Compaq Presario S3100NX now won't boot

By JFEsch
Jan 15, 2008
  1. Hi All
    First timer here so take it easy on me.
    I have a Compaq Presario S3100NX that won't boot anymore. It started shutting off about every 15 minutes and got worse with time. Now it won't boot at all. The power will come on and the hard drive would show signs of life then quit. The drive is still spinning but with no power light.
    Did the hard drive die or is the power supply not putting out enough power? All the fans are running.
    Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Sounds as though it was trying to tell you that it was overheating (CPU) and then it died !

    Your best option would be to remove all power and open the case and inspect.
    Warning: Hardware experience required, and knowledge (manual) of your system

    From there, I'd firstly say remove all dust, so as to view the capacitors on the M/board and heat marks.

    At last you should begin to remove non-essential components.

    Before attempting all this - I must stop and ask you is this what you are comfortable in doing ?
    Otherwise a PC service technician may be required

    Also given the age of the computer, is this worth it to you ?
  3. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    An easy start would be to see if the fan in power supply (PSU) is running. If not, start with a replacement. Also have a sniff at the PSU - any electrical smells indicate it has had it. Do not under any circumstances try and dismantle the PSU.
    If the PSU is OK, Kimsland's advice is next.
  4. JFEsch

    JFEsch TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I am comfortable in working in this machine.
    The fans do power up. I have the HDD in my machine, this one right now, and it is working fine.
    I did managed to take the main plug off the mother board and stick a multimeter in the plug's pin slots. The one marked 12 VDC is only putting out 4.96 VDC and the rest are in the millivolts side. To me I think it is the power supply. This machine is 5 years old and I think it would be worth fixing it unless the costs exceed costs of a E-machine. It is my kids machine. Has a good video card and wireless card in it.
    Any ideas?
  5. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Wow JFEsch it's been 3 Weeks. :zzz:
    Threads like this, even get closed sometimes

    Anyway, yes replace the Power Supply
  6. JFEsch

    JFEsch TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorry been a little busy and keep forgetting to reply. It is a little hard for me to type since I removed one of my digits 2 nights ago.
    Thanks for the help.

    Don't ask me to point with my left hand or count to 20, maybe 19.33333
  7. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    I lost 2 teeth, in the last 3 Weeks. But I suppose that's not exactly the same.

    Anyway sorry to hear about that
    Which one exactly (2/3)
  8. JFEsch

    JFEsch TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Left hand index finger. I am right handed. I had a laspe in common sense and was using a hand tool with a metal lathe. The tool grapped hold in the metal and in a split second, pinched the finger off between the tool and the side on the lathe.
    To keep the post in line with the thread, how much should I expect to pay for a PSU?
    Sorry about your teeth.
  9. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

  10. JFEsch

    JFEsch TS Rookie Topic Starter

  11. JFEsch

    JFEsch TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I did manage to pick up a PSU at the 911 website, $34 with free shipping.
    I hooked everything up and the same thing happens. HDD and fans spool up, HDD's light flashes a couple of times and goes out but the HDD remains spinning. No boot up.
    I am wondering if my oldest got into the BIOS and did something, but this machine would eventually boot up on the second or third restart. I know, not good for the electronics.
    Nothing is wrong with the HDD. I had it hooked up to my machine and I was able to checkdisk, defrag it and look at all the data on it.
    I am lost, heck I was lost before.
    Can you point me in the right direction? I am one finger short.
    I couldn't resist.
  12. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    From post #1
    I just need to re-define this bootup failure.

    If you unplug the (working) Hard Drive from the motherboard
    And all other devices (DVD;Floppy...) From the motherboard
    Does it POST (Power On Self Test)
    And can you go into CMOS, and adjust things?

    ie Does it reset?
  13. JFEsch

    JFEsch TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Don't hurt me, how does a person get to CMOS and what do you mean by reset?
    This is new territory for me and when I play with things like this, I usually get shocked, burned, smoke coming out, and missing body parts.
    Could you provide some steps I should take?
  14. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    When the computer first turns on press these keys:

    Ctrl+ Alt + Esc

    at the same time.

    Go into CMOS and then let me know if it restarts.

    Whilst in CMOS, confirm your Hard Drive is seen, and also the boot up order
    Usually 1st. Cdrom 2nd Hard Drive 3rd (Floppy)
  15. JFEsch

    JFEsch TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, did what you suggested with no luck. Does the same thing and mentioned earlier even pressing the suggested keys. Bummer.
    Think the mother board is shot or should I shoot it?
  16. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    That usually points to Power Supply fault - ~$35
    But can be motherboard fault - ~$70

    I would suggest you start with the Power Supply
  17. JFEsch

    JFEsch TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ahh...I installed the PSU as I mentioned before, so that would leave the motherboard.
  18. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Oh sorry :blush:

    The other option is, that if you're thinking about M/B, is to bench test.

    Bench Test:
    • Remove motherboard from case (writing down where all the wires go)
    • Place the M/B on some cardboard (or ideally antistatic mat)
    • Plug in the power; video and keyboard only
    • Turn on the computer (by shorting the power pins for about 2 secs)
    Note you should have the M/B maunual, and some hardware experience.
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