Anyone Repair/Troubleshoot computers (laptops)

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Anyone Repair/Troubleshoot computers (laptops)

Postby sarahmarienc on Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:28 am

I have sitting in my possession an HP ZE 5300 with XP Home Premium. Purchased c. 2002? Crashed c. 2004? No extended warranty. Originally was suggested harddrive was bad. Took it out and put it in an HD case with USB plug in, worked flawlessly even on an older machine (Emachines with windows ME) Need to buy new case. Never found out what was actually wrong with the laptop. Anyone we tried to talk to on the phone said it sounded beyond repair. But after talking with HP about my own personal desktop, I know that often they say this and it isn't true. Thanks Mint!

So I'm wondering, could it be a fixable problem? Here is what happens. Turn on computer (if HD is installed) and it gives black screen and BIOS error. ANy options (F2, etc) don't cause any result. WIth HD not in, says "no OS found" DUH, right?! SO, does this sound like a motherboard or other issue?

Thanks for any help you can give. I can install, remove HD on my own. Not sure about other work. But curious as to whether this is similar to what happened with my HP and Vista compatibility causing crash? Maybe Mint could run on it if I could somehow get past the error screen?
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Re: Anyone Repair/Troubleshoot computers (laptops)

Postby Fred on Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:27 am

Sarah,

Your problem with the laptop could be several things. My first guess is a bad BIOS. Let's try and narrow it down. Go to the link below and download and burn Puppy linux shard 3.01 iso.

http://tmxxine.com/Wikka/wikka.php?wakk ... xxineShard

With no hard drive connected, try turning on the laptop and see if it will boot into the live cd.

If it won't boot, make a note of any error messages it gives. Try again and try to get the machine to go into BIOS set-up. If you don't remember the key combination for that machine try pressing "esc" or "delete" as it is trying to boot. If you can get into the BIOS set-up do two things. Reset the BIOS to the default values and set the boot order to boot the cd first. Save and exit and see if Puppy will then boot.

That's enough to start with. Post back your results.

Fred
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Re: Anyone Repair/Troubleshoot computers (laptops)

Postby sarahmarienc on Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:03 am

Fred wrote:Sarah,

Your problem with the laptop could be several things. My first guess is a bad BIOS. Let's try and narrow it down. Go to the link below and download and burn Puppy linux shard 3.01 iso.

http://tmxxine.com/Wikka/wikka.php?wakk ... xxineShard

With no hard drive connected, try turning on the laptop and see if it will boot into the live cd.

If it won't boot, make a note of any error messages it gives. Try again and try to get the machine to go into BIOS set-up. If you don't remember the key combination for that machine try pressing "esc" or "delete" as it is trying to boot. If you can get into the BIOS set-up do two things. Reset the BIOS to the default values and set the boot order to boot the cd first. Save and exit and see if Puppy will then boot.

That's enough to start with. Post back your results.

Fred


I followed your link, hit the download puppy shard 3.01 and it gave me an error:

Not Found

The requested URL /lobster/shard301.iso was not found on this server.
Apache/2.2.3 (CentOS) Server at www.puppylinux.ca Port 80
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Re: Anyone Repair/Troubleshoot computers (laptops)

Postby Fred on Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:41 am

Sarah,

hummm... They must have moved it. I'll see if I can find it .

Fred
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Re: Anyone Repair/Troubleshoot computers (laptops)

Postby Fred on Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:48 am

Sarah,

Well... I guess since it is kinda old, like me, they put it out to pasture. :-)

Go to the link below and try the "Puppy Linux 4.1.2" version.

http://www.puppylinux.org/downloads

Sorry.

Fred
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Re: Anyone Repair/Troubleshoot computers (laptops)

Postby sarahmarienc on Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:30 am

Fred wrote:Sarah,

Well... I guess since it is kinda old, like me, they put it out to pasture. :-)

Go to the link below and try the "Puppy Linux 4.1.2" version.

http://www.puppylinux.org/downloads

Sorry.

Fred


Okay thanks! Burning now.

Some information for you from the screens (no harddrive installed, no OS currently)

-----------------------------

First you get a black background screen that says

Copyright 2002 Argon Technology Corp etc.


It's trying to boot, I suppose.

It says PXE E61 Media Test Failure

Initializing MBA, press cntrl + alt + b to configure


I did this

It gives the following information on a blue screen

Argon PXE
Boot Agent V.2.01 Bios Integrated

Copyright 2002 Argon Technology Corporation

Copyright 2000 3Com Corporation

Configuration message: Enabled
Timeout: 6 Seconds
Failure Prompt: Wait for timeout
Failure: Boot Next Device

Esc: quit F9:previous settings f10: save


I hit f9 for default settings, f10 to save, esc to exit

Then I get "No OS found" ;) (I know that part!)
--------------------------------------------

Not sure if any of that was helpful. But just in case...

Okay, cd is done, going to try and restart the laptop and see what happens
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Re: Anyone Repair/Troubleshoot computers (laptops)

Postby sarahmarienc on Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:44 am

CD won't work. Put it in, start computer

"Initializing MBA"

HP Invent Screen

"ESC" change boot order
Change to CD ROM, save

"Initializing MBA....

Media test failure, check cable"

"No operating system found"

F2-SETUP, hit F2

Setup Screen Main
--------------------------

Bios revision KH.F.06
System time
system date
Language
Internal Hard Drive -- None
WMA Video Memory- Auto
F2 Delay (sec) 00
Memory 191 MB
serial #
servuce UD
UUID
MAC Address

Checked all other screens and everything looks normal, just in case, hit F9 to restore to default settings, F10 to save, esc to exit and thus begins the process all over again......
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Re: Anyone Repair/Troubleshoot computers (laptops)

Postby sarahmarienc on Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:53 am

Now we're getting somewhere

Okay, I took a chance.

I turned it off. Put the harddrive back into the computer.

Started it. Hit F2 for setup, changed boot order to boot from CD-rom F10 to save, esc to exit, restart.

Ahhh, Puppy Linux screen came up. We'll see what happens.
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Re: Anyone Repair/Troubleshoot computers (laptops)

Postby sarahmarienc on Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:00 am

Currently it has loaded kernel drivers needed to access disk drives

Now it is searching for Puppy files in computer disk drives... has been on this screen about 3 minutes now...
finished that and now we are on setup options, currenty at the Puppy Video Wizard
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Re: Anyone Repair/Troubleshoot computers (laptops)

Postby sarahmarienc on Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:03 am

sarahmarienc wrote:Currently it has loaded kernel drivers needed to access disk drives

Now it is searching for Puppy files in computer disk drives... has been on this screen about 3 minutes now...
finished that and now we are on setup options, currenty at the Puppy Video Wizard


FRED, we have a DESKTOP! Once again, Linux amazes me. I had tried re-installing 3 different versions of Windows (98, ME,XP) to get this computer working.
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Re: Anyone Repair/Troubleshoot computers (laptops)

Postby sarahmarienc on Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:19 pm

It sounds awful? NOt sure if it's because the hard drive cover is missing to close the computer up or if maybe the fan is bad? Loud whirring sound. Puppy is really bland. Not sure how it works, it looks so different and convoluted compared to Mint. LOL!
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Re: Anyone Repair/Troubleshoot computers (laptops)

Postby Fred on Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:24 pm

Sarah,

My connection to the forum is really problematic this morning!

Well we know the machine will boot and run now. :-)

Play with this little distro for a while and see if everything seems to be working. I have not used this version of Puppy but Puppy is very good at running on almost everything.

What we are trying to find out is if the hardware is working ok. If it seems to be ok I would wipe that hard drive clean to make sure it doesn't have any nasties on it that may have been causing the problem. Probably wouldn't have any effect on Linux but it is a good idea to start with a known clean drive.

I don't know if that version of Puppy has the dd command on it but it is worth a try.

Open a terminal and type:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda

This will write a zero to every memory location on the hard drive. If that command returns to the cli prompt immediately then it sees the drive as hda so retry with:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda

This command will take a long time to finish, (hours). It won't give you any feedback as to what is happening. When the cli prompt returns you will be finished and will have a clean drive.

You can then try to install the OS of your choice. I don't know how much RAM you have so I can't say what might work on it and what won't.

Fred
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Re: Anyone Repair/Troubleshoot computers (laptops)

Postby Fred on Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:42 pm

Sarah,

I see now you have less than 200 MB of RAM. You are going to have a problem running Mint with that. It will be so slow that it will drive you to drink!

I am sorry but this connection I have to the forum is just too frustrating for me. I am going to leave it with you for a while.

If you need me later today I'll be back. Try the commands I gave you above and see if you can get a good clean drive. If the fan is what is making all the noise try blowing the fan clean. A dirty machine will make a lot of noise. Hopefully it isn't the hard drive.

Later dear,

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

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Re: Anyone Repair/Troubleshoot computers (laptops)

Postby sarahmarienc on Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:32 pm

Fred wrote:Sarah,

I see now you have less than 200 MB of RAM. You are going to have a problem running Mint with that. It will be so slow that it will drive you to drink!

I am sorry but this connection I have to the forum is just too frustrating for me. I am going to leave it with you for a while.

If you need me later today I'll be back. Try the commands I gave you above and see if you can get a good clean drive. If the fan is what is making all the noise try blowing the fan clean. A dirty machine will make a lot of noise. Hopefully it isn't the hard drive.

Later dear,

Fred


According to the manual that came with this book, it should have 512MB ram. what would use that up? maybe part is damaged and that's why xp crashed? how expensive is ram for laptop? even doable to add more or replace?

command dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda
returned following

dd: writing to /dev/sda: input/output error

1+0= records In
0+0= recordsOut
0 byes (0 b) copied, 0.00115659 s, 0.0 kB/s

Yah my connection here is bad today as well. Keep getting internal server errors. Eeek!
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Re: Anyone Repair/Troubleshoot computers (laptops)

Postby Fred on Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:51 pm

Sarah,

Suppose to have 512 MB? I would first try to find the memory sticks on the main board. Unplug them one at a time and re-seat each of them. Could be that the connections aren't making good contact.

If need be you can put new RAM in. It shouldn't be very expensive to replace. Depending one what kind of memory it takes, it might be hard to find. Take a stick with you when you go to purchase.

Did you try:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda

I don't know how Puppy will see the hard drive, but it will be either sda or hda.

Fred
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Re: Anyone Repair/Troubleshoot computers (laptops)

Postby sarahmarienc on Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:00 pm

Fred wrote:Sarah,

Suppose to have 512 MB? I would first try to find the memory sticks on the main board. Unplug them one at a time and re-seat each of them. Could be that the connections aren't making good contact.

If need be you can put new RAM in. It shouldn't be very expensive to replace. Depending one what kind of memory it takes, it might be hard to find. Take a stick with you when you go to purchase.

Did you try:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda

I don't know how Puppy will see the hard drive, but it will be either sda or hda.

Fred


yah I tried the other command it shows "no such device or address"

Opened GParted. It shows as SDA in there and says 55.89 GiB unallocated.

Okay, editing to add. I was able to find the memory card slot and remove the one card. It only has 256 MB Ram, apparently not all of that is available. I did a search and it can hold up to 1 GB of Ram so I can buy two 512 MBs of ram for about $25 each or $50 total. Not bad. The issue is going to be finding the current one. It uses PC-2100 SO DIMM on this hp notebook.

Edited to add: BLONDE MOMENT! I was running from LiveCD. Never could figure out how to install it to the actual computer. Can MOUNT harddrive and see information that is on it. LOL! No wonder your command didn't want to work ;) Well, it runs. IT is the harddrive making all that darn noise. I don't know if it's just because the cover is off the front of it or because it's getting ready to go. Cleaned the fan. This has been interesting. Thanks so much for the help Fred.
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Re: Anyone Repair/Troubleshoot computers (laptops)

Postby Zwopper on Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:02 pm

Have you tried to run Memtest from the Mint CD?
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Re: Anyone Repair/Troubleshoot computers (laptops)

Postby sarahmarienc on Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:51 pm

Zwopper wrote:Have you tried to run Memtest from the Mint CD?


Nope, would a Mint 6 or Mint 5 have that on there? I wasn't sure I could run it from a Mint CD because of there only be 256 mb of ram. Wasn't sure the cd would even load. Everything works fine in the Live cd of Puppy Linux though. I'm sure if I could find the install button it would work fine installed as well. Going to google and see which stores near me have extra memory so I can buy some for it so that I can put Mint on it. Can support up to 1 GB
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Re: Anyone Repair/Troubleshoot computers (laptops)

Postby Zwopper on Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:12 am

sarahmarienc wrote:
Zwopper wrote:Have you tried to run Memtest from the Mint CD?


Nope, would a Mint 6 or Mint 5 have that on there? I wasn't sure I could run it from a Mint CD because of there only be 256 mb of ram. Wasn't sure the cd would even load. Everything works fine in the Live cd of Puppy Linux though. I'm sure if I could find the install button it would work fine installed as well. Going to google and see which stores near me have extra memory so I can buy some for it so that I can put Mint on it. Can support up to 1 GB

The memtestfunction is avaliable from the boot menu and takes about 128kb of memory, so that will NOT be a problem. :wink:
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Re: Anyone Repair/Troubleshoot computers (laptops)

Postby sarahmarienc on Thu Dec 18, 2008 4:32 pm

Zwopper wrote:
sarahmarienc wrote:
Zwopper wrote:Have you tried to run Memtest from the Mint CD?


Nope, would a Mint 6 or Mint 5 have that on there? I wasn't sure I could run it from a Mint CD because of there only be 256 mb of ram. Wasn't sure the cd would even load. Everything works fine in the Live cd of Puppy Linux though. I'm sure if I could find the install button it would work fine installed as well. Going to google and see which stores near me have extra memory so I can buy some for it so that I can put Mint on it. Can support up to 1 GB

The memtestfunction is avaliable from the boot menu and takes about 128kb of memory, so that will NOT be a problem. :wink:


Thanks, it's running now. How long should I let it run? So far it's been running an hour and passed 4 times with 0 errors.
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