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1,192 hits since 29 Aug 2011
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Dropzonetoe Fezian Inactive Member29 Aug 2011 10:17 a.m. PST

I offered to look a friends laptop after he helped me with my recent roofing projects.

All he told me is that it does not start and couldn't even tell me what OS it was or anything, so no help in the how did it get that way category.

I boot up the laptop and get this; slightly abridged

L2 Cache: Int installed -- NOT ENABLED
8MB Video RAM
Insyde Software Plug-n-Play Bios Ver 1.17.01

Auto Detecting IDE Devices[Done]

Press f2 to enter System Configuration Utility

Then press to continue but of course the keyboard isn't initialized so that is a bust. Trying to boot from CD's gets me no where. So I am a bit of a loss as to how to proceed.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian29 Aug 2011 10:40 a.m. PST

Sounds FUBAR to me. Check for parts? How Old?

Dropzonetoe Fezian Inactive Member29 Aug 2011 10:56 a.m. PST

It has a 2004 XP sticker on it's old in computer years :)

The G Dog Fezian Inactive Member29 Aug 2011 11:03 a.m. PST

Based on the symptoms, my best buess is a dead hard drive coupled with a bad connection between keyboard and motherboard.

The bad hard drive would explain why it can't perform start up. The bad connection would explain the keyboard not working.

Will it load from a boot CD? Did you try an external keyboard?

Here is a link to a similar problem with good feedback.


Eclectic Wave29 Aug 2011 11:08 a.m. PST

Sounds like multiple device faulure. It's not seeing the boot drive, which is why the CMOS wants you to run the System configuration Utility, but with the keyboard not being detected, you can't. I would try a usb external keyboard and see if you can then use f2 to get to the SCU and determine what the CMOS isn't seeing.

Dropzonetoe Fezian Inactive Member29 Aug 2011 11:14 a.m. PST

It will not boot from a CD, tried my XP Home I had as well as a Ubuntu one and it still stalls at the same spot.

I don't have a USB based keyboard to test that. About 15 standard plug ones taking up space though…

average joe Inactive Member29 Aug 2011 11:29 a.m. PST

PS2 to USB converters are cheap these days and if you have 15 old PS2s sitting around, a converter sounds like a good investment.

Your CMOS battery (the battery on the motherboard) is dead, most likely permanently, hence the CMOS Checksum error. It might recover if you leave the power plugged in, but don't bet the house on it.

The Keyboard is likely disconnected from the mother board.

You need to go into the BIOS configuration, enable the L2 Cahce and check to see what devices the system is configured to boot from. HOWEVER, without power to the CMOS battery, the configuration will be lost again the next time you start up the computer and you will have to do that whole drill all over again.

If you are near Indianapolis, might I suggest a call to Murphy? He might be able to help…

Dropzonetoe Fezian Inactive Member29 Aug 2011 12:15 p.m. PST

Yes I am proud owner of like 7-8 Win 95/98/2000/xp computers. All stacked around taking up space. I used to fix them up and give them to people who didn't own computers/ needed parts to fix theirs. Now I just have a pile of stuff I need to figure out what to do with. I pulled apart the laptop and I found the CMOS battery but it is covered with a rubber? casing and it seems to be part of the motherboard. I didn't want to tear the cover off if it might damage it. So I left it as is so far.

The laptop's battery will not keep a charge either. It has to be plugged in to work at all.

average joe Inactive Member29 Aug 2011 2:07 p.m. PST

No battery…

Bad CMOS battery…

Not sure what OS is installed…

At this point, I feel compelled to point out that you can get a decent laptop for 300 bucks these days (writing this on one, bought about 2-1/2 years ago as a matter of fact). A low end netbook retails now easily for 200.

Or, if they cannot afford that (I know how that feels…) what do they need a laptop for? Could they use a refurbished desktop instead?

BTW, I still have my original Commodore 64 in a closet….

Personal logo Waco Joe Supporting Member of TMP29 Aug 2011 5:04 p.m. PST

Just slip the boot floppy into the A drive.


goragrad29 Aug 2011 9:22 p.m. PST

Another question is there information that your friend needs from the computer? If so, you might consider removing the drive and putting it in an external USB 2.5-inch hard drive enclosure. If the drive isn't dead that will let you access it and pull data. Online the enclosures are pretty cheap 4.50 and on sale I think I paid 10.00 for one 2 years ago at Micro Center.

With the 2004 XP sticker on the laptop one is probably safe to assume that that is the OS.

You could try a boot jump drive, but as noted with a bad CMOS that is probably a mull option (had a corrupted registry on my laptop – trojan – and the boot USB only worked if the hard drive was pulled).

Can you check the underside of the CMOS location? If it is soldered in through the board you might be able to unsolder it and replace it (not sure how comfortable you are with an iron).

Got to admit laptops are a bit more of a pain to work with – have been holding off replacing the cd/dvd-rom on mine for just that reason. Desktops are a bit easier, replaced fuse in a power supply last year (near lightning strike) and a video card cooling fan last week.

Actually 2004 isn't that old – just set up an IBM desktop (K6-300) for the nieces and nephew. Runs DOOM just fine. Want to network a couple of more similar machines so they can deathmatch.

Dropzonetoe Fezian Inactive Member30 Aug 2011 6:49 a.m. PST

Well, he got it as from a friend who upgraded to a new laptop and only had it for a few months. He only uses it to check his email, and his wife didn't lament family photos or anything I normally hear when people's computers die so I think he just wants it back to check his email again.

I cannot solder to save my life. I have however burnt out 3 over the years trying to figure out what I am doing. I once added a 5lb block of solder to an electric scooter for my daughter years ago to "fix" it. That was my Mona Lisa so no delicate work on a laptop for me ;)

If it was a desktop I would be all over it and have the parts to do something more. I did warn him upfront that I don't work on laptops(My 2009 laptop just needs a new fan and I found it easier to just buy a new laptop than fix it) but I would look at it and do what I could.

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