Compaq - Dead

chaos945

OSNN Senior Addict
#1
Well I've been working on this computer for 2 days now and after testing each component individually I've come to the conclusion that the motherboard is toast.

(these symptoms were after I scanned the harddrive using one of my workstations for viruses, some were found, all were cleaned, the format should have taken care them anyways)

The symptoms before I formatted the hard disk during the testing process the computer would start, display the option screen for an improper shutdown then just reboot no matter what option was chosen.

Thinking it could be the hard drive, I then formatted. Trying to recover the system using Compaq's recovery partition was a lost cause so I decided to restore windows myself.

The installation of Windows would finish loading all the drivers needed to begin then just stop responding after they were all loaded. I thought this was very strange so I pulled the hard drive out and threw it into one of my workstations; I installed windows with no problem using the same hard drive.

Afterwards I put it back into the Compaq and the same problem was being had, the system would boot up fine, display the improper shutdown options screen then just stop responding after an option was chosen.

Further testing discovered a faulty memory DIMM but that was the only other thing that I could find. Anyone think that it’s not the motherboard?



Compaq 6400NX

- reflashed to latest BIOS
- tested power source
- tested memory (1 DIMM failed)
- tested hard driver
- tested expansion cards (graphics card, internal modem, just to make sure)

More ideas are welcome...I think I'll be telling her to go buy a new motherboard if not.
 

LeeJend

OSNN Veteran Addict
#2
Are you trying to reload the Compaq Windows that came with it or using another CD?

How old is the computer? Compaq used to make proprietary hardware so you had to use their MB and "branded" windows version. They stopped this a few years ago, but if its an old computer then it could be the issue.

The other issue is with compaq specific device and MB drivers. Make sure they get loaded. Again. You need a Compaq windows and driver CD.
 

chaos945

OSNN Senior Addict
#3
The computer must be in the area of 2-3 years old, its got an AMD 1800+ in it.

I made some recovery CD's from the restore partition, they claim in the manual that the OEM windows XP home and all software on the original installation is generated on these recovery disks.

However a similar bug is experience with them, they get so far then stop responding when trying to use them to recover the system, just like the windows installation.

I tried to use the restore disks to recover the hard disk by using them on another workstation and it said I had to use the original hardware to do it...So I just went and grabbed a copy of Windows XP Home and used her legit key to install it, worked fine. But again the issue of halting.

I suspect its something with IDE controllers on the motherboard. I hadn't thought of proprietary hardware though, I sure hope that’s not the problem, it’d be pretty lame if it was. I’d have to contact HP and get them to ship some official disks out to me or try to get them to replace the motherboard….<rubs head>

Do you have any idea if I replaced the motherboard if I'd have any more issues with proprietary hardwares? Or is it throughout their old systems?

/later

The computer is under a year old...just got off the phone.

Gonna try to reinstall using the legit windows CD she managed to find it.

/later

That was a no-go with the reinstallation of XP Home using legit CD and Key.

Windows installed on alternate workstation, then the hard disk is put back into the Compaq, it detects the driver, but won't read from it...
 

chaos945

OSNN Senior Addict
#4
The computer is under a year old...just got off the phone.

Gonna try to reinstall using the legit windows CD she managed to find it.

/later

That was a no-go with the reinstallation of XP Home using legit CD and Key.

Windows installed on alternate workstation, then the hard disk is put back into the Compaq, it detects the driver, but won't read from it...
 

chaos945

OSNN Senior Addict
#5
That was a no-go with the reinstallation of XP Home using legit CD and Key.

Windows installed on alternate workstation, then the hard disk is put back into the Compaq, it detects the driver, but won't read from it...
 
#6
do you know how to zero a hard disk? if so u can try that and it will eaither tell you of had secotres or fir some partition problems that windows cant even understand
 

chaos945

OSNN Senior Addict
#7
I'll try that, if it does not work I'm contacting Compaq's tech support. I talked to some other techs I know and they think it could be the proprietary stuff too. Possibly something programmed into the BIOS or onboard somewhere else.
 

chaos945

OSNN Senior Addict
#8
Write to Zeros didn't work.

Compaq basically said I can't use any other software on 'their' machine but the certified recovery disk which is now being shipped to me. They suck ass and I am never recommending a packaged machine from them again.

In order to upgrade the OS I would have to replace the motherboard completely...

:mad:
 

chaos945

OSNN Senior Addict
#9
Write to Zeros didn't work.

Compaq basically said I can't use any other software on 'their' machine but the certified recovery disk which is now being shipped to me. They suck ass and I am never recommending a packaged machine from them again.

In order to upgrade the OS I would have to replace the motherboard completely...

:mad:
 

chaos945

OSNN Senior Addict
#10
I'll try that, if it does not work I'm contacting Compaq's tech support. I talked to some other techs I know and they think it could be the proprietary stuff too. Possibly something programmed into the BIOS or onboard somewhere else.

/later

Write to Zeros didn't work.

Compaq basically said I can't use any other software on 'their' machine but the certified recovery disk which is now being shipped to me. They suck ass and I am never recommending a packaged machine from them again.

In order to upgrade the OS I would have to replace the motherboard completely...

:mad:
 

LeeJend

OSNN Veteran Addict
#11
First computer I ever bought was a Compaq in 1984. They had it so locked up with proprietary HW, SW and Bios that upgrading cost more than building a whole new machine. So ever since then I roll my own.

I don't understand why the recovery and new install disks are not working. They should have all the bizarre drivers needed.

Try leaving the first IDE empty and connecting the HD to the second IDE connector on the MB. If there is a problem the second may be working. Also try another IDE cable if you have one.

PS - You should be able to upgrade the OS, you just have to buy it from Compaq at full price.
 

chaos945

OSNN Senior Addict
#12
I have tried switching the IDE cables already, didn't work.

I have just tried using the secondary IDE, didn't work.

The recovery disks are not included with the machine, and apparently lots of people have been having trouble with this. What is included is a recovery partition from which you are supposed to make your own recovery CD's, unfortunately by the time I was asked to take a look at this particular computer this partition had been messed up pretty badly.

Its pretty funny, I talked to 3 different Compaq techs and all of them would go dead silent when questioned about proprietary hardware/software and trying to remove or get around it.

When I asked them why my legit Windows XP Home disk was not functioning they said 'it is not possible to upgrade the OS on this machine'. If their replacement recovery disks don't work I'm just going to replace the motherboard, which will probably take care of all these issues. :)
 

melon

MS-DOS 2.0
Political User
#13
Blech...I'll add this to the list of reasons why I refuse to buy packaged computers. I will always build them myself.

Melon
 

Admiral Michael

Michaelsoft Systems CEO
#14
melon said:
Blech...I'll add this to the list of reasons why I refuse to buy packaged computers. I will always build them myself.

Melon
Hey, post that list, curiuos of your reasons. I wont buy packaged comps either but am curiuos to other people's views/experiences.
 

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