1) Unplugged all external hardware (mouse, keyboard, webcam, speakers, and wireless internet connection) I left the power cord in to have a ground while working on it and touching the chassis
2) Layed computer sideways on a piece of cardboard and open up casing.
3) When I opened it up it looked like 30 years of dust inside. I use the soft brush part of a vacumm and lighlty vacummed out the interior being very careful to not hit or move anything. I removed the modem card with the telephone connectors (which wasn't being used anyhow) because there was a ton of dust I couldn't get to otherwise and I removed the 1 stick of 512RAM because of the same reason...it was snowed in dust. I lightly brushed each off and seated them back in properly.
4) I then added in an EXTRA stick of RAM matched at 512RAM. There are only two slots in this computer for RAM and NOW both are full. I also plugged back in the telephone modem card back to exactly where it was.
5) Put cover back on and hooked everything back up. She told me it would take anywhere between 5-10 miuntes to boot for that has been the normal time lately. It did and this first time it went through it's normal boot procedure according to my friend. Finally it got the the Windows XP splash screen (the one right before it show the user icons to enter the desktop) and then it just shut off???
6) She said it did that once before a long time ago but then loaded just fine on her second attempt, so we hit the power button again but this time it heads to a screen that is offering to "Start Windows Normally" (which is the one highlighted already) or to choose "Last Known Config" or "Safe Mode" and all the other good fun stuff. So we just let it stay highlighted on the "Start Windows Normally" as the timer ticks down from like 45 seconds or so and then it goes back to the Windows Splash screen and we are thinking it might work and then click...it shuts down again???
7) OK, so I figure next time I will choose "Last Known Good Config" but the thing is the up down arrows will not work for some reason even though the keyboard is getting power so I cannot select it!!!! Grrrrrrrr....So I go back to power up again and this time press on "DEL" as the computer just starts to boot and I get into the bios and the keyboard works fine while in bios, so why won't it work in the selection screen to choose how to start windows???? Makes no sence.
8) So now I figure I will remove the RAM stick I put in (maybe it's bad, maybe it was too much for her old computer too handle?)and restart and see what happens, so I do it, restart...and NO change...it shuts off at the XP splash screen about 5-10 seconds into it. So now I tried using the other slot for the RAM and tried again with no luck and the same result so now I am stuck and don't know what to do
9) She lost her disks years ago so that is not an option at this point if that is going to be in any of the suggestions or is there another way?
So there ya go....worked last night until I touched it, and TRIED to make it better today and this is what happens...I feel so bad so I hope there is a glimmer of light that someone can talk me through this nightmare. I brought her box home with me so I have it here and can try any suggestions you might have. All I know at this point is that it is a 2005 E-Machine with Windows XP Home Edition and 512 RAM. Hard drive size doesn't matter because she just used it for pictures and internet. No major programs or HD hogs on her system.
Can anyone help? Please read every step I described as to avoid mis-communication as the thread might progress. The steps above are exactly what I did and in the order I did them. I left NOTHING out.
Thank you folks ;-)
Edited by daddy, 23 May 2011 - 06:47 PM.