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Compaq CQ50 Wont Boot

This is a discussion on Compaq CQ50 Wont Boot within the Laptop Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I'm a noob, first and foremost. On to my problem and hopefully some help? This laptop, my sons, has ALWAYS


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Old 02-18-2010, 10:04 AM   #1
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I'm a noob, first and foremost. On to my problem and hopefully some help?

This laptop, my sons, has ALWAYS ran very hot, since day one. It can actually burn your skin of you tried. Thought I'd start with that. Also note it is rather dirty, sticky keys, soda spilled....etc. I know, I'm working with him! Also I have no recovery discs. Oh, running (or DID) XP.

It recently flashed a blue screen with a bunch of text, and disappeared. I gather thats the blue screen of death? Since then, it wont boot. I can enter the BIOS screens (again, noob) and tried to check the drive, it says "diagnosis not supported." I assume that meant the drive is bad and not recognized. (I can, however, run a memory test. That checked out)

Also note I cannot enter safe mode/recovery. It's the f11 key for this unit (even read about a alt+f11). Repeatedly hitting during start up and nothing.

So I bought a hard drive, and the same thing...Wont boot. It ends up a black screen with blinking cursor, top left.

I burned this (http://www.diskinternals.com/download.shtml#cd) Disceternals...to a disc, changed my boot order to dvd rom first, and still no results/changes.

Any suggestions on the next move would be great. Thanks in advance.

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Old 02-18-2010, 11:58 AM   #2
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Hello DP68

Was the laptop new when you bought it?
How old is the laptop?
How does your son operate the laptop? If he is like most kids then it will be something like this;

The name laptop is misleading, cos if you run it on your lap, on your bed covers or on the carpet, it’s going to block the air vent underneath and also suck up fluff, dust and stuff. This will overheat it and cause it to crash or shutdown. It will also reduce its working life.

If it’s operated like above, don’t!!

Try this first -

• Remove the battery and AC cord.

• Remove the bottom access cover/covers of your laptop and make sure the cooling path is free of fluff and dust. If there is dust in there, then get a can of compressed air from you local hardware/computer store and blow out the dust.

• Remove and reseat your RAM modules.

• Replace your covers.

• Hold down your power button for 1 minute (Battery and AC still disconnected).

• Replace your AC power (not battery) and turn the computer on.

This is called a hard reset. If it works COOL, then replace your battery. Problem resolved.

Post back, see how you get on.

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Old 02-18-2010, 01:20 PM   #3
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Did as instructed, no luck. Tried with both the old hard drive and the new one. It goes to the Compaq screen, with all the F-Options at the bottom, for probably 10 seconds and then to the black screen with flashing cursor (where no keystrokes of any kind are recognized).

The laptop is 14 months old, and I bought it as a refurb from Radio Shack. And yes, it's had a VERY hard life.

Next? And thanks again.
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Old 02-18-2010, 01:52 PM   #4
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Remove the HD and start the laptop and tell me what happens.
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Old 02-19-2010, 04:59 AM   #5
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Exact same result. Loads to the Compaq screen, 10 seconds, black screen with cursor.
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Old 02-19-2010, 08:45 AM   #6
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Remove all the RAM and start with one stick only and try it in both slots. If that did not work then repeat for the other. If one of your sticks works then you have one stick of bad RAM. If both sticks produce the same fault, then replace them both and carry out the next step.

OK what I want you to do is view the bios setup menu.

I think on the Compaq its like this, I'm not familiar with this model:

Start your laptop when you get to the Splash screen press F10 or Esc(try F10 first) to enter set up, this will open a screen with various menus and you should see a screen with info about your laptop.

This screen shows the CPU and HD, see if they are identified. Move to the next screen MAIN and it will show the time and date and how much RAM you have.

If you get all this information, then it looks like your Operating system has become corrupt.

Remember the other HD you bought will give you the same error because it will have no operating system on it or it has not been formatted.
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Old 02-19-2010, 01:34 PM   #7
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Tried booth RAM modules separately in each slot, same result each time just flashing cursor... As for the BIOS it identifies the CPU as AMD Athlon, PROCESSOR SPEED as 1900, RAM or Total Memory as 1024MB (with one module still uninstalled) as for the Hard drive it only says NOTEBOOK hard drive??? After trying primary hard disk self test in BIOS the test status is "NO IDE DEVICE" with either hard disk installed...??
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Old 02-19-2010, 02:11 PM   #8
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The second HD that you bought was it new or second hand?
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Old 02-19-2010, 09:13 PM   #9
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Have you tried to test the drives yet? Try to boot from CD/DVD drive using an HDD diagnostic disc like Hitachi DFT or SeaTools (both come in ISO/CD image formats).. see HDD Diags link on my sig. Once you burn them into a blank CD the CD can booted off your CD/DVD drive. Just do a quick test (or something like that) to know if your HDDs are still good.
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Old 02-20-2010, 01:38 AM   #10
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I know you have already tried DiskInternals Boot CD but have a go at what TriggerFinger suggests.

I use Ubuntu OS on one of my laptops and it is a free download. When you burn the Ubuntu Live disk this provides a very useful tool for checking the operation of another laptop/pc. You can boot into a virtual working OS, which will prove that all of your hardware works. (mostly)

It also has five options when you boot from this cd -

Try Ubuntu without any changes to your computer.
Install Ubuntu.
Check disk for errors.
Test memory.
Boot from first HD.

You can do a quick check on your HD and do a memory test. The first option lets you run it from the disk and as it says "without any changes to your computer"

Download it here and follow the instructions.
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Old 02-23-2010, 07:31 AM   #11
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The HD was removed from a working PS3.

Other developments; We've lost the display completely. It actually was coming and going, until now its finally gone. Tried to use a second monitor, but it eventually goes into sleep mode as if it's receiving no signal.

The only other response from the unit now is when I remove both ram modules, it beeps to notify their missing, I assume?? Even holding down several keys (or beating on them!) it doesnt even respond with the typical "beep beep I hear you already!"

Motherboard? Processor? Both? Any suggestions where to pick these up at a fair cost? Or, is it even worth it? Or...can I test the motherboard somehow? Or.....any other suggestions? Thanks yet again.
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:47 AM   #12
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Try the Ubuntu Live CD. Make sure you burn it the image properly. I say this because IMO it is waiting for boot device. So with a dead HDD and a non-bootable CD/DVD media on the tray, it will show the same symptoms.

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