Hi, okay I have a bit of a problem here. I have an older IBM P III 500Mhz computer. It's been really good until recently. As of late, it's been rebooting itself, and a few kernal errors, but it would start up again. Now, it won't even do that. Now, as I try to boot it up, it displays the IBM splash screen, but in some strange colours that are not the normal blue, and that's as far as it gets. No beeps, no memory tests, no chance to get into the bios, nothing. Although, before when this happened, turning it off and on x numbers of times (where x varies greatly) it would actually boot up, but would eventually crash and the same problem occurs. Now, it's been three days and it still won't boot up.

I tried checking all the connections on the mobo and everything seems solid. The only glimmer of hope I got was when I took out my videocard and tried to reboot it, I got a single quick beep, but then the computer stalled - or at least that's what i assume from the sound (not going through the floppy checks or anything, the keyboard lights flashing...none of that).

Any ideas at all would be greatly appreciated.

14 Years
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Last Post by Catweazle

Oh, I forgot, it *was* running Win2K, had tons of disk space left on a reasonably new HD, and had 256 mb of mem with very few applications on it.


Is there actually any sounds or signs of activity inside the case? Is it the machine that won't start, or just Windows? Is there even a processor fan operating after you power up?

If not, try disconnecting everything possible and powering up with just processor, RAM and display card hooked up. (Hey people, anyone know the keypress to get old IBM machines to display POST info at startup? - I think it was <F1>, but I'm not sure)

Anyway, if your system seems to be showing signs of activity that it diodn't before, start connecting everything else up, one by one, and try to identify the source of problems. If it's a hardware failure, as seems the case from your description, then you gotta find which bit by trial and error, pretty much.


Hey, thanks for the quick response. Okay I tried what you suggested but still the same problem. I disconnected everything (modem, ethernet card, floppy drives, CD, hdd, and videocard) and I got the same thing. Then I added them back one by one, still nothing changed. I swapped out the videocard into another computer and it worked, and I then put a different card into the dead computer but it didn't change anything. Also, you're correct, it is F1 to show the bootup details on IBMs, but it doesn't even get far enough to display anything. The freeze occurs about 1 second after it begins to boot up, before all system tests.

All fans do go on though, and the power light comes on the box itself, but the only audible noise (other than the fans) is a short lasted grind from the HD that one normally hears on the bootup, but it lasts for only a fraction of a second, then it just hangs. Arrgh. I'm beginning to think it's toast.


Something's toast, anyway, from the sound of it. Most likely mobo, RAM or CPU, but power supply is a possibility. You'd need to be swapping bits in and out to be sure.

That sounds a tad pessimistic, but so does your description.


Okay, I took the ram out and tried it in another computer and it's fine. Checked the power supply, it's fine. Now, I have no clue to check the mobo or the CPU but I'll guess my process of elimination it's one or the other. I don't suppose anyone knows how to check the bios, or reflash it or whatnot. For some reason I think it may have something to do with that too. Thanks in advance.

1 other quick question, if I was to yank out the harddrive and throw it in another computer as the primary (removing all other hds) will the computer be okay to just start up with the operating system and files on the swapped hd, even if it's a completely different computer (ie, from my now dead IBM PIII to a working AMD2500)?


Any Windows 2000 'gurus' here?

That process does work with Windows 98 and Windows Me, it doesn't work with Windows XP and I don't think it works with Windowss 2000. But I'm not sure about that last one :confused:

Anyway, I'd be more inclined to pop it in as slave, and copy across data files for backup before trying the process regardless of which version of Windows was being used.

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