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. 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?
I heard a funny story about how if our cars were like Microsoft Windows, we could be driving down a highway and the car would suddenly stall for no reason and, once we came to a stop, simply restarting it fixes the problem and we can continue down the road again. There were some other analogies, too. Hope everything keeps running smoothly for you.
I can remember when there was no such thing as PCs. All computing got done on mainframes that took up a huge room and programs got into it by loading a huge deck of card-punch stock into a reader and running it through. Three-hundred baud dumb terminals were the norm then we went to 1200!. Now here I type on a laptop that has more memory than some of those mainframes had. It's an HP Pavilion running Windows XP that we bought over seven years ago. When it kicks the dust, I guess I'll upgrade, but until then...
Possibly. I did NOT use the hammer however!
No idea (or what an smt is) except the possibility of the capacitor.
Well, this was something that was not normal. PC are just parts, and the steps should have located the problem.
Yes, keep running XP, the most popular OS ever made. Not much reason to switch except for the 64 bit advantage.
If Microsoft made cars
At a recent COMDEX, Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated: "If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving twenty-five dollar cars that got 1000 miles to the gallon." In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release stating: If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:
1. For no reason whatsoever your car would crash twice a day.
2. Every time they repainted the lines on the road you would have to buy a new car.
3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason, and you would just accept this, restart and drive on.
4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn, would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.
5. Only one person at a time could use the car, unless you bought "Car95" or "CarNT." But then you would have to buy more seats.
6. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, reliable, five times as fast, and twice as easy to drive, but would only run on five per cent of the roads.
7. The oil, water temperature and alternator warning lights would be replaced by a single "general car default" warning light.
8. New seats would force everyone to have the same size butt.
9. The airbag system would say "Are you sure?" before going off.
10. Occasionally for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key, and grab hold of the radio antenna.
11. GM would require all car buyers to also purchase a deluxe set of Rand McNally road maps (now a GM subsidiary), even though they neither need them nor want them. Attempting to delete this option would immediately cause the car's performance to diminish by 50% or more. Moreover, GM would become a target for investigation by the Justice Department.
12. Everytime GM introduced a new model car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.
13. You'd press the "start" button to shut off the engine.
Bad Cap = done.
First of all, if it has popped a cap, you are inevitably out of luck... it will crash and burn some day soon.
However, removing the MB may have improved a bad grounding problem (when you re-tightened, the ground was reestablished)... OR when you hooked the power cable back up, it may have cleared a corrosion break in the clip... lots of things could explain the mystery. Just be thankful it is having a last gasp so you can easily get your stuff off of it. Thank YHWH for small favors :)
WallyWorld or Staples will have a nice 64bit Acer for around $350 or so... which will kick your current system’s butt for breakfast.
I have used this site to replace bad caps. I have ordered replacement caps and repaired boards myself as well as sent a few in for them to repair.
Highly recommended to send board in rather than do it yourself.
I am sure that was not an official release, but it is very fitting, including the security and licensing aspects!
What it could add is that you would not actually own your car, but would own a license to drive the design.
And if the printer companies sold cars, then the the tires would cost more than the car, and would only last about 80 to 300 miles (depending on the how many passengers you had), before going flat and needing a refill from the printer company. And it would be illegal (they would claim) to put a tire from another maker on them, or fill them with their air.
Thanks. I was able to access my data anyway as explained, and had the c drive partitioned, along with a 2nd drive for personal data. It does seem like the fan up top for the processor cooling it loader, unless i was used to the back up PC, yet i think an overheating CPU would shut it down, not just freeze it.
I looked at these before:
http://www.portatech.com/catalog/viewitem.asp?ID=38653&O=38644%2C65753%2C26503%2C26382%2C26413&fbm=1&r=p%20%20Asus%20p5lp-vx%20motherboard (liked this the most, but short warranty)
Otherwise I am not sure i could get a comparable mobo (slot wise) with 3gb or more of ram for 350, but why would a 3.2hgz CPU be so superior to my 2.8ghz with 3gbs of ram?