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Comp won't start..at all

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I have a Compaq Presario 5360. I was running Win98. My friend gave it to me so I don't know any of the history. But it basically either had a bad sector on the hard drive or bad part of Win98. I would start it up but after the Win load screen it would say that A drive could not load right. so I told it to ignore since it was the only option that worked. But it said the same about C drive as well. So I tried to ignore it too but it wouldn't go any farther. Anywho. It did this each time. After a while it started to hang at start up. Like the screen would stay in stand-by and the keyboard hadn't loaded since it didn't light up. Anymore it just does that and hangs forever. It never loads. I am ready to change the OS but I need to have the comp load first.

My old computer did the same thing before and the CPU was dead. Which might be the case here. But I just wanted to see if you guys had any ideas. Thanks!
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Hi there

I think probably the first thing you need to do is to establish whether the problem is with the hard drive or not.

Pull the mains power lead from the computer, open case & disconnect the main ATX power connector from the motherboard.

I suggest you disconnect the power from the drive & remove the drive cabling from the motherboard as well. You may also want to disconnect the CDROM drive too. Just leave the floppy drive connected for now.

Clear the CMOS for about 30 secs, then reconnect the ATX power connector & mains lead.

Power up & make sure in the bios that the system is set to boot from floppy first.

Insert a bootable floppy & let system boot from that. Better yet, create a boot disk with memtest on it (download the pre-compiled floppy (DOS/WIN version from here : http://www.memtest.org/#downiso ).

Boot the system from this & run memtest. This will not only ensure that you have no RAM faults but will also give us some indication of whether the motherboard & CPU are functioning correctly - ie. depending on whether the previous issues with booting still occur even when the hard drive is disconnected.
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