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PC took a dump; solution recommendations?


Chris The Rock
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This morning, my wife woke me up and said: "You need to look at the computer; I'm getting some weird error message."

 

The message said "The file is possibly corrupt. The file checksum does not match the computed checksum". This message displays before windows attempts to boot. After a google search and some common sense, I figured my BIOS needed updating.

 

Since I don't have any floppy disks, updating the BIOS seemed to be difficult. I read in the manual that if you press ALT + F2, it will load a BIOS update utility. I thought I could select a CD ROM drive at that point, and flash the BIOS with the latest one I burned to CD.

 

As it turns out, it didn't find a floppy disc, so it just flashed the BIOS with the original version from the Support CD, if it's loaded. No problem. It worked its magic - but instead of rebooting like it said it would, it simply got stuck in a black-screen limbo. I powered off, and here's where the fun starts:

1. When no discs are in the DVD or CD ROM drives, all I get is a beeping, like an alarm. My case is not open, so that's not it.

2. If a disc (bootable or not) is in one of the drives, it will not sound an alarm, but it won't boot either. It appears to be trying to read from the disc.

 

The main trouble is that I never get a system boot screen. I get either an alarm with a black screen, or no alarm with a black screen.

 

==

So, I am hosed. I figure I'll just get a new MB and start over. Wrong. I have a socket 939 mobo and finding one seems to be a huge challege.

 

OK, instead of resurrecting this AMD machine, I'll just have to build/buy a new one. Thing is...this has to be dirt cheap. I am saving for a MacBook Pro, and all I need is a machine that runs XP until I get the Mac, at which point we'll transfer our daily computing to the Mac and run this machine as a storage server.

 

....

After reading this, can anyone out there make a recommendation for me? Cheap, cheap, cheap (but functional) is what I'm going for. I'll have to replace my processor and RAM, since it's doubtful that anything new will support them. Just need it to run Win XP, MS Money, iTunes, and the web.

 

Thanks. I cannot WAIT for the new MacBook Pro's to come out.

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1. If you have access to another PC, grab SystemRescueCD, try to boot to it and run the physical memory test.

 

http://www.sysresccd.org/Main_Page

 

2. I'm very, very happy with my $450 eMachine. It's stable as hell.

 

Thanks for the tip; but unfortunately I can't boot to anything - disc or not.

 

If this were 2 years ago, I'd just get another socket 939 mobo - but they're in short supply these days. There's only 1 on newegg, and the people who've ordered it say it's shite.

 

My wife and I decided just to go get a new machine in the $450-$550 range, and be done with it. Since it will be nothing more than a file server by year's end, we don't need it to be anything special, but do need it to work. I'll copy my important data over to the new machine and start fresh.

 

This PC was my first build and it's lasted since 12/30/2005. It's been powered on about 99.98% of the time, and has withstood XP and Vista. Never had a problem I couldn't fix until today.

 

Oh well. I say again, I can't wait to get a MacBook Pro.

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I've got my old socket 754 hardware I was planning on putting up on ebay if you need a cheap motherboard/CPU combo. It's an Nforce4-4x board with PCIe (Gigabyte K8N-E IIRC) and a 2.4ghz A64 3400+ and should play nice with your DDR1 RAM. PCIe though, dunno if you have AGP or not.

 

http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128308

 

I just built a C2D box a few weeks ago and I just haven't done anything with the old hardware yet. $90 if you want a cheap fix. Board was always very stable...it was finicky for overclocking though.

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I've got my old socket 754 hardware I was planning on putting up on ebay if you need a cheap motherboard/CPU combo. It's an Nforce4-4x board with PCIe (Gigabyte K8N-E IIRC) and a 2.4ghz A64 3400+ and should play nice with your DDR1 RAM. PCIe though, dunno if you have AGP or not.

 

http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128308

 

I just built a C2D box a few weeks ago and I just haven't done anything with the old hardware yet. $90 if you want a cheap fix. Board was always very stable...it was finicky for overclocking though.

I appreciate the thought, but feel free to put it on eBay. The more I think about it, the less I want to work on a PC's innards. I've given up PC gaming with the 360 and PS3 around.

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I appreciate the thought, but feel free to put it on eBay. The more I think about it, the less I want to work on a PC's innards. I've given up PC gaming with the 360 and PS3 around.

 

I don't blame you. I don't have a lot of time to work on stuff lately. I was cursing out my floppy drive when I was trying to install XP on a SATA drive :bh

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