Need a little help with an old PC...

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by SkyBell, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #1
    So today, for nostalgia purposes, I dug out the 2nd computer I ever owned, (HP Pavillion 7110Z) and tried to fire it up and see what I had on there 10 years ago.

    Well, for some reason the Windows 95 install was corrupted or something, because it just booting to a blinking dash. I'm a little disappointed, but I have some old 95 disks laying around anyway, so I decide to attempt a format and reinstall.

    The Setup tells me there's an error on the drive and can't continue the install process. (I check with a Windows 98 disc too, which gives me the error even faster.) It has two hard drives in it, so I switch them around hoping the other one will be a little better.

    Attempting to boot up, there's no video. The HDD light on the front was consistently on, as well as the Zip drive light. I figure I messed something up, so I check all the connections and try again. Same thing. So I switch the two HDD's back to their original configuration, and again, no video, hard drive indication light is constantly on. (I didn't hear any HDD activity any of the times I switched them around; these things are usually pretty loud.)

    I have no idea what I did, or what happened. Anybody know? I'd really appreciate any feedback. Thanks.
     
  2. imaketouchtheme macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #2
    When you swapped the two hard drive's positions, did you do anything else? It sounds like the CPU is overheating and it's not allowing the computer to start up. Check the heatsink fan (assuming there is one) and see if it's spinning.
     
  3. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Australia (WA)
    #3
    Cassie, does the unit give any beeps? You could try and reset the bios. Either by pulling out the cmos battery or shorting a couple pins.

    If that fixes the problem I would be checking both drives for bad sectors, you can use microsoft scandisk for this which i believe from memory is on the win98 cd provided the machine can boot from it.
     
  4. SkyBell thread starter macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #4
    On the first boot it's had in 10 years, I heard one long beep, then three short ones. But it hasn't done that since. And I know the cmos battery is dead, so would replacing it help?
    It is. The fan is fairly far away from the actual heatsink though, and it doesn't seem to be very powerful...but I don't know if it was the same strength before or not.
     
  5. imaketouchtheme macrumors 65816

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    #5
    Just to test things, try holding down/hitting multiple buttons on the keyboard as it boots up to see if you get any noise from the motherboard.
     
  6. SkyBell thread starter macrumors 604

    SkyBell

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    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #6
    Nope, nothing...and I've noticed I can't even get the optical drive to open anymore... basically no response from anything on the machine.
     
  7. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #7
    According to the HP support website for your model, this POST beep code you've described most resembles that of an Award BIOS. Award BIOS chips usually post error codes on screen; this beep code means that the video cannot be initialized in order to show any other errors that may be detected.

    Of course, not being able to show video is a big problem in itself, especially if the video is integrated onto the motherboard.
     
  8. imaketouchtheme macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #8
    If that's the case, then this is something much more in-depth than a non-functioning 'video card'. I recently had this issue while messing around with a couple computers. I put a processor in an older computer that was much more powerful than the one that was in it previously (even though it was the same socket) and used the heatsink from the old processor. The computer wouldn't show video although the hard disk and optical drive would spin up.

    I would check the power supply to make sure it's giving power. Do you have a multimeter or VOM? You could also check it in another computer.
     
  9. SkyBell thread starter macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #9
    The weird thing is, it only beeped like that the first time I turned it on, and it showed video, everything worked. (Save for what I suspect to be a failed HDD.) When I switched the HDD's around, it starting giving me these problems, and continued them after I put them back in their original positions.

    Is it possible the problem could be caused by one of the power connectors for the HDD not being fully inserted? These are tough little suckers to get in and out, and I might not have put one in all the way...
     
  10. imaketouchtheme macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #10
    That doesn't affect the bootup of the computer at all. You can boot up computers, if they're working, perfectly fine without any hard drives or optical drives attached. You can even boot up LiveCDs with no hard drive plugged up at all and use the operating system perfectly fine.
     
  11. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

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    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Australia (WA)
    #11
    Could be, have you tried unplugging everything hdds, floppy, cd drive and just supplying power to the motherboard? I have seen failing power supplys cause problems like this.
     
  12. coolwater macrumors 6502a

    coolwater

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    #12
    If you have formatted it already, there's nothing left to see in that HDD.

    Save your time and find something more fun. ;)
     
  13. imaketouchtheme macrumors 65816

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    Dec 5, 2007
    #13
    That was some great advice on how to get the computer running again!

    Thanks for your useful and helpful post!

    :rolleyes:
     
  14. coolwater macrumors 6502a

    coolwater

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    #14

    Umm... who are you?

    I was talking to OP.
     
  15. imaketouchtheme macrumors 65816

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    Dec 5, 2007
    #15
    A user on MacRumors? Who are you? Nice to meet you!

    Sarcasm aside, I am the person who was originally helping the OP in fixing their computer. Just thought I'd point that out.
     
  16. coolwater macrumors 6502a

    coolwater

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    #16
    Good for you. But, fyi, you don't own OP or this thread. Anyone can offer his or her 2 cents and OP can decide herself.
     
  17. imaketouchtheme macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #17
    Now I'm arguing with an incoherent person on the internet, how lovely. What I'm trying to say is you never provided the OP with any help whatsoever to her computer issues. I then responded with a sarcastic remark to it. Ok, back on topic.

    Cassie, were you able to test out the power supply on another motherboard?
     
  18. fireshot91 macrumors 601

    fireshot91

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Northern VA
    #18
    Wait, you have 450 posts (about) in just one month of being on here! Wow.
    And you are arguing with a person that pretty much most of the main users here actually know about (Your welcome, imaketouchtheme)
     
  19. coolwater macrumors 6502a

    coolwater

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    #19
    I have done what OP is trying to do and in the end I found my experience waste of time and energy. So, I added my 2 cents. What's so wrong about that?
     
  20. imaketouchtheme macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #20
    I've also done what the OP is doing (probably close to two hundred times as I repair computers) and have successfully fixed almost all of them. I'm trying to help out the OP by giving possible causes of her issues. All you're doing is telling her to give up, which is a terrible attitude to have in life.

    fireshot91, thanks very much. :)
     
  21. coolwater macrumors 6502a

    coolwater

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    #21
    Good. I am not trying to stop you from helping OP. All I am saying is 'fixing the old PC' may not be worth the time and energy for some people. It's completely OP's choice. Perhaps, you feel challenged by OP's problem and you are too focused on whether it can be fixed or not. But, there could be more important things in OP's life than trying to fix an old PC since it is not her job unlike yourself. You only see the value of OP successfully fixing her old PC. But, I see the possible value of OP's time and energy spent else where. I hope you would understand our difference of opinions.
     
  22. fireshot91 macrumors 601

    fireshot91

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    Jul 31, 2008
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    Northern VA
    #22
    Actually, having been around these forums since last year, I think I'm correct in assuming that Cassie is a person that probably would not give this up.
     
  23. pjarvi macrumors 65816

    pjarvi

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Location:
    Round Lake, IL
    #23
    Disconnect the hard drives, zip drive, and floppy drive (the data cables and power cables), re-seat every card and memory stick, and try turning it on. It could be something simply came loose, if it still won't post after doing that, remove the memory and see if it will give you any beep error codes. If it does then try adding the memory back either one stick at a time or in pairs depending on what the system requires (check the owners manual or HP website for info).

    If you can get it to post after doing that, then start adding drives back one by one, and check the master/slave jumpers on the hard drives, zip drive, and cdrom drive.
     

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