Compaq, Presario SR1053WM Desktop PC, SR1053WM


Compaq Presario SR1053WM Desktop PC
AMD Athlon(B) XP 3200+ 2.20 GHz:
Motherboard: ASUS A7V8Z-LA
Hard drive: 80 GB Ultra DMA
Memory 768 MB
Integrated Audio, Video & Network
Windows XP Home Edition

Main Symptoms:

1. If in windows, eventually it will produce a BSoD. If left alone, eventually all of the wording from the blue screen of death will have a multicolor drop shadow effect to it. Sometimes if left longer, eventually all of the wording will be shifted to one side of the screen in a curve and all squished up. Like someone ran it over with a rolling pin.
      This can occur anywhere from a few minutes in to a few hours later.
2. If not in windows, say if I boot with a floppy to run a mem test or something, it will just randomly reboot. This used to happen in windows too till I disabled the reboot on system error.

3. Will freeze up on Compaq Splash Screen/will go to HP splash screen and freeze/will freeze on boot menu. This does not happen every boot but happens often enough to warrant attention in this area.


The user says that one night she went to play an mp3 and received an error about the song being corrupt and prompted her if she wanted to continue. She clicked no and left it at that.

The next morning when she tried to boot up she had errors about one of the main system files being corrupt and could not boot into neither regular nor safe mode. In fact it would reboot itself when trying to go into safe mode. Many attempts gained her access to windows one time and during an attempt to back up her files the machine rebooted it self. An attempt at a full system recovery via Compaq recovery disks was cut short due to the phantom reboot. Thats when she called me.

      I couldnt even go into safe mode without it rebooting itself or freezing up when it was loading files. I first time I used the Windows XP CD to try to go into recovery console, it rebooted halfway through the startup where it loads drivers.

The second time I did make it into recovery console and did a chkdsk /r and when it was done it said that there were some irreparable errors on the partition. I then did a bootfix which allowed me to be able to safe mode but I had an issue going into windows normally.

      When going into windows normally it would get past the splash screen and then I would see a millisecond of a BSoD before it rebooted itself. After disabling the auto reboot on a system error I saw the BSoD as some stop message where the system gets halted every time. Thats when I decided to do a repair installation of windows XP.

      Now it will go into windows almost every time (so long as it doesnt freeze on either the bios screen or the startup menu screen) but will randomly reboot itself after a BSOD as described in the beginning. It will even sometimes reboot during POST.

Things tried not already mentioned:

      I ran the Seatools Hard disk test and the drive passed with flying colors (however I do feel the hard drive is in need of replacement regardless).

I also ran a memtest  on the thing but it rebooted after the 7th pass, but it really seems like the memory chips are probably fine.

I did a separate chkdsk through the gui and it fixed a few orphaned files but otherwise made the hard drive seem fine.

      Money is an issue here and I would much rather be sure what it is that is faulty here and with good reason before buying any hardware as I am sure that this is a hardware issue. Repeat, there is not enough funds to just keep replacing parts till the problem goes away and I need to be sure of what the issue is BEFORE buying anything. I need help determining what the problem is. I suspect the motherboard but I need to be able to prove that before replacing the board (if I can even find one for this old clunker).

Who is Participating?
Disconnect the hard drive from the motherboard and boot from a Knoppix live cd. This will load a linux OS that will essentially test all components on start up as they are initialized by knoppix. If all is OK in knoppix then you have narrowed it down to XP or the hard drive.
Having had indications of corrupt files makes me suspect the hard drive also, but it could be the motherboard controller for the hard drive as well.
If it fails in knoppix then it very well may be the motherboard.
What was the BSOD you were getting as that can be indicative of the issue.
I would open the case and do a good inspection on motherboard for any bad / leak capacitor first.
While the drive is accessible, then backup data into DVD or CD, and do a clean install. Try this first see if any improvement. You should not jump in hardware issue since a fresh clean install could tule out possible issue here.
joeystarr1Author Commented:
a fresh install MIGHT reduce the BSoDs but wouldn't explain why the random reboots during an XP install nor the instant reboots during the HD Test & memory tests, both of which are booted off of a floppy and thus (in the case of the mem test) do not involve the hard drive at all.
running some tests can help here :                                    PC doctor                        Burnin test                        free      TuffTest lite
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