old compaq won't boot

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deuce

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Hi, I have 3 old compaq 4505's that I basically just play around with (at least 4 or 5 years old) and now 2 are still used by people but the third is shot. They are all identical so I can mix and match parts if I need to. Anyway, one is shot so I am down to 2, and they both have recently had problems. On one, everything boots up fine but ALL shortcuts are missing. This just mysteriously happened one day and nobody changed anything. If you click on an icon, it just looks for the target but can't find it, but the target is there. I have some ideas on fixing this but haven't had time to try, but maybe some one knows what is going on.

Anyway, the bigger problem is the other one doesn't boot at all and doesn't go through POST. This also happened mysteriously one day. I had stored some data on the hard drive when I was building me new computer and when I went to get it back none of the computers would recognize the hard drive with any other one at the same time. It worked perfectly before I went to get the data back, but after that when I put the hd back into the old machine it just sits there and does nothing when you turn it on, and I don't recall any lights or fans coming on either. (the only fan is on the power supply)

P 133 Mhz MMX (yes, these still exist)
48 mb ram (three years old)
20 GB HD (one year old)
75W power supply (I didn't know these ever existed)

(sad, isn't it... they're my little engines that could)
 
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That 75w power supply would worry me. See what happens if you change power supplies, or use the one from the computer you no longer use (assuming it still works) I would guess these are AT power supplies? If so, you can unhook them from the mobo and the drives, and try to power it up. If it works, there is a short in the motherboard or one of the cards or drives. Have you scanned for viruses? Certain viruses can corrupt files and cause hard drives not to register
 

deuce

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Well, 75W would worry me too, but these are super-compact compaq min-towers. (by mini I mean about 5'x5'x7') anyway these machines have worked their entire 4 or so year-long lives with out many problems, but they are hard to work with b/c they are so tiny. They have never seen antivirus programs (or rather an antivirus program hasn't seen them...anyway) so I have no idea if they have virus', but I imagine they have guite a few because from the files I have transfered off of them many have had a virus or two.

I have thought of swapping the power supply before but haven't since it is such a painstaking task to fish it out of the one, then put it back in the other. (but that is why I mentioned I have 3) Sorry, but I haven't tried it yet, and it is late now, so I will try it tomorrow. I was hoping it wouldn't come to this so I wouldn't have to mess with it. (it requires taking EVERYTHING out and scrunching your hand into a fist the size of a big grape, but I will survive...believe me bigger IS better, I don't know why compaq decided saving space was so important)

Also, these drives have registered fine before, up until I tried hooking it up to my 100GB WD to get my mini-storage stuff back, could the size of that drive have anything to do with it, and if so, how else might I be able to salvage that data?

If it is a virus, do you know of a list of the most common ones so I can find them on the drive myself, or are there too many?

On an unrelated note, is it normal to have 8 GB of slack space on a 100 GB drive? I guess that's that pretty good, but are there ways to cut it down without partitioning into umpteen different partitions?... oh well, it is too late now to do it for free, but it would be nice to find a few extra GB, as I have only had the drive for 2 1/2 months now and I have already used over 20GB. On my 60 GB I had only 4 GB slack.
 
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dude **** off i do not have a compaq anymore atleast but they do not suck and dude here is maybe ur prob just re format hard driver only known way(by me atleast) sure all data is gone but u can still use hard drive and computer won't boot hmmm What OS and send me a pic of it with cover on and off if u do i guarentee i can solve ur problem
 

deuce

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compaqs don't suck... these ones are getting there, but that is because they are antigues, but they still do a pretty good job considering their handicap. Once I find my digital camera I will take a picture and email it to you. I can't reformat the hard drive because it has data I really need on it. Hopefully a different power source is all it needs, but I am reluctant to switch them because it takes effort.
 

deuce

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oh sorry, I thought I mentioned it but I guess I forgot. OS is win98se and bios is as old as the computer itself...maybe that is the problem with the one... hummm
 
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Hi deuce_mn


On the system that doesn't boot you could try blowing it out with a can of air and reseating everything.(CPU, Memory, etc.) Also if the units use a standard AT power supply, try hooking up a spare one as a test externally. Don't remove the old one unless the external one gets your system to boot up. BOL
 

deuce

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today I had intended to take on the task of switching the power supply (which isn't easy on this machine) but I tried booting first and for some reason now the fan turns on, and it goes through POST and the HD LED blinks a few times but then everything stops, and through the whole process never sends signals to the monitor. (monitor LED stays yellow) I am going to take it apart and put it back together piece by piece and try booting and hopefully I can find something that is keeping it from loading. Any other ideas? ...So, don't switch power supplys yet? To reseat cpu I will have to take out ps.
 

~Candy~

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When you say everything stops, the power supply is still running, correct? If so, I'd be suspicious of the video card. Do you get any error beeps?
 

deuce

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ps turns on, ps fan is running, hd initially tries to boot, than stops, but is still spinning. I will take out the hd and try it in one of the other machines and put the hd from one of the other machines in to see if it works in there, and vice versa... but first I just thought of something... I am going to leave this running for a while to see if anything happens. On this same machine it went through a phase last year where for a period of about a week it would sit there staring into space, doing nothing for 30 min and then load. Maybe it is doing that again. That is odd it goes through these tantrums only every 12 months or so now... hummm. Have you ever heard of an ISA vid card? I haven't... I may need one, or I might need to play musical hardware with just about every piece of equipment between two of these guys... the onboard vid may be shot on one, but works on the other, but the other cpu is shot, but onboard RAM is goofy, ect, so it is hard to just switch things around. It makes for an odd situation. Here's another odd bit of thrivia... have you ever heard that these compaqs are supposed to use PNY RAM upgrades but those don't work in them... the only things that work are SIEMENS 32mb pc66 SDRam. (they haven't been manufactured in about 3 years or so... quite impossible to find, and you will probably pay an arm and a leg if the guy decides to rip you off) It must be that exact model from Siemens... no one else.
 

~Candy~

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Strange about the ram.....Compaqs are strange in general.

Yes, I have a few ISA video cards laying around.
 

deuce

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yes it is strange, but you are right... (and learning from many hours of experience) compaqs are just strange in general. I got those 3 clunkers years ago (all three plus a brand new hp laser printer for $100... company going bankrupt if I remember correctly) and now there are two people who still use them, so I get the job of making sure them work all the time. (because they don't) Anyway... I let that one try to boot itself the other night for a few hours and no luck. :( :eek: I am out of town now but I was just checking if anybody had any ideas, so I can't try anything else right now. When I get home I will try using the hd in one of the other machines, maybe that will work. These compaqs have me so confused.:confused: :(
 

deuce

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I finally got around to working on this thing again. I put in a different power supply and that didn't help. Although, now the ps fan spins, so I know it isn't the ps. When I turn it on the ps goes on then nothing happens. Doesn't go through POST, doesn't let you go into the bios... doesn't even display the compaq logo right when you turn it on like it usually does. Nothing happens, doesn't even turn on the moniter. These old compaqs use a "hidden" diagnostic partition which it needs to boot... and I think has some bios stuff on it because when there is no hd in than it does the same thing. So it seems like the hard drive isn't being recognized, but usually when the hd isn't recognized it still lets you go into the bios... and this hd is fairly new. This only happens with this hd.
 

~Candy~

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If it's not even posting, I'd be suspicious of the ram or cpu.......

I just went back and re-read.....are you saying that it'll boot up with a different 'compaq original' hard drive?
 
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