as I would like to.

Many thanks in advance.

Steve
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#2
Samm

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Welcome to G2G

Out of interest, what size is the hard drive?

The XP install does not require the hard drive to be pre-formatted or even partitioned as it lets you do all this as part of the installation. Can you try removing all partitions and then attempt to install XP by booting from the CD?
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#3
Steve McCarron

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Samm: Thanks for the quick reply. The hard drive is relativily small in todays PC's, it a 40 gb Samsung drive. I have tried what you mentioned in your post, with the exact same results. I booted to floppy, ran fdisk, did the save, rebooted to BIOS and forsed the CD rom boot. The windows install did its thing and it still quit at the same screen, Enter to contonue, R for Repair and F3 to quit. The PC then hangs.

I was a little anoyed with the thing yesterday, so I thought I would change out the power supply agian to humour myself. What I found was disturbing, the CPU fan was so clogged with dust and dirt, I don't know how the CPU cooled itself. I wonder if this was the problem. I wonder if the thing was shutting itself down due to high tempurature.

I am in the process of cleaning and putting back together now. I will add another comment in an hour or too to let you know how I make out.

Another other suggestions?

Many thanks

Steve
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#4
Samm

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Hi Steve

If the inside of the computer is clogged up with dust then you're very wise to clean it out. Obviously that amount of dust could be causing the cpu to run too hot but it seems unlikely to be the reason in this case, purely because the system locks up at exactly the same point every time.
Also, it probably took longer to partition then format a 40GB drive in DOS than it did to simply boot from the CD to the point where it locked up. In other words, I would have expected it to overheat during the formatting process as well.

Have you tried cleaning the CD & checking it for scratches? You may also want to see if you can copy the contents of the CD sucessfully to a hard drive just to ensure it's not having problems reading the disc.

If you can, any more info on the system specs (eg cpu, motherboard, memory, video card, pci cards, external devices etc) would be useful to me.

Edited by Samm, 08 December 2007 - 11:42 AM.

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#5
Steve McCarron

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Samm: OK, more info

Proteva PC, not sure where it was purchased, some where in Nova Scotia, Future Shop or the like.
Mother board liiks like a Gigabyte GA ZVKML
AMD processor, by the only number on it, 12777 makes it either a 1.3, 1.4, or a 1.5 gig processor
256 megs ran, DDR, running at 266 mhz
Via Chipset
AmiBios
On board sound and video
only one PCI card LAN/Modem

I have checked the voltages etc in the bios and all look like they are within spec for the info I see on the screen. Ine item disturbes me, the machine has been off for hours, but the CPU temperature is showing 45 Degrees C, seems odd to me.

Not sure what other info I can give you beside the above, but if you need more, please let me know

Many thanks

Cheers

Steve
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#6
Steve McCarron

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Samm: Little mistake on the Mother board, it is a GA 7VKML, here are the specs: http://www.giga-byte...?ProductID=1306

Thanks, Steve
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#7
Samm

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Hi Steve

Managed to figure out the board was a 7VKML before spotting your last post (That will teach me to read down to the bottom of the page next time!)

OK, found the manual for your board which helps. Firstly, we ought to address the CPU issue - i.e temperature & also exact model. I can't find anything for 12777, where did you get this number from?

I'm asking mainly because the motherboard has a hardware jumper for the cpu FSB, as opposed to a software autodetect one - so we need to make sure this is correct. If the cpu has beeen inadvertently overclocked, then this would explain the high temperature.

I'd also advise that you renew the thermal compound, especially as you may need to remove the heatsink in order to read the model info written on top of the cpu. As soon as the heatsink is removed, the thermal compound should be renewed before the computers is switched on again.

You'll need:

a tube of thermal paste (easy enough to come by in most computer stores or even eBay).
some isopropyl alcohol
a clean lint free cloth (a paper coffee filter is good)
a clean plastic scraper (eg credit card or similar) or a clean razor blade is best.

Disconnect the power supply from the motherboard

Remove the heatsink/fan assembly & then remove the cpu

Be careful not to touch the cpu pins and if you need to place it something temporarily, make sure its a suitable surface such as cardboard (nothing that picks up static!)

Use the isoproply alcohol & cloth to clean the cpu die (raised rectangular bit in the middle) & remove all traces of the old compound. Do not touch the die with your figures at any time to prevent contamination. Now that the die is clean, make a note of all the info thats written on the top of it.

Clean all the old compound off the underside of the heatsink.

Place a small blob of the new thermal paste (about half the size of an uncooked grain of rice) onto the centre of the die then use the razor blade to spread over the die in a thin layer, place the cpu back in it's socket & lock in place with the lever.

Reinstall the heatsink & fan

Let me know what was written on top of the cpu!

Edited by Samm, 09 December 2007 - 02:02 PM.

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#8
Steve McCarron

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Samm: Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, been away for a few days with no pc. I will open the box up again and get back to you in a couple of hours.

Cheers

Steve
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#9
Damien Kane

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Cleaning out the PC is a very good idea - do that, but going back to your original issue, I'll offer another perspective.

Of course, check that it isn't your CD causing problems, but it could be your CD reader. Samm already suggested copying it to your hard drive, but I can't find your response.

Don't use any other computer other than the computer you want to install to. Boot from floppy to dos and copy the entire contents of the CD to your drive and see if it comes up with an error, or that it can't copy, etc. If it works, do a disk check on your hdd for errors, just in case it's trying to install to a bad sector. Let us know what happens.
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#10
Steve McCarron

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Damien: From all the testing I have done to date, the drive is fine, the ram is fine and the CD is fine. I have the Windows disk under test on yet another machine and so far all is well. It has gotten way further on the install than the same disk did on the other machine. I have also tried at least 4 copies of windows XP and all of them stop installing at about the same spot. The hard drive has been scanned and formatted, and partitioned under Dos and while XP was installing. Result is the same.

I almost have to think the CPU or something on the mother board is fried. I was sort of hoping that there was some sort of testing program I could run to test all the components on the mother board. The only thing I have not tested is the CD Rom drive. I have a DVD//CD combo drive here I could try.

May not get to all of this for a few days. Family Christmas party tomorrow, big snow storm coming on Sunday. Sounds like a fun weekend to me.

I will return with more results.

Steve
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#11
Steve McCarron

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Samm: More about the CPU. The only number on it is 27111 AMD assembled in Malaysia

On the actual chip is the following

AMD Athlon
AX2000DMT3C
AG0IA0217EPHW
98892030546
1999 AMD

Not sure if this will help in your quest.

Many thanks for all the suggestions so far. I am going to attempt to change out the CD rom drive as mentioned by Damien

Steve
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#12
Samm

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Hi Steve

Right, for future reference, your processor is an AMD Athlon XP 2000+ (1.67GHz) FSB=266MHz core voltage 1.75V.

Can you try the following:

1. Disconnect the power & disconnect the main 20pin ATX power connector from the motherboard

2. Remove the PCI Lan/modem card

3. Locate the clear cmos jumper (CLR_CMOS) which will next to the silver battery. Depending on which version your motherboard is, this will either be a 2 pin header or a 3 pin header.
If you have the 2 pin variety, then you simply need to place a jumper cap over both pins. Wait for 30 secs then remove. (NB. you'll probably have to nick a jumper cap from somewhere else temporarily. Just remember where it came from so you can replace it afterwards)
If you have a 3 pin header, the cap needs to be placed over pins 1-2. (Assuming there's a cap already installed, it will currently be over pins 2-3). Leave cap in 1-2 position for 30 secs, then return.

4. Reconnect the power, power on the machine & go straight into the bios (by pressing the DEL key a few times as soon as the monitor LED turns green)

5. In the bios, go to 'Standard CMOS settings' and set the correct time & date.
Back to main menu & select 'Bios Features setup' - change the boot order so that CDROM & Floppy are in 1st & 2nd position and IDE-0 is in 3rd position.
Main menu - PNP/PCI Config - change Realtek LAN ROM initial to NO
Main menu - Integrated peripherals - set OnBoard AC97 Audio to DISABLED & Onboard Lan chip to DISABLED
Main menu - Hardware monitor & MISC setup - check that the CPU Host clock = 133 & Vcore = 1.75V. Make a note of the CPU temp, system temp & CPU fan speed & let me know what they are.
Main menu - Save & exit

The system will now reboot. Try to install XP again

By the way, did you manage to renew the thermal paste ok?

Edited by Samm, 15 December 2007 - 09:19 AM.

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#13
Steve McCarron

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Samm: from your last post I have more info for you. Made all the Bios settings as you have told me.

You wanted the CPU temp. On the first attempt at the bios changes, CPU was running at 49 degrees C. fan runing at 4963 RPM. During the first attempt at changing the bios settings, I have a couple of complete system lockups, I mean every thing in bios froze solid, esc would not even allow me to return to the first menu. So I powered down, and did the jumper thing again. All went well with the next boot. CPU now running at 42 degrees C I have made several attempts at installing windows and still no install of windows. Even tried two copies of a windows install disk.

How should the drive be formated, via dos or let windows do it itself. I have not replaced the thermal paste yet. Don't want to purchase that unless I can make the PC work.

Any more ideas?

Thanks, Steve
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#14
Samm

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Hi Steve

If the system was locking up in the bios, that can often signify a cpu or motherboard problem. Did you check the vcore & host clock setting in the bios? What were they set to?
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#15
Steve McCarron

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Morning Samm. VCore setting was 1.746 volts, and the host clock was set to 133.

Just tried another install, this time Windows 98, locked up solid at about 65 percent completed. Sure does look like a motherboard problem. Do you know of a program that could be run to test the components on the mother board. I know the hard drive is ok, and the memory is fine, the CD's I have been trying are fine. One more thing I would like to try would be to copy all of the install files from the CD to the Hard drive and try an install from there. Is there a DOS command to copy everything from the CD to the Hard Drive. There are so many folders on the windows install disk, then folders withing folders within folders. Aweful mess trying to copy *.* that way

I sure do appreciate your help with this problem

Steve
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