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1143 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  clintfan
I have a hp 520c. Weeks ago while on-line it errored and said it would shut down and did. Re-boot took 45 minutes. Machine ran so slowly it was unbearable. Took it to hp service center. They said hard drive was shot. I replaced the hard drive and attempted to run system recovery disks. Took over 8 hours to install. At finish re-boot was no different. Still down. No system software can find a problem. Switched memory sticks dimm1 & dimm2 to se if maybe 1 was bad. No change. I'm running system recovery again now. What could cause this failure? What am I missing?
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That happened to my HP 8590c once. In your case since you swapped the HDD, the cause is probably different than my cause, so none of that may help. Sorry. Anyway it's at the end just in case. Here's a few other ideas...

You should first check the cabling that the shop did when it swapped your drive. Did they strap the drive properly, cabling the master to the farthest IDE connector, slave connector (6 inches back from the master) either unconnected, or connected to a drive that's strapped for slave? Using a cable no longer than 18 inches?

Next, if you do have another device on the same cable as your problem hard drive --like maybe a CDROM, DVD, or tape drive-- I'd also try disconnecting that, to see if it makes your problem go away. Maybe that device has gone bad, affecting your hard disk.

One final thing I would probably try, would be to set aside an hour to run BIOS Setup (hit F1 after powerup?), visit EVERY subscreen and write down ALL the settings. Careful-- some screens can go 3 or 4 levels deep, so be methodical about it. Then go to the Exit screen and choose Load Defaults. Then go back through and fixup everything that the written notes say should differ from the default. Then do a Save. This thorough process should fix any settings that have become corrupted. See if you can boot normally now.


When it happened to me, I took notes at the time. Don't laugh; I do it for every major PC debugging, since I never expect any given problem is truly "solved" and won't reappear someday. So read this, it might give you some ideas...

"06/27/2001: The PC first didn't boot. It stayed at the Blue HP screen a very long time. I killed the power, then powered back on. This time the PC stopped in a black-and-white screen saying the previous boot (or shut?) didn't work. And did I want to [F2] Resume or go to Setup? Since the displayed devices looked OK, I chose Resume.

"Next the PC took 20 minutes to boot. Everything was at a snail's pace, like the CPU was running at 60kHz instead of 600MHz! Like the processor had been frapped, or there was a constant hardware conflict. Finally it came up...-[snipped]-...I then ran System Monitor, and observed the CPU was 100% utilized, everything else looked pretty okay. ...-[snipped]- I decided to try to shut down and reboot in Safe Mode. Shutdown (via TaskMgr) gave the teal screen, but mouse was hung and it never shut; after 3 mins. I killed power.

"Powered back up. Hitting F8 as usual, selected Safe Mode- opt 3. The system booted fine, no apparent slowdown! I first used Scandisk to check C:, just the std. mode. It did find and fix errors. ...-[snipped]-

"After poking around a bit more, I finally rebooted. The PC came up normally --and quickly. No evidence of any slowdown. CPU seems about 2-5%.

"My suspicion is that either there was some disk error that just happened to cause something to run in a loop, correctable by Scandisc; or that when I ran Scandisk the other day while Netscape was also running, I screwed something up (but not enough to prevent most things from running the next morning). Safe Mode was required, to be able to run Scandisk without the
background 100% looping killing its operation."

(I also suspected HP's "Resume" function put my whole system into a very primitive (and SLOW) state, like maybe turning DMA off in the I/O chips.)

As I said, you replaced your disk, so unfortunately the ScanDisk thing cannot possibly help you.

Probably the best I can do here...

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Ok, I replaced the hard drive my self. Connected it just how the old one was. We did run scandisk on it first and it did fix a few errors but didn't fix anything. The old drive is still in the machine but I didn't hook it up yet. New drive is hooked to ribbon marked "Master" and power is hooked to "P4". I assume to connect "Slave" and "P5" to old drive but will not until I solve present issues. When I switched memory the machine ran setup disks in a fraction of the time it had before. At the end system recovery goes to copy files. I started this at 11 PM Sat. Its 12:20 pm Sun. and files are only to 26%. Not good. Office Max has 256 memory for $10 after rebates etc. Shoul I replace both? Could this be it? I've tried to watch memory count up at boot but this machine starts monitor to slowly. Thanks for your reply.
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OK so I guess there's nothing else on the IDE line that's slowing the machine. Do make sure the cable's not end-for-end reversed: the longest end must go to the mobo. But that's my only other idea for that. Your Athlon 1600 should only take minutes to copy the restore files, not hours or //cough!-gag!// days!

To view your POST results, try hitting the "Pause/Break" key during the display. On mine, it freezes the display so I can read it. With enough tries at this, I was able to transcribe all my POST data onto paper. After each hit, I had to CTRL-ALT-DEL to boot again. Among the things my board told me were the CPU and memory speed, and memory amount. Your mobo may show different stuff, or even nothing but the logo.

FYI $10 doesn't sound like very good memory, even for PC133 which you need. You might need to consider shipping your PC to HP for service, or consider a replacement (you could reuse the peripherals), before you invest more money in shotgunning it.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

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