Skip to comments.Opinions? PC tech mystery
Posted on 12/21/2011 1:51:06 PM PST by daniel1212
Opinions? PC tech mystery
Last week my hard working Sony VGC RA840G PC (circa 2005), 2.8ghz, 3gb ram, under XP media center (a gift), which came with a hard-to-ID mobo (appears to be a Asus p5lp-vx), would not boot into Windows, but would just hang at the stage when loading settings would take place. It would boot using safe mode, but even booting with only windows services (chosen via msconfig) would result in the same terminal hang. In safe mode I scanned the system with an up to date online scan (Bit Defender), as well as Kapersky root kit scanner which found nothing.
It also would not run disk check, and going back to a good restore point also did not fix the problem.
I have a full recent back on another drive which i was able to boot from before this, but the very same thing would happen using that, which evidenced it was a hardware issue.
I also had a Linux OS on another separate drive that i sometimes used, and sometimes it would boot into that, but not always.
Attempting to do a clean install would fail to proceed to the point where you can choose what to do , as did an attempt to install a preview version of W/7, or even another copy of Linux. Things were getting worse.
In attempting to diagnose the problem, i disconnected all peripherals except the kbrd and mouse (both work fine on another PC),
unplugged floppy and card readers,
removed all cards except video (which i also swapped out),
unplugged IDE data cables
swapped out each of the 3 sticks of memory
cleaned out dust; checked wires, etc.
checked the voltage of the (Sony cu$tom) PSU which showed 12, 5 and 3.5
But it would still hang, and eventually would not even load under safe mode.
However, i did look for capacitor plague and found one capacitor, a larger one, that was swelled, the top bulging, and which was more common years ago. I even made a basic attempt to remove the mobo in hopes of repairing it, something i had never done. I have removed mobos before, and once installed a CPU, but, this PC apparently the CPU is liquid cooled as it has pipes going from underneath a large heatsink up to a large fan box up the top, and so i put that off for perhaps another day.
As a result of it not starting, instead i used an old white box 1.5ghz PC (from my neighbors metal recycling business), which i had installed a retail copy of XP on, but with only 768mb of ram i could not work with my usual 3 Bible programs, about 10 documents open as well as about 80 tabs in Firefox. And i began praying and looking at newer builds with 64bit. [Surprisingly however, despite only having pata connectors and 1.0 USB, i was able to access my sata drives using one of those $3.00 usb sata ide cable adapters from ebay), powered by an old PSU (clip facing you, with a paper clip connect the green wire to the black wire to the left of it), which improvisation some might carefully find useful.]
But last night after trying to remove the mobo i decided to give it another try, after thinking of selling it for parts, and this time it booted, after running check disk, and continues to run well I am certain disk errors were not the problem as nothing would consistently run using various drives. Perhaps i inadvertently fixed something in my attempt to remove the mobo, as nothing else was done, but i thank God the old work horse is running.
Also, if America were a computer, what would be the diagnosis?
Thanks for your prayers.
Find another computer with similar - better specs that needs a HD, and stick the HD in it, and take the old thing to a recycle bin, and toss it in.
It could be that moving the mobo reseated the memory. You might just have a funky DIMM in there.
No mystery here. Junk it and buy a Mac.
Well, this is rather fast, being 2.8ghz and tweaked. The main advantage is that 64 bit can take more ram, as i use of most 3gb even in XP.
I did see these as offering the best buys. What do you think:
you may have bought some time but with the capacitor going its only a matter of time. Go to the MFG website find the service guide, it will tell you how to do the rip down, replace the capacitors, clean it up then back it up. BTW get the hard drive diagnostic program from the HD MFG and make sure its fine. Lastly check the ram with a memory checker program.
Dell has a dos level hardware diagnostic suite, you should see if there is one for your system.
Could have been some bad memory or mobo shorting on the case.
Use memtest86 to see if the memory is okay.
If your motherboard has swollen capacitors, I think I would plan on rebuilding that computer real soon.
No, even when i booted into Linus it was inconsistent, and now it runs fine. I did not touch the memory after swapping them out to no avail.
Get the best specs you can afford... slap your HD in, and go...
Can Windows users go to Heaven?
No, they are not close, and had swapped them, running with only one and then trying another. And while this is the 1st day back it running without a noticeable hitch (event manager also good).
By booting linux from a usb stick, you can avoid any problem that your drive might be having, and safely run diagnostics on it.
Ditto..buy a MAC.There are a lot to choose from too to meet your needs.
In my younger days, I wanted to use one of the new fangled VGA cards, but the bios chip wouldn't support it. I had to de-solder the bios chip and solder the new on in. That's they way we did it back then and we liked it!
Yes, it is only one, but that can be all it takes.
Will check. Thanks!
It’s not a mystery. Obama and Eric Holder are spying on you using your own computer.
I hear you. Will try to make best use of the funds that be, as needed.
No i did not. But i think i do have another, but after sitting unplugged for a few days it would seem that it would get worse, not better. But thanks.
Thanks. I never really had a MAC, and do a lot of custom configuration with Windows, and i know they are more costly. But i cannot say you are wrong.
No, as i said it was on another separate drive which worked fine before.
But i am trying to share the wealth - of data!
Bad drive. you booted under the right temperature.
Get another one. less than $100 for any decent drive.
Here are some really cheap computers with similar specs to yours.
Small hard drives and not as much memory as yours though.
I’ve bought stuff from them before and never had a problem.
Tigerdirect.com has some good deals frequently on laptops and desktop PCs.
On BlackFriday/CyberMonday, I found a Gateway Core i5 with 4gb Ram [added an additional 8gb for an additional $28], 1Tb HD, Windows 7 Home Premium for $479.
I also got a 24” monitor for $119.
Look online and at store websites. Between now and the first of the year, you can probably find some good deals.
I had tried to boot Linux from a USB before, and i think i used http://www.pendrivelinux.com/universal-usb-installer-easy-as-1-2-3/, but as something did not work, though i have a new 8gb Verbatim flash drv. Should try again sometime.
I think i have tried about 12 flavors of Linux on older PCs (less than 1gb ram) ever the years, and found Puppy the fastest for one that has the basics, but lacking in software and ease, while Lubuntu is a little heavier but the best so far in its class for old PCs. But lack of legal codecs (USA) is one issue with all Linux distros (i know you can but them).
The other issue is that this OS (32 bit XP) is not retail, but is “married” to the mobo it came with. Plus an upgrade should be to 64 bit.
I had used different drives.
Thanks. Low prices, but 64 bit is the future.
My first “PC” (my third personal computer) was a Taiwanese XT clone. I think it was a “Chingao!”
Anyway, I noticed that it messed up the system time every time a certain application program (my packet radio BBS) queried the time between midnight and 1 AM.
In those days, the (8086 assembly language) source code for the IBM XT bios was printed in the XT manual.
I had access to an EPROM programmer at work; so I pulled the chip, read it out in the programmer, and studied the disassembled code. I found it was nearly identical to that of the XT BIOS, except for the midnight rollover code, which the Clone XT BIOS writers had gratuitously hacked, breaking the rollover. The reason for their hack will ever evade me.
Anyway, I found a way to patch the EPROM image, in 8086 machine language, to fix the routine so that it worked properly, like the IBM XT BIOS.
Blasted it into another EPROM, plugged it into the Chingao, problem solved.
That ol’ clone survived BBS use (24x7) for a few years, even after a fan failure left it hot enough to cook eggs for a couple of days.
Things were sure simpler back then!
Thanks. I did look at Tiger, as well as the ones in post %7. I have to let the Lord lead with what i have.
The CIA may have an opening for you.
I have this song on infinite loop so that if obama or holder tries to hack into my computer they will get annoyed and leave:
bet ya can’t listen to it 10 times in a row
My 840 died a similiar death. Loved my sony. It’s a motherboard issue. I moved the drives to another computer.
I miss it’s quiet operation. ( my 1st video editor, and a cool case)
Wow. That was helpful.
That's why people love you mac-zealots so much.
Go to this website and scroll down untill you see these two listed.They will run even if you don’t have a hard drive...
A Christian Puppy derivative that focuses on Bible study, office applications, internet, and email, but also includes applications for multimedia presentations, audio and video editing, and musical notation.
ShepherdPup is a compact freely distributable [live CD] for Christian evangelism.
i never learned programming, but i had an old Win. 3:1, with (i think) a 1440 modem, and it has MS word and would work today for word processing. Also spent lots of time on W/95/98/98e/Vista. If they let W/9x (system resources low, fatal error, illegal action, danger Will Robinson) be open source it could still be popular for some old PCs. Thank God for such tools. But things like “write.exe” have not changed much in 15 years.
I lasted abut 20 secs. Torture
Thanks. I have puppy 5.11 on a 750mhz rig for an older man, and it is good for the internet. I knew about ChurchPup, which i think is not a recent build, but did not know of ShepherdPup. I install TheWord on Linux using Wine (hard to find the latest for Puppy 5.11, and having to add depositories is discouraging). But it does the basics.
I always check the power supply first when funky stuff occurs. Smell the unit for fried components....it's a ‘dead’ give away.
But I agree with Keith in Iowa, move the HD over to a new/second hand rig that can be bought for less than a good PSU. Unless you like wasting your time on a PC 6 years past it's prime ;)
Before the internet, I was smack on any dx spots... ah the olden days!
Bad capacitor = bad news. Start shopping for new system.
see? works good. Glad I was there for ya.
I think the PSU is fine, and the only spare ones are 20 pin and will not boot this. I will have to use it more to know if this is an intermittent. It has seen extensive daily use, being used about 18 hours a day for years, and it was top of the line i think in its day, yet the newer PCs around the price range i was looking (400-500) are only around 3.2 ghz dual core AMD cpus, and i do not think thats a lot faster than this 2.8ghz dual core Pentium, or are they?
The attraction is the increased ram 64 allows (at $10 for a gba Newegg), and the OS is 100 of the total price. And you want a mobo with more than a 2 slot ram, which is all some of them have. I like the sites (see #7) that you can choose components, but which takes research. Pray and press.
“W6GO packet spotting network?,” “digipeater?,” “dx spots?” Is this like the enigma machine? Did it have a hand crank?
Muzak like that could a major cause of PC failure. Or the operators.
With all the work you did, it could have been something as simple as a grounding contact with some corrosion on it that got cleaned up.
Well the advice was free. LOL
diagnosis online is hard. if it’s sitting in front of me I can zip through it pretty quick.
So it was an smt problem and somehow revolved?