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Compaq Presario 900 bootup issue

By Erlehacker
Jan 21, 2010
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  1. I recently inherited a little Presario 900 (laptop, of course). The little beauty works great, except at startup. I'll press the power button and the power LED will light up (HD-light flashes sometimes.), and there's a sound from what I think are the speakers, but nothing happens after that. So I'll hold down the power button to shut it down again, and repeat the above process several times. Whether its on battery or AC doesn't change anything, but I find it helps to leave it "on" for half a minute and then shut down and power up again, but even that works irregularly. Eventually, after a few minutes of this trial-and-error, the HD will spin up and the whole system works fine ever after... until it's shut down or hibernating.

    Does this sound familiar? It isn't a really pressing issue; I get along with it as is, but if there's something wrong I'd like to see about fixing it, as well as ridding myself of the inconvenience. Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.
  2. mmiller99

    mmiller99 TS Rookie

    I have the exact same issue with my Presario 900.

    It intermittently won't startup, the speakers click briefly, the screen stays dark and the Compaq logo won't display. If I shut it down and re-start it enough times it will eventually come back up.

    Mine will also seize up just sitting there. Usually though, it happens if I move the laptop although I can't seem to find any definitive movement that always makes it seize.

    I stripped the entire unit down and then re-installed everything. While I was there I cleaned up any grounds that I could find. The idea was that hopefully the issue would be solved by reconnecting and tightening everything.

    When I re-started it it worked quite well for about a day. I was hopeful that it was fixed but it started doing it again :-(

    I know these laptops have issues with the power cord jack but in this case mine's fine and I can't see that being the reason for the seizing. I'm quite certain it's a mainboard issue, probably caused by the case flexing when moved and thereby flexing the mainboard. I seem to recall running into a laptop repair person on the 'net some years ago that mentioned this was a common issue and that he could fix it. Regrettably he went off-line and hasn't been heard from since.

    I know it's not the processor, the memory, the fans or any other common issue. I'm pretty certain it's mainboard flexing somehow/somewhere even though it occurs even when it's sitting on a solid table.

    Like yourself, I'd love to find out what it is. I upgraded mine with internal wireless (complete with real antennas mounted in the lid) and a 7,200 RPM hard drive as well as numerous other 'hot rodding' :) It's still a great machine but I'm quite concerned that it's becoming an EOL product because of the seizing.

    If you learn anything or run into someone knowledgeable, please update this thread!

    Thanks!
    Marvin
  3. Erlehacker

    Erlehacker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Aye, the seizing up is common to mine, also, as I elaborate on here: Compaq Presario 900 freezes

    As far as your bootup problem, have you tried "turning it on" and leaving it for half a minute? I don't know what it could be doing in that time, but it warms up and, after being turned off and back on, boots. That process works consistently for me, now that I've realized that that's what it takes.

    I hadn't considered the motherboard's being flexed. That sounds as thought that's very likely what is the problem, but, indeed, the same freezing symptoms occurring when not moving as well as otherwise does seem . . . odd. I don't know whether it's from previous disassembly-attempts or not, but every time I open it up, I find a couple of screws running wild and loose in there. (Needless to say, reliability improves a little bit with each screw-removal expedition.)

    Hmm. Every detail that you list affirms it: this is the exactly identical problem in each laptop. Wish I knew what to do. . . .
  4. mmiller99

    mmiller99 TS Rookie

    I agree - we got the same thing going on. For myself, it doesn't matter if I leave it on or off. I've found the best way to start it (at least, the fastest way) has been to repeatedly insert the battery while holding down the power button :)

    It's gotten worse though so I think I'm going to scrap it (so to speak). It's unfortunate because I souped it up quite a bit and it was a great laptop (although a bit heavy).

    Perhaps it's time to retire it. It's performed yeoman service that's for sure :)
  5. mmiller99

    mmiller99 TS Rookie

    Are you still monitoring this thread...I'm thinking of addressing the problem :)
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