Everything died

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I think that I need some advice before I commit any more blunders with my
computer. A win98 computer, I tried to load the software for a HP printer. I
won't load. I tried using the setup program on the HP disk, but it kept
crapping out mid-setup. So I tried the "found new hardware" route on system
boot-up. It could never find the correct drivers on the disk. Finally, in
frustration, I went the route of "find drivers from another source". I
clicked yes and then the computer would not boot up to regular desk top,
instead showed "windows protection error". So I booted up in "safe mode"
then tried to load the drivers for the CD to re-load windows. Re-booted the
computer and now I get absolutely no display at all on the screen, no
cursor, no nothing. I swapped out the system harddrive with one that had
windows installed on it. Again, no display of any kind. Jumper settings are
correct, master on correct port. Could I have somehow clobbered the bios?,
and if so, can it be fixed if I can't get anything to come up on the screen?
The computer has a video card in it, I tried switching to the motherboard
video, same thing. I really doubt electrical failure as all this occurred
trying to load software. I always thought that the bios would at least throw
up the cursor on the screen, good or honked OS. Guess I'm wrong. Help, what
to do?

Re: Everything died

On Sat, 28 May 2005 19:04:48 GMT, "salaryman"

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Some HP software is quite poor, this is probably the root
problem... even though what happened next is just the

First though, a bit of detail might help, like:

Did you try the newest HP driver instead of the one on the
included CD?  IMO, one should never use software that comes
with a device, over the most current available version from
manufacturer's website.

A brief description might help-

Printer - make, model, and whether a hardware or winprinter
(ie- description of type of printer and other relevant
things like whether it uses USB-only, parallel only, or
optionally either.

Motherboard- make, model, and it's chipset (for example,
Intel 440BX, ALI xxxxx, SIS xxxx, Via xxxxx).

Sometimes the HP programs seem to work better if you use a
parallel connection, when possible.  Other times on some
motherboards it helps to enable "legacy USB" in the bios
(when using USB connection method of course).

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What, exactly, happened during the attempt(s), including any
error messages?

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Define "crappping out" in this context- be verbose.

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Yeah, it won't- Somewhere out there is a school training
idiots to make hardware drivers that are only accessibly
if/when a front-end like Installshield (or even worse-
something more proprietary) manages to work 100% correctly
and extract compressed files and create settings FIRST.  It
would be too easy to just design software to work based on
the way the OS plugs-and-plays, apparently.

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You skipped some pretty important details... like everythign
you did that caused the problem noted below.  Details are
your friend, they are exactly what has to be considered,
relative to any other system not having (these problems).

What exactly did you do?  What exactly did the system do,
during this "went the route of..." up until the moment you

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At that point, you could, during bootup of windows, press
<F8> to get the boot menu and choose to LOG the boot.  This
produces a "bootlog.txt" file that shows where the boot
process stopped and can even be viewed in DOS at the prompt
with the command:

C:\type bootlog.txt

Of course it'll scroll by quite fast, but the end is the
important part, what loaded/attempted-to-load last.  If the
machine simply couldn't boot at all though, you could copy
that bootlog to media (like floppy) and take it elsewhere to
examine.  At this point I don't know if a bootlog will be
useful, but since you're dealing with a win9x box this is
useful to keep in mind should similar problems occur in the

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At that point, you should not have tried to reload windows,
only undoing the prior driver (thing) you did... which is
still unknown due to lack of details.

So you ran Windows setup from safe mode and windows then
reinstalled itself ontop of (into same "windows" folder?)
itself, and it did finish doing so successfully?

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Again a bootlog might help show where it stopped.
Does it boot to safe mode?

By reinstalling windows ontop of itself, you retain the same
driver profile you already had, so determining exactly what
had been done regarding the printer driver, could be very
useful and time-saving to (undo).

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What version of windows?
Again we're left without the needed details.  Keep in mind
that only you know this system and scenario- we have only
the info you provide.

Was that (version of windows) installed on this system
previously or another?
If another, it can be useful to boot to safe mode the first
time.  Even now, with new or old windows (HDD) it can be
useful to boot to safe mode- and remove any incorrect or
malfunctional (as in the case of whatever-problematic
printer setup) hardware /drivers.

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Drive config may not matter- so long as it was trying,
booting windows and stopped midway loading windows.  That
is, in general within the assumption this was another Win9x
(98) OS.  

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So long as you made no bios changes previously, no it
shouldn't be the bios.

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Perhaps I misunderstand the situation- when you turn on the
system from being off, is there no video at that point?
Is the printer still plugged in?  If so, unplug it from

Had you made any other physical system changes?
Anything done to windows will not cause the system to not
POST, ie - result in no video upon first powering system on.

I now wonder if the system was flaky and you were very
unlucky in that the system's further degradation happened to
coincide to installing a printer, that perhaps part of the
reason the system didn't boot after that first (or 2nd, etc)
time is that the system itself- outside of windows, was no
longer stable.

Consider if that is possible and if so, you'll need to
ignore the printer and OS for a time to evaluate the overall
system function at (anything).

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Already I've typed too much, speculation with so many
variables is of limited usefulness.  If system isn't POSTing
(no video upon turning it on) then if you have a multimeter,
take voltage readings.  Check fans for proper funciton and
dust buildup/clogs.  Examine motherboard for potential
faulty capacitors.  Unplug AC cord from system and pull
battery for 5 minutes to clear CMOS, then reattempt to power
up, leaving printer disconnected.

If your USB ports are set to use 5VSB rather than 5V (a
jumper setting- see the motherboard manual) AND the printer
uses USB, try rejumpering to 5V instead but for the time
being leave the printer unplugged until system is otherwise
working properly again.

Also if you hadn't, unplug system and monitor from AC for a
couple minutes then retry them.

Re: Everything died


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Firstly, please confirm there is nothing on the screen when you trun
the PC on.  If nothing, then you have a video problem which just
happened at the same time you were cursing HP.  

So check all connections are good.  Start with the cable from the PC
to the monitor and the power cable to the monitor.  Is the monitor
switched on?

If still no display, are there any beeps as you turn the PC on?  If
so, describe them - maybe 3 short beeps or whatever.  If other than
one beep then you may have a PC hardware problem.  So next check the
video card is firmly seated in its slot inside the PC.  Whiule you
have the PC open, check all other cards, memory, cables are firmly

If still no joy, tell us what you have found so far

Re: Everything died

salaryman wrote:
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when you replaced the HD
you probably knocked something loose.
put back the original HD...then check **all** connections.

once you get the system to boot...
if there are too many errors to sort out...
restore the registry to a point prior to your printer installation attempt

Re: Everything died

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There is also the possibility that while replacing the HD a static surge
took out the MB or other hardware if the user was not taking anti-static

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