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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    Computer won't start

    After installing Norton AV 2005 on my old PC (os Windows 98), I started having multiple problems with the computer which could not be solved working with Gateway Tech Support people, so I UNinstalled the program but still had the same problems. (Problems such as CD drive unavailable and un-retrieveable, problems with Word programs, computer unstable ... ). Norton Tech support advised downloading a Norton removal tool to get every last shred of Norton stuff out of the computer. But before I could even do that, I couldn't get the computer started back up again. When I press the start button on the tower, the computer starts to rev up, but then quickly dies, never really beginning to get into start mode.

    Questions: Is there anything I can do at home here to get it going again, or do I need to take it to a computer repair place? Or, is it worth taking to a computer repair place - is it time to toss it? What about if I took it to a computer repair place and had them get it going and then put a Windows XP os in it -- would that be worth while? Or would it just be better to forget it and buy a new computer? Thanks for any comments you might have.
    DeeJay

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    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Computer won't start

    To give you some reasonable advice, we need more information.

    To solve your startup problem - please describe at what moment your computer "dies" - can you see a splash screen, Windows startup screen or nothing at all? Do you hear any beeps? Does control light on your monitor switches to green for a moment or remain amber (yellow)?

    To give you an advice about your computer - please tell us the make/model (Gateway 2000 ?), CPU speed, amount of memory installed and hard drive capacity. Because you are running Windows 98, your computer resources may not be enough for running Windows XP, not mention Windows Vista.

  3. #3
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    Re: Computer won't start

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by DeeJay on 14-Nov-06 03:04. )</P>In trying to get answers to your questions, I tried to start the computer again after a few days of leaving it alone. To my surprise, it started. I let it run for a little while and then shut it down. When I tried to start it up again a few minutes later, it wouldn't start again. Here's what happens in answer to your questions: No splash on the screen - nothing at all on the screen except maybe a little fast on-and-off cursor on the upper left; no beeps; yes, it does turn the monitor light "on" - from yellow to green.
    Computer information: Gateway 450; Pentium lll; 320MB RAM; hard drive is "10GB 5400rpm ultra ATA".
    DeeJay

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Computer won't start

    This sounds like a hardware issue and unfortunately, IMHO, that computer isn't worth fixing. Any shop will charge you at least $25 just to look at it and diagnose the problem. Fixing it could run you another $50 plus parts. If it's anything major you'r already over $100 and it's an outdated system at best.

    A 10GB HD isn't big enough to install XP and much else and as you've seen, it is going to continue to struggle with the upgrades to the AV and other resource intensive programs. I'd bet that the only thing that has been keeping you in the game to this point is the 320MB of RAM. Save the RAM (you might be able to sell it) and the HD so you can copy off your data to a new system and dispose of the rest responsibly (don't just put it on the curb on trash day or throw it in a dumpster).

    You can get a low end desktop for around $600 with XP SP2, an 80 - 120GB HD, CD Burner and 512MB of RAM (don't get it with any less RAM). Let your budget be your guide. If you can afford it, get the best Vista ready system you can, but be sure to pack in at least twice the RAM they say you'll need 'cause Vista will need it all. But that's just my <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15>. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
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    Re: Computer won't start

    I fully agree with Doc Watson, except one thing - Gateway 450 is a laptop, so you can't re-use the hard drive (to be exact, you can, but it isn't worht the effort).

    Be sure to destroy all partitions on the hard drive before disposal - boot your laptop from Win98 Setup floppy (or create one clicking Start > Settings > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs > Startup disk tab), when you reach DOS prompt, type FDISK and hit Enter. Then delete all partitions one by one.

  6. #6
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    Re: Computer won't start

    Thanks to you both for the helpful advice. Sounds like it's best to toss the computer (actually, it is a PC -- on the invoice it's listed as "Gateway Essential 450 -- mid-tower case"). This is the first computer I've had, so I'm not sure what disposing of it "responsibly" would consist of. And I'm also wondering what I could get off of the hard drive. I have already taken files such as Word documents and photos that we want to keep and transfered them to our other computer. Would there be anything else I could use or get off of the hard drive? I'm not sure how this all works. I added 256MB of memory to the Gateway, so will definitly pull that out. Maybe I can add it to our other PC.

    It's been good to be a 2-computer family, so we are wanting to get another to replace the Gateway. We were thinking of a Lap Top. Have never had any experience with them. Any advice on what might be good and what to be looking for? The Gateway has been networked with our HP computer. Is that something one would want to do with a laptop?

    As you can see, I am pretty much of a novice at all this so any advice or observations are much appreciated.
    DeeJay

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    Re: Computer won't start

    You might want to save your "Favorites/Bookmarks" and particularly your e-mail data. If you have been using "Outlook", then it's a no-brainer as you only need to save your "outlook.pst" file. If you are using Outlook Express, then it becomes a bit more difficult and since your PC isn't operational, installing one of the dedicated Outlook Express Backup utility programs wouldn't be an option.

    Re: memory salvage... since I do lots of repairing of PC's I have found that HP is not very friendly when it comes to RAM and some other components since they are known to use proprietary parts as does Dell. So, the RAM from your Gateway would most likely not be compatible with your HP desktop machine. And any new PC you buy will have much different and faster RAM so the old RAM wouldn't be of any value to you there either.

    Re: laptops. Well, personally I hate the things. <img src=/S/rofl.gif border=0 alt=rofl width=15 height=15> But they do afford the advantage of portability. However, parts are much more expensive than those for Desktops; something to consider. And again, from my experience of repairing computers, Dells and HPs and some other "brand name" units are to be avoided because again, they often are loaded with proprietary software, extra partitions, etc., which for the novice individual present serious hurdles should a re-installation of the operating system become necessary. My personal preferences are: 1) Toshiba (Satellite series), 2) Acer and then 3) LG. Any of those three are hardware-friendly, i.e., you have way more latitude in hardware replacement and upgrade and they do not come with "special" partitions, etc. either. You can find any of those 3 on sale often and they are generally priced very competitively.

    Jeff
    Jeff
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  8. #8
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    Re: Computer won't start

    Thanks to everyone for your input. I found it very helpful. I'll go ahead and carry on from here. If someone else happens to come accross this thread and has any other info or perspectives to add, I'd be glad to hear that too. As a novice, figure I need all the advice I can get.
    Best wishes to all.
    DeeJay

  9. #9
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Computer won't start

    First to answer your question about disposing of it "responsibly", you should either donate it (but since it doesn't work, that's not an option) or take it to a recycling "event". Most communities in our area (southern NJ) have one every 3 months or so, where you bring your old computer components to a center and they will dispose of them for you in the correct manner. If your community doesn't have these "events", then take a look at this Google search for possible alternatives. But in California, I suspect you should have no trouble finding a place to recycle it.

    If you have all the personal data you care about off the HD then you can pull it out and either format it and use it as a storage drive on your old computer (anything you buy new will probably be incompatable with the old connectors on this HD) or just drill some holes through it to render it unuseable and recycle it with the rest of the dead computer. The RAM might work in you HP, but you'd have to try it to be sure.

    A laptop is a good choice for a second computer. It will give you some flexiblity that you don't have with a desktop. They are a bit more expensive though. As to what would be a good choice, HP makes some very nice machines that are a bit easier on the budget than some others and would matchup well with your existing HP. And you should take advantage of networking it through a router with your desktop to share the internet connection and the wireless connectivity of today's laptops right out of the box. You will be able to use the laptop almost anywhere in the house or yard. Set up properly, you can share printers and other peripheral devices like a scanner.
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