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HP Desktop won't go even to the BIOS


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#1
Fishinghat

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I have an HP desktop that's two years old or so and came with Vista 64 bit. A few days ago it crashed, and during rebooting Vista reinstalled itself, wiping out everything else. I thought it was a harddrive failure, so I bought a new drive and installed it, and planned on installing Windows 7. However, the computer won't stay powered up for more than three seconds or so before it turns itself off. I have to unplug it, wait for 10 seconds, replug and it begins to bootup, but then shuts off again after about 3 seconds.

I've reset the memory boards (4 gigs) and the processor, but no changes. I reattached the old harddrive, but no change. I unplugged all the pherphals, but still shuts down after three seconds.

Since I can't even get to the BIOS, I'm assuming I've got a bad motherboard or processor. Is that the cause?

Thanks in advance for any help.
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#2
Ferrari

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Try installing just one stick of RAM in the 1st DIMM. (Depends on the motherboard which slot is to be used). If it still doesn't go to the BIOS, try a different stick. Have any spare compatible RAM? The idea here is to see if a bad stick of RAM is causing the problem, trial and error.

Also, even before you do that, trying clearing the CMOS. Take the CR2032 battery off of the motherboard, wait a few minutes... and press the power button a few times, holding it down sometimes to rid the motherboard of any electricity. Do this with the computer unplugged obviously. Replace the battery and then try getting to the BIOS.

I would recommend that you unplug EVERYTHING that doesn't need to be plugged in, i.e. hard drive, cd drive, case fan(not the cpu fan), floppy drive, etc.

If any progress is made, start adding one component at a time powering on after each addition. This will find what is causing the problem. Trial and error.

If none of the above works, I would suspect a bad motherboard, or cpu... in which case it's gonna be the motherboard 90% of the time, cpu's really don't go bad that often... and usually outlast the motherboard.

Let me know how things go.
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#3
Fishinghat

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Thanks Ferrari

I tried your suggestion of removing and replacing the battery, and now it won't even power up for the three seconds it did previously. I can plug the power cord to it, press the power button, but nothing.

I'm assuming that I'll have to replace the motherboard. I'm not able to do that at the moment since I'm in my motorhome in Arizona, so I'll have to take the computer all apart when I get back to Washington in April.

Again, I appreciate your feedback. My previous assumption was that the processor went south, but now I believe your suggestion of a motherboard failure is correct. I'll probably end up spending more fixing it than just buying a whole new box, but that's life.
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