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XP won't boot


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#1
GBailey

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My son's Compaq Presario XP SP2 desktop was running fine earlier today when there was a brown-out and it instantly shut down. When re-booted, the CPU fan went into high rpms, the display got no signal (remained in stand-by), and no keyboard lights went on. It stays like that until shutdown is forced by holding the power button in for several seconds.

On a normal boot-up, the CPU fan will go into high rpms for about two seconds and then go to lower rpm, the keyboard lights will flash, then the display will come out of stand-by, displaying the splash logo and start-up options. Since none of that is happening, I wonder if it's a BIOS problem, but I have absolutely no idea how to even check that, let alone fix it.

To eliminate other hardware from the suspect list, I've swapped out (one at a time, of course) the power supply, HDD, and CD/DVD drives, display, and keyboard - and they all work fine when mounted in another system (the one I'm posting this with). There is still no change in my son's system when new PS, HDD, etc., from this system are installed in his system. I also tried to use an emergency boot CD. The light on the CD drive flashed for a few seconds and the disc spun up, but nothing else happened after that.

I've tried everything I know of and I'm stumped. I would greatly appreciate any help in figuring this out.
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#2
phillpower2

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Hi GBailey,
The MB, Ram and CPU could have all been affected/damaged by the brown out.
Check the MB for damage and pay particular attention to the capacitors; http://www.pcstats.c...m?articleID=195
Remove the Ram and power up, do you get any error beeps?
The CPU is harder to diagnose as the culprit but it can be done, it is far easier to do the other checks first.
Does the computer have an add on video card and the MB an onboard integrated video chip.
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#3
GBailey

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Hi GBailey,
The MB, Ram and CPU could have all been affected/damaged by the brown out.

Hi phillpower2,
Thanks for responding.

I certainly hope whatever's damaged isn't too expensive - but, on with the checking...


Check the MB for damage and pay particular attention to the capacitors; http://www.pcstats.c...m?articleID=195

Inspected MB capacitors per article. No blown, leaking, or bulging capacitors - nor is there any other obvious MB damage visible.


Remove the Ram and power up, do you get any error beeps?

Removed RAM & powered up. No beeps, no change.


Does the computer have an add on video card and the MB an onboard integrated video chip.

PCI-E 16 slot is unfilled. On-board integrated video chipset is nVidia GeForce 6150 LE.

There may be a clue to the problem here. The nVidia chip gets very hot in a small (approx. 1/8"^2) location. By comparison, the integrated ATI chip on the PC I'm using now is pretty much evenly warm all over. Could failure of the nVidia chip cause all of the symptoms I have described? If so, could installing a PCI-E card bypass the failed intrgrated chip, or is a working integrated chip still necessary (for some odd reason) to get the PCI-E card to work? (Sorry if these are stupid questions.)


The CPU is harder to diagnose as the culprit but it can be done, it is far easier to do the other checks first.

How do I check the CPU, or do I need to do that at this point?
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#4
phillpower2

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Hi GBailey,

Removed RAM & powered up. No beeps, no change.

When the computer was working previously did you get a single beep when the POST (power on self test) had completed, this needs to be established so we know if there is a system speaker because removing the Ram and not getting any beeps suggests a bad MB.

If so, could installing a PCI-E card bypass the failed integrated chip, or is a working integrated chip still necessary (for some odd reason) to get the PCI-E card to work? (Sorry if these are stupid questions.)

Adding an add on video card will make no difference if the MB is bad, most MBs that have integrated video chips disable the onboard video when an add on card is detected, none of your questions are stupid its how we learn.

How do I check the CPU, or do I need to do that at this point?

No need to check the CPU at this point, 9 times out of 10 the MB fails before the CPU.
Try clearing the CMOS by removing the silver CR2032 battery on the MB for a few minutes and then replace it, if you get a screen you will need to go into the BIOS and reset the time and date, save and exit.
If you have an add on video card it will do no harm to try it, I wouldn`t purchase one specifically at the moment.
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#5
GBailey

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Yes, it used to beep at boot-up. I forgot to mention that in my initial description.

Removed the CMOS battery and reinstalled after half an hour or so. No change.
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#6
phillpower2

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This is not looking good for the MB and possibly the ATX part of it that provides the power to the CPU (4 pin with 2 black and 2 yellow wires) or as you said in your OP the BIOS itself (bad chip).
When the system attempts to POST the BIOS chip determines in which order the components are tested, if it encounters a problem and it cannot proceed it stops and emits error beeps or displays diagnostic error lights dependent on the system so the fact that you get no error beeps suggests that the issue is before the Ram test which points to power supply > MB > CPU, if you had got error beeps with the Ram removed it would have suggested a bad GFX chip, as the GFX chip is heating up you know the main board power supply is working (the 20 or 24 pin connection) this doesn`t mean it is working correctly by the way.
Can you provide the exact model number for the computer as there are many variations of the Presario and we need to find what MB is in the desktop.
I suggest you remove the MB and do a bare bones set-up on a large piece of cardboard, initially only connect the PSU, screen and one stick of Ram, if you get a screen add one component at a time and see if the issue reoccurs.
You will need to short out the 2 pins for the power switch on the MB header using a small flat bladed screwdriver or a paper clip, it is perfectly safe as long as you do not touch anything else and remember to power down and remove the power cord from the wall before adding a component, anyhow bit for you to do so can you post the requested info so I can research the MB.
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#7
GBailey

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My son's computer is the Compaq Presario SR2023WM, Product #RE474AA. Motherboard = Asus A8M2N-LA (HP code name: Naos-GL6).

Earlier, I had swapped the power supplies between my PC and his. His works fine in my PC. My PSU produces no change in symptoms in his PC, so it seems the problem is after the power supply.

Did the bare bones setup per your instructions. No change in symptoms. No beeps, display remains in stand-by.

It would be great if our CPUs were interchangeable. Although they are both AMD Athlon 64 3500+, they apparently use different sockets, and have different pin configurations. Bummer, that.

[I have an electronics background, btw, as the component swapping habit shows. It is practically useless otherwise, unless I have a schematic and voltage references to check with my meter.]

It's looking pretty dire, isn't it? Might you have any further suggestions for checking things out before pronouncing the victim deceased?
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#8
phillpower2

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The last thing I can suggest is also the only way I know of checking if any power is getting to the CPU.
Remove and re seat the CPU, with the MB out of the case power up and let the bare bones run for a few moments, power down and carefully but quickly remove the HS and fan and feel the the top top of the processor, if it is hot then it may suggest the CPU is ok and that the MB is bad if it is cold unfortunately it could still be either the MB or CPU as the CPU is fed power from the 12V atx socket on the MB.
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#9
GBailey

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Did the CPU check as you suggested. CPU remains stone cold.

Also, I borrowed a PCI Express graphics card to see what that might do. Nothing. No change at all.

Other than the fans working, the on-board GPU gets scorching hot in that one small spot. Dunno whether it matters or not, but those bits that DO work start going as soon as the power cord is plugged in. No waiting for buttons to be pushed. Only shuts down when the cord is pulled, too. FWIW.

Anyway, I think it's done for. Any suggestions to the contrary would be welcome.
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#10
123Runner

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This beginning to sound like a bad MB.

Dunno whether it matters or not, but those bits that DO work start going as soon as the power cord is plugged in. No waiting for buttons to be pushed. Only shuts down when the cord is pulled, too. FWIW.


In very simple terms...As long as power is plugged in there will be 5vdc on the board usually indicated by a green light. When the on button is pushed it is a signal to the PSU to turn on the rest of the way to apply the rest of the required power to the board and components.
It sounds like that sequence is being bypassed.
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#11
phillpower2

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I fear 123Runner is correct in the bad MB assessment, possibly a short resulting in the PS (Power on Signal) being by-passed, here is a link which explains the Power on Signal and the Power Good Signal http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATX
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