Presario giving me BIG problems!

Compaq / Presario 5365
March 3, 2009 at 17:21:51
Specs: Windows 2000 Pro, AMD K6-2 450 Mhz/256 MB
For the first time in the time that i've owned it, my Compaq Presario 5365 is finally starting to give me BIG problems...

(Grab a coffee and donut - you're in for quite a read! lol!)

It started when Windows 2000 started being really slow on it. I did a Disk Cleanup, a Defrag, and TuneUp Utilities 2008 didn't show any problems.

I only had 3 MB worth of documents I wanted to save, so I threw them onto my MP3 player, and reinstalled Windows, this time with Windows 98SE.

(Just to let you know, I used the same copy of Windows 98 and drivers as I did the last time I put Windows 98SE on this computer, and everything worked perfect that last time.)

Anyway, I reinstalled with Windows 98SE. The install went flawlessly.

I installed most of the drivers, which went flawlessly. After I installed the SiS 530 driver, however, the computer would completely freeze at the Windows 98 boot logo screen. Windows would only start in safe mode. If I booted into safe mode, and uninstalled the SiS 530 driver, Windows would boot in normal mode again.

This was the same routine that I used to install Windows 98SE before, and it worked perfect.

When Googling the freeze-up problem, I read that it could be due to a RAM stick going bad. I reinstalled the SiS driver (Windows once again froze at boot-up) and I removed one of the sticks of RAM. Lo and behold, Windows 98SE would now boot up in Normal mode with the SiS driver installed.

I figured that the stick of RAM I pulled out was bad, but when I took out the "good" stick (which is the original stick that came on this computer in 1999) and put the "bad" stick in it's place, Windows would still boot up in Normal mode with the SiS driver installed.

So I figured that the sticks were incompatible with each other, although Windows 98SE worked fine with them together before.

What I did next was swap the two sticks in each other's slots. Now Windows 98SE would boot normally with both sticks of RAM installed.

To make things worse, when I swapped the two sticks of RAM, I forgot to tuck the PSU cables away from the CPU fan (bad case design?) and the end of an unused power cable got lodged between the fan blades, so the fan wouldn't spin. I turned the computer on (I did not know if swapping the RAM sticks would cure the boot-up problem yet) and left the room.
The computer ran with no CPU fan for almost 10 minutes before I came back into the room. I was surprised from two things: One, Windows was waiting for me at the login screen, working with both sticks of RAM, and two, I smelled something like plastic burning.

The plastic burning smell was very weak, and there was an electric heater running in the room, which I figured that was where the smell was coming from. When I moved the mouse, the arrow moved very slowly, and then I got a BSOD.

I turned off the computer (with the power button). Not because I discovered that the CPU fan wasn't running, but because I got the BSOD.

I realized after I had turned off the computer that the CPU fan wasn't running. The heatsink burned my finger when I touched it. When I realized what the consequences of what happened in the last 10 minutes might be, it was "Oh shoot", to put it politely.

I cleared the power cable out of the CPU fan's way, and after letting everything cool down for about 10 minutes, I turned on the computer. The CPU apparently lived, because Windows booted up, and everything worked flawlessly.

I sorted everything out, and installed AVG Free Edition 7.5.

When AVG tries to update, though, I get a BSOD, and everything freezes.

So, Windows 98SE now works, after a 10 minute CPU overheat, and the RAM sticks swapped, except once in a while, I get a random BSOD, and I always get a BSOD when AVG tries to do an update check.

Windows 98SE and AVG and everything else always worked perfect before.

So, i'm going to run MemTest86 when I go to bed tonight, and let it run all night.

Two questions I have: one, could all of this be a RAM or CPU issue, or could this old computer finally be wearing out, and two, even though it seemed to have survived the 10 minute overheat, could the CPU still have sustained *some* damage?

Thank you very much in advance,
-Trent

"If at first you don't succeed, skydiving may not be for you."

-Our tour guide at Fenway Park in Boston, MA.


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#1
March 3, 2009 at 18:51:36
Best laid plans sometimes just suck huh? I'd let the memtest run overnight too. In the meantime, consider the hard drive.

If you have another hdd lying around, I'd try the install on it tomorrow.

Problems like this are not always waving a big red flag at you and the solution can lie in weird places.

Skip


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#2
March 3, 2009 at 20:37:29
I wince at the mere mention of the SiS530.

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#3
March 3, 2009 at 21:46:37
Even though the previous drivers worked OK you may want to check for an update. Go here:

http://www.sis.com/download/

Check to agree with the disclaimer and click next. On the next page--Windows 98 SE--IGP graphics drivers--Sis530. The file is 19 meg.

Also i assume some shared memory is involved. You might try varying that amount in cmos/bios setup and see if it makes any difference.

The cpu is probably OK. Even under normal conditions it can get hot enough to burn your finger. And you did have the heatsink attached.


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Related Solutions

#4
March 4, 2009 at 10:05:39
Thanks for the replies, guys! I'm away from that computer for the next few days, though.

MemTest86 went through 5 tests during the night, but it passed with no errors. I'm pretty stunned by that, considering Windows 98SE behaved differently depending on how the RAM was set up. Incompatibility? The RAM sticks do have slightly different codes on their stickers.

Unfortunatly, I don't have another hard drive lying around. I did, however, boot into MS-DOS 7.10 on a floppy disk, and ran SCANDISK, with the physical surface scan, but just until it went through the clusters with data on them. No errors.

The SiS driver I use is called SiS Multimedia Version 1.08e. It's in a ZIP file of the exact same name as the ZIP file on the SiS website.

Under normal circumstances, the heatsink is cool to the touch. The computer went completely crazy when I moved the mouse at the login screen, and then I got a BSOD, so I didn't know if the processor had permenantly suffered or what. It's amazing what difference a tiny fan can make.

-Trent

"If at first you don't succeed, skydiving may not be for you."

-Our tour guide at Fenway Park in Boston, MA.


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#5
March 8, 2009 at 15:13:32
Okay, sorry for the delayed reply.

For the period that I was gone, MemTest-86 went through 37 tests, and it showed 0 errors.

I pulled one stick out, installed Windows 98SE, and installed all of the drivers. All went well. Now, though, the mouse frequently locks up, sometimes for a few seconds, sometimes permemantly until I restart the computer. Also, once in a while, the computer restarts itself for no apparent reason.

I am completely clueless. The configuration of this computer (besides the added RAM) has never changed since I got it, and it always ran perfect. Now, it's running like a bag of sh**, worse than anything it has ever done before.

I could always depend on this computer when I had to type up essays and make PowerPoint presentations for school, but now, I guess it's down to the Packard Bell (when it isn't locked up) and the Windows XP computer.

I suppose the last thing I can do is run Scandisk (in DOS mode) with the thorough disk check. I really wish I knew what has happened to this computer all of a sudden.

-Trent

"If at first you don't succeed, skydiving may not be for you."

-Our tour guide at Fenway Park in Boston, MA.


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#6
March 8, 2009 at 17:20:37
Also, once in a while, the computer restarts itself for no apparent reason." do you have another power supply, to try?

larry


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#7
March 8, 2009 at 17:43:58
Yes, the 350W power supply in the Packard Bell 7955C. I will try that when I can find the time to dig it out from all of the junk in here.

I should have been more specific - It's only restarted by itself a few times so far, and it always restarts itself after AVG is done updating, then it runs Scandisk, and boots Windows as normal. The heatsink is very cool to the touch, so the CPU isn't overheating.

-Trent

"If at first you don't succeed, skydiving may not be for you."

-Our tour guide at Fenway Park in Boston, MA.


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#8
March 8, 2009 at 18:56:21
Have you tried booting into safe mode and then updating AVG if you can ? While you probably have some kind of hardware issue, it would be interesting to see what happens.

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#9
March 9, 2009 at 11:52:17
"Have you tried booting into safe mode and then updating AVG if you can ?"

AVG updates from the internet, and, if i'm correct, you cannot get the internet in safe mode.

Thanks for the suggestion, though!

-Trent

"If at first you don't succeed, skydiving may not be for you."

-Our tour guide at Fenway Park in Boston, MA.


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#10
March 9, 2009 at 12:35:49
safe mode * with networking * does allow you to get on the internet, though you still may not be able to update AVG .

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#11
March 9, 2009 at 14:12:29
Safe mode * with networking * is not an option in the Windows 98 boot menu. That is only for Windows XP, and I believe Windows Vista and Windows 2000. I should have said that before.

-Trent

"If at first you don't succeed, skydiving may not be for you."

-Our tour guide at Fenway Park in Boston, MA.


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#12
March 11, 2009 at 17:47:28
The computer is working perfect now!

I dissasembled it, taking out the mobo and everything. There was a bit of dust on the mobo, so I cleaned that off.

When I put everything back together, I put both RAM sticks back in, in their original slots before this whole problem ever started. I turned it on, and Windows 98SE booted up and worked perfect!

Not only that, but SimplyMEPIS 2004, which wouldn't boot up before, now boots up and works perfect, as well!

I don't know if cleaning the dust off of the motherboard fixed the problem, or just disconnecting and reconnecting everything did, but either way, the Compaq is running just like it used to, now!

I thank everyone who took the time to reply with their suggestions.

-Trent

"If at first you don't succeed, skydiving may not be for you."

-Our tour guide at Fenway Park in Boston, MA.


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