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Old 08-03-2006, 10:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is My computer DEAD?

I have an old Compaq Presario 5bw160 computer running at 700mhz with 128mb of ram. It is using a chip based cpu not slot type. It also has a 20g hard drive and a cd burner and cdrom drive as well as a floppy drive. It has a 125w power supply. It came with windows 98 or 98se (not sure).

I was told that the computer was fried by somebody with far less if not any experience with computers. I have some experience. When I first turned it on and made sure that everything was connected properly, I heard a very loud grinding noise coming from the hard drive. The computer then gives me a general hardware failure error. I concluded that the hard drive was shot and set it aside. The ram, cpu, and everything else seem to be working, kinda.

I then tried using a hard drive that I know works and had xp pro on it. It booted up and sat at a black screen or just kept retarting. I was then told that the bios probably does not support xp and would have to be updated. So I took an identical hard drive that also was working fine and put windows 98se on it. Everything went well, up untill the point where windows wants to install the drivers for hardware devices at the very beginning of start up. This is the point after where windows is installed. It restarts and shows the windows 98 screen, then went to the admin password screen. I left pass blank then it started looking for hardware. It gets to MPU-401 in the found new hardware screen and then just restarts. Just boom restarts. There is an audible pop sound when the restart occurs through the speakers.

After the restart it runs scandisk very quickly and boots up 98 again. It then pulls up the found new hardware screen then the MPU-401 thing and repeats it self over and over again. I tried another power supply to see if it might be the prob, but nope, thats not it. I can however get into the bios still and do all the partitioning stuff and so forth.

Does any one know whats wrong? Is the motherboard dead?
Thanks in advance.

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Old 08-03-2006, 11:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Read this for MPU-401. As far as your computer being dead I doubt that. You wouldnt get that far.

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Old 08-04-2006, 02:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Unfortunately, I cannot actually get to a point where I can control anything even to install drivers. It never really gets to the point where it "doesnt" get the driver. In other words, when I see the screen show MPU-401, it restarts. An error message pops up if i pound the key board and it says something about a kernel. I believe it said kernel32 or something. The point is that it restarts moments after the MPU thing. And it will continue this process forever unless I stop it. NOw, unfortunatly, The power supply refuses to power the system on. I had to up it from its previously working 125w to to a newer 250w power supply, but the result is still the same.

I have another mobo that I thought may work, but it turns on and thats it. The monitor it connects to doesnt show a thing and I know that both it and the video card work.

I must be forever doomed to receive dead or dying computers. I So hate the past. New pc parts just work. Curse pentium.
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Old 08-04-2006, 09:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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check the caps on the motherboard for swelling or valcano effect, if the caps are not flaton top dead motherboard, and posibly bad power supply as to much or little can damage the caps.

Windows xp will not boot on a difrent pc unless the mother board and cpu is similer in brand and chipset.

If you got this pc from someone els then you probly dont have data you need try a reformat

as for your hard drive (original) some old Compaq pc had cheep loud hard drives or it could be going bad find the brand name of the hd and go to the manufactuers sight and down load the diag tools
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Old 08-04-2006, 02:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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are you sure the grinding noise is the HD ? It would be more logicall to be the processor fan or another fan, they can be noisey before they go.
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