Compaq Presario boot issues help

By FifthMan
May 3, 2009
  1. Hi all

    I'm working on a Compaq Presario S4020SWM desktop. PheonixBios Pentium IV. 512 megs of RAM. 30 gig hardrive. I think it was manufactured around 2001. The sticker says it runs XP home edition.

    I booted it up and saw a black screen with a status message saying some file or another had been deleted and couldn't start windows. The previous owner said there was a virus problem and it crashed and then went on to send it to me for fixing. I went on to install an OEM copy of windows xp home sp2 . It booted the disc successfully and continued to install. Upon the restart it black screens and sits there. It goes no further. It doesn't technically boot loop by restarting but it doesn't boot beyond the windows xp logo and the loading bar.

    I've tried a number of xp versions I have with no success. Not sure what I'm doing wrong here. I figured if i matched the version to the sticker it would be a simple reformat/reinstall.

    I thought maybe it might be a total hardrive failure, though it's not making any wierd noises. I tried an install on one of my hardrives that I know for sure works and after a full reformat/reinstall/reboot I'm left with the same black screen and no startup.

    any ideas?
    thanks in advace for help.
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    If the OEM xp home version is not for a Compaq, it is probably installing the wrong things for the motherboard - even for the wrong processor (AMD when it should be Celeron for instance). I have heard of this, but dont know the solution unfortunately, although I think there is one - sometimes. This could be a starting point for you to research the solution however.

    The other possibility is failed memory, but not all that likely.
  3. FifthMan

    FifthMan TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok so tapping f8 boots it into safe mode and it starts the desktop but from there i have no clue what to do.
  4. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

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