The PC that sounds like a mobile phone

Last week my Hewlett Packard Vectra PIII 800mhz PC, that I have just bought 2nd hand did a weird thing: it froze up, shut down, then refused to start (about 5 consecutive restart attempts) emitting a series of tones like a mobile phone ring. The local PC shop people reckoned it was overheating. The fans appear ok, and it hasn't done it since in about the last 30 times I have used it.

What do you think it is/was?

Thanks,

Alan.
alanhllAsked:
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rsandorCommented:
and now it's working again?
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alanhllAuthor Commented:
I said that. It was pretty disconcerting though, in something you have just paid for, & I still wonder why it did it. The shop also said it may have been a warning that the case wasn't properly shut at the time.
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rsandorCommented:
well,
the beeps u heard are error signals, most usualy they apear when something is not correctly pluged-in or not working
overheating could cause that too, when some card(video,memory, processor)
it could be usefull to know your model number, so that i can see what could be not ok;there are many hp vectra model, u shold find this somewhere on the case
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SnowguyCommented:
Many Mother boards do have over temp alarms.
Did the shop possibly clean all the dust out of it for you?
If so you should be good to go.
Pcs are very good at collecting Dust over time and this could very well cause your problem.
If it has not bean cleaned, you need to get a can of compressed air to blow all of the dust from the components. Make sure you don't miss the CPU heat sink it will collect a bunch of dust.


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alanhllAuthor Commented:
Ok, thanks. Model no. VL 400 800/128/10

As a matter of fact, it did it again just now - beeping and refusing to start, but once only. How could it be overheating from a totally cold start?

Also I will get hold of some compressed air.

Ok,

Alan.

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rsandorCommented:
overheating can bee caused by your CPU fan, if it does not run or it runs to slowly, if it is ok check all that all devices ar pluged in correctly (video/sound/lan or whatever cards u migth have), u could also check if there is not too much dust in ur pc, if so clean it, it's hard to say exactly what tose beebs have been without a manual for your bios if u have something like that u should find the saund signals in it.

b.reg.
roby
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alanhllAuthor Commented:
It is intermittent - so logically the CPU shouldn't be too hot or it would go off constantly? There actually is no fan over the CPU only cooling fins.
Sound signals yes interesting. Is that available on startup? I will have a look.

Thanks,

Alan.

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alanhllAuthor Commented:
Also sometimes when I move the computer a few inches across the carpet it sits on the keyboard and mouse inputs hiss a bit and the computer shuts off. I wonder if that is at all relevant - some sort of static or whatever?
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terageekCommented:
Many motherboards will emitt a series of beeps to let you know what is wrong.   The next time it happens, try to count the number and pattern of beeps.

Here is a link to a PDF on your machine from HP:

http://h200002.www2.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/lpv06505/lpv06505.pdf

See page 56.  There is a table which lists the number of beeps for each error.  Once you know the error, we can debug it further.
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alanhllAuthor Commented:
That is most interesting. It hasn't done it for a spell now - but from memory I think it's 5 beeps (hard to be sure though from memory - they're quick). Which is the PnP/PCI problems. This makes sense actually as I am having heaps of trouble with an nvidia graphics card (now removed, but a running Experts-Exchange q. of mine entitled 'Graphics cards mayhem - Nvidia'.
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terageekCommented:
Did you add the graphics card yourself?  Make sure that it is plugged into the slot all the way.  You could also be running into cooling problems with your graphics card.  Newer graphics cards eat a lot more power than they did when your computer was new.  Your computer may not be circulating enough air to cool you grahpics card.

If you have an available PCI slot, you can buy a case fan which fits into the opening in the back.  You can try to install one right next to your graphics card to help cool it off.

By the way, what problems were you having with your graphics card?  Are you still using it?
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alanhllAuthor Commented:
Thanks for those excellent responses, terageek. Actually, I think I have 'killed 2 bugs with the one stone' as it were - at long last the card is working 100%, the whole sytem is amazingly fast and stable AND I have not heard those evil beeps for quite some time (hopefully never again). In light of this, I'll award you the points.

The card was loading up into safe mode or safe mode-like display (with hardly any colors). Problem was overcome via driver 45.23_win9x_english.exe and
putting card in different PCI slot. It still put up a pretty good fight, requiring a couple of attempts to install and shredding my nerves further but now it is spot on. I was going to put XP on this system, but it runs so well now I might not bother yet. Interesting eh.

Thanks,

Alan.
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