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Rekrul
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DC7700 CMT won't boot, no beeps or flashes (now)

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DC 7700 CMT Desktop
Microsoft Windows XP

I have a DC7700, Convertible Mini-Tower system with Windows XP Pro, SP3 on it. I've previously asked in this forum about upgrading the processor, but I never did that, so it still has the stock, 2.4Ghz E6600 Core-2-Duo CPU. Other than things like installing a video card and a second hard drive, I haven't performed any modifications on this system. I don't even overclock it or my video card.

 

Last night it rebooted twice at random, about an hour apart. No error messages or BSOD, the screen just went back and it rebooting. I thought it might be heat related, so I decided to take the system apart and give it a thorough cleaning. I removed everything, including the CPU cooler and the power supply. I opened the PSU and cleaned the dust out of it and its fan. I took the fan out of the CPU heatsink (and boy what a PITA that was!), cleaned it and the heatsink. I also cleaned all the dust I could see off the motherboard. It wasn't filthy, as I do clean the system periodically, but the CPU fan and the PSU had quite a bit of dust. After cleaning, I re-assembled everything, putting a fresh coat of Arctic Silver heat transfer paste on the CPU.

 

When I plugged everything back and powered on the system, the power LED turned red and the system beeped 9 times, flashing the power LED in time with the beeps. After three sets of 9, the beeping stopped, but the flashing continued at the same rate until I powered off the system. I opened it up, made sure everything was connected properly, but got the same result. I stripped the system down to the bare minimum, one HD, one memory module (tried different ones), but that didn't work either. I even tried it without the HD, just for the hell of it.

 

Going online with a backup system, I saw that 9 beeps means "Error fetching code". Googing that suggested a CMOS error. The recommended fix was to replace the battery and clear CMOS. Even though the battery tested at 3.2v, I bought a new battery, put it in and held down the SW50 button on the motherboard for 5-10 seconds to clear CMOS.

 

Now when I try to power it on, the power LED stays green, the PSU fan, case fan and CPU fan all spin, but it doesn't do anything else. There's no HD activity, and the monitor never receives a signal. It just sits there doing nothing.

 

I did have a graphics card installed, but I've tried it with the card (the GPU fan doesn't spin) and with just the onboard graphics and the results are the same.

 

I'm kind of out of ideas. I've checked and double-checked that everything is connected properly. I've checked and none of the capacitors appear to be leaking or bulged. I've swapped the memory modules around. I've tried connecting everything and also with just the bare minimum. I even tried it with the hard drive disconnected just to see if it would give me some kind of an error, but there was nothing.

 

It appears that the system isn't initializing at all because my monitor never gets a signal, but there are no beeps or flashes to indicate a problem.

 

Short of buying a new computer (which I may have to do), what else can I try?

 

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erico
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From your description of the issue and the generation of the desktop compared to current models,it would seem likely that the motherboard is dead.

 

I suggest that you source a replacement desktop PC.

 




I am not an HP Employee.
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mdklassen
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 wrote:

Last night, it rebooted twice at random, about an hour apart. No error messages or BSOD, the screen just went black and it rebooting.

 

I decided to take the system apart and give it a thorough cleaning.

 

Going online with a backup system, I saw that 9 beeps means "Error fetching code".

Googling that suggested a CMOS error. The recommended fix was to replace the battery and clear CMOS.

Even though the battery tested at 3.2v, I bought a new battery, put it in and held down the SW50 button on the motherboard for 5-10 seconds to clear CMOS.

 

Now when I try to power it on, the power LED stays green, the PSU fan, case fan and CPU fan all spin, but it doesn't do anything else.

 

... with just the onboard graphics and the results are the same.

 

Short of buying a new computer (which I may have to do), what else can I try?

 


Getting random "resets" is a sign that something is very wrong -- failing power-supply, or failing processor, or failing motherboard.

 

Your computer: HP Compaq dc7700 Business PC Convertible Minitower Specifications seems to be about 9 years old.

Would you trade-in your automobile when it gets that old?

 

That document does not show an image of the motherboard, and its connectors.

Was there a four-wire power-lead that connected to the motherboard, somewhat near to the processor?

Did you reconnect that lead?

 

If you remove all the RAM, and then try to start it, it should "beep" if the POST (Power On Self Test) gets far-enough in its tasks to complain about the lack of RAM.  No complaint implies that the POST did not start.

 

Did you also test the amperage of the CMOS battery?

Remember to determine the "wattage" output of the battery, you multiply the voltage by the amperage.

Given the "chemistry" inside the battery, if there is any chemical reactions, it will always report the correct voltage.

The amperage is determined by the number of simultaneous chemical reactions -- not much "chemistry" means almost no amperage.

 

Booting without the disk-drive is a good idea, to get a "minimal" configuration.

 

I agree with the Other Person -- it's time that your XP system (Microsoft stopped supporting it in 2014) be "retired".

 

Remove the disk-drive from your system, and connect it as a "secondary" disk-drive in your new computer.

Copy all your personal files from "old" to "new" disk-drives.

 

 

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Rekrul
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Getting random "resets" is a sign that something is very wrong -- failing power-supply, or failing processor, or failing motherboard.

 

I know. I was hoping it was heat related and that cleaning it would help. I figured that the worst that would happen is that there wouldn't be any change. I never expected it to stop working completely. 😞

 

Your computer: HP Compaq dc7700 Business PC Convertible Minitower Specifications seems to be about 9 years old.

 

It has a date of 2006 on the motherboard, making it 12 years old.


Would you trade-in your automobile when it gets that old?

 

People buy and restore classic cars all the time. I actualy don't drive, but if I did, it would depend on what was wrong with the car and how much it would cost to fix it. I'd almost always prefer to fix something if possible, rather than just throwing it out.

 

Don't get me wrong, I've been wanting a more powerful system, the two things stopping me are money and Windows 10. I want to get a good system that can run the newer software (mainly emulators) that I want to use, I don't want a bargain bin one that is only a marginal upgrade over what I have. I also don't like Windows 10 at all. I object to the spyware in it and the forced updates.

 

Was there a four-wire power-lead that connected to the motherboard, somewhat near to the processor?

Did you reconnect that lead?

 

Yes, I did.

 

If you remove all the RAM, and then try to start it, it should "beep" if the POST (Power On Self Test) gets far-enough in its tasks to complain about the lack of RAM.  No complaint implies that the POST did not start.

 

No beeps with the RAM removed.

 

Did you also test the amperage of the CMOS battery?

 

No, testing voltage is about all I know how to do.

 

I agree with the Other Person -- it's time that your XP system (Microsoft stopped supporting it in 2014) be "retired".

Remove the disk-drive from your system, and connect it as a "secondary" disk-drive in your new computer.

Copy all your personal files from "old" to "new" disk-drives.

 

The thing is that I don't like the direction Microsoft is going with Win10. My friend has it and he's always having problems with it, usually due to some update that changes his system in ways that break things. I once tried a Linux "live" CD, but I couldn't figure out how to do anything with it.

 

I'd rather get Windows 7, but you can't get a new system with Win7 installed on it. Even the local computer shop that sells rebuilt/refurbished systems only sells them with Win10. And as I'm not exactly an expert in installing systems from scratch, I don't even know if I could buy one and put Windows 7 on it. I mean I know the basic procedure, but will I be able to find drivers for all the hardware? Especially since they started integrating OS support into the firmware. Or so I've heard, I don't know for sure, which shows you how much I know about current computer systems.

 

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mdklassen
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>  People buy and restore classic cars all the time.

 

By definition, a "classic" car is at least 25 years old.

 

Buyers either:

* are do-it-yourself mechanics that can restore the vehicle to its original condition,

* car-lovers who purchase a restored vehicle as a "big boy toy".

 

Similarly, some computer-users just use the computer, "as is", while some computer-users (such as the experts on this forum) are the "do-it-yourself" type of people.

 

> I actualy don't drive

 

With the growing popularity of self-driving vehicles, you may never learn how to drive.

 

> it would depend on what was wrong with the car and how much it would cost to fix it.

 

True.  Also, it depends on how much "residual" life your computer (or your car) had.

Would you spend $1000 on new tires, and $1000 on a new paint-job, on a 12-year-old car, only to "junk" it a year later, when it rusts-out, or the engine needs a $1000 overhaul?  Or, invest the $3000 on a brand-new vehicle ???

 

 

>> No complaint implies that the POST did not start.

 

> No beeps with the RAM removed.

 

The POST did not start.

 

> The thing is that I don't like the direction Microsoft is going with Win10.

 

Microsoft has stated that there never will be a "Windows 11".

So, you are "stuck" -- either use Windows 10 (after January 2020), or use some variant of Linux, or buy an Apple tablet/laptop/desktop.

 

> I'd rather get Windows 7, but you can't get a new system with Win7 installed on it.

 

Yes, you can.

 

See: https://www.dell.com/en-ca/work/shop/dell-desktops-workstations/optiplex-3050-mini-tower/spd/optiple...

 

for a brand-new Dell computer that comes with Windows 7 Professional.

 

> Even the local computer shop that sells rebuilt/refurbished systems only sells them with Win10.

 

Correct. Microsoft stopped making Windows 7 available to "System Builders", such as that shop, a few years ago.

 

> I don't even know if I could buy one and put Windows 7 on it.

> Will I be able to find drivers for all the hardware?

 

Major manufacturers, such as HP and Dell and Lenovo are not writing device-drivers for Windows 7 for their brand-new computers.  So, if you did install Windows 7, components (USB ports, video, network) will not work at all. Not good for you.

 

 

 

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Rekrul
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Similarly, some computer-users just use the computer, "as is", while some computer-users (such as the experts on this forum) are the "do-it-yourself" type of people.

I consider myself somewhere inbetween. I've added secondary drives, replaced optical drives, upgraded the CPU on my older system from 1.8 to 2.8Ghz, etc.

 

I'm comfortable adding or replacing parts, I'm just not all that knowledgable about what to buy from scratch. I look at a motherboard and it sounds like a great deal to me, but then I check around the net and people list all the reasons why it sucks. It used to be that the higher the CPU model, the better it was, then you picked the fastest speed rating for that CPU that you could afford. Now there are apparently all sorts of factors to consider and an i5 processor can outperform an i7 in some cases. When I was looking to buy a graphics card for my DC7700, I was worried because many of them said you needed a 500W power supply, but when I asked online, I was told that the DC7700 had a heavy-duty power supply with (I think) two 12v "rails". How am I supposed to know something like that?

 

If you drop a pile of parts in front of me, I can assemble it into a working system, but knowing what to buy in the first place is what loses me. Just figuring out what CPUs a board supports takes me like half an hour of digging through the support documents on the web site. You can't just go by the socket, because not all boards support all the processors that fit the socket. You can apparently put an E7600 CPU into the DC7700, but then you have to mess around with a third party program to change the system multiplier.

 

I'd love to buy the parts and build my own system from scratch, I just don't want to have to spend a month researching every part. I've watched videos on YouTube of how to build a budget gaming system and they usually start out with "I got the basic system at an estate sale for $10, then I pulled the GPU out of my old system..."

 

With the growing popularity of self-driving vehicles, you may never learn how to drive.

 

Unfortunately I see owning a self-driving vehicle as a pipe dream. I foresee a ton of legal hurdles before even a single one of them is ever allowed to be sold to a consumer. When they do become available, they're likely to cost in excess of $50,000, which is a little (like state of Texas little) out of my price range. And I predict that if and when they do actually become available, it will be a law that there has to be a licensed driver behind the wheel for it to legally operate. I can also see there being a legal provision that the police have the ability to remotely take control of such cars, which of course will end up being exploited by hackers.

 

True.  Also, it depends on how much "residual" life your computer (or your car) had.

 

I neglected to mention that I have a duplicate DC7700 motherboard. Two years ago, I had a problem where the system refused to boot and would just beep. I don't remember how many beeps now. I took it to a shop, but refused to leave it. After a quick inspection, they said they thought it was the motherboard, so I ordered a new one from eBay. After disassembling the system in preparation for using the new board and cleaning everything, I decided to try it one more time and it booted. I did get some more beeps after shutting it down and plugging everything back in, but re-seating the graphics card seemed to fix it and it was working perfectly until the other night.

 

I just wanted to see if there was anything else that I could try first. I can also try using the power supply from this system. The motherboard connectors have the same number of pins, so it should be compatible. It's only 300W and not very heary duty, but it should serve for the test. If that works, I can order a replacement PSU for like $25.

 

Even if I resolve to buy a new system, I'd like to get my old one up and working to ease the transition. I can copy all the files off the drive, but there are a lot of things that are just easier to check if you can boot the system.

 

Microsoft has stated that there never will be a "Windows 11".

So, you are "stuck" -- either use Windows 10 (after January 2020), or use some variant of Linux, or buy an Apple tablet/laptop/desktop.

 

I've used an iMac briefly and hated it. As for Linux, won't that be in the same boat with not having drivers for newer hardware?

 

I've been told by several people that Linux is even easier than to use than Windows, but my experience with pretty much everything ported from Linux to Windows has been that it's more of a pain in the butt to get it to do what you want. From my limited experience, the Linux philosophy seems to be "Don't do in one step, what you can make the user do in multiple steps."

 

for a brand-new Dell computer that comes with Windows 7 Professional.

 

Thanks, I didn't know they still offered systems with Win7. $800 is a significant amount of money for me though, which is why I'm still using such an old system. I was really hoping to find a decent system in the under $500 range. Which is my dilema; I want the most powerful system I can get, but I don't have the money to buy something state of the art. The system I'm using now was literally scavenged from the trash.

 

Major manufacturers, such as HP and Dell and Lenovo are not writing device-drivers for Windows 7 for their brand-new computers.  So, if you did install Windows 7, components (USB ports, video, network) will not work at all. Not good for you.

 

Are they doing this because it's too much trouble to continue supporting Win7, or was this Microsoft's doing?

 

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mdklassen
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A recent article in the newspaper indicated that GM has hired a bunch of "White Hat" hackers, to pay them to try to find exploits in GM's highly-computerized vehicles.

 

>>for a brand-new Dell computer that comes with Windows 7 Professional.

 

> I didn't know they still offered systems with Win7. $800 is a significant amount of money for me ...

 

The web-page I cited was in Canadian dollars -- multiply by 0.7 to convert to US.

Also, the model that I cited was the highest-price of 3 available models.

Take about 30% off the price of the cited one, to get the lowest-price model.

So, is 49% of $800 within your budget?

 

 

>> Major manufacturers, such as HP and Dell and Lenovo are not writing device-drivers for Windows 7 for their brand-new computers.  So, if you did install Windows 7, components (USB ports, video, network) will not work at all. Not good for you.

 

> Are they doing this because it's too much trouble to continue supporting Win7, or was this Microsoft's doing?

 

Speculation: when a computer-user goes to buy a computer, and they first look at a computer from "Company X", which will have unsupported software after January 2020, they probably will refocus, and choose a computer from "Company Y", which will be supported "forever" by Windows 10.

 

I guess you could call it "keeping up with the Jones'es" -- if one manufacturer offers Windows 10, all their competitors have to offer Windows 10, to stay competitive.

 

This forum is good for getting "technical" help, but not so good for responding to "why does HP not do ....." type of philosophical and/or "marketing" questions.

 

Google-search for "Microsoft Product Lifecycle" to see Microsoft's plans for support of all their software.

 

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Rekrul
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So, is 49% of $800 within your budget?

 

I don't know. I just discovered a couple things going wrong in my home that need to be fixed and I don't know how much that's going to cost me.

 

Google-search for "Microsoft Product Lifecycle" to see Microsoft's plans for support of all their software.

 

I know their plans; Dump support for all older products as soon as they possibly can. If they thought they could get away with it, they'd drop support for all previous versions of Windows on the day a new version is released.

 

Already they block Windows 7 users with certain processors from getting updates.

 

I've said in the past that rather than keep coming out with new versions of Windows every few years, introducing major compatibility issues and a whole new crop of bugs and security flaws, they should just concentrate on perfecting existing versions of the OS. I was told that this was a stupid idea because they need to keep making new versions to keep up with new hardware.

 

Now they're doing exactly that with Windows 10. It's just too bad that they have made some very anti-consumer decisions in its design. Don't want Microsoft knowing what you're doing with your computer? Too bad, various researchers have said that after jumping through all the hoops to disable all the tracking, it STILL sends data back to MS. Don't want a particular update because it adversely affects your system? Too bad, you don't have a choice.

 

You know what gets me? A computer OS is supposed to be something that supports the hardware and works in the background to allow you to run the software that you want/need. Yet somewhere along the way, Windows because THE reason to own a computer, you had to have the right hardware to support the OS and third-party software became secondary to the glorious experience of using Windows!

 

It's like Windows went from being the stage hand who works behind the scenes at a play to being the 300 pound diva who elbows everyone out of her way and demands that the spotlight be on her the entire time while claiming that she's the only one who matters.

 

 

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mdklassen
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> I know their plans; Dump support for all older products as soon as they possibly can.

 

Not true.

The Microsoft Product Lifecycle usually is ten years -- a long time.

When "corporate" users of Windows XP could not migrate to a newer operating system by Microsoft's "sunset" date for Windows XP, Microsoft added a few years of support for XP, ending in 2014.

Windows Vista hit its "sunset" on schedule -- April 2017.

Windows 7 will hit its "sunset" in January 2020 -- ten years plus a few months after its initial release date.

 

Microsoft recently took the free "PowerPoint Viewer" to its sunset, on April 30, 2018.

 

> If they thought they could get away with it, they'd drop support for all previous versions of Windows on the day a new version is released.

 

Laughingly false.

 

> Already they block Windows 7 users with certain processors from getting updates.

 

I had not heard that.  Got a URL where this is documented?

I do have a Lenovo tablet with a motherboard that does not support the newer releases of Windows 10 -- namely '1703' and '1709' and '1803'.  It was upgraded from Windows 8.  So, Microsoft will extend support for '1607' on that tablet until the scheduled "sunset" date for Windows 8 (in 2023).

 

> I've said in the past that rather than keep coming out with new versions of Windows every few years, introducing major compatibility issues and a whole new crop of bugs and security flaws, they should just concentrate on perfecting existing versions of the OS.

 

Microsoft has "heard" you -- there never will be a "Windows 11".

 

> Don't want a particular update because it adversely affects your system? Too bad, you don't have a choice.

 

With Windows 10 Professional, you do have that choice of how to "manage" Windows.

 

Big "corporate" customers need to test the monthly updates, and the semi-annual upgrades, before allowing the deployment of those updates, to ensure that their business-systems keep running.

 

This forum is good at providing "technical" information.

It is far worse at influencing what HP and Microsoft do with the computers that they manufacture.

 

So, if you still have a "technical" problem, give us the details, and we (all volunteers!) can try to help.

 

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Rekrul
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I had not heard that.  Got a URL where this is documented?

 

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4012982/the-processor-is-not-supported-together-with-the-wi...

https://www.howtogeek.com/311743/how-and-why-microsoft-blocks-windows-7-updates-on-new-pcs/

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/04/new-processors-are-now-blocked-from-receiving...

https://www.discoverycomputers.com/disco/microsoft-blocks-updates-newer-processors/

 

They've even decided that some previously supported systems are now too old to use Windows 10;

 

https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-blocks-windows-10-creators-update-on-some-pcs/

 

Someone produced a patch to allow Windows 7 and 8 to continue receiving updates regardless of the CPU being used. I don't know if there's a fix for them cutting off some Windows 10 users.

 

This behavior is a problem because a software company shouldn't be dictating what hardware you can use it on. If I want to try using an old OS on a modern system, I should be free to do so. Microsoft has too **bleep** much control over modern computers running their OS.

 

With Windows 10 Professional, you do have that choice of how to "manage" Windows.

Big "corporate" customers need to test the monthly updates, and the semi-annual upgrades, before allowing the deployment of those updates, to ensure that their business-systems keep running.

 

But can they outright refuse to install updates that they don't want, or can they only defer them for a limited time? Can an update be uninstalled if it causes problems?

 

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