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Replace processor on PowerSpec 9261

By Ruthe ยท 16 replies
Apr 29, 2008
  1. OK, I did a really stupid thing. I was cleaning the inside of the case and broke a pin on the processor on my PowerSpec. I am SO upset with myself! I don't suppose it's still usable?

    I want to replace the processor since all my data and apps and utils etc. are set up just the way I wanted. The PowerSpec has Win XP Pro.

    I tried the cheapest save: I put the HD from the PowerSpec on the eMachine as the slave. eMachine running Win XP home. I can see a lot BUT I can't get to my docs. I THINK it's because I was running as Administrator with a password on the PowerSpec. I tried to create an Administrator user on the eMachine but it said the Admin account was already present. I can't see it. I have Admin rights on both (machines? OS? HD?).

    But I'd much rather get the PowerSpec running again. I was told by a techie the motherboard probably got fried so if I buy a new processor I would be throwing away my money. I don't have a lot of that. He suggested putting Linux Ubuntu (with?) NTFS-3G. He said I'd be able to get all my data, even if it's password protected. I'm a little nervous doing that since I've heard Linux is complicated to install and I'm not familiar with the commands. And besides, I want the PowerSpec back!

    So, all that to preface my questions. I did TWO days!!!! of research. The board is Intel D865PERC.

    I'm not sure what you need but the PowerSpec had an Intel P4 processor with Hyper Thread Tech at 3.2 GHz. I think it uses a 478 socket. Memory is 1GB composed of 2-512MB PC3200 SDRAM 184-pin DIMMs. Level 1 cache is 8KB and 12KB of trace cache. Level 2 cache is 512KB. Bus is 800MHz frontside. Chipset is Intel 865PE. I don't know what all this means!

    I've looked out to buy a new processor but I'm not sure exactly what I need to match up. Bus speed? Clock speed? Cache? And what the heck's packaging type? I've seen tray v. box. And core stepping. My spec sheet says 9, but I couldn't find that on the Intel site at all. And I have BIOS settings, the system resource report, and everything from DevMan if it would help.

    But my spec sheet said dual processors. I don't understand this. Is a single composed of 2?

    So could you please tell me what I need to match up? Do I have to buy Intel? Prices vary from $66.00 to over $700.00. What's that all about?!

    Also, I think I need to buy a new heat sink and fan. (?) Thermal goop?

    Please save my PowerSpec. Thank you VERY much.
  2. Ruthe

    Ruthe TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 62

    Replace a dead processor to get Hard Drive data or just that you like the old machine

    Ok. I don't know why none of you responded. I would have thought you had that knowledge at your fingertips.

    It took another two days but I found that the only thing you really need to match is the socket type and chipset. For what I was doing, the socket 478 supported chipset 865PE so that was ok.

    You can get the socket type off the motherboard or just by inspection by someone knowledgable. Or if you have any BIOS data you can look it up.

    Discretionary is the clock (processor) speed, the cache, the bus speed, max temp...
    But faster IS better.

    To get to old hard drive data, in general any machine running the same OS ought to work. But in the case of XP, I found since I had a password OR because I was trying a HD with XP Pro as slave and a machine running XP Home, I could not get to my data.

    I never tried the Linux solution in my original post. That would have only gotten me the data though, and NOT the setup it took so long to build up just the way I wanted it.

    Intel has a processor finder that is helpful. Terminology varies upon manufacturer and common usage. It's confusing. Articles I found helpful can be found at

    the intel product comparison chart
    and Motherboards.org

    So to find what I wanted I used Excel to build a spreadsheet of (Intel terminology) sSpec, SOCKET (aka pin type), CHIPSET, processor type, clock speed (in GHz), bus speed (in MHz), bus/core ratio, L2 cache, L2 speed, technology (aka architecture, in nM or micro tech), therm design (in W), therm spec (in degrees C), hyper thread, dual/single core, core step, and CPU ID.

    You can also find out what each of these are, but for most people they are not important. Just be sure you match the socket (and chipset) to your motherboard.
    As far as Intel goes the sSpec is the most important. If you know that you can retrieve the socket info. I found mine in the archived stuff - which was hard to find.

    Now go forth in eBay!

    So now I have passed on a small bit of knowledge gained. Funny. If someone has replied ("just match the socket and you'll be fine") I would have missed the chance to learn alot. Let me know if my understanding is incorrect. I think it would be nice for one of you to write up a small guide or point people to other sites at the top of this forum. Any takers?
  3. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,270   +103

    Ruthe, I am sorry you've had to wait so long, however, given the number of questions you've asked it's hard for most people to sit down for that length of time and give a detailed and yet understandable (to you) outline of everything. You have to realize that most people here have families, they have full time jobs and some go to school full time. It's easy to forget that this is not your IT department at work, this is a voluntary "service". A quick "just match the socket and you'll be fine" is all that can be provided sometimes.

    That said, I will try and quote, and answer a good number of your questions (despite the fact that you've probably gotten the answer to half of them).

    The most you'll be able to do with this is back your documents up off of the PowerSpec's HDD. You were probably being given some error which stated access was denied etc, and that is because you likely have to take ownership: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308421.

    If you know the issue is with a broken pin on the CPU, your motherboard should be absolutely fine. "Tech's" commonly blame everything on the motherboard. Why? Because they either lack experience and knowledge, or, they're too lazy to give you real advice and help.

    You don't even have to install Linux to transfer the data from one drive to the next if you run it as a LiveCD instead. A distro named "Knoppix" is suggested quite frequently for the task of rescuing data.

    To use Knoppix, download the .iso, burn it to a CD as an image file. Now, with another storage device attached to your PC, boot off the Knoppix CD. It'll take a few minutes to load. When it completes, you'll be able to access your HDD and it's contents as well as the spare storage device right on the desktop.

    Naturally the most important thing here is that it fits physically, so, of course you'd want the form factor to line up. Secondly, you need to know what your motherboard and it's BIOS will support. The easiest way to avoid that would be to buy what you already know works, which would be your current CPU. You know your current CPU works because :O you've been using it!

    If you happen to want to get the most out of your motherboard, you can either look it's specifications up on the manufacturer's website or you can try and take a look at your PC manufacturer's website for more information.

    The packaging type probably refers to the actual packaging that the CPU will be shipped in. More than likely a CPU labeled as a "boxed" CPU comes in a fancy little retail box with a manual or pamphlet of sorts and it has a heatsink included. One that is labeled as having a "tray" package type is probably an "OEM" CPU which doesn't come with the previously mentioned goods.

    A CPU's "stepping" is the actual version or revision of that particular model. Just as software has updated releases (v1.8, v1.8a, v2.0 etc), so does hardware. Updated CPU's usually have some form of a bug fix or perhaps they expand compatibility.

    Well, yes and no. In your case, not exactly. You have HT which is commonly read by the system as a second core. However, a CPU with HT enabled has two sets of general-purpose registers, control registers, and other architecture components, but both logical processors share the same cache, execution units, and buses. During operations, each logical processor handles a single thread. CPU's with HT can fill idle time with a second process. Despite all of that you're only going to see around a 25% increase in performance at best.

    In short, HT is an imaginary second core that isn't nearly as efficient as actually having a second core.

    Yes, if your motherboard is architecturally designed to support an Intel CPU, you are limited to an Intel CPU.

    It'd be easier for me to tell you the difference between two CPU's and why their prices are so drastically different than give you a rough answer as to why there are price ranges with CPU's. You could of been looking at a server chip, maybe an "extreme" version of a CPU, or even someone overpricing their crap on eBay.

    Assuming you buy the "boxed" version of a CPU, as noted above, it ought to come with a heatsink and a thermal "pad".
  4. Ruthe

    Ruthe TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 62

    First off, Zenosincks, you are ugly but AWESOME. :)

    Thank you VERY much for your reply. Also thank you for the (gentle, thanks) reminder that this is voluntary. I know. I just spent over an hour doing research to help some other poor slob. It's hard to remember when your favorite computer with all the things you prize most is toast. I'm sorry.

    Save early. Save often. :)

    I really appreciate your answer. I've seen that the easy questions get several answers, the hard ones (or nebulous, in my case) get few. The real problem is that no one takes the time to say thank you. Only a few write up the solution to their problem - which would help a lot.

    But people like you go on to help even though you realize you'll only be acknowledged/appreciated less than 10% of the time.

    So, my status is: grateful. Thanks for all the input. I appreciate the knowledge and ideas. I am still waiting for my processor to be delivered. I have several options: replace the processor and everything's fine; use Ubuntu, use ownership, use Knoppix. I am not so panicked as I was.

    I'll be in touch. Thank you!
  5. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,270   +103

    :p I assume you realize that's not my real picture, but, yeah I'm an ugly joe in reality as well.

    Lol, I don't post here for a pat on the back (and I assume others with thousands of posts don't either). I simply enjoy PC repair and what it entails. Reading the threads and being involved with posts here helps me refine the skills and knowledge required to be successful with that.

    That said, thanks to you as well Ruthe ;). Good luck with your new CPU!
  6. Ruthe

    Ruthe TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 62

    I SO doubt that! But from NY.... well .... But over 2K posts since Feb? You ARE good!

    Well, I got the new (used) processor. Now I'm trying to troubleshoot another problem. Sigh.

    The power comes on when I press the power on switch. But it immediately shuts off. I don't think it's the switch itself. All three fans start.

    Could it be I got a bum processor? I've checked all the power cables. There are no dip switches on the motherboard so I didn't accidentally reset anything.

    Got any ideas? Off to see if there are any troubleshoot posts or guides. More later.
  7. Ruthe

    Ruthe TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 62

    Darn, Zenosincks! I forgot! I did manage to slave my dear HD to the eMachine. Your instructions for taking permissions was dead on (m$ page). THANK YOU! At least I can reach my data and pix - and that was priceless.

    I don't know what a distro is, but I'm going to find out.
  8. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,270   +103

    The symptoms that you're describing are generally the fault of a defective PSU, RAM, or (as you're probably aware) CPU and motherboard.

    Given the fact that you have just replaced the CPU, you can indeed question the source if you feel that it is a possibility they've given you a "bum" product.

    However, looking back, perhaps the technician had a legitimate reason for blaming your motherboard? Was anything in detail said about that or did he/she just blurt it out as if it were the know all answer?

    Personally, what I would do is strip the system down to nothing except the PSU, RAM, CPU and motherboard (sounds more troublesome than it is). Disconnect or remove all other devices. When you've got your PC ripped down to those four components - attempt to power it on.

    If it stays on for longer than just a few seconds, shut it down and add one component, power the system back on and see if it's still smooth - continue this until it's reassembled.

    If your system still won't power on with only those four components, you have at least narrowed it down - make sure everything is attached properly and remove all but *one* latch of RAM. If possible, borrow one that is compatible to the equipment you're dealing with (and also known to be working) and use only that latch. Refusal to boot at this point would drive me to initiate the phase of either returning the CPU or getting a hold of another motherboard suitable for the PC.

    :) Congratulations on retrieving your data!
  9. Ruthe

    Ruthe TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 62

    You are AWESOME. Thanks again for the ideas.

    I did try powering with just the original mother, power, HD, RAM and all the fans (some original, one not). I find it had to believe the problem could be with the original stuff - but that's just inexperience. (why don't I need the HD?)

    I think first (according to your instructions) I'll try removing the HD and the fan I added. Is that ok? So just using original RAM (4 DIMMS), power, mother. New CPU (can't send it back now if it's bum - 7 day "warranty" AARGH) new fan and heat sink. (I don't know if I have access to other mahcines or components, but I'll check.)

    If that doesn't work, I'm really hoping I just put too much thermal goop on. I covered the whole CPU with a very thin layer, but I read somewhere here the size of a grain of rice - smeared around the center - is the correct way.

    So second test will be to clean with isoprophyl alcohol and try again with much less. OK?

    Third test will be to remove all but one RAM stick. Sound like a plan?

    I only described the problem to the tech. I << KNOW >> I did a really stupid thing. I was distracted when I was cleaning the case and I KNOW I re-inserted the CPU in - freaking upside down! Bent two-three pins beyond repair. Can you believe that! I was heartsick the moment I did it. I can NOT describe the feeling. I hope/think you never will! I did carefully look at the mother, but I didn't see anything obviously wrong.

    Anyway, thanks for caring. I'll wait until tomorrow to start testing - and let you know if you haven't yelled STOP! :)
  10. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,270   +103

    That sounds fine, however, do yourself the favor of trying to reapply the thermal compound initially as overheating would most definitely cause those symptoms as well. However, by the sound of it, you didn't use too much. It's common to just place a dot the size of a grain of rice to the size of a small pea in the center of your CPU, but, spreading a very (<== keyword) thin layer around the heatspreader is an okay method as well. Personally, I've done them both and tossing a dot in the center requires less work, so it's what I've stuck with, however, I've experienced no negative results with the other.

    When you go to tear your system apart, leave only 1 RAM module in the first DIMM slot to decrease the odds that it's your RAM (though, it's probably not given your circumstances). That also shaves one step off your outline above :).

    You don't need your HDD because it doesn't play a part in the boot process until the ROM BIOS starts looking at your MBR (to load an operating system). Assuming no other bootable device is in the loop (bootable CD, floppy disk etc.) or the boot sequence is configured so that your HDD is on top, the BIOS looks for a master boot record (MBR) at cylinder 0, head 0, sector 1 (the first sector) of the first HDD. If this sector is found, it is loaded into memory address 0000:7C00 and tested for a signature. If the last two (signature) bytes of the MBR are not equal to 55AAh, software interrupt 18h (Int18h) is invoked on most systems. This causes the BIOS to display an error message that can vary for different BIOS manufacturers but it'll usually complain about there not being a boot device/disk or system disk etc.

    Okay so just to recap:

    1. Reapply the thermal compound.
    2. Tear your system apart and leave only the PSU, CPU, 1 RAM module and your motherboard in the loop (with all the fans).

    On a side note, you did have the CPU heatsink's fan plugged in correctly yes?
  11. Ruthe

    Ruthe TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 62

    Yes to the fan. I checked it SEVERAL times. :)
    I will do things in the order you suggest tomorrow - or later today since it's now 6am!
    I'll let you know. Keep your fingers crossed for me.
    And again, thanks for the info. Really cool.
  12. Ruthe

    Ruthe TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 62

    I very thoroughly cleaned the processor and reinstalled.
    I started bare bones (per your instructions) and added back expansion cards and HD. In all cases:

    Machine powers on. Keyboard lights flash at power on. Light on motherboard is on. All fans come on. That's it. No beep. I don't think the HD powers up. No display. I tried using a different cable and power to the HD, no change.

    I'm sorry to be so many days late, I've had some problems. This has not been my month. This is all just too depressing.

    Could you tell me what the machine checks when it single beeps at start up? Would that help me diagnose what's wrong? I have a volt meter. Don't know how to use it though! :) Should I learn?
  13. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,270   +103

    Your HDD isn't spinning up because your system isn't making it to that point in the boot process.

    Every time you power on your PC, it automatically performs a string of tests that checks the primary components in your system (CPU, RAM, ROM, motherboard support circuitry, and major peripherals). These tests are brief and are designed to catch hard errors. The POST (Power-On Self Test) procedures are not very thorough compared with third party diagnostic utilities but, it serves as a very rough testing of the components to ensure that there aren't any major malfunctions. The POST process provides error or warning messages if and when it encounters a defective component.

    If the POST discovers an issue severe enough to keep the system from operating properly, it halts the boot process and generates an error message that often identifies the source of the problem. The error can be in the form of audible beeps or on-screen messages.

    When the system passes a POST (no issues are discovered), it's common for a single beep to be let off.

    If you're not getting any error codes honestly, that tech may have had a justifiable reason to suggest that your motherboard is defective (or he was just lucky with a guess :)). It could, again, also be that your new CPU is defective.

    I'd be a liar if I told you which one was having issues from however many miles away I am :). You'll just have to swap one or the other and find your answer accordingly (or buy a new PC altogether).

    Aye, I've had quite the crappy two months myself. They say all things that go up must come down, hopefully it's true for the reverse.
  14. Ruthe

    Ruthe TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 62

    Hey dude. Misery does NOT love company. I feel for you.

    Question: I've discovered that machine is supposed to have an AMI BIOS. (When I got the machine I wrote down all the settings.) I found a recovery .bio at Intel. Would it hurt to try that? Would it hurt to clear the CMOS? Can you think of ANYTHING else I could do? I tried waving my hand over the case while saying "be healed!" but that didn't work either. :)

    I'm kinda desperate. I'd like to try every possible test. I don't think I did anything to the motherboard. I might not recognize it if I did though. I don't have any more $$ to spend - laid off like the rest of the world. I remember beep codes when I did the most horrible thing to the processor. I thought it was 5+5 (hopefully not 10!). I was so surprised I didn't actually count - but it was a lot. I looked up the beep codes and it's possible it's the mother, but I don't want it to be.

    So what's going on with you? Do you need a sympathetic Southern ear?

    BTW, I like your footer although I don't think many people read it. Mine would be "before you do anything you have to do something else."
  15. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,270   +103

    I wouldn't bother trying to flash the BIOS because if your HDD isn't spinning up, odds are the rest of your drives aren't being checked for a bootable disk either. Plus, you don't have display to pull it off safely anyway and you'd definitely want to be sure that the BIOS version you're looking at is compatible with your motherboard. Not exactly sure what it is that you're looking at though...

    Go for it, clearing the CMOS wouldn't do any harm.

    Not really sure what else to suggest if you have the same exact results during a boot whilst only having the PSU, CPU, RAM and motherboard in the loop.

    One of those four components is a dud. It's most likely that either your new CPU is defective or your motherboard has indeed bitten the dust. See if you can borrow a CPU compatible with your PC from another system. If you have the same results at that point, I would definitely bet that it's a motherboard failure.

    :p I'm not much for whining about my life. Sh*t can always be worse you know? I'd definitely have a casual chat with you some time though, you seem nice enough and you speak English :D.
  16. Ruthe

    Ruthe TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 62

    Just to catch up, I haven't been around for a while. The PowerSpec: I tried clearing CMOS by removing the battery for a minute. No change. My brother is looking to see if he has any old parts. I never see any post codes - why? May be the monitor. The darn thing goes into power saver mode when off. It takes a while for the monitor to display at boot.

    The eMachine with WinXP home also had 95 tracking cookies, 1 virus, 1 trojan. I've been scarfing data off the P'spec HD. Install new anti-virus, set up options, clear prefetch, set up preferences, load utils and other software .... oh poor me. :-}

    But you're right, things could be worse.

    For the moment, needed to get my mail so I'm on the Micron (Win98). At least it has working internet connection.

    Still going to try to get back P'spec. More later.
  17. Ruthe

    Ruthe TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 62

    This is the last post for this one. I tried removing the RAM. The fans start, but still no beeping. I think it should have continuously beeped. Hoping for a miracle I added back all components, but of course nothing happened.

    I did find another processor to try on the mother. No joy. So I think I must have killed Mom. I still don't know about the processor I bought. I've not yet been able to find another board to try it on. Thanks to you, Zenosincks, for giving me so much help. Good luck in your endeavor.
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