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BIOS Freezes / Sometimes screen is blank

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Hello all. A friend pointed me here.

A couple weeks ago I bought an old laptop from a friend (Compaq Presario R3000 / Intel 4 / 512 RAM.)

Previously the partition had been wiped so I had to install an OS.
Despite the systems low RAM I installed Windows Vista.

The laptop worked great for a week with the exception that it took forever to load windows (Sometimes an hour or more)

Eventually windows just stopped loading at all (It would freeze on the progress bar.)
So I used my install disk to repair windows, which brought it back to it's usually sluggish but working condition.

Then a couple of days ago, every once in a while it would freeze completely, leaving me no option but to cold boot.
After following the advice of another internet forum I flashed BIOS. Which went without a hitch and it stopped freezing for a couple days.

Then tonight, after working fine all day, it completely froze again while I was browsing the net.
This time after cold booting, BIOS froze at the "Compaq" screen.
None of the "F" buttons worked to enter menus, it just completely froze and wouldn't progress to load windows.
A second try yielded the DOS blinking cursor, but no BIOS.

I tried a few more times to start the computer, always with one of these results...

A: It loads BIOS and freezes.
B: The Screen powers on but doesn't load BIOS
C: The fans and lights power on, but the screen doesn't.
D: The computer starts to power on, but shuts off almost instantly.

Things I've tried since...

*Removing and reinserting both RAM sticks. Result: No change.
*Attempted to reset CMOS by removal. Result: It's soldered to the MB, I can't solder, lol.
*Resetting CMOS by holding the power button 30 secs. Result: BIOS loaded and froze as above.
*Attempted to load BIOS with the Hard Drive removed. Result: BIOS loaded long enough for me to enter setup, and then disappeared, going to the DOS cursor.

More often than not, now I get result C.

I'd love to get this thing working again, but a few google searches haven't been very encouraging.
If there is anything you can do to help me out it would be most appreciated (Even pointing me to a place I can sell the parts, lol)
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Welcome to Geeks2Go!

RAM & hard drives can fail after a lot of use so it would be a good idea to test both.

To test the RAM use Memtest86 from here: http://memtest86.com/
Download the "ISO image for creating a bootable CD".
Create a CD from the ISO file & boot the laptop from it. Run the test for at least five passes.

To test the hard drive, download the drive maker's DOS diagnostic software which is also an ISO file from which you create a CD.
Boot the laptop from the CD & run the "long test" rather than the short test.
Links for the most common drive manufacturer's diagnostic software are here: http://www.tacktech....ay.cfm?ttid=287
Remember, you need to download the DOS version of their software, not the Windows version.
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I had similar problems with presario V5000, I was so lost until I decided to check the processor. I found out that the processor has gone bad and needs replacement. But I would suggest to follow Sir philip's advice first before doing anything that might cause more problems. goodluck
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