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Mom's computer may be toast?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Software & Troubleshooting' started by SkaarjMaster, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. SkaarjMaster

    SkaarjMaster enemy of time

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    Yesterday, my Mom's computer booted up and Windows XP locked up and we had to reboot, then it didn't lock up until we started IE8, then rebooted and no video at all. A week or so ago, it seemed like the keyboard and mouse plugs were loose and we fixed that and rebooted and it was fine for a while even with more reboots. Now it does one of 3 things when it's rebooted:

    1) reboots with no video and give one long continuous extremely irritating beep and I just turn the damn thing off at the PSU (40% of the time),
    2) reboots with no video and just hangs there (40% of the time), or
    3) reboots with no video and automatically reboots over and over again about every 15-30 seconds (20% of the time).

    Although, I did get video once where it indicated in DOS that there was a BIOS checksum error and it wanted a floppy system disk, so I decided to clear the CMOS at that point but that didn't work either. I don't think it's the PSU because it's an Antec 500W and I tried unplugging components and the computer still didn't boot up and it seems like everything is getting power. No changes after moving RAM around and no RAM, so I don't think it's the RAM either; this is relatively new RAM anyway. I don't think it's the OS or the hard drive either as the hard drive makes the same sounds and lights upon bootup as it always has. After doing google searches online yesterday from my android phone, I figure it's either the video card, CPU or motherboard.

    Let me know what you guys think. The system is around 7 years old with some newer parts (RAM, DVD burner) and is running WinXP SP3 and here's the rest of the specs as I know them:

    P4 3.0GHz processor
    Soyo Dragon I875 MB
    Corsair RAM (2GB)
    ATI 9600Pro video card (with DVI small LCD monitor hooked up)
    Soundblaster LIVE! sound card
    Antec 500W PSU
    Lite-On DVD burner
    Lite-On CD ROM
    2 WD PATA hard drives
    floppy disk
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  2. toniglandyl

    toniglandyl internal data fragmentation : 62203480%

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    the long noise at boot is memory problems. (no memory detection at boot)

    the only symptoms I had which were similar to yours were when I upgraded my MB and forgot to take out the "screws" that were used by the old MB.I guess there was a short-circuit as I had take everything down and put only what was needed for the MB to be attached on the case and it ran perfectly fine afterwards.

    so your problems are motherboard related problems, I guess.
     
  3. SkaarjMaster

    SkaarjMaster enemy of time

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    If it's just memory problems, why would I get no video also? Also, I did see one thing online where it says that long boot is actually the CPU. I think it also depends on what kind of Bios you have.......AMI, Award, Phoenix, IBM, etc. I don't know yet which one she has as I didn't get a chance to get a hold of the MB manual yesterday. I tried the memory with two sticks, one stick in various slots and no go. I kind of doubt both sticks are bad though. It's possible the MB could be screwed and all RAM slots on the motherboard are now bad though.
     
  4. toniglandyl

    toniglandyl internal data fragmentation : 62203480%

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    memory problems = problem with the MB not detecting any memory (bus fried or just tired).
    no memory = no booting => no video.

    no video on boot can be because of a short-circuit on the MB.

    try to get another cheap MB for what you want. I'm pretty sure it's only an MB related problem. you already said that the keyboard plugs were loosening or whatever.
     
  5. SkaarjMaster

    SkaarjMaster enemy of time

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    OK, so your diagnosis is the MB........that's good to know but I think I'll eliminate other things that are easier to replace first. I'm trying a video card tonight (although, it's Nvidia so I can't leave it in too long), then I'll try the old RAM to see what happens, and then the PSU. I don't have a spare CPU or motherboard, so if it's either one of these then she might be getting new ones and I may not be the one to do it.

    Oh, the keyboard plugs are loose because she has a really old keyboard and I have to use something to convert it to PS/2. I'll be getting her a new keyboard and mouse anyway as these are really old.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  6. NRG

    NRG Master Console Hater

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    Some video cards will beep continuously if they have insufficient power or somehow fail to start. I think a 9600 pro is too old for that feature, so I wouldn't count on it. Plus, a damaged video card will normally either fail to boot at all, (you wouldn't be getting mixed errors like this) or you'd just have instability in windows.

    Thus, I'd agree it's probably the motherboard. Wouldn't hurt to try a different power supply though.
     
  7. KaL976

    KaL976 *nubcake*

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    Have you taken it all apart & cleaned all the fans & heatsinks?
     
  8. SkaarjMaster

    SkaarjMaster enemy of time

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    Nope, haven't done that yet, but maybe I might try that soon; if I do then I'll try and run it outside the case first. I did give it a good cleaning on the inside though (parts, fans, took front cover off, etc.).

    Last night I turned it on and it did the hang with no beeps. I then noticed that the fan in the ATI card was not spinning, so I thought "cool" maybe it IS the video card. I switched the cards and the newer card's fan was spinning, but I got the constant irritating beep upon bootup. Since no matter what I do, she'll need a new keyboard and mouse, I replaced those also. I turned it on again and no beeps and it hangs again. I figured at this point it was not the video card and tried putting in her old RAM, only one slot, etc. (many combos) and still hangs with no beeps, so I just put her new RAM in again. I replaced the PSU and still the same thing. It's possible that the keyboard/mouse slots on the MB are a little messed up and I did get that Bios ROM checksum error earlier, so this tends to make me think the MB.

    At this point, I think I eliminated everything except the MB and CPU. It was getting late and I didn't get a chance to check the CPU (HS still solidly attached to MB and doesn't move at all), but I'm guessing the MB at this point. I'm guessing just replacing both of these or just the MB will be tough, especially since it's 7 years old and she has only PATA devices in the system. I could give her one of my old systems (also around 7 years old with WinXP), but I would rather not; I may have to do this in order to get her running sooner. She also does not want Win7 and wants to stick with WinXP. Any suggestions if it IS the MB?
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
  9. toniglandyl

    toniglandyl internal data fragmentation : 62203480%

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    just get a MB that fits with the CPU and all. you can probably find one on newegg for like $10. the termal paste to put the CPU fan back on properly will probably cost you more than the board. :p
     
  10. SkaarjMaster

    SkaarjMaster enemy of time

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    Obviously, I won't be getting an I875 MB, but it looks like maybe an LGA775. I still may give her my old system, but I'm finding it hard to part with right now even though I don't use it that much.

    EDIT: I'll bring the computer to my house over the weekend and take it apart and clean everything, check the CPU pins, and put it back together outside the case a little at a time per standard computer building instructions I've used in the past and see what happens. I'll do this while backing up data on my old computer (2004 build). By the time I finish backing up, maybe I'll know for sure whether there is any hope for her computer or not. If I have to, I'll prep the old computer and get it ready for her. It has one of the best motherboards ever made (Asus P4P800 Deluxe).:) Hopefully that will last her another 2-3 years and then I'll upgrade both of us to Win7.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
  11. SkaarjMaster

    SkaarjMaster enemy of time

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    The only thing I was able to determine last night was it was NOT the MB battery and I have it all apart. I'll continue tonight and check the CPU pins, etc.
     
  12. SkaarjMaster

    SkaarjMaster enemy of time

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    Yep, it's definitely toast and a bios flash attempt didn't work either.:( CPU looked fine with no bent pins, put it back together and still nothing. I would guess it's the MB, so she gets my old system and I'll just use her old one for parts.
     
  13. toniglandyl

    toniglandyl internal data fragmentation : 62203480%

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    told you so. :eek:
     
  14. SkaarjMaster

    SkaarjMaster enemy of time

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    different sys, internet problems

    OK, so my Mom's old MB is toast and I threw it out (recycled, whatever), but I'm now reconfiguring a different system (7-year old WinXP, my old system) and it won't hold an internet connection with the on-board LAN or a separate Realtek PCI ethernet card.

    Specs:
    WinXP SP3
    P4 3.2GHz CPU
    Asus P4P800-Deluxe MB
    Thermalright SLK-947U HS
    4GB Corsair XMS PC3200 RAM
    ATI Radeon 9800Pro 256MB
    VGA Silencer
    SB Audigy2 5.1
    Seasonic 500W PSU
    Lite-On DVD Burner
    Asus E616P3 DVD-ROM
    etc.

    I thought it was the on-board LAN because it was doing this before recently and it's still doing it with the separate card. It will keep the connection, then drop after 1-10 minutes and the only way to get it back is to reboot. It's not the ISP, cable modem, router or any cables as I checked all this and another computer on the router has no problems. I find it hard to believe that it is both LAN ports being bad, but I may try another PCI card if I have to. Is there something on the Asus MB that connects to both LANs somehow and it is f-ed up a little bit? I read online that maybe my winsock is corrupted and, if so, how do I check and fix this? I figure it might be software related, but it was doing it before and after upgrading the old computer from IE6/WinXPSP2 to IE8/WinXPSP3. I was having a fit trying to do windows updates, but it finally ran through all 60+ of them (no .NET framework ones obviously) after upgrading to SP3. I tried repairing the network connection (in control panel) as well as diagnosing connection problem in IE8 with no luck.

    This is driving me crazy and there is no way I can give this system to my Mom with no internet connection. Any ideas? Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  15. toniglandyl

    toniglandyl internal data fragmentation : 62203480%

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    can't you format the PC ?
    best and easiest solution.
     
  16. SkaarjMaster

    SkaarjMaster enemy of time

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    nice idea, but what if I format it and still have the same problem. I'm trying not to do that right now and, in the meantime, my Mom has something to use while I mess with this one so the time crunch is not as bad as I thought.

    I found a bunch of stuff online yesterday for fixing internet connection problems in WinXP and so far (besides what I've already mentioned) here is what I tried last night:
    1. turned on SkaarjMasterDuo computer (my main computer) and compared ipconfig /all results with Dragonslayer computer (one I've trying to give Mom) with no major differences
    2. unticked everything in Internet Options/Connections/LAN settings with no change in internet problem (I guess this turns off auto detect settings)
    3. compared IE8 settings between the machines and changed Dragonslayers settings slightly to match with no change in internet problem
    4. ran eventvwr and there seems to be NetBT system errors where my wife's XP Pro machine did not allow a name to be claimed on the problem machine and browser was unable to promote itself to master browser yesterday because of my wife's machine and now it's because of the SkaarjMasterDuo machine. I disabled lmhostlookup in TCP/IP and that didn't work either.
    5. made sure that Zone Alarm was completely uninstalled by running the ZA cleaner tool and also running TweakNow RegCleaner and generally cleaning the registry with same result and no internet.
    6. disabled power management for NIC device and generally turned off all PM features and still no internet connection.
    7. repairing the connection doesn't work and neither does reset DNS settings or ipconfig /flushDNS.
    8. 802.1x authentication is already disabled, so I didn't change this in configure/advance NIC properties.
    9. changed media type to 10mbs full duplex and then 100mbs full duplex and neither worked, so just set back to Auto.
    10. disabling some NIC card binding protocols except TCP/IP and sharing didn't work either.
    11. none of the msconfig stuff is messing it up either.
    12. tried disableDHCPMediaSense in registry and this didn't work either.
    13. disabling router firewall is not an option, so I didn't even try this.
    ???14. started to run system file checker to repair Windows, but it's asking for the CD (which I have) but how do I know it's not going to replace an SP3 file with an SP1 file (yes, original install is SP1) and screw things up even more? Is it OK to do this and then maybe apply the SP3 update again or something like that?

    I'll need to create this slipstream CD before I try #14 and I found a link to do it. I also might try fixing/resetting winsock and/or resetting tcp/ip. One of these things or something else needs to work or I may have to just reinstall and that would, of course, be from the slipstream CD I believe.

    EDIT AGAIN:
    15. still no working internet after removing SmitFraud and WinAce parts AntiVir thought were viruses, MBAM scan, and Superantispyware scan and removal. Also, the internet won't even come up at all now on on-board LAN or PCI card.

    Looks like it's time for system file checker, winsock reset and TCI/IP reset and possibly trying another PCI NIC or two.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
  17. SkaarjMaster

    SkaarjMaster enemy of time

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    14. WTF!? I followed all the instructions at the howtohaven.com site for creating a slipstream SP3 CD and had to use the internet from the newer computer and switch files on floppy and CD to get it to work, then I used the CD and ran sfc /scannow and then couldn't get windows to boot normally as the blue thing stopped moving across the screen and it froze. In safe mode with networking, the internet still could not be accessed. I went back to last known good configuration and still no internet, so it's safe to say this didn't work.

    I'm running out of ideas, but it looks like resetting winsock and resetting TCP/IP are next. If these don't work, I may run the virus scan again. If that doesn't work I'll take some suggestions before I finally reinstall Windows.:(
     
  18. Bersy

    Bersy New Member

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    worst troubleshooter, ever.
     
  19. SkaarjMaster

    SkaarjMaster enemy of time

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    So what would you have done?:mad:
     
  20. SkaarjMaster

    SkaarjMaster enemy of time

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    16. repairing Winsock didn't work
    17. resetting TCP/IP didn't work either.:(

    I guess uninstalling ZA really messed this computer up.:eek: Well, looks like I reinstall Windows, unless someone else has any other ideas.
     

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