Hey all, a new member here. I like to tinker but am by no means an expert - hope y'all can help!

I've seen lots of threads re: hp pavilion boot probs & random restarts. but didn't find one to address my problem. I'm dealing w/ mom's PC - pavilion 512c, running XP - won't boot, though how far it gets can vary.

I reset the BIOS defaults, and I've gotten to the desktop twice in safe mode, then it dumps. was thinking adware/spyware/virus/too much background activity @ startup. backing up files was not an option (can't get that far!), so oh well! then... the thing dumped in the middle of system recovery!

had it all opened up, blew it out (power source was loaded with dust), had the heat sinc off and there's thermal paste ALL OVER the chip - very thorough, if messy :)

here's what I saw that was surprising to me - corrosion of some sort (looks like battery acid corrosion) on the tops of the - transistors? transformers? look like mini AA batteries - soldered to the mobo. never saw anything like it. seems confined to the "modules" around the chip/heat sinc.

thoughts? I would appreciate any insight. thanks! ~chell

Sorry to tell you this, but Mom's PC has reached the end of its useful life for some reason. Those are 'blown' capacitors which are quite important for the system to work, and although they CAN be replaced at an electronics repair shop I'd suggest that the exercise would be more expensive than the PC is worth.

The best way to proceed would be to get a new 'system box' (which is basically a new PC except for screen, keyboard, mouse etc. Unfortunately, The version of Windows and installed software which came with that Pavilion can't be reused on a different system, so you'd need new copies also.

If Mom has important files on that Pavilion it's a rather easy job to remove the hard drive from the old system, bung it in a new system as a 'secondary' drive and copy the data files across to retrieve them.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but 'leaking' mainboard capacitors are a sure sign of imminent death!