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Author Topic: Black Screen, beeps every two seconds, HDD light on continuously amber  (Read 1574 times)
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Kestrel
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« on: December 16, 2009, 01:31:15 AM »

My son-in-law has problems with his HP computer and described the above symptoms over the phone.  (He lives 5 hours away)

He was having problems about 2 months ago, and rolled it back to the original configuration.  He just got everything re-installed and now this happens.  

He did take out the battery for a day and clean out the case. He unplugged everything and re-seated it all. When he put it back together, it did run for a day then back to problems.

He put a new battery in, but it will not boot...

Any ideas of what to do would be greatly appreciated.  

He will bring it with him when the family comes next Tuesday. That will be the first time I see it. I can swap in some parts at that time.

Thanks in advance for your help!   icon_smile

EDIT - Looks like it was the memory - see post below
« Last Edit: December 18, 2009, 04:51:59 AM by Kestrel » Logged
dmd
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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2009, 02:00:08 AM »

I'd start with the memory, make sure it's seated firmly. If it's not onboard video do the same for the vid card.  After that start running memory diagnostics etc.
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Giles Habibula
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« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2009, 03:30:00 AM »

Here's a list of HP beep codes.
The only one I could see that's close to what you're describing doesn't sound good.
Knowing what kind of BIOS might be helpful, though I'm going to go ahead and guess it's an Award BIOS, because that's the only type that has a 'continuous beeping' option.
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Purge
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« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2009, 03:38:20 AM »

I'd suggest putting in one stick of memory in bank 0 (first bank) and powering it on.
Based on success/fail, try the other memory stick.

Sounds like memory problems.

If it boots, run Memtest86+ on it. You can either download a bootable CD, or just boot with a Kubuntu install DVD (which has it on it). Both are free; the Kubuntu will let you run the OS from CD so you can disconnect the HDD if you wanted to.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2009, 03:56:46 AM by Purge » Logged

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Kestrel
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« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2009, 04:27:06 AM »

Quote from: dmd on December 16, 2009, 02:00:08 AM

I'd start with the memory, make sure it's seated firmly. If it's not onboard video do the same for the vid card.  After that start running memory diagnostics etc.

I'll check to see if they are seated properly. It does have a video card.

Quote from: Giles Habibula on December 16, 2009, 03:30:00 AM

Here's a list of HP beep codes.
The only one I could see that's close to what you're describing doesn't sound good.
Knowing what kind of BIOS might be helpful, though I'm going to go ahead and guess it's an Award BIOS, because that's the only type that has a 'continuous beeping' option.

Thanks for finding that HP link.  I had looked at it before and didn't notice the listing you found.  CPU overheating sounds bad - but is it possible if the machine has been sitting there cold?

Quote from: Purge on December 16, 2009, 03:38:20 AM

I'd suggest putting in one stick of memory in bank 0 (first bank) and powering it on.
Based on success/fail, try the other memory stick.

Sounds like memory problems.

If it boots, run Memtest86+ on it. You can either download a bootable CD, or just boot with a Kubuntu install DVD (which has it on it). Both are free; the Kubuntu will let you run the OS from CD so you can disconnect the HDD if you wanted to.

Thanks for the tip on the memory in bank 0.  I didn't know if memory had to be paired.

It would be great if the problem was memory - he could just replace it.

Also, glad to know about Kubuntu having memtest and the ability to run without the HDD.

Thanks everyone.  When he gets here, I'll check in here again and report on our progress.
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Kestrel
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2009, 04:51:00 AM »

Looks like it was the memory. I called him and he followed instructions over the phone.

He left one stick in the Bank 0 and it booted. He's going to try the other stick in bank 0, and if that works, he'll try both sticks in case there was a bad connection on either stick.

I'm going to look for his memory and we'll probably replace both sticks.  It is 512 DDR 400 MHz cl-3.

He has XP and we'll probably get 2 - 1Gig sticks.  Any recommendations?
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Freezer-TPF-
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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2009, 04:10:54 PM »

I always buy RAM directly from Crucial.com, even though Newegg's prices are usually a little cheaper.
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