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We're just getting started on this page (28 Jan 05). Plans are to place various encounters with troublesome PCs here such that others 'may' benefit. These will be from my own experiences and others. The menu on the left will get filled as things are found and deemed worthwhile.

 October 4th, 2013/4:53am   The above was taken from our "original" WebPage on this subject. We are changing it to this new format cause we like it better. And it is more 'up-to-date' even though it is behind. Speaking of which, dates, they probably won't be the same as when the 'problem' was experienced. Didn't think about dates way back when we originally created the info. So some of them, the dates, will just be 'now' as we are doing the remodel.

We are keeping the 'old' Harware Page... just because. It is referenced over in the Left Column. IF we ever decide to move that stuff over to here then that page will be deleted. For now we are just keeping it for 'old times sake'.

  A V2Premier 9120 - P4VMM2

 Problem:  A customer called and said that their PC was not working. I arrived and turned on the monitor and found that it worked. I pressed the PC power on and nothing happened. Crawled into the small space provided and looked at the back of the PC. Nothing was connected. Then it was said that a "friend" had looked at it. After reconnecting everything to the back of the PC, including Power, it still did not come on. I said I would have to take it back to my shop. There I found, after opening the case, that none of the Power Supply connections were connected AND the HeatSink for the CPU had been broken loose. Not just removed, but broken.

 Further Analyzation:  Replaced Power Supply. Did not fix. However, at power on the supply fan would start to spin and then quit. Something killing the PS?? What??

  • PSU test - Shorted Green to Black - PS stays on. PSU OK???
  • CPU - Overheating - but in only 2 or 3 secs??
  • CPU fan not connected. Has detection??
  • RAM Stick out - No help
  • Modem Card out - No help
  • Drives disconnected - No Help
  • Removed CPU - Can now get Power to stay on!!

 The fix  After embarrassing my self for to long a time, I got the system to operate. The P4 CPU was bad. I found during this ordeal that all P4's are not interchangeable. Besides speed, there is also the technology. I purchased a replacement P4, at our local 'puter store and it didn't kill the power like the original but it would not work. Thinking that there was something else wrong with the Mother Board, I looked for a replacement. The MB in this system had sockets for both SDRAM and DDR. Could not use both at the same time. A suitable replacement could not be found locally. I found another one on the Internet.

Unfortunately, the new MB did not fix the problem either. I either had gotten another bad MB or another bad CPU. This is when I learned of the tech difference. The original P4 was of the Northwood technology and the first one I purchased was of the Prescott technology. The Prescott P4 would not work in a board set up to handle a Northwood P4. Fortunately the local store took back the Prescott P4. Another Northwood P4 was not available locally. I searched the net and found one. Finally I was able to power up the PC and almost get it to work. I could finally get into the BIOS and look at the ROM software. However, it would not boot-up from the HD.

This was a WinXP system and I figured the P4 change and MB change was to much for it to handle. So I asked the customer for the recovery disks. She did not have any. This company had placed a recovery partition on the HD, similar to what I had experienced with my HPs. There was a recovery, if you can call it that, floppy disk that co-coordinated the operations of recovery with the special recovery partition. I tried this and there were claims from the software that there were bad sectors in the system sectors. My logical conclusion at this point was that either the HD was bad and must be replaced or at least needed to be reformatted. Either meant that the recovery partition would be lost. The company was contacted and after signing in blood that we would be good they sent a recovery CD. Once again I ran into problems with the original HD.

So, off to the local 'puter store for a new HD. One of the same type and size, a Western digital WD800 80GB was purchased. I got the same bad results. Frustrated!! What ... just what is wrong. Now my thinking and trouble-shooting went haywire. I got another drive, a Maxtor 80GB. Just because I like them and have always had good luck with them. Well, things got worse!

I was at my wits end. I set all aside and went off to relax and think. Something that I should have done sooner, but we all make mistakes. (Hopefully, after reading this you won't make the same ones.) I had obtained a recovery CD from Viscom and Western Digital Lifeguard Tools from Net. The two together would not produce a system disk.

  • I ran Lifeguard, set MBR, setup drive, which really goes to fast.
  • At start of XP install, via the CD, the whole disk is 100% formatted.
  • At the finish of the format it says: "Setup could not format the disk. Pick another partition."

Now this is a fine howdy-do. I run WD software and it appears to work, and then I run the start of the WinXP software and it appears to work .... but they are not. I removed the BIOS chip from the old Mother Board and placed it in the new MB. Still no dice. #@&*!! This really shouldn't be all that hard!!!

Now then, as was mentioned in the beginning, one of her friends had "looked" at the PC. The HD was a 7200rpm drive and it had one of the 80-wire IDE cables connected to it. However, it, the 80-wire cable was also connected to a DVD drive. This should be ok ... shouldn't it? (Cable Question) Welllll, not really, evidently. Further investigation of the system showed that a 40-wire IDE cable was connected to a CD-RW drive but that it was in backwards. The middle connector was close to the MB instead of the Drive(s). I reversed the 40-wire cable, disconnected the 80-wire from the DVD and hooked the CD-RW and DVD to the 40-wire cable. The only item now connected to the 80-wire cable was the HD. The system worked!!!... as it should.

The CPU was really bad but the rest of the problems were caused by someone else not hooking back up things as they were found. My unfamiliarity with the system did not help. Through searching sites and corresponding with Viscom and Western Digital I did learn a lot. So in the long run it was very beneficial. Just a frustrating way to learn.


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Now that we have given recognition to the "Original" developers of this WebPage type we must say that it is no longer like the Original. A lot is... but a lot we have changed.