What do these symptoms suggest?

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Doc, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. Doc

    Doc Guest

    You may have seen my other posts re: problems with a Compaq Deskpro EN PIII
    933, 512 Megs Ram, XP Home.

    To briefly recap, this round of problems seemed to start a few days ago with
    an NMI: Parity Check / Memory Parity Error and would thereafter only boot to
    Safe Mode. Wouldn't do a normal boot at all. This had never happened before.
    The computer had run basically flawlessly for some time.

    After reinstalling the sound card, video capture card and modem the computer
    seemed fine again. However shortly thereafter it started exhibiting a new
    symptom. It would wink out in the middle of doing something. Blank screen,
    computer seemingly dead except for a green power light. Or it would
    sometimes freeze. However, the NMI Parity check error hasn't arisen again.
    Don't know if the current symptoms are related or not.

    Now, in addition to the freeze/wink out symptom, I've noticed some other
    issues:

    1) It will only boot intermittently. When it boots normally, you get a big
    red Compaq logo on the screen and the Enter Setup / Network Service Boot
    options at the bottom. Now, it will get as far as showing the Compaq logo
    but just hangs there. Sometimes letting it sit for a while or unplugging it
    from power, waiting a minute and replugging seems to let it boot.

    2) However, even when it boots, it won't allow me to go into Bios (setup).
    Looks like it's starting to, but then just goes to a normal boot. Per the
    suggestion of a poster in another thread, I tried removing the battery and
    putting it back in, which temporarily lets me get back into Bios/Setup, but
    thereafter begins displaying the same symptoms. Won't let me into
    Bios/Setup, just goes to a normal boot. I tried removing the battery a
    couple of times, and both times it allows me into Bios but only once. Once
    booted, "Standby" mode seems to work okay and a couple of programs I
    tried - Windows Media Player etc. seem to work but I haven't run it hard.
    However, after shutting down, it may or may not successfully reboot as per
    above.

    3) No longer sends a video signal through the nVidia GeForce2 MX400 video
    card which had been working flawlessly up to now. The first few times it was
    intermittent - sometimes it would, sometimes it wouldn't, now I only get
    video through the onboard video port. Tried reinstalling the drivers for the
    card, doesn't seem to make a difference. Oddly, I also don't find it listed
    in the Add/Remove Programs list in control panel.

    I think I've eliminated the RAM as the culprit. Since the Compaq wouldn't
    recognize Memtest or the Microsoft Memory Diagnostic in either the A: or CD
    drive, I took the Ram out and put it in another PIII (the one I'm writing
    on) and ran the diagnostics. Well, 2 of the three modules. This IBM PIII
    won't accept the single 256K module. The 128meg modules test out as okay, as
    well as simply exhibiting no problems in running the computer.

    Putting only those two 128meg modules back into the Compaq, it still
    generates the same symptoms above.

    Sincere thanks for any input.
    Doc, Jun 6, 2006
    #1
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  2. Doc

    JAD Guest

    "Doc" <> wrote in message
    news:kGjhg.2291$...
    > You may have seen my other posts re: problems with a Compaq Deskpro EN

    PIII
    > 933, 512 Megs Ram, XP Home.
    >
    > To briefly recap, this round of problems seemed to start a few days ago

    with
    > an NMI: Parity Check / Memory Parity Error and would thereafter only boot

    to
    > Safe Mode. Wouldn't do a normal boot at all. This had never happened

    before.
    > The computer had run basically flawlessly for some time.
    >
    > After reinstalling the sound card, video capture card and modem the

    computer
    > seemed fine again. However shortly thereafter it started exhibiting a new
    > symptom. It would wink out in the middle of doing something. Blank screen,
    > computer seemingly dead except for a green power light. Or it would
    > sometimes freeze. However, the NMI Parity check error hasn't arisen again.
    > Don't know if the current symptoms are related or not.
    >
    > Now, in addition to the freeze/wink out symptom, I've noticed some other
    > issues:
    >
    > 1) It will only boot intermittently. When it boots normally, you get a big
    > red Compaq logo on the screen and the Enter Setup / Network Service Boot
    > options at the bottom. Now, it will get as far as showing the Compaq logo
    > but just hangs there. Sometimes letting it sit for a while or unplugging

    it
    > from power, waiting a minute and replugging seems to let it boot.
    >
    > 2) However, even when it boots, it won't allow me to go into Bios (setup).
    > Looks like it's starting to, but then just goes to a normal boot. Per the
    > suggestion of a poster in another thread, I tried removing the battery and
    > putting it back in, which temporarily lets me get back into Bios/Setup,

    but
    > thereafter begins displaying the same symptoms. Won't let me into
    > Bios/Setup, just goes to a normal boot. I tried removing the battery a
    > couple of times, and both times it allows me into Bios but only once. Once
    > booted, "Standby" mode seems to work okay and a couple of programs I
    > tried - Windows Media Player etc. seem to work but I haven't run it hard.
    > However, after shutting down, it may or may not successfully reboot as per
    > above.
    >
    > 3) No longer sends a video signal through the nVidia GeForce2 MX400 video
    > card which had been working flawlessly up to now. The first few times it

    was
    > intermittent - sometimes it would, sometimes it wouldn't, now I only get
    > video through the onboard video port. Tried reinstalling the drivers for

    the
    > card, doesn't seem to make a difference. Oddly, I also don't find it

    listed
    > in the Add/Remove Programs list in control panel.
    >
    > I think I've eliminated the RAM as the culprit. Since the Compaq wouldn't
    > recognize Memtest or the Microsoft Memory Diagnostic in either the A: or

    CD
    > drive, I took the Ram out and put it in another PIII (the one I'm writing
    > on) and ran the diagnostics. Well, 2 of the three modules. This IBM PIII
    > won't accept the single 256K module. The 128meg modules test out as okay,

    as
    > well as simply exhibiting no problems in running the computer.
    >
    > Putting only those two 128meg modules back into the Compaq, it still
    > generates the same symptoms above.
    >
    > Sincere thanks for any input.
    >
    >


    I would be looking to the Mainboard or the PSU. A quick look at the
    mainboards capacitors(gray cylinders) to check for bulging or leaking. (if
    your an old guy like me then I would use a magnifying glass or glasses.)
    PSU, well that's a toughie as a multimeter could help but its hard to test
    with a load, so a spare or a new one to test with is an easier way.
    JAD, Jun 6, 2006
    #2
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  3. Doc

    Doc Guest

    "JAD" <> wrote in message
    news:SMjhg.29$...

    > I would be looking to the Mainboard or the PSU. A quick look at the
    > mainboards capacitors(gray cylinders) to check for bulging or leaking. (if
    > your an old guy like me then I would use a magnifying glass or glasses.)
    > PSU, well that's a toughie as a multimeter could help but its hard to

    test
    > with a load, so a spare or a new one to test with is an easier way.


    If it's the mobo, this computer is basically hosed?
    Doc, Jun 6, 2006
    #3
  4. Doc

    Jim Land Guest

    "JAD" <> wrote in
    news:SMjhg.29$:

    > I would be looking to the Mainboard or the PSU. A quick look at the
    > mainboards capacitors(gray cylinders) to check for bulging or leaking.
    > (if your an old guy like me then I would use a magnifying glass or
    > glasses.) PSU, well that's a toughie as a multimeter could help but
    > its hard to test with a load, so a spare or a new one to test with is
    > an easier way.
    >
    >


    Definitely try a known-good PSU. It's just so darn easy to unplug the old
    one and plug in a spare. Cross your fingers and hope it's the PSU!
    Jim Land, Jun 6, 2006
    #4
  5. Doc

    JAD Guest

    "Doc" <> wrote in message
    news:hTjhg.2371$...
    >
    > "JAD" <> wrote in message
    > news:SMjhg.29$...
    >
    > > I would be looking to the Mainboard or the PSU. A quick look at the
    > > mainboards capacitors(gray cylinders) to check for bulging or leaking.

    (if
    > > your an old guy like me then I would use a magnifying glass or glasses.)
    > > PSU, well that's a toughie as a multimeter could help but its hard to

    > test
    > > with a load, so a spare or a new one to test with is an easier way.

    >
    > If it's the mobo, this computer is basically hosed?
    >
    >


    If it were mine and I found out it was the main board I would take out
    everything that's good and dump the system. It would be very hard to find a
    MB for that, and a NEW board and CPU will most likely need memory and a
    different PSU. Along with AGP and PCI going away now, your old hardware
    unfortunately may not be practical any longer.
    JAD, Jun 6, 2006
    #5
  6. Doc

    Guest

    don't bother trying to find a new mobo, it'll cost you the price of a new
    system. better to salvage what is working and build a new machine

    Xavier
    , Jun 6, 2006
    #6
  7. Doc

    Doc Guest

    "Doc" <> wrote in message
    news:kGjhg.2291$...
    > You may have seen my other posts re: problems with a Compaq Deskpro EN

    PIII
    > 933, 512 Megs Ram, XP Home.


    Any chance these symptoms could be caused by the OS?
    Doc, Jun 6, 2006
    #7
  8. Doc

    DaveW Guest

    It sounds like your motherboard is failing and a has a thermal fault that
    occurs when it's been on. I think you may be facing getting a new computer
    since motherboards for that older machine are either unavailable or VERY
    expensive.

    --
    DaveW

    ----------------
    "Doc" <> wrote in message
    news:kGjhg.2291$...
    > You may have seen my other posts re: problems with a Compaq Deskpro EN
    > PIII
    > 933, 512 Megs Ram, XP Home.
    >
    > To briefly recap, this round of problems seemed to start a few days ago
    > with
    > an NMI: Parity Check / Memory Parity Error and would thereafter only boot
    > to
    > Safe Mode. Wouldn't do a normal boot at all. This had never happened
    > before.
    > The computer had run basically flawlessly for some time.
    >
    > After reinstalling the sound card, video capture card and modem the
    > computer
    > seemed fine again. However shortly thereafter it started exhibiting a new
    > symptom. It would wink out in the middle of doing something. Blank screen,
    > computer seemingly dead except for a green power light. Or it would
    > sometimes freeze. However, the NMI Parity check error hasn't arisen again.
    > Don't know if the current symptoms are related or not.
    >
    > Now, in addition to the freeze/wink out symptom, I've noticed some other
    > issues:
    >
    > 1) It will only boot intermittently. When it boots normally, you get a big
    > red Compaq logo on the screen and the Enter Setup / Network Service Boot
    > options at the bottom. Now, it will get as far as showing the Compaq logo
    > but just hangs there. Sometimes letting it sit for a while or unplugging
    > it
    > from power, waiting a minute and replugging seems to let it boot.
    >
    > 2) However, even when it boots, it won't allow me to go into Bios (setup).
    > Looks like it's starting to, but then just goes to a normal boot. Per the
    > suggestion of a poster in another thread, I tried removing the battery and
    > putting it back in, which temporarily lets me get back into Bios/Setup,
    > but
    > thereafter begins displaying the same symptoms. Won't let me into
    > Bios/Setup, just goes to a normal boot. I tried removing the battery a
    > couple of times, and both times it allows me into Bios but only once. Once
    > booted, "Standby" mode seems to work okay and a couple of programs I
    > tried - Windows Media Player etc. seem to work but I haven't run it hard.
    > However, after shutting down, it may or may not successfully reboot as per
    > above.
    >
    > 3) No longer sends a video signal through the nVidia GeForce2 MX400 video
    > card which had been working flawlessly up to now. The first few times it
    > was
    > intermittent - sometimes it would, sometimes it wouldn't, now I only get
    > video through the onboard video port. Tried reinstalling the drivers for
    > the
    > card, doesn't seem to make a difference. Oddly, I also don't find it
    > listed
    > in the Add/Remove Programs list in control panel.
    >
    > I think I've eliminated the RAM as the culprit. Since the Compaq wouldn't
    > recognize Memtest or the Microsoft Memory Diagnostic in either the A: or
    > CD
    > drive, I took the Ram out and put it in another PIII (the one I'm writing
    > on) and ran the diagnostics. Well, 2 of the three modules. This IBM PIII
    > won't accept the single 256K module. The 128meg modules test out as okay,
    > as
    > well as simply exhibiting no problems in running the computer.
    >
    > Putting only those two 128meg modules back into the Compaq, it still
    > generates the same symptoms above.
    >
    > Sincere thanks for any input.
    >
    >
    DaveW, Jun 6, 2006
    #8
  9. Doc

    Ben Myers Guest

    Probably not the OS. Definitely mobo or power supply... Ben Myers

    On Tue, 06 Jun 2006 22:00:30 GMT, "Doc" <> wrote:

    >
    >"Doc" <> wrote in message
    >news:kGjhg.2291$...
    >> You may have seen my other posts re: problems with a Compaq Deskpro EN

    >PIII
    >> 933, 512 Megs Ram, XP Home.

    >
    >Any chance these symptoms could be caused by the OS?
    >
    Ben Myers, Jun 7, 2006
    #9
  10. Doc

    Arno Wagner Guest

    In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.misc Doc <> wrote:

    > "Doc" <> wrote in message
    > news:kGjhg.2291$...
    >> You may have seen my other posts re: problems with a Compaq Deskpro EN

    > PIII
    >> 933, 512 Megs Ram, XP Home.


    > Any chance these symptoms could be caused by the OS?


    The OS cannot trigger an NMI. Only hardware can do that.

    Arno
    Arno Wagner, Jun 7, 2006
    #10
  11. Doc

    Ben Myers Guest

    If you can get the parts for cheap and want to repair it yourself, the computer
    is not hosed. It all depends on the color of your money and the amount of time
    you have.

    The IBM computer probably was incompatible with the higher density 256MB DIMM.

    Does your model of DeskPro use a standard ATX power supply with a 20-pin
    connector or a proprietary power supply with 24-pin connector? If the former,
    you can actually use any standard ATX motherboard in the case, but Windows XP
    will throw up on a non-Compaq motherboard. And, of course, the power supply is
    standard form factor, if the connector is 20-pin.

    I have some DeskPros in my warehouse, some whole, and some in parts. Depending
    on the type of power supply and motherboard, I can certainly part out the
    computers for short money. Heaven knows, Pentium III computers are not hot
    sellers around here... Ben Myers

    On Tue, 06 Jun 2006 18:32:45 GMT, "Doc" <> wrote:

    >
    >"JAD" <> wrote in message
    >news:SMjhg.29$...
    >
    >> I would be looking to the Mainboard or the PSU. A quick look at the
    >> mainboards capacitors(gray cylinders) to check for bulging or leaking. (if
    >> your an old guy like me then I would use a magnifying glass or glasses.)
    >> PSU, well that's a toughie as a multimeter could help but its hard to

    >test
    >> with a load, so a spare or a new one to test with is an easier way.

    >
    >If it's the mobo, this computer is basically hosed?
    >
    Ben Myers, Jun 7, 2006
    #11
  12. Doc

    kony Guest

    On Tue, 6 Jun 2006 15:59:03 -0700, "DaveW"
    <> wrote:

    >It sounds like your motherboard is failing and a has a thermal fault that
    >occurs when it's been on. I think you may be facing getting a new computer
    >since motherboards for that older machine are either unavailable or VERY
    >expensive.



    It's not very hard or expensive to find an old socket 370
    board... main issue would be whether mATX or full ATX, and
    whether the PSU is standard or not. Most from that era were
    standard, except some of the slimline, SFF desktops.
    kony, Jun 7, 2006
    #12
  13. Doc

    Doc Guest

    "Ben Myers" <ben_myers_spam_me_not @ charter.net> wrote in message
    news:...
    > If you can get the parts for cheap and want to repair it yourself, the

    computer
    > is not hosed. It all depends on the color of your money and the amount

    of time
    > you have.
    >
    > The IBM computer probably was incompatible with the higher density 256MB

    DIMM.
    >
    > Does your model of DeskPro use a standard ATX power supply with a 20-pin
    > connector or a proprietary power supply with 24-pin connector? If the

    former,
    > you can actually use any standard ATX motherboard in the case, but Windows

    XP
    > will throw up on a non-Compaq motherboard. And, of course, the power

    supply is
    > standard form factor, if the connector is 20-pin.


    This is a 24-pin Compaq Power Supply. Apparently from around 2001.

    > I have some DeskPros in my warehouse, some whole, and some in parts.

    Depending
    > on the type of power supply and motherboard, I can certainly part out the
    > computers for short money. Heaven knows, Pentium III computers are not

    hot
    > sellers around here... Ben Myers


    That's a distinct possibility. Do I remove _spam_me_not from the address?
    Doc, Jun 7, 2006
    #13
  14. Doc

    Ben Myers Guest

    Then I am well familiar with the model. I have both power supplies and
    motherboards in my warehouse.

    To use a more standard motherboard, you would need to change out the power
    supply in the chassis.

    A non-Compaq motherboard requires minimal changes to the wiring from the
    motherboard to the front panel LEDs and on-off switch... Ben

    On Wed, 07 Jun 2006 02:30:50 GMT, "Doc" <> wrote:

    >
    >"Ben Myers" <ben_myers_spam_me_not @ charter.net> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> If you can get the parts for cheap and want to repair it yourself, the

    >computer
    >> is not hosed. It all depends on the color of your money and the amount

    >of time
    >> you have.
    >>
    >> The IBM computer probably was incompatible with the higher density 256MB

    >DIMM.
    >>
    >> Does your model of DeskPro use a standard ATX power supply with a 20-pin
    >> connector or a proprietary power supply with 24-pin connector? If the

    >former,
    >> you can actually use any standard ATX motherboard in the case, but Windows

    >XP
    >> will throw up on a non-Compaq motherboard. And, of course, the power

    >supply is
    >> standard form factor, if the connector is 20-pin.

    >
    >This is a 24-pin Compaq Power Supply. Apparently from around 2001.
    >
    >> I have some DeskPros in my warehouse, some whole, and some in parts.

    >Depending
    >> on the type of power supply and motherboard, I can certainly part out the
    >> computers for short money. Heaven knows, Pentium III computers are not

    >hot
    >> sellers around here... Ben Myers

    >
    >That's a distinct possibility. Do I remove _spam_me_not from the address?
    >
    Ben Myers, Jun 7, 2006
    #14
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