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AcerPower FH won't load XP properly and restarts


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#1
paperbag3

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Hi All,

I posted about this computer before and some of you kindly offered some good suggestions as to how to get things going with it.

Basically - It's an old (2007) AcerPower FH that I was going to dedicate to video editing. The computer was fully of viruses and was going to be thrown out but I figured why not try to fix it.

I put a used vid card in (ATI Radeon X800) and two new memory sticks - 1GB each for total of 2GB (PNY). Everything's seated fine and when I go to install XP SP3, I get error messages saying that it can't load certain files, that windows might not work properly. Long story short - windows didn't work properly.

I went to repair the install, and this time A LOT!! of files wouldn't load, then when the computer went to reboot, it got stuck (where it says that it'll take about 37 minutes to finish the install.

I'm about to just wipe the drive and start over, but figure I'll run into the same problems which stinks, b/c I really think the computer would suit my needs (cheaply).

Lastly, the computer liked to do something really annoying - especially when I was trying to get it connected to the internet, it would reboot (seemingly randomly) It liked to do this a lot (again seemingly randomly) during many different circumstances.

Anyone have ideas as to how to attack this?

Again, I plan on reinstalling the OS.

Thanks,

Billl
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#2
Samm

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Hi Bill

Here's a few suggestions you may want to try:

1) First, check the obvious - make sure the XP CD is clean and scratch free.

2) If the CD's is OK, then you may want to check the ram. Either try again with just one stick installed & if that doesn't work, try a different stick. You could also try running memtest 86. You can get a bootable iso CD image for this purpose.

3) Have you checked the hard drive for errors? I suggest you perform a full format on the drive and/or run chkdsk over it using the /r switch to check for bad sectors.

4) Are you using SATA drives? If so, then you may want to check the SATA settings in the bios

Also you mentioned the computer had a habit before of randomly rebooting. This behaviour can be caused by a number of things, but one of the common ones is overheating, so be aware of that as well. If the bios has a temperature/health monitoring utility, it may be worth checking this at intervals just to make sure.

Let me know how you get on

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#3
paperbag3

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Thanks Samm.

The disk is good, ran chkdsk/ r already.

Will search for memtest iso, will try only one memory stick.

I've seen a lot in forums about using SATA v. Another type of drive. When I go into the bios, is it just one setting? (I.e. "use sata or use ide") Im familiar with navigating around in bios but not sure what Im looking for.

One thing I noticed when the OS was working properly was that a lot of the drivers were unable to load for the video card. Then I was unable to connect to the internet. The nic card's drivers would load but it was impossible to set the computer up to connect.
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#4
Samm

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Sata settings vary from one bios to the next. As yours is a branded system, it may have a relatively stripped down bios (Acer are being particularly unhelpful in regards to manuals etc with this system).

Typical sata settings may include things such as SATA RAID (enable/disable), ACHI mode, IDE mode etc.

Memtest link if you need it is:

Memtest86

I also recommend you try resetting the bios to defaults and removing all unnecessary hardware, both internal and external.


What type of video card are you using? If it's offboard (i.e AGP/PCI-E etc), is there an onboard one as well? Failing that, do you have another video card you could use instead of the current one?
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#5
paperbag3

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The first thing I'm going to do when I get home tomorrow is get the old video card back into the machine. I assumed it was no good when I first got the computer because one of there were so many video problems with the computer but the one I have in there.

Here's a little info on the video card that's been giving me a problem in there - this is a bit of info from ebay (where I bought it)

I'm not the best on knowing what the difference between agp/pci-e is. (The last time I dug around in a computer was years ago and things were slightly more basic with less choice.)
______________________________________________________________________________________

LINK: http://cgi.ebay.com/...e=STRK:MEWNX:IT


________________________________________________________________________

I hope this sheds light on things, but I def. will get the new card out and put the old back in b/c that might just solve everything, in which case, I might try to get the new card in (it's better after all) but not until I can figure out whether or not it's a faulty install of the newer card.

Thanks again! and I'll let you know what happens.

Bill

Edited by paperbag3, 04 March 2011 - 12:09 AM.

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#6
paperbag3

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Just to update this - (I'm still working on it but only in my free time - I've about had it)

I want to ask a simple memory question that may seem really basic...

the computer in question had two sticks of Samsung 512 pc2-5300 memory in it

I figured I was having a memory problem at one point so I went and bought two new sticks of PNY (1GB each) pc2-5300 to both upgrade and fix the memory problem ...


My question is: are these compatible memory sticks? That is: is the PNY usable? I saw PC2-5300 on the PNY and thought I was good to go. Is that the case? Or is there some other crucial bit of info I'm neglecting... I'm starting to think I got the wrong memory.

(I've tried the bootable ISO from memtest86... I put it in and try to boot from the CD/DVD drive and the screen just stays blank.)

Thanks in advance for any light anyone might be able to shed on this mess. Quagmire? Yeah, I'd say swampy quagmire at this point.
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#7
Samm

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It sounds like the PNY memory should be compatible but there's no guarantee. You may want to check that the PNY sticks are 1.8V, not 2V.

Problem is, some systems are a bit picky about the memory they will work with. For this reason it's often worth buying new memory from somewhere like Crucial who have a memory advisor - this allows you to select your system then the advisor shows memory sticks that they guarantee will be compatible with that system.

Do you still get problems if you use the system with just the 2 original sticks of memory in & the PNY stuff removed?
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#8
paperbag3

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Thanks again for getting back to me Samm.

In the future I'll use crucial... maybe even in a last ditch effort give it a shot buying some memory from there just to see if I can get this thing working.

With the old memory in, it still gives me a problem. I just haven't had any success no matter what I do. I'm thinking of checking crucial for the minimum memory I need and trying to go from there... if it works I'll let you know!

Thanks again

Bill
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