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Old Compaq desktop not booting

Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:50 am
by rbsudo
I have an old Compaq SR5210NX desktop that will not boot. It is dual boot Linux Mint and Windows 7.

This is what the pc looks like: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6883109006

When I press the power button to turn it on, the light at the button (hdd) does not come on. The fans are running and the power supply light at the back of the case is on a steady green.

What I did yesterday: I reseated the two memory boards (1 GB ea.), cleaned out the inside of dust, and I re-seated all cables internally that I could.
Later, it started again (light at the power switch came on and it booted). I turned it off and on a few times, and it was working ok.
Then I turned it off one last time last night, and when I turned it back on it would not boot again (same symptoms as before).

This morning I turned it on and no luck again. The fans and power supply light are on, but there is no hdd light at the power switch in front of the case and it does not boot.

Any suggestions as to what I can try next? Thanks!

Re: Old Compaq desktop not booting

Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:07 am
by Pierre
is there any Beep Codes emitted ?.

can you get into the BIOS to see if the HDD is still being detected ?.

pull most of the add-in cards out, except for the Video Card,
and check again that the HDD is listed in the BIOS.

there is a real possibility that the HDD itself is going bad . . .

boot from a Linux Disk & check that can see all of the installed hardware.

Re: Old Compaq desktop not booting

Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:55 am
by ClixTrix
Since you're getting no HD light/activity, it sounds like the post is hanging.

Since it's a 10 year old system, I would suspect the motherboard and/or power supply.

If you inspect the motherboard carefully, are any of the capacitors showing leaks or bulging/peaking at the tops (which should be perfectly flat)?

Do you have another power supply you could substitute for a test?

Does the motherboard respond to power-off button?

Re: Old Compaq desktop not booting

Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:40 am
by Joe2Shoe
I would replace the CMOS (RTC) battery on the mobo for starters. Then boot from a LM Live CD/DVD/USB as stated above to see if the hardware is still viable.
I would also replace the thermal paste on the CPU (I use ArcticSilver Ceramic Thermal Paste).

Re: Old Compaq desktop not booting

Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:11 am
by wannabelinuxuser
If the disk is not booting then probably your CPU fan is malfunctioning.
Recheck your CPU fan.
And if the Display is not working then you should probably check your RAM.

Re: Old Compaq desktop not booting

Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:08 pm
by rbsudo
Thanks to everyone for the replies. I'll try to answer them so far on here.

Pierre:
There are no beeps.
Cannot get into the BIOS.... nothing appears on the monitor, not even the COMPAQ logo.
I tried booting from a Live LM USB drive and also from a Windows installation disc, but nothing appears on the monitor.

ClixTrix:
Two capacitors are showing a little black shiny material along the Y grooves on the top of each. One is slightly bulging out.
I don't have another power supply that I can test with.

Joe2Shoe:
I replaced the battery with a fresh one but there was no change when I tried to boot from Live USB drive or Windows disc.

wannabelinuxuser:
The side cover is off and I can see the CPU fan is working ok.
I've re-seated the RAM sticks several times now, but no luck yet.

It seems like the POST is not completing for whatever reason. The condition on the two capacitors is making me suspect a motherboard issue at this time.... although not sure.

Re: Old Compaq desktop not booting

Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:02 pm
by hrmcrm
I had a boot problem on an old HP desktop. The light around the power button came on, the fans ran, but it sounded like the two hard drives kept trying to spin but did not go. I found that if I turned off the switch on the power supply, then pressed the computer's power button, there was a brief flash of the power light. I then turned the power supply switch on, pressed the computer's button, and the machine booted.

I replaced the power supply and booting is normal again.

Re: Old Compaq desktop not booting

Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:17 pm
by rbsudo
hrmcrm,

Thanks for the suggestion. I tried it, but no luck. The HD light at the power switch still will not come on.

Re: Old Compaq desktop not booting

Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:44 pm
by Joe2Shoe
There are millions of bad power capacitors still out there. Used to be you could tell if a capacitor was bad because it would be puffy at the top and leaking crud. Now, the counterfeiters have perfected that and now they still look good, even if they are bad.
I usually replace ALL power capacitors with U.S. or Japanese brands, as the Chinese capacitors are a big problem. I fixed many Samsung TVs and LCDs because of cheap Chinese caps. Just recently fixed a $4,000.00 Samsung TV with 8 good U.S. capacitors that cost less than $10.00.

Re: Old Compaq desktop not booting

Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:34 pm
by ClixTrix
rbsudo wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:08 pm
ClixTrix:
Two capacitors are showing a little black shiny material along the Y grooves on the top of each. One is slightly bulging out.
I don't have another power supply that I can test with.
Unfortunately, that's a bad motherboard. Caps that are peaked and leaking aren't going to operate stable. It's like a bad battery. Replacing the capacitors on an old board is expensive. Better option would be replacement of the motherboard with used/refurbished of same make-model. Done it many times for the same reason...bad caps or other board problems. However, it's always possible the power supply is always going bad, providing out-of-spec power, and the root cause of the caps failing.

You might want to put the money toward a replacement system, instead of putting money into an old one. :wink: