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[SOLVED] Computer won't boot properly - have I fried my processor?


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#16
deeplyblue

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This is only true if you are going from 32 bit to a 64 bit OS.

Thanks for the correction.

Though I will add that many people do recommend that an OS upgrade should be done as a clean re-install, if possible. It means you clear out a lot of old junk - it's amazing how many apps and utilities you don't need when they will clutter up your nice new installation. And your registry will be sitting there without all the lost souls that waft around it moaning after a couple of years. (I assume that MS haven't done anything revolutionary like getting rid of the registry. No? One can always dream. I knew things were getting bad when I nearly took a book on the registry as holiday reading.)

db
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#17
deeplyblue

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Hello Jack

Hope you enjoyed your holiday. I spent seven days trying to do all things that my mother wanted sorted on her computer - and didn't get the list completed!

You say,

Nope. 80GB isn't really enough space for two, is it? I'll get saving for a 120GB (at least) drive, haha In the meantime, a full backup of XP for those Just-In-Case scenarios of Windows 7 failing altogether will suffice (I hope!).


It's horrid what a couple of years can do to your perception of hard drive space. One of the things I had to do for my mother was adding a new external hard drive that someone had given her. I looked at it and thought, "That was a bit mean, only 500GB." And then I thought - "Listen to yourself. Remember when 5GB seemed like a humongous HDD"

However, I did want to make a point about hard drives. I checked the specs of your machine, and you only have an IDE connection, which means you should be careful not to spend too much on a HDD which won't transfer to a more modern machine which will be set up for SATA drives. So I was going to suggest that you put a new external USB drive on your Christmas list (if you've got relatives who understand that the right external hard drive is a really good Christmas present!).

BUT I also see that the basic specs of the DIXONSXP Ei 314 only include USB 1.1 If you haven't upgraded that, then a quick trip to eBay (or even Maplins) might yield a PCI USB 2 card for a tenner, and that will certainly speed up your scanner and printer. It is also IMO essential for external hard drives.

Your other alternative is to risk eBay, or even Freecycle, and a get 2nd-hand hard drive - making sure that it's not too big for your BIOS to handle.

A final suggestion about your setup. It may be that this is unnecessary in Win7, but it's worked for me for several versions of Windows. I've already recommended that you consider partitioning your hard drive - it's easy enough to do. Another thing that I've done for ages is to make sure that my first optical drive is labelled as the "M" drive and the second as "N". I do this precisely because I may want to partition my hard drive, or add in a second one. If you add in another ordinary hard drive, your machine will call that the "D" drive, and re-label your optical drive(s) as "E" and then all your other drives following that.

Now suppose you have a program which expects to find its installation media, or its verification CD in drive "D" - because that's where the CD was when you installed the original program. And now, of course, it's not there, which can be a real PITA. And all your USB drives will similarly have to move a notch.

SO, what I do, first thing with a new machine is to change the first optical drive to "M", and (if it's there) the second to "N". When I put other things like flash drives in, I allocate them a number nice and far down the alphabet. That way any partitioning, or new additional drives can grab the early letters without re-labelling every other device with a drive letter.

Of course, Windows 7 might make all of this redundant. But then again, it might not. Give it some thought.

db
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#18
Jack W-H

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Hey folks!

OK, thanks for your help so far.

Tomorrow's the big day of installing Windows 7 x64...

All my data is backed up.
My 4GB RAM has arrived.
My Processor arrives tomorrow morning.
My PCI USB 2.0 card arrives sometime during the week (that won't be essential at first I don't think)
I have a tube of thermal paste, although my little sister squirted half of it out over my desk by mistake... :)
I have my installation disk burnt and mounted, and ready to go.

Just one more question...

Will I need to format the HDD BEFORE inserting the Win7 disk, or will the Windows 7 Installation do this automatically for me from the CD or something before it starts copying the files?

Perhaps a silly question, but I've reinstalled XP in the past and that formatted it for me before installing automatically...
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#19
rshaffer61

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Win 7 will do everything from partitioning to formatting.
Sounds like you have everything under control but we will be here monitoring this topic in case you need more help.
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#20
Jack W-H

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Win 7 will do everything from partitioning to formatting.
Sounds like you have everything under control but we will be here monitoring this topic in case you need more help.


Thank you rshaffer, yet again Geeks To Go amazes me with your helpful support and kind words. Thank you! :)

I will keep you updated if/when anything goes wrong.
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#21
rshaffer61

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Thank you and your kind words is the reason most of us do this.
We will be here till the end for you.
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#22
deeplyblue

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Oh, yes, and have you saved the setup file for the latest version of Firefox? And your firewall? And an AV prog? Everything else you can download, but try downloading something without a browser (or having to rely on IE - Meh!), and you'll have problems. And a firewall before you start browsing is a good idea. You can get your AV for free, but you'll need to know which ones already support Win 7 - which you can find out online. But only when you have a working computer and a browser - another task to do before you install a new OS.

Preparation really is the key to success. Boring, yes, but not nearly as boring as trying to put right what you should never have done wrong in the first place.

Let us know how it goes.

db

Edited by deeplyblue, 17 August 2009 - 09:04 PM.

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#23
Jack W-H

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Hello guys,

I am upgrading my computer today, I couldn't yesterday because of family plans.

Righto. Here's the problem:

My Intel e2180 I placed into the processor socket, booted the computer, and it all whirrs up OK but nothing really happens. The BIOS never kicks in on the screen but the hard drive light flashes a little bit for a few seconds. Then it stops and nothing still happens.

When I change it back to my Pentium 4 640, everything works OK and Windows XP boots up as normal (I haven't put Win7 on yet, that'll be later).

Do you have any idea why this isn't booting up with the e2180? I'll probably try what I did last time my processor failed (what this whole thread was originally about! :) ). Last time I left it overnight and it magically worked in the morning... so I'll try that again if you don't have any better suggestions.

Thank you!

By the way, the 4GB RAM works great (although WinXP only detects 2GB, obviously, in 32-bit).
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#24
Jack W-H

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Ok, as well as the problem in my last post, I have a new problem:

http://www.geekstogo...es-t249723.html

I have put it in a seperate thread as it is not hardware related (directly enough to be in the hardware forum).

Thank you!
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#25
deeplyblue

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Hello Jack

I'm not an expert about CPUs or mobos, but one thing that you might try. Have you thought of checking (when the thing has the old chip in!) whether there is an update to the BIOS? It's just possible that you need a newer version to go with the latest chip. Make sure that you read the instructions for flash upgrading VERY carefully before you start. If they have a recovery routine, make sure you know what it is BEFORE you do the flash upgrade - get it printed out and any rescue disks made.

When you have the new BIOS, (or even in the old one, if no newer one is available) try getting into it using the F2/Del, or whatever your access keystrokes are, and see if you need to change things for a new chip. It may need the system timings changing - especially if you've tinkered with them before.

Try Googling the name and model number of your mobo, together with that of your new chip - someone else might have reported things that need doing - or even just known problems.

Edit: Just had a thought about mobos and chips. The new chip might go into the socket on the mobo, but your machine was originally a PCWorld one, which means that they didn't use the deluxe version of your mobo. Have you thought of seeing whether the chipset on the mobo is compatible with your new chip? Once again I think there are sometimes issues with timing - though if anyone here knows better, I really hope they'll correct me.

You should be able to find out all the details of your mobo - bus speeds, chipsets etc by using Sandra (when the old chip is in and the old OS working - you can still get into XP, I hope). Otherwise you will have to do all this the very long way round - start with your system hardware manual, if you still have it, and check if that gives the chipset details. Then try Googling the chipset/processor combination.

db

Edited by deeplyblue, 20 August 2009 - 01:28 AM.

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#26
Jack W-H

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I'm not an expert about CPUs or mobos, but one thing that you might try. Have you thought of checking (when the thing has the old chip in!) whether there is an update to the BIOS? It's just possible that you need a newer version to go with the latest chip. Make sure that you read the instructions for flash upgrading VERY carefully before you start. If they have a recovery routine, make sure you know what it is BEFORE you do the flash upgrade - get it printed out and any rescue disks made.


OK, old chip in, working fine (except for my problem in the other topic, lol).

Downloaded awdflash.exe and some long .bin file - these need to be burned to floppy disk and booted at startup. The exe file writes the bin file to the BIOS chip...

Only problem is, I have no floppy drive. I've tried to do it through a bootable-formatted USB stick and with a CD, but neither will boot!! :)

Yes, I've changed the boot priority order in the BIOS, but still no luck - I've tried countless different combinations...

When you have the new BIOS, (or even in the old one, if no newer one is available) try getting into it using the F2/Del, or whatever your access keystrokes are, and see if you need to change things for a new chip. It may need the system timings changing - especially if you've tinkered with them before.


I've searched through all the BIOS menus but there's nothing I can find out about Timings. I've made a few sort of common-sense modifications, but the chip still ain't supported. PC World Man who I saw yesteday says just update the BIOS... (which I'd love to but can't). I've tried 'Load Optimised' and 'Load Failsafe' defaults, but neither of them work either.

You should be able to find out all the details of your mobo - bus speeds, chipsets etc by using Sandra (when the old chip is in and the old OS working - you can still get into XP, I hope). Otherwise you will have to do all this the very long way round - start with your system hardware manual, if you still have it, and check if that gives the chipset details. Then try Googling the chipset/processor combination.


I have no system hardware manual... I got a 'quick start guide' when I bought it which included a picture of a grinning man plugging it into a socket, that was about it... :)

I will have a look at Sandra - Windows 7 lets me run it OK. I'll post some results back when I have them.
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#27
Jack W-H

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Ok, big problems.

Iv just tried to boot from my original supplied XP Recovery disk to put XP back on (Iv done this a couple of times in the past)...

But on boot, I see:

"Error! PC System not supported!

Press any key to continue."

Pressing any key restarts the machine...

I really haven't changed much at all. The only thing I can think of, is flashing an updated BIOS?!?

What on earth do I do now? :'(
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#28
deeplyblue

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You know, I always had a prejudice against buying from PCWorld, which you are fast confirming.

If you have the exact model number of your mobo (see Sandra, again), then you can try looking for its manual online - mobo manufacturer and model number plus "manual" into Google.

As to flash update of the BIOS without a floppy. There are quite a few options, some easier (and more practical) than others.

1) Use a USB floppy drive. Some BIOSes allow you to specify that you want to boot from a USB floppy - take a look and see if your is one of them. USB FDDs can always come in handy, and I wouldn't be without one. If you haven't got one (and your paper round doesn't run to financing one!), then see if you have a friend with one.

2) Get an old fashioned floppy drive from an old machine, together with a FDD data lead (yours or someone else's - check with them that it's not a knackered drive - or lead). I'm assuming that there is a FDD connector on the mobo and the power lead on the PSU - there usually is, even on board in non-FDD systems. You'll have the side off the machine anyway, so you can just plug the old FDD into the mobo and the power supply. You're not aiming to make this permanent, so you can just let it hang out of the box for a while. (I once spent about 3 months with an array of HDDs perched on the top of a system box whilst I tried to make something work.) You now have an FDD-enabled machine, albeit temporarily.

3) It's possible that any ordinary bootable CD won't do the job, but that a special one will. You may find that you can download a file in .iso format specifically for a flash-upgrade CD from the site where you got the flash upgrade for your BIOS. You can, I think use Nero to create CDs from .ISO files, but I tend to prefer simple utilities for simple jobs. For this one go to

Download ISO recorder for XP-SP2 ONLY

and then follow the useful guide on:

How to use ISO recorder



There are some suggestions (with varying degrees of coherence) about this no-floppy problem on various tech sites. There's one for EVGA BIOS upgrades on:

BIOS upgrades without a floppy

But note that their methods may not work for another BIOS manufacturer.

I haven't the time (another seriously-messed-up PC to fix) to check out this one, but again, it seems to score points for coherence. (If you can think it clearly, you write it down clearly. And if you can't think it clearly, then your advice is of questionable value when it comes to tech talk.) I note that they're talking about SATA interfaces, you may have to judge for yourself if it will work with IDE (which is what I assume you have).

BIOS upgrading with SATA

Take this bit one at a time and eventually you'll get there!

(BTW, you did check out the chipset issue, I hope)

db
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#29
Jack W-H

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Hey thanks Deeplyblue. Let me phrase this a little more clearly:

The XP recovery system unsupported thingy happened AFTER I flashed the BIOs. I managed to get a CD to boot, I found a fix online - so my BIOS is now fully updated. It was after that I read your advice and thought I'd go back to XP. This was when the System Unsupported error comes into play, so I can't seem to revert back to XP with my recovery disk anymore (even though I had in the past) - I assumed this was because of the BIOS update, the only thing that has majorly changed with the OS.

For example, the PC was originally branded 'EI System' and the Ei System logo was on the BIOS boot screen. Since updating, it now shows the Foxconn logo. Assumably the recovery disk checks my BIOS to see if Its being run on an Ei System PC - and can now no longer detect that.

Regarding the processor - I have good but expensive news. I ordered a new motherboard, [bleep] yeah! A Gigabyte one, which two of my friends who have built their own PCs recommended. I can't remember the model number right now, and im typing this from my iPhone (cos of Win7 hanging) but Il post it when I can get it. This motherboard is DEFINITE confirmed compatible with Intel e2180, so I shouldn't have any chipsets issues etc.

My bank account is weeping, and that genuinely is the last upgrade this fifteen year old will be able to afford for a month or two... But hopefully this should fix my processor issue. As for the Win7 freezes, I still don't know about them, and the people on a Windows7 forum were flaming me for not replying within 3 hours as I was asleep... I much prefer GTG :)

Once the new mobo is in place, I think we can definitely call this thread closed and finished. Thanks Deeplyblue. I'll continue moaning in my Windows 7 crashing thread :)
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