7 yr old pc up the creek; help me save it

  savemypc 10:14 27 Aug 07
Locked

Can you help me decide what to do with my old PC? Is it worth the expense of fixing up? I am not very experienced with the guts of the beast, so may have to resort to hired help. Its Packard Bell running windows ME.

The PROBLEM: when I start it, it starts windows up but then pretty soon the screen freezes black, with a portion of the old display still showing on the bottom tenth of the screen.

BACKGROUND INFO: In the last year or so the pc has had issues; after the pc has been switched off from the elctric supply eg after a power cut, we have always had to reset the cmos(?) settings (the computer beeps twice and says checksum wrong or something like that. ) as it goes back to 2000 on the day/time. This has happened for many months. Also it has a software assault whereby many precious files were deleted by a member of the family. Say no more. The computer was functioning ok for a few months after that(apart for the cmos thing)

ACTION SO FAR:
I have cleaned all the dust out of the guts inside; in case it was an over heating issue.

Then I decided to try a rescue disk to do a factory restore;

RESPONSE: The computer churns merrily away copying files onto the disk. Windows ME starts up and it goes into audit mode 1 where driver files for the soundcard, mouse and such are installed. Then it throws a tantrum and says Windows protection error. System halted you need to restart your computer. So I do and then we are back to waiting system start...software installation again...., then after the drivers are done it restarts, and then wants to preinstall them again and then it has another tantrum. I have tried to restore from scratch again with the floppy. We seem to be in a perpetual loop that is impossible to break free of.

I've had error messages along the way
One says "Could not find C:\FACTONLY\SOFTINST.INI or C:\FACTONLY\GENINST.EXE
Bad C:\Factonly\SOFTINST.SFT"

and "Unkown error
Copy C:\CABS\SOFTWARE.INS to C:\FACTONLY\SOFTINST.INI"

Any suggestions? Any ideas what is wrong with it?

  SANTOS7 10:22 27 Aug 07

A seven year old PC running an Operating system there is no support for and you have already suggested your knowledge is minimal Throw it away and buy a new one..
Pending on your PC requirements there are some very cheap deals out there and there are many on this forum that would be more than happy to help you look

  savemypc 10:31 27 Aug 07

SANTOS7; thats for such a speedy reply. What you suggest is my last resort.

However; I would appreciate any ideas as to what the problem is before I can justify this action. Its only when we encounter adversity that we can really start to learn.I am a learner.

I would not throw it away if I can help it...PC's are full of nasty chemicals better that it can be reused somehow.

If anyone thinks it could be a corrupt software problem or a hardware problem, please let me have your thoughts.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 10:36 27 Aug 07

Chuck it in the council dump tech skip. The system is too old to save and it sounds like the HD is on it's way out. Time to move on and get a new system. There is a time to bin principles and move on.

G

  wee eddie 10:46 27 Aug 07

Remove the old Hard Drive > Buy an "Enclosure" (an External USB Hard Drive Case without the Hard Drive) > connect it up as per instructions > Connect it to the new PC > Copy all your files across (You should be able to read it with no problem) > Format it to NTFS > If the Drive is still good you have a cheap Back-up device > If not, get an old drive down at the nearest Car Boot Sale

  howard64 10:53 27 Aug 07

ME had the first system restore - have you tried starting in safe mode [press f8 as it starts windows] then going to system restore and reset. Your system is too old to be worth spending any money on but getting your info off the hard drive is always worth it as long as your problem was not caused by a virus/nasty which could then be spread to your new one. If you have a tech savvy friend they could put your hard drive in their pc and check if yours has any nasties etc. I have often thought of setting up a network of local pc people for just that purpose.

  SANTOS7 10:54 27 Aug 07

The error messages you get when pasted into google get no response at all so at the moment i am not sure which direction to send you, When you say the CMOS thing have you changed the battery recently, if not that may be the issue...

  norman47 11:01 27 Aug 07

" Any suggestions? Any ideas what is wrong with it? "

It could be that the ME disk is dirty or scratched.

It could be that the cdrom drive that is reading the ME disk is about cream crackered.

It could be the hard drive has faults, you can download software from the manufacturer of the hard drive to test.

You could have faulty memory, if you have more than one stick of memory alternate them to see if one is faulty or download memtest from the web to test your memory.

It could be a faulty PCI card.

It could be a failing psu.

It could be a failing motherboard.

have you any usb devices plugged in when trying to install ME, don't.


New system with Vista click here £199.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 12:34 27 Aug 07

"we have always had to reset the cmos(?) settings (the computer beeps twice and says checksum wrong"

Renew the CMOS battery (£2.99 from wilkinsons for 2).

"I've had error messages along the way
One says "Could not find C:\FACTONLY\SOFTINST.INI or C:\FACTONLY\GENINST.EXE
Bad C:\Factonly\SOFTINST.SFT
and "Unkown error
Copy C:\CABS\SOFTWARE.INS to C:\FACTONLY\SOFTINST.INI"

This looks like a corrupt file in the recovery partition on the hard drive.

  savemypc 14:44 27 Aug 07

Thanks all for taking an interest.

"howard64
Mon, [email protected]:53

ME had the first system restore - have you tried starting in safe mode [press f8 as it starts windows] then going to system restore and reset. "

I tried to open with safe mode but the system wanted nothing to do with it...just kept giving nasty clicking tones that mean "you pushing that button is not going to do anything"

I used the rescue disk floppy originally supplied with the computer. As fruit bat says; it could be that the recovery part of the disk is not good hence the problems. (Or the whole disk could be ropey.)

i have saved my documents before the pc really went downhill.

"Fruit Bat /\0/\ Renew the CMOS battery (£2.99 from wilkinsons for 2)."


Could a flat CMOS battery be responsible for the whole thing?

  SANTOS7 14:47 27 Aug 07

Won't know till ya put one in they don't last forever..

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Surface Pro (2017) vs Surface Pro 4

Where HTML5 is headed next

MacBook Pro v Surface Pro 5