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Pentium 4 computer won't boot past BIOS

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by gabjsmo0, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. gabjsmo0

    gabjsmo0 Guest

    This may be in the wrong group, but I can't figure out what would be
    better.

    I just got a used Pentium 4 PC for my father, which I was told worked
    (it was free). On getting it home, it would boot (quickly) to a weird
    screen with extended ASCII characters in who-knows-what codepage and
    various colors, and I was unable to get into the BIOS setup! It was
    supposed to have Windows XP on it. Slightly baffled at its inability
    to even bring up the BIOS setup screen, I removed the battery.
    Restoration of battery and power presented nearly the same problem,
    but the HP logo came up (expected - it's an HP) and no psycho screen
    display. The one thing which I had to change before turning it on was
    the PSU - it was too big and the CD drives wouldn't fit in, so I took
    a spare one and replaced it with that. The replacement PSU was 400W as
    opposed to 250W, so that should be fine (or am I grossly wrong?).
     
    gabjsmo0, Apr 18, 2009
    #1
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  2. gabjsmo0

    gabjsmo0 Guest

    That makes plenty of sense and has no effect. Any more ideas? (Please
    don't take that in a bad way.)
     
    gabjsmo0, Apr 19, 2009
    #2
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  3. gabjsmo0

    Horst Franke Guest

    In
    Hi, (for or from?) Your father should know the surroundings. Suggest for.
    OK, STOP. You would have to find the sequence to get into BIOS.
    What brand - what motherboard?

    First set up Your display to basic 600x400 pixels and try again.
    The shown display may be brand specific (HP as later stated).
    NO, a battery problem would have caused other error messages/displays.
    And at 600x400 pixels there should be no problem to show a BIOS screen.
    Oh yes, that's great! Then look on HP pages for the BIOS activation entry.
    So You now have a 250W PSU? Should not cause any problem.
    On the other hand why not try without a fitted CD drive?

    This PC now boots up to a HP logo and presents then *WHAT error message*?
    If You find out what motherboard, then the BIOS setup entry should be known.

    You may also try to put the installed HD into another PC and check it there
    for functionability.

    Does the HD spin and also the fan(s)?
    If the HD is accessed the You should see an appropriate error message
    (if the supposed Win-XP cannot be started). Like no system disk...

    As You see the HP logo - there is a good chance to get further.
    May be the BIOS is setup to boot from another device (like a net disk)?

    So, check the HD in another PC to be operational (what file-system?).
    Identify BIOS setup entry key strokes - set BOOT to "from" HD disk.
    Horst
     
    Horst Franke, Apr 24, 2009
    #3
  4. I have a similar problem, since I first had to replace the graphics card
    on a machine, and after that worked[1], also tried an upgrade of SuSE
    10.3 to 11.1. From that time on the Intel logo appeared after booting,
    but nothing else. After half an hour, while I was speaking to my
    "personal hotline", the BIOS screen happened to appear. Since that time
    the machine boots as before, but I cannot use any installation CD any
    more. All the Windows (XP) setup disks hang on "Setup is inspecting your
    hardware". A BIOS reset to factory or optimized defaults doesn't help :-(

    [1] The installed XP systems were very picky about the exchanged
    graphics card. The first system I could make work was a W2k, which had
    no problems with that change at all. One XP installation worked after a
    couple of tries, in /SOS mode, the other one also required about half an
    hour to boot again, regardless of "safe mode" or other boot options.

    Can somebody explain what happens in that long time, when the BIOS or XP
    does nothing but show an (almost) blank screen?

    DoDi
     
    Hans-Peter Diettrich, Apr 24, 2009
    #4
  5. gabjsmo0

    Horst Franke Guest

    Hi DoDi
    the Intel Logo after booting is a setup of the BIOS.
    But I cannot understand why a _BIOS screen_ was then displayed.
    Looks like as if no BOOT device was found.

    If a WinXP CD hangs on "Inspecting your hardware" then it looks to me
    like checking if the WinXP CD belongs to your current hardware/PC.

    A changed graphics card should not cause any severe problem except
    for asking Microsoft for a new activation key.
    I don't know if this requires a new ProductKey.
    But a new activation cycle may be required.

    As far as I know a W2K does not require this cycle.
    But this also used a different Win2K installation CD.

    A Win XP CD performs the checkup of your hardware to test if
    this CD is still related to the original hardware it was sold with.
    Horst
     
    Horst Franke, May 13, 2009
    #5
  6. Right. On another machine I encounter problems with the even the logo
    display. Sometimes it helps to turn the monitor off and on again, but
    not always. Only later, when the booted OS takes control, the graphics
    card is initialized compatible with my monitor.
    This happened because I tried several keys, in order to get visual
    feedback from the machine.
    Then a progess indication (dots) should become visible after the text,
    and finally at least an error message.

    This seems not to apply in my case. None of the previously installed XP
    systems asked for re-activation, when they happened to come up at all.

    Right. This makes the activation a possible trouble source with newer
    Windows versions.
    I had no problems when booting the CDs on a very different (64 bit)
    machine. One CD is a Dell OEM version, that never complained about a
    non-Dell machine.

    The setup programs also displayed the progress dots after "inspecting",
    until I had to replace the graphics card. I still wonder what's
    happening when the installation hangs without any feedback, and when a
    previously installed system hangs for half an hour, also without any
    feedback. If it were only a graphics card problem, a system still should
    react on CTRL-ALT-DEL, or on the sleep button.

    Also: when I restored one of my XP installations from a backup, taken
    before the replacement of the graphics card, that installation happend
    to boot immediately. Of course I had to update the display driver, to
    get out of VGA mode, but until then the system was working as expected.

    One reason might be: a Windows update (not part of the backup) prevented
    the installed system from working with the replaced graphics card.

    But this still doesn't explain why the installation CDs fail to proceed
    on that machine.

    DoDi
     
    Hans-Peter Diettrich, May 13, 2009
    #6
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