1. Computer problem? Tech Support Guy is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations. Click here to join today! If you're new to Tech Support Guy, we highly recommend that you visit our Guide for New Members.

Strange Boot-Up Problem Compaq Presario

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by kyfwana, Nov 26, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Advertisement
  1. kyfwana

    kyfwana Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    7
    The symptoms of this problem are so specific. I hope someone recognizes them.

    My computer will not finish booting normally. The screen will either remain totally blank or else it will begin booting only to go blank or sometimes some small section of the screen will be repeated all over it. The boot up process always fails in one of four places:
    1) The screen will remain totally blank on power up.
    2) The COMPAQ logo will appear for 2 or so seconds then it will fail.
    3) The COMPAQ logo will come and go, then the cursor blinks in the upper-left corner for a few seconds, and then it will fail.
    4) Windows will start loading and "Microsoft Corporation" will appear on the screen for about 1/2 seconds, then it fails.

    On all occasions, the fans and LEDs will turn on, and the HD and DVD make noises.

    This is the part I hope will be a huge clue to some of you out there. If anything appears on the screen during two consecutive attempts to turn the computer on, then it will always successfully finish booting on the latter attempt. It will never finish booting unless this happens.

    What is strange is that it seems to know whether something appeared on the screen during the previous attempt, because during the one immediately after that, the screen almost always remains totally blank. So at most something will show on the screen only every other time I turn the computer on.

    It usually takes a large number of tries before something will appear on the screen during two consecutive attempts to turn it on. Sometimes it takes as few as maybe a dozen tries, other times it takes some 14 hours of continuously turning the computer on and off and on again.

    Unfortunately the average number of attempts it takes to successfully turn the computer on seems to be getting longer as time goes by.

    Here's another clue. Only manually holding the power button down to restart the system will ever result in anything appearing on the screen. When the computer tries to automatically restart when a boot has failed, if I leave it alone, it will cycle through automatic restarts forever without anything ever appearing on the screen.

    ---------------------------------
    Additional details:

    When the computer does successfully finish booting, it will operate normally for up to days at a time (until I turn it off) with no problems at all.

    There are no error messages of any kind, except after windows tries and fails to load, on subsequent attempts it will say "windows failed to start. Begin Start Up Repair? Or Start Windows Normally?" <--Paraphrased.

    A "Hard Reset" has no effect. (i.e. removing the battery, unplugging the computer, and holding the start button down for 2 minutes)

    It makes no difference what mode I try to boot into, I've tried all of them including SAFE, and the various RECOVERY modes. the problem also occurs while booting UBUNTO from a USB flash drive.

    I've done start up repair and have successfully completed a reinstall of vista. Neither has had any affect on the problem.

    If the computer enters sleep mode or hibernation mode, it will never "wake up" and I'll have to go through the whole ordeal of trying to turn it back on again.

    ----------------------------

    I don't know for sure that this is related, but when the problem first began to occur, it was accompanied by another problem. That problem was that when the computer finished booting it would try to go to the login screen and then would fail with this message:
    "LogonUI.exe -- BadImage "gdiplus.dll"

    A complete reinstall of vista eliminated that specific problem.

    -----------------------------
    Compaq Presario v6420us

    Tech Support Guy System Info Utility version 1.0.0.2
    OS Version: Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium, 32 bit
    Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor TK-53, x64 Family 15 Model 104 Stepping 1
    Processor Count: 2
    RAM: 1918 Mb [2048 Mb are installed.]
    Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce Go 6150, 128 Mb
    Hard Drives: C: Total - 67915 MB, Free - 33257 MB; D: Total - 8401 MB, Free - 1777 MB;
    Motherboard: Quanta, 30B7
    Antivirus: None
     
  2. kyfwana

    kyfwana Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    7
    Reminder: Please no advice that includes shutting down or restarting the computer, if at all possible. Otherwise it could be days before I can get back to you with further info.
     
  3. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    79,872
    First Name:
    Terry
    It's a problem that only happens on boot, so I'm having difficulty trying to think of trouble shooting that doesn't involve booting. :(

    I think that it could be a memory, hard drive, power supply or motherboard problem.

    You can run hard drive diagnostics while booted--chkdsk or obtained from the hard drive manufacturer.

    I don't know if there are memory tests that you can run while booted to Windows--search for them.

    Which of these ways have you already tried:

    a. Plugged in with battery inserted;
    b. Battery only;
    c. Battery removed?
     
  4. kyfwana

    kyfwana Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    7
    Well I recognize that I may eventually have to restart the computer as part of the process, but I'd like that to be a last resort.

    I suppose I should schedule a RAM test for the next boot, but I imagine the process may fail to complete. Can you remind me how to set it up? I've only done it from the startup repair menu. I believe the last check did not report any problems.

    Wouldn't a RAM, HD, power supply, or motherboard problem show up during the normal operation of the computer? As I said, it works without any problems once it finally does finish booting.

    I've tried...
    a) plugged in with battery inserted
    c) battery removed.

    I have not tried "b) battery only" because the battery is basically dead.

    I have a hunch that it might be a problem with the physical power switch or lid switch. I wasn't able to visually check them out because I can't figure out how to remove the cover without breaking it! Online instructions about how to do that don't seem to match the reality.

    Also, I think it is very peculiar that in order for the computer to finish booting, something needs to appear on the screen during two consecutive attempts to turn on the computer. And that it will never finish booting if that doesn't happen. That seems like an important clue.
     
  5. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    79,872
    First Name:
    Terry
    I agree that most hardware problems affecting boot will also affect normal operation after boot. But not always. Booting is a pretty intensive operation--checking all the different devices and getting all kinds of programs and services underway. I was thinking a hard drive defect in the boot manager area until I read about the boot by USB.

    The only memory (RAM) test I have ever used is the (standalone, bootable) Memtest86+.

    To check the hard drive I run (in a Command Prompt window):

    chkdsk C:

    If that finds any errors then I run

    chdsk C: /f /x

    and answer "y" to the question if I want to schedule the check for the next boot.

    If you have other partitions, say an E: for data, you can just do

    chkdsk E: /f /x

    and that partition will be locked and the check with fixes run immediately.
     
  6. kyfwana

    kyfwana Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    7
    New Info...

    I used Memtest and it completed 3 passes without finding any errors. Windows memory diagnostic tool also completed a pass without finding any errors.

    The factory installed hard disk check utility found no errors in quick or comprehensive test modes.

    I'm sometimes able to boot into ubunto without much hastle, but within 2 minutes, the system totally crashes and shows the repeating diagonal tile pattern of gibberish across the screen. The same kind of pattern that is shown when failing to boot into windows.

    I've noticed that if I leave the computer on for a very long time (2-4 days), then I don't have very much trouble rebooting it the next time I start it up.

    I've also noticed that if I leave the computer on for a short time that I have severe difficulty booting it up the next time. It took 6 days and maybe 1000 tries to get it on this most recent time.

    Another thing that bothers me is that it will do the whole blank-screen AT LEAST every other boot attempt even when there is no hard disk or any other storage system in the computer. How does it know what happened during the previous boot attempt when there is no storage device?

    Finally, I've tried booting with only the battery in. There was no difference that I could see.
     
  7. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    79,872
    First Name:
    Terry
    Graphics card defective? And, a defect that mostly shows up at cooler temperatures?
     
  8. kyfwana

    kyfwana Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    7
    A friend suggested that it might have something to do with the graphics. I have integrated graphics that use system ram. He said it might be some kind of conflict arising from how the graphics &quot;take&quot; memory at start up. I have no idea how to investigate this possibility. I don't think it could be a temperature issue... if your reason for suggesting that is because what I said about leaving it on for long spaces of time. Although the computer does seem to boot more easily after it has been on for a long time, I usually leave it off for the whole night... doesn't it reach room temperature over the span of ~8 hours?
     
  9. dustyjay

    dustyjay

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Messages:
    12,661
    First Name:
    Jay
    I am thinking there may be a problem with the Power Supply. Possibly not completely failed, and not producing the prper power until it has warmed up. This is not a common PSU Failure but it does happen.
     
  10. kyfwana

    kyfwana Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    7
    Okay, how would I test that hypothesis? I don't know where the PSU is or what it looks like, or how to open up this laptop without breaking it.
     
  11. dustyjay

    dustyjay

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Messages:
    12,661
    First Name:
    Jay
    Sorry I missed the fact that this was a laptop. That makes the Power Supply a less likely target.
     
  12. kyfwana

    kyfwana Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    7
    Any suggestions at all about how to investigate this problem further? I just got my computer to start for the first time in nearly two weeks. Like before, there seems to be nothing special that I did to get it to start. It seems totally random. Very frustrating.
     
  13. Sponsor

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 733,556 other people just like you!

Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Short URL to this thread: https://techguy.org/1028528

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice