Help!!!! Computer Won't load

By gonggirl ยท 26 replies
Dec 6, 2007
  1. Hi, I'm not too computer literate but I do know a little, my computer was on today, it had been on probably 2 hours, and I checked it about 5 minutes before this happened and all was well. When I looked at it the computer was at the Intel Inside Pentium 4 screen a little box saying this and it seemed to be frozen, I suspected to be at this screen it must have rebooted by itself??? It wouldn't go any further, I turned it off and restarted it but again got to this screen and stopped, doesn't get to the windows screen at all. The computer has power the little blue light comes on all the fans are working but there is no beep, I cannot even get it to go to the BIOS. About 4 months ago I replaced the PSU and the hard drive about 8 months ago, when i replaced the power supply I also reseated the CPU and all has been working very well for the past 4 months till now. Just wondering if someone can help with this and where do I start!!!!!
    I do have a spare computer, can I use this computer to test things, but I don't want to bugger this one up tooo, any help is appreciated, thank you
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    This is nearly always the symptom of a bad hard drive, usually on Maxtor, Samsung, and Western Digital desktop drives
    You can use the drive in another system as a slave and recover your data, but you likely will not ever be able to use it as a bootable drive again.
    However, there is some evildoer going around online that causes a freeze, usually with computers, sometimes Firefox or
    In this other freeze, we have not yet found a specific cause other than that the Firefox install is on the screen.
    What happens is the little green bars crossing the screen in the Windows XP logo, pauses, speeds up, pauses, slows down, speeds up and then stops. We do not know what the heck it is yet, but we have seen seven cases of it over the past 10 days in our shop. No spyware, trojan, nor virus checker detects a problem, but the drive fitness tests of the various manufacturers report the drives are good.
    Sorry, this is not helpful, because we have no good advice. Yet.
    Please tell us your hard drive brand and model.
    If you have access to another computer, install your drive as a slave, with the other drive jumpered as master, and run the drive fitness test downloaded from the manufacturer.
  3. gonggirl

    gonggirl TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    I thought I had fixed the problem I reset the CMOS and it worked again but 1 month on and the same problem is here again, I tried my hard drive in my second computer and it seems to be working ok, I put it as a slave and could access everything, so know I ma beating my head against a brick wall again, any help would be appreciated, thx
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Hopefully you have now backed up any important data

    Check all connections (power and data) internally (securely fitted)
  5. gonggirl

    gonggirl TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    I just tried taking the ram out one by one but that didn't make any difference, I thought maybe to change over my video card from one computer to another what you suggest I do this? and no I didn't back up anything, do you think I will loose my hard drive it seemed to be ok.

    Sorry Is there an easy way to back everything that is on theat hard drive onto a disc, I can put the hard drive back into the working computer. thx
  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    No, it's not good to have two computers down (if you create a fault)

    I think that you should try to backup (no one can advise you otherwise)
    The hard drive is not conclusively faulty until you test with the manufacture hard drive test; and also remove the partition and re-install Windows

    Good idea, I'd do it. Make sure your other computer has updated Antivirus signatures
  7. gonggirl

    gonggirl TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Thx I'll back up the hard drive then play around with the video card, Do you know an easy way of backing everything up or do I have to o through everything individually? I've never backed up anything before
  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    But not in the working computer - you have been warned !

    As for backing up
    Once your harddrive is in as Slave, you could just do a search for all documents; all pictures and so forth on the slave drive
    Once you have your data in the Search field, just select all and copy to a new folder on your working C drive (ie on Desktop\MyBackup)

    You can search for favorites, movies, or any data that you know may exist.
    Do not worry about programs and systemfiles (check if a Driver folder exists - usually on D:\Drivers to backup too)
  9. gonggirl

    gonggirl TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Ok thx I'll do that tomorrow, I've been on this stupid thing all day, it's very frustrating, I thought maybe I should start by replacing the CMOS battery would the computer do what it is doing if the battery was gone, are they hard to replace? Do they just lift up?
    So you don't think I should take the video card out of the working computer put it into the non working computer to see if it boots up ok, if it does that would solve the problem, Is there another way of testing to see if it is the video card by using the two computers? Any suggestions, if I disconnect the video card will the comp work? I'm thinking no but I don't know, thx for your help tooo it is appreciated.
    I'm just trying to eliminate maybe things, there doesn't seem to be any leaking or bulgy electro thingies on the motherboard.
  10. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    I need the m/b model to tell you this
    But normally they are a button battery, easy to lift and replace

    Still No. This is a bit double standard, because I would - but I know exactly what I'm doing and also how to repair problems (I hope)
    It is not advisable for you to possibly take both computers down

    I need the m/b model to tell you this
    But if you have onboard video (ie another video port available - then yes

    good point, check all the capacitors (by viewing for bubbled up capacitors or any heat or burn marks on the m/b

    It is a good idea (well probably the best idea here) to download the user manual for your motherboard and read it. As there are a lot of requirements (static charge; jumper settings) that I could in no way fully write down here

    Good Luck
  11. gonggirl

    gonggirl TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    The motherboard Model is a Medion MD8088, I have had a look at the motherboard manual, I have reset the CMOS jumpers from the manual. I've now removed the CMOS battery no harm in trying that first probably the cheapest, my luck today it won't be it
    Its midnight here now so I'll get a new one tomorrow, all the capacitors look alright, so what is your suggestion where I can start, I would like to see if I can find the problem somehow, I'm not the sit back and look type, thats why I've pulled a few things off it today, but I wull back up the hard drive first thing tomorrow, thx again
  12. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    You do realize that you are getting more and more technical here !

    The ideal test would be bench test

    That is
    Remove the m/b completly from box
    and test on the bench (power up by shorting the power pins)
    This may be too technical - and also too difficult to explain here

    Start with Backup
    Then return the HardDrive to the original case
    Reseat everything
    Possible even replace IDE/ATA data cables (or Sata cables)
    Test again
  13. gonggirl

    gonggirl TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    How are you today, well I've had a little better day today, this is what has happened:OK i replaced the cmos battery, removed and reseated the video card and gave it and the inside of my computer a good clean out with compressed air, checked all points, put it back together and it booted up, not sure what it was and somehow I don't think this will be the end of it, but it is working. The only problem is when it booted up it came up with "The ATI Control Panel Failed to initiatize because no ATI driver is installed or ATI Driver is not working properly" So I am now looking for a driver to download, I dont know whether it is because of the driver but the screen when you get to a page where you need to move the page up or down, when you do it becomes quite wavy, a wave affect sort of of the page, bit hard to explain.
    In the device manager there were a few other things that had the big yellow ? as well, like a multimedia controller, Network controller and a PCI Communications controller, I have no idea what these are and if they have anything to do with what just happened, maybe you may know what they are, I do have more info of what the device manager said about them if that would help. |

    Ok another problem I think, I got the ATI graphics card from the ATI website, I downloaded the right model and when I went to install it this is what happened: Warning: Setup was unable to find components that can be installed on your current hardware or software configuration. Please make sure you have the required hardware or software". So I don't have a clue what is wrong now, maybe it was my graphics card all along........When I bought the computer the graphics card was already on the computer so I don't have a disk or anything to reload either, any suggestions of what all this means and what I should do. It is a ATI Radeon 9800 series graphics card (AGP).
  14. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    You will be an experienced tech by the time you are done.
    If your video graphics port is integrated into the motherboard, you should be able to download the ATI driver from the motherboard manufacturer or the computer manufacturer. Follow installation instructions carefully.
    If it has a video card that you plug into a PCI slot, an AGP slot, or a PCI-Express slot, you can download the drivers from AMD ATI. If you do not know the model of video card, you can figger it out from the id digits on the large chip, or from the part numbers on the card itself... which may be on the front or the back. ATI has a lot of generic drivers that will work on a number of video cards. There are many, many more cards that use ATI components and drivers. You will definitely need these drivers to get satisfactory performance.
    You will need to install drivers for every yellow-flagged device listed in the device manager... to include, but not limited to, modem, ethernet, audio, motherboard chipset, video graphics, possibly USB, etc... every one that is yellow and perhaps some others as well.
    You can search for each by making a list of all components on the motherboard or listed by the motherboard manufacturer.
    I would start with the motherboard chipset, which will usually be at least two drivers, then the ATI video graphics, then the ethernet socket.
    It is helpful to understand what each device or component is that is listed in the Device Manager list.
    My guess is that you have about 14 hours of work left, so be patient with yourself... be sure you are well rested and not frustrated. Stress and being over-tired can be a major source of problems. Just take your time and think everything through. Even making notes to yourself helps.
    As you install the drivers, expect that each install is different. Many drivers are compressed or zipped. When you initiate install, they will be unloaded to a place which may be unknown you you. You need to read the material on the device drivers, then watch very carefully to see to which subdirectory on the hard drive they are being downloaded. Then you will perhaps need to use the Device manager to install them properly once you know where they are.
    Install each device one at a time, and reboot after each install.
    This is not rocket science, but it is quite a bit to ask of somebody of your experience level... so printing out the instructions for each driver or device will be useful as you progress through this.
    When all the yellow flags are gone, and everything listed in the Device Manager is an actual device rather than a generic description, your job will be complete.
    Assume some drivers will be incorrect ones, and double check your work at every step along the way. Assume nothing is correct or right until you verify.
    The multimedia controller could be the sound card or onboard sound, but could also be any other device having to do with multi-media devices. Network controller is the chipset that makes your ethernet socket work, and could be any of 93 different devices, and the PCI communications controller could be the modem, or anything else to do with communications devices... so you have to think these through.
    You cannot hurt anything by doing this work, but the board and computer will not work right until your job is complete.
    We have all been there. We know how frustrating it can be. Patience is the key. Do not attempt this until you have plenty of time, and are fully rested. Read ALL the details offered with each device driver and follow their always confusing instructions carefully. Some instructions will not make sense until you have already learned how to do the downloads and installs.
    We will be interested to hear your progress, as we chuckle and smirk about our first such jobs, when we were at your same place along the learning curve.
  15. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    I'm back (had to go to the Dentist, then I went to sleep !)

    Wow raybay, that was good.

    gonggirl, it's working !
    But there's no drivers !

    Well, how are you going with install of video, network so forth ?
    Do you need a hand ?

    I'm just glad it's working. (maybe just leave it ! No only joking)

    Anyway please let us know.

  16. gonggirl

    gonggirl TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Yeah Ok, wow this sounds pretty bloody hard in Raybays terms, I do understand what he means that it won't work properly without the yellow question marks gone, I'm really only worried at this stage about the graphics card as I think the others already had the yellow ? before, after I replaced the last hard drive. I did take the video card out and I cleaned all the dust off it with compressed air and then put it back in, when you told me not to muck around with it, I did listen
    I have followed some directions on a site about removing all old drives, running a registry clean up then download the new drives from ATI Technology, I did all this but the computer will not install the "drivers" . It says : Warning: Setup was unable to find components that can be installed on your current hardware or software configuration. Please make sure you have the required hardware or software" Then I downloaded the latest drivers from the Medion site, this is the brand of computer I have, when I tried to install those drivers another warning box came up: Setup was unable to complete the installation. Try to setup your display adaptor with a standard VGA Driver before running then I went back to the ATI website and looked for that error in their trouble shooting area and it was there, yeeehaaa BUT I did what they said to do but in my device manager I cannot find a Display Adaptor anything close to what they say, I went into display in control panel then into the VGA adaptor and into the driver section for it but it doesn't let me update it or anything, there is no update button or anything, it also says VGA adaptor status: stopping, there is a start and a stop button but neither are highlighted and I don't know how to get the start button highlighted or if it needs it, and this is as far as I have got.........I need lots of hands
    I am feeling a little better at least it is working, but I don't really think the problem is solved and the visual aspect is different in the way when you scroll down the page goes all wavy, this is probably the drivers though hey.....Maybe just easier to get a new Graphics
    Any suggestions is rather difficult and frustrating and it makes you turn to
  17. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Borrow a graphics card (any) to see if a different card works.
    It is possible you have the incorrect driver. If you do, you can get that ATI message... it is looking for a certain ATI chipset, and not finding it.
    It could be the card or the wrong driver. Try your ATI card in another computer, as well.
  18. gonggirl

    gonggirl TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Ohhh and to start at the beginning a good place to start and answer Raybay's first question the video card is an AGP slotted video card, it is ATI Radeon 9800 - an AGP 8x card and yes I went to the ATI Technology site and found the downloads but this is where it all ended, so I haven't started on the other yellow ? marks yet. I thought I would concentrate on this one first, then move on, just taking it slowly and by next Christmas I should get through it
    Thanks Raybay your answer was right on the mark I just don't know whether I have the experience to find all that info out, but I will try, I have 1.5 more weeks off on hols, then I've gotta go back to work, Maybe I shouldn't have taken

    It's the same Graphics card that has been in my computer since new, I still have the box and got the specs off the box, I don't have a disk as it was preinstalled on the computer, I went to that ATI site and it asked all questions and i downloaded the drivers for the Radeon 9800 series, I was going to try my graphics card from this working computer, but Kimsland warned me not to, cause I might bugger up my only working computer and I don't think any of my friends would have a graphics card laying around. I would need a certain type of one tooo hey, maybe easier to buy a new graphics
  19. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Well I've seen this irritating install of basic vga driver message before.
    I'd say, here we go
    remove the ATI Radeon 9800 (oh no)
    Install the onboard video in Windows (should install now) you may need to go safe mode to remove the queried display driver first (as it is wrong)
    Then when it's all working
    Re-Install the ATI Radeon 9800 card and load the correct drivers (you have)
    That should work
  20. gonggirl

    gonggirl TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    OK, Are you ready for it today................
    I lost internet connection last night as I stupidly went into my modem to Port Forward as this is how it all started and I stupidly, yes I know stupidly clicked on the wizard button in the modem setup and it cleared all my info, well this should be ok I'll just reset it and put all the info back in, I did this and now my modem/router has had the Richard, Geeeeez great 2008 I'm having, lucky my windows have been open or there could have been a lot of smashed glass. My modem/Router is a Billion 5102 and when I went to reset the info it gives me an error message of Error: Fail to update due to duplicate to a Rem Node name, well then I panicked I didn't have an internet now, even worse than not having any computers, anyway I had an old slow modem that come with my internet connection and this is what I'm using to connect now, it's working but it's not that good. Ok I rang Billion and they had never heard of that error before, my luck hey!!!!!! I cannot find the receipt for it, it would only be about 2 years old if that, so now I have to get a new Modem and it won't be a Billion, any suggestions on a decent, reliable no error modem/router brand and model???

    Ok now back to the problem, I actually sort of did what you suggested this morning, I uninstalled my video card as it would not take the drivers in anyway or form, so I uninstalled it, then restarted my computer and to see if windows could find it, luckily, I do have some, it found it and then I installed the drivers and presto it all I guess that's a good thing the Video card problem I think, I hope is fixed. Yeeehaaaa

    BUT.............yeah I know this seems to be never ending, it's like Days of our Lives, well it has been for me for the last 3 days. After installing the drivers it told me to restart the computer for it to take effect so I did this, the computer started back up and started loading all the programs which I know there are probably to many, but at this particular time I don't want to reformat......who knows what would go wrong then........the computer restarted but it froze or jammed when loading all the programs and I couldn't unfreeze it so the only thing I could do was to turn it off at the power point and try again, this is what I did and then when I restarted it again, I got the silly Pentium 4 page again and it didn't go any further, well this is when luckily the window was open............just jokin..............I sort of took a deep breath and walked away, I went and did a little retail therapy and went shopping for a couple of hours, priced some new modem/routers and talked to a couple of technicians, when I came home I thought just give it a try and here I am it booted up and loaded to windows, so I ahven't got a clue, it's not the video card, it's not the cmos battery, I didn't reset the CMOS to get it to go, can't be that..............I'm thinking, not that I'm toooo experienced at all, I'm thinking it's a CPU overheating problem now and maybe if it happens again I should try reseating the CPU/heatsink, what do you think?????? I'm just hoping I can get back in after I log off today to see what your answers are, fingers crossed I can, hey may I ask what country you are in????

    If you can also let me know if you've heard of my Billion Modem/router problem also that would be great, but if Billion haven't heard of the problem I doubt anyone else has, I'm pretty unique when it comes to errors..
  21. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Hi gonggirl
    Lots of writing and Reading !

    Anyway without reading it twice, all is OK ?

    As for my country I normally don't say (you don't say)
    But I'm pretty sure it's the same as yours
    Anyway CPU, nah, I still think the video card did all this
  22. gonggirl

    gonggirl TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    I really think it is something else, as it happened this afternoon again, after the computer locked up again loading all my programs, I have now deleted a few, after locking up I would hav to reboot by turning the main power point off and on again and everytime I do this it brings the Pentium 4 screen up, I leave it for around 2 hours as I have just done then it boots up ok, seems like it needs to cool down, just my thinking anyway as the video drivers and everything are A ok now now wavy screens or anything, resolution is good but problem still exists when rebooting after a lockup so i don't know, when i get time I'll reseat the CPU.
  23. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Can you try to run your computer off the Net (actually fully disabled from the net) I wonder if it locks up then.
    This may in fact not be a local problem with your computer
  24. gonggirl

    gonggirl TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    It has happened twice today and both times I haven't had a modem hooked up so I wasn't hooked up to the net, only because of my modem woes, there were a lot of programs trying to load all at once I have just now deleted a few as they were all trying to load on startup.
  25. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523
    Can be used for that.

    I have read through all the posts plus also read through your 2 earlier posts, and I believe we have covered 99% of everything except Clean Install.

    Is this an option for you, backup everything
    Fully remove partition and format, then re-install Windows (Drivers as well)
    I say this because, this will prove if it is hardware or software straight away.

    I think this is your best option (usually the entire process including Windows Updates; Adobe; Office other - will take around 4 + hours)

    What do you think ? Otherwise 12 + Hours from now we may still be banging our heads ! (nice pun)
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