We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Compaq S3100NX will not boot

davesilver asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I'm working on a Compaq Presario S3100NX. When you boot, you'll get the Compaq splash screen and you can get into BIOS no problem but hitting F10 for system recovery results in black screen. If you let into continue booting you get the "We apologize for the inconvenience window". If you select to boot normally, it goes to a black screen and hangs. If you select safe mode, it starts loading drivers but hangs on "\DRIVERS\AGP440S" every time.
Tried loading Knoppix and you'll get one penguin in the upper left window and it hangs.
Loading the Windows installation CD, it starts loading but shortly just stalls.
Tried loading a boot floppy but just gives an error.
Reset the BIOS to defaults, no difference.
Removed all the hardware and no difference.
Removed the CMOS battery, left it overnight and no difference.
Any ideas?
Watch Question

f-kingIT support technician

This also happend after removing the hard drive ?

f-kingIT support technician

If you have two memory sticks try with only one and vice verca.
Most Valuable Expert 2013

If you leave it at the BIOS setup screen will it continue to behave after several minutes?
This does sound like a hardware issue as it happens with booting from other than the HDD.  Wonder if overheating might be an issue?
Open the case, make sure the board vents and fans are clear and that everything that should be cooling the motherboard is working OK.  While you're there also check for capacitors on the board that are bulging.


Yes this also happens after removing the hard drive.
I also tried the RAM one at a time with no change.

I vacuumed out the case. It wasn't too bad for dirt. I've certainly seen worse. Both fans seem to be working, no obstructions.
I'll check the motherboard closer tonight.
I'll also go into the BIOS setup, leave it there for a bit, maybe make a minor change or two. Will post results later tonight or tomorrow.
f-kingIT support technician

Try reseating the cpu heatsink ,it could be overheating.


Had a closer look at the motherboard. Looks normal. No bulging capacitors etc.

Went into BIOS setup a few times, changed the boot priority a couple of times, let it sit in setup for ten minutes. Still acts the same.

Checked the processor after leaving comp on for a bit. It was warm but not overly. Looks good. Well seated.
f-kingIT support technician

might want to go to compaq site and download latest bios rom and reflash the bios.
It could be corrupted


Sorry for the delay.
The only BIOS update they have is to be run in windows. Even if they had one for a floppy I doubt it would work as none of the drives will boot. I've tried ms-dos, caldera-dos and linux and nothing works in the floppy drive or the cd.
If no one has any further suggestions, I think I'll close this as unsolved.
IT support technician
So we assuming it's a motherboard fault?

Not the solution you were looking for? Getting a personalized solution is easy.

Ask the Experts
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Yeah, sounds like the board has a fracture somewhere which is opening as the board warms.
If you switch straight back on after it hangs does it stall faster?


Yes I think we can assume it's a motherboard fault.

No, it stalls in the same spot everytime.
f-kingIT support technician

See that it is a desktop ,have you tried another power supply ?
And added new thermal paste to the cpu?


I added new thermal paste when I had it apart to check on it.

I'll post when I get a power supply to test it with. Could take a bit. I'm away for the next week.
Access more of Experts Exchange with a free account
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Create a free account to continue.

Limited access with a free account allows you to:

  • View three pieces of content (articles, solutions, posts, and videos)
  • Ask the experts questions (counted toward content limit)
  • Customize your dashboard and profile

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.