Old PC doesn't want new OS


A neighbor brought me a PC to check out since he was having some problems with it, so I started some basic checks:

* Memory: Ran diagnostics overnight. No errors (well, one, but more on this later).
* Hard disk: Diagnostics ran ok.
* Processor: Seems fine.

The memory diagnostics stopped soon the first time. The program crashed (in clean DOS) and the screen was filled with garbage.

I *noticed* the processor's heat sink was very hot... The glue was melted and the sink FELL off the processor!

So I let it cool for a few hours. And after I try again, the diagnostics ran extensively and report no errors.

The PC was running fine before (if running with WinME can be called "fine").

So I tried installing Windows 98 SE (partitioning and formatting the hard disk to FAT32 first), and I failed miserably many times as the installation program stalled shortly after initiating the GUI.

After several trials, I finally managed to get past the first reboot, and then, stalled again...

So this appears to be a hardware problem right? What's most likely the culprit? How can I test it?

Thanks in advance!
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I'd replace the CPU Fan with a newer better one.  It's RPMs may be too slow.  A lot of the problems you describe are similar to ones I experienced when my system overheated too much a few years ago.

   Or clean out the CPU fan dust and add some lubricant on the axis (in the fan).

ivanvegaAuthor Commented:
It doesn't have a fan, just a tall metallic grid... Is it that it should have a fan?
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I'd definitely but a fan on it.  If it was running Me, than it's probably at least a Pentium II - I've not seen a CPU since some early Pentiums and MAYBE some Celeron Slot 1 processors that didn't have fans - get a fan on that thing and see if that improves things.  I'm strongly suspecting it's overheating and that's causing your problems.

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Is it likely that someone removed the fan from the processor if there ever was one? If it is a big heatsink, it may be designed to work w/o a fan, but it is crucial that the thermal contact between heatsink and chip is as good as possible. New thermal paste and proper mounting of the heatsink may just be what is needed.
It can also be a bad mother board.
But just to be on the safe side, could you post please what model motherboard and cpu you have? anAMD runs much hotter than an intel.
what diagnostics did you run on the hard disk? did you zero fill the WHOLE drive?
ivanvegaAuthor Commented:
It may be a while before I can test the fan theory.

As for the motherboard and CPU, I'll try to get that info ASAP, but I believe it is an AMD.

The hard disk diagnostic was done with the manufacturer's utility. I don't remember if it's Maxtor's or Seagate's, but it performs all kinds of extensive reading/writing tasks. And also, the drive doesn't make any weird sounds, like when it's going to fail.

Was it an old Compaq? maybe you'll have to dow,load a rompaq for it.
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