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Gateway P5-200 MMX Tower automatically boots

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by keyshawn, Aug 9, 2006.

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  1. keyshawn

    keyshawn Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2003
    Messages:
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    Hi,

    I found a Gateway (model: P5-200 MMX Multimedia LPMINI-Tower) (serial is 0007633896) a week ago and I'm trying to see if it still works and what parts of it I can still salvage, learn more about computers, and tinker with it on linux.

    When I plugged it in, it automatically booted up, but remained stuck at a weird state, with a blank screen on the monitor, the LED lights [on the monitor and the tower] were blinking; and the hard drive was spinning.
    (I did plug the computer into the surge protector before turning on the power to the surge protector).


    Has this boot sequence happened to anyone before ?

    I was thiking maybe manually resetting the BIOs may fix something, but I was unsure of the BIOs model, since there's 3 kinds on the gateway website (Evolution 5000 BIOS, versions P15 and P13; and BIOS Revision 4L3TT0X0.15A.0011.P15 ).


    Thanks for any help.
    keyshawn
     
  2. qldit

    qldit

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,390
    Good Morning the interesting thing is that the machine appears to basically operate and from your description the machine has not been used for a while.
    To begin with it would be best to remove the cover, observe the battery orientation and remove it, check it's voltage is better than 2.75 volts or replace it.
    It is most likely a CR2032 or equivalent type.

    The reason I am suggesting this is due to having had a problem with an actual Gateway that was in fact the battery!

    Try powering the machine and observing any effect, check that the monitor LED changes state to a steady green. (from yellow)
    Observe any on-screen info. (if present)
    These conditions should exist. (if not different tack)

    If the machine is not booting observe any message on screen.
    Chances are the BIOS settings have been lost, enter BIOS and check time and date, see if hard drive is showing, correct problems, check boot order is "Floppy, CDROM then the hard drive.
    Save and exit.

    Try reboot, if no joy, obtain this trial HDDRegenerator program from..
    http://www.dposoft.net/
    This will make a bootable floppy or CD.
    Boot the gateway on this media, follow default path, the program should show hard drive and begin scan.
    This exercise shows that the machine is capable of operation and also inspects the hard drive with a nice little scanner that does not affect any data on the hard drive.
    Determination is made that the drive is OK or may have a problem.
    One bad spot may be fixed. (a rerun my fix a second)

    So by determiation progressively testing you will sort-out the problems in the machine.
    That is a start.

    Cheers, qldit.
     
  3. keyshawn

    keyshawn Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2003
    Messages:
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    qldit,

    I actually found this tower on some neighbor's (down the street) planting strip for garbage day a week ago. :)

    I had a couple of those batteries around (3 volt) and tried them all and came up with the same problem as before every time.
    The monitor does not change to a green state, it remains in a blinking orange state. I'll try the HDDregen program option next.

    Thanks for your suggestions and help.

    regards,
    keyshawn
     
  4. qldit

    qldit

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,390
    Good Morning keyshawn, disregard the HDDRegen at this point.
    If the monitor LED remains blinking orange it is symptomatic of no data input to the monitor, which naturally is indicative of no video operation thus the processing loop involving the processor, memory, video, (graphics adapter) motherboard and power (good) would likely have a problem somewhere, cause unknown.

    The procedure is in this case is directed toward trying to determine where the problem is by process of confirming that items either function or not.

    To this end, the best method is to firstly have a good look at the machine and observe that all components are present and no obvious defect is apparent.

    In that the basic machine requires the items mentioned to produce something onscreen, the best beginning is to note how all connections and leads are orientated and connected, then disconnect (unplug) the ribbon cables to the drives, (actually these can be removed from the box to enable better visual access) the power to the drives, any non-essential cards, any other non-essential peripheral device.

    Do not operate inside the box anytime a powered lead is in the back of the machine and observe sensible antistatic commonsense.

    The idea is to create a basic minimal arrangement where something can be generated for display. Leave the monitor plugged.
    Try powering the machine in this condition.

    You will appreciate this discounts possible problem areas to those currently in circuit.

    If nothing can be made to appear onscreen or the monitor LED cannot be made to show steady green with that arrangement, further diagnosis is needed.
    If the condition does show some apparent monitor activity, then parts may be refitted one by one, evaluating operation at each stage with each added part.

    Any queries?

    qldit.
     
  5. keyshawn

    keyshawn Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2003
    Messages:
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    Thanks for the detailed reply. I also had one of my more knowledgable friends look at it and he said that we'd have to go through each component one-by-one and see what works and what doesn't (the same advice you told me).

    I'll try to do it this week though I may be a bit busy. Either way, I'll post updates on here, though it may be some time.

    Regards,
    keyshawn
     
  6. qldit

    qldit

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,390
    Good Afternoon keyshawn, yes that is standard analytical method.
    All the best.
    Cheers, qldit.
     
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