Won't boot past BIOS. P4 1.7 GHz compaq, 1024MB

By wumpsdad ยท 6 replies
Mar 13, 2010
  1. Pentium 4 1.7 GHz, 1024 mb [2*256, 1* 512], Compaq.

    Found this machine without HD or memory.
    its misbehaving-
    Added an old HD and booted one time to XP but I couldn't pass the admion login screen without the password. With other HDs it had various problems. It said a few times an error with the IDE cable. I tried 4 different ones and kept getting the same error, so I doubt its that.

    I removed the battery and reset the CMOS then replaced the battery. On startup the memory counts up and stops at 832 mb and a message says there is a problem with the memory and to try removing memory sticks to isolate it. That is 192 mb short of the total: Is that relevant?

    Now it gives 2 beeps at startup, which if what I have read on these sites in correct means a memory error.
    So I tried the different sticks separately but with all it gives a 2 beep code at startup.
    I swapped the HD again, and maybe that is another separate problem, as an IDE DPS self test says it failed completion code 7. Now when I try to boot I get "NTLDR is missing, press any key to restart".

    Also, when I go to BIOS, often the boot order has changed by itself. Also, one of the first times I went to BIOS it didn't even recognize a hard drive but then booted from it anyway!

    I am not offered in the bios any Voltage analysis of the system to check the PSU.

    I am no expert, but suspect possibly dusty contacts in the memory as it was empty and dusty when I found it. I vacuumed the inside. Since I have such an array of problems, I thought possibly a dodgy PSU? Or are we talking MOBO is a MOFO?

    Your collective super geek intelligent input is much appreciated,

  2. nik11105

    nik11105 TS Enthusiast Posts: 74

    Its F**KED up:haha: No its seriously broken nothing can save it:dead:
  3. linktriscuit

    linktriscuit TS Rookie

    First, did you set the jumper on the HDD to master and the last connection of the IDE cable? Also, try putting in just the one 512MB module or anything higher temporarily possibly one or both 256MB module(s). And make sure you have the 512MB module infront of the two smaller ones. If by any chance the pc is hesitant as it posts, it's most likely the IDE cable so try to see if you could fix that. If you have onother set of memory modules that you can use temporarily, see if that works. Or take the modules you have now and try it on another system just to confirm they're working. I wouldn't suspect the PSU, but don't rule it out. Again, get a known working one to see if that's the problem. And last, about the NTLDR that sometimes happens when you just switch out the HDD and stick it on another pc, that's a separate problem. What you need to do is to fix the problems it detected during post.
  4. wumpsdad

    wumpsdad TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks, but thats kind of vague. WHAT exactly is wrong with it? is this the PSU? what if anything is broken or could be salvaged, and since that may be hard to tell from the post, how could I find out?


  5. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,188   +470

    Generally, you cannot stick in a hard drive from another PC and expect it to work normally unless that PC had an identical or near identical motherboard. Reinstall Windows XP on the hard drive and see if it all works.
  6. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Try formatting an hdd and fresh installing...your not supposed to swap hdd's.
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Do you have the original Compaq restore disk?
    If not, get on the phone with Compaq and order that disk, using the information on the label on the bottom of the computer. You can see info on how at the Compaq size for that specific model.
    But doing it on the telephone is easier than online... It will cost you somewhere between $18 and $31 including shipping, and will make for a happier life.
    Then be sure the Compaq is set to boot from the CD and start fresh.
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