Dead XP machine

Ronald Hicks
Ronald Hicks used Ask the Experts™
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Friend's machine is Compaq Presario 6000.  On startup, nothing displays on monitor.  When it came to me the monitor was connected to PCI video adapter.  Switched the cable to the integrated port; still nothing.  Installed a couple of video cards in the AGP slot; still nothing.  And by nothing I mean that not even the POST shows up, and that the light on the monitor never goes to green at all before it goes to amber.   Fans come on OK and the HDD powers up OK too, and the HDD appears normal when USB connected to anothr machine.  My Soyo TechAid displays FF, and the manual says this is a CPU problem.  Also, on the TechAid the lights for the +12V and -12V are red, not green.   Tried two other power supplies also;  no change.   One maybe strange thing;  judging from the black case and the XP sticker, I'm assuming that this is a P4 machine (it actually has an AMD processor) but the 12 V cable from the power supply is till wiretied with the other unused cables and there is no socket on the MoBo for it anyway    One of the suggestions in the Soyo TechAid guide it to remove the MoBo to be sure it isn't short circuited to the case;  haven't tried that yet.  I did notice late in my diagnosis when I pulled the analog (dial-up) card from its slot (the lowest slot) that a stray slot cover was jammed between the analog card and the bottom of the case.  I'm wondering if that could have cause some permanent damage.   Nothing improved as a result of just removing it.  

Any thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated.

Ron Hicks
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Commented:
Sounds like a bad motherboard, but then again, whenever I've run into issues like this in the past it was just an excuse for me to upgrade :P
If the hard drive appears normal, changing out video cards doesn't work, and changing PSU's doesn't work, you're kinda limited on options. From what I can see, it could be one of a few problems. It could be a monitor issue (try using a different monitor), it could be a CPU issue (maybe try re-seating it), or it could be a motherboard issue (you'd need to replace or RMA it). Check each of the options, in the order I listed, so you can go from least involved to most involved. As a side note, I didn't consider the RAM being an issue because RAM errors often cause the computer to spit out a POST code saying the memory is bad. Best of luck with testing the possibilities
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
Here my troubleshooting procedure :
clean the system from dust, then  test with the minimum setup - disconnect also all peripherals and network cables :
connect only  motherboard + cpu + 1 ram stick, video card, power supply
verify that the 4-pin or 8-pin CPU Aux power plug is connected
on boot, do you have a display?
if NO it is one of the connected, swap ram, Power supply, video card or monitor - leaving only motherboard and cpu
if Yes, add devices till the problem shows

you can also check the motherboard for bad capacitors as shown here :   www.badcaps.net

additional tests and things to try :
boot without ram, it should beep; (also, without video card)
try bios default settings,(if possible) or clear the bios by removing AC and bios battery
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Ronald HicksConsultant

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Commented:
many thank nobus.  I'll work through that this evening, but for starters, what do you think about the absence of a socket on the MoBo for the 4 pin aux power?  I don't see an 8-pin plug on my PS either, or a place to plug in one if such existed.  I just tried booting with no RAM;  no beeps.  By the way, a sticker on the MoBo does identify it as Phoenix Pentium IV.  I hadn't been sure about that before.
Commented:
I find in odd that you would have sticker or label on the MoBo identifying it as a Phoenix Pentium IV when the processor is an AMD.  A real P4 Mobo with a P4 Bios will not support an AMD processor.  
You might want to check that out.   If you saw it operating before, and nobody has "played" with it since trying to get it to work again, then I would also start with a minimum configuration and use process of elimination.  (I vote for bad or incorrectly seated RAM first, and a shorted MoBo second).
Also not all boards (including some P4 Boards) have the 4 pin Aux socket.  Also the board wont "beep" on powerup if there is no internal speaker attached.  Most recent P4 boards dont have a internal speaker attached directly on the board anymore, they are now connected by wires to pins in the front panel connections area.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
the earlier P4's did not have the 4-or8 - pin  connector; it became necessary with the later socket 775 series, that used more cpu power at 12 V
normally, the model is printed on the board in white lettering; compaq used boards from other manuf's, like ASUS.
there are hundreds of Presario 6000  :
http://h20180.www2.hp.com/apps/Lookup?h_lang=en&h_cc=emea_middle_east&cc=emea_middle_east&h_page=hpcom&lang=en&h_client=S-A-R1694-1&h_query=Presario+6000&submit.x=4&submit.y=3
Ronald HicksConsultant

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Commented:
Many thanks.  I think this is enough for me to work on.  If I run into more issues, I'll open another question.  By the way, re the Pentium IV MoBo and AMD chip mismatch,  I've never seen this machine work.  It was brought to me in its dead condition;  I've not had an opportunity to explore its history with the owner.

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