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Once I was seven years old
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was getting ready to post a reply here today and my old Compaq computer froze up today. Pretty normal for that old thing. So I had to hold in the power button to restart. Only this time it won't boot. The computer is running Windows ME - P3 933 MHz. 10 years old. I tried several things. Boot Disk. Recovery Disk. The computer hard drive spins a time or two (light stays on for about 5-10 seconds then goes out) and all I can get is the Compaq logo to come up on the monitor and the cursor blinking in the top left hand corner. Can't even boot in safe mode. I pulled the fan off and it was caked with dust and the P3 chip was pretty hot. So, I don't really know what is messed up. Hard drive? Processor? My real concern is hoping I can get all of my years of info off the hard drive (should have known better:nono:). Pretty sure I can't run it slave on this XP computer, right? Just looking for some ideas as to what the issue may be.
 

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Master Of My Domain
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were all of the fans working? did you look at them with the panel off when you tried again?

did you try after you pulled the processor fan and put it back on? did you clean out the dust? (if you pulled the heat sink off of the processor chip, you should really add new thermal grease to it so the heat transfers properly from the chip to the heat sink)

how many cables come from your power supply? not how many plugs, but how many cables. sometimes part of the power supply will fail but not all of it. sometimes you will have total or partial failure in one portion, and sometimes it will fail after it begins to overheat giving you power to start with, but failing after it overheats. so, you could have a bad power supply that provides current to the motherboard, but has failed to the fans and other devices like the cd drives and the hard drive. some cpu fans are powered directly from the motherboard and some from the power supply cables. try to see what fans are working.

it could very well be the hard drive. i would think you could set it as a slave and pull files from it...if it will function for long enough. that said, my brother didn't have his compaq hard drive set properly as a slave and had some major issues when he tried to pull files from it onto another machine. the pc tried booting from the compaq hard drive and he had issues.

often when a pc has lock-ups, it is not necessarily the hard drive going bad, but it could be overheating due to fans not working or dust. or it could indeed be the hard drive. it is hard to say since you pc is so old and you have symptoms of all the types of problems.

are you getting any odd "beeps" when you try to boot the pc?
 

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If you can't boot with a boot diskette you might have to change the sequence of the boot devices in the bios setup. Try pressing Del or F10 keys when you power it on to get to setup. You might also want to dust/clean the guts of the machine with compressed air, clean all fan vanes, reseat cards and connectors. When HDs go bad they usually make weird noises. If you hear beeps when you power the computer on count the number of short/long beeps - that will give some diagnosis of the problem too.
 

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Once I was seven years old
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3,046 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I can't get into bios either. Tried every known key. Goes straight to Compaq logo and blinking cursor in upper left hand corner. Fan is clean/working. No beeps. No weird noises. Can hear the HD spinning but no rumbling, like its working. If that makes sense. Thoroughly cleaned the dust out. My floppy disk light stays on some times. Some times it doesn't even come on when I turn the computer on. CDrom blinks a few times at first, but the light stays off even with recovery disk. I pulled the modem and network card to make sure they weren't interfering. Still the same.
 

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Once I was seven years old
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3,046 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just tried to boot once again (like the 30th time today). Got this message: 162-System options not set - It ran a memory test where the blinking cursor was earlier. It's booting and running scandisk right now. Wish I had the network card in now so I could pull info from that computer to save on this one - just in case. Don't know how it react to next boot. First time today after the initial lockup that it finally decided to boot up. Crazy computers! Guess it's served me well for ten years. Time to look for a newer, faster model. If it has any more issues I'll post back. Thanks for the ideas though. Don't know what exactly made it boot up this time, but I do appreciate the help at this time of the morning!
 

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Our Dell started acting like that a while back. Started having to hold the on/off button in to turn off or on. Turned out to be the memory card. Replaced it,solved the problem.
 

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Once I was seven years old
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3,046 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, I'm back on the old ME computer now after several boots. Everything running smoothly for now. Everything is stock on this old thing, even the 128 stick. I'm surprised it has lasted as long as it has. Have to say "her (new) computer" is about ten times as fast as mine. That's the most aggravating thing about this one, sooo slow. Thanks again folks!
 
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