Solved

problem with Compaq Contura 410C

Posted on 2000-02-28
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Last Modified: 2008-01-16
I'm working on a friend's computer, but now I have a problem.

When I started the computer the first time, I got a "cmos checksum error" msg after the memory check.  Now, I don't get anything, just a single beep.

The computer seems to boot normally at first, but it doesn't check the memory and doesn't start the operating system.
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Question by:jocas
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2567073
the checksum error implies a memory count problem.  try other RAM if you can.  If you cannot, is there more than one RAM module in the system?  Try one or the other and test.
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Expert Comment

by:hewittg
ID: 2567114
Jocas,
After you try 1cell suggestion (probably right) take a look at what I found on the net.

Hope it helps.

Glenn

Checksum of CMOS is incorrect. This can indicate that CMOS has become corrupt. This error may have been caused by a weak battery.
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Author Comment

by:jocas
ID: 2567122
When I pull the battery out for several seconds, put it back in, and restart it checks the memory, but locks up later.

Let me see what I can find out about the memory.
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Author Comment

by:jocas
ID: 2567158
It appears that Glenn's hypothesis is correct.  I can now boot up the computer, but I can't access the hard drive.  I think it's because the CMOS settings aren't saved.
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Expert Comment

by:hewittg
ID: 2567177
Do you have the autodetect option for the hard drive?  If not, what type is your hard drive and we will drive on.

Hope it helps

Glenn
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Author Comment

by:jocas
ID: 2567291
The cmos can automatically detect the hard drive.  The only problem is, it doesn't save the information.  Also, the computer doesn't always boot.

Does this notebook computer have a separate battery for the BIOS?  Or will we need to replace the large battery in order for it to work?
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Expert Comment

by:hewittg
ID: 2567305
It should be only one battery but I am not positive.  Can you tell me what the type of laptop it is and I will find out for you.  Keep your chin up, alot of good experts are here to help.

Glenn
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Accepted Solution

by:
1cell earned 225 total points
ID: 2567319
NO, there is a CMOS battery on all computers which maintains the settings while computer does not have power going to it either AC or DC.  Chances are, it's this battery that is going bad and causing the CMOS to lose settings.  Do you notice the time slipping a bit on the system clock?
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Expert Comment

by:hewittg
ID: 2567343
Good catch 1cell, I went brain dead thinking 2 batteries were on the motherboard.

Thanks

Glenn
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Author Comment

by:jocas
ID: 2567346
The notebook is a Compaq Contura 410C.  I'm don't know whether the system clock lost time or not.

BTW, thanks for your helpful responses.


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Author Comment

by:jocas
ID: 2567351
Where can I buy a new CMOS battery?
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:hewittg
ID: 2567377
Jocas,
I would recommend taking the battery out and going to your local computer store to purchase it.  They would be able to help you out.
I know this is frustrating but keep your chin up as the experts in here will help you to resolve your problem.

If you would like a source on the web I will research that but you may get a faster reponse locally.

Glenn
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Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2567433
first, it depends on the motherbaord whether or not you can even replace the battery.  On some proprietary boards, the battery is actually soldered on.  I don't know about this one.

You should notice the system clock losing time as well if the battery is at fault.  Shut down the system (note the time first) and remove power (ACorDC) and wait 30 minutes.  Turn the system back on and check if it's lost time.

This might just be a problem with the CMOS all together.  maybe could be solved by a BIOS flash but might need new mobo all together.  Hopefully it's just the battery and it can be replaced.
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Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2567450
I can't find specifics on this system but every other I've found from compaq is soldered.  On those systems, it does mention that you can add a battery with some kind of cable.
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Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2567460
here's a link for the 400 series manual.  Doesn't tell us wheter it's soldered but does list part numbers
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Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2567469
by looking at the site, it seems that whether it's soldered or not (doesn't say) you will be able to at least add a second battery which would solve the problem if it is indeed the CMOS battery
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Expert Comment

by:hewittg
ID: 2567504
Jocas, When you stated earlier that when you pulled the battery out, which battery did you mean.

your earlier comment

When I pull the battery out for several seconds, put it back in, and restart it checks the memory, but locks up later.

just trying to pin it down.  Was it the laptop battery or the cmos battery.  
As 1cell states, the cmos battery may be soldered.
Thanks

Glenn
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Author Comment

by:jocas
ID: 2568873
I'm going to take off the cover and check the battery.
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Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2569729
listening..........

remember, either way, there is a replacement part.  You'll have to get it from Compaq but.........
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Author Comment

by:jocas
ID: 2570917
Adjusted points to 225
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Author Comment

by:jocas
ID: 2570918
1cell, could you give me the URL for the product manual and/or the part number?

Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2571073
WOW, I DID last night!!!

here it is
ftp://ftp.compaq.com/pub/supportinformation/techpubs/qrg/contura400.pdf

here's adobe acrobat if you don't have it
http://www.adobe.com/acrobat/readstep.html
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Expert Comment

by:drittich
ID: 2574352
I have a Compaq 410C - I have been trying to get Linux on it, but no luck so far...
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Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2577302
where are we jocas?
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Author Comment

by:jocas
ID: 2581897
1cell, I'll accept your comment as an answer.  If I have any further questions, then I'll post another question.

BTW, Glenn, thanks for your help, too.  
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2582043
glad I could help.  If you need any more, let me know.  Just post here.
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Author Comment

by:jocas
ID: 2589710
Which side of the battery should be up--the positive or the negative side?
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Author Comment

by:jocas
ID: 2590013
Cool, the battery only goes in one way.

FYI: If someone is planning on buying a battery, they should consider buying it from www.ebatts.com

eBatts has very good prices; I could have saved myself $15 over buying directly from Compaq.
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Expert Comment

by:hewittg
ID: 2590023
I take it you are up and running.  Glad to hear it and good luck.

Glenn
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Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2590262
glad to hear of the success
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