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I'm trying to locate information on this computer and I can only find one reference to it anywhere on the internet. Did it have a Pavilion series model number, for example DV5000?
(above: image of the system)
I don't see any number like that on the Desk top.
OK. The information would be on a sticker on the back of the unit. Can you check that, or is the system too cabled-up for that to be convenient?
System Number PL382AA-ABA
Thank you. Let me see what I can discover. Please bear with me a moment ...
You have a Pavilion A706N.
I was led astray by the title, which said A706A. One moment while I see if the service manual is available.
No problem. That's why we check.
For reference, the manuals for the system are still available from HP at the page below:
... unfortunately, HP's servers are down.
The manual we need is the "Upgrading and Servicing Guide"
Let me see if it's available elsewhere ...
Secondary source for the manuals:
While I start looking at the manual, is there any pattern to the beeps, or is it just beep, pause, beep, pause, over and over?
Yes to your second part
OK. The service manual does not indicate anything about beep codes so we will need to proceed from scratch.
Did anything unusual happen before the failure occurred such as an electrical storm?
added new memory but it did not work so replaced original memory and started receiving the beeps.
Thank you. If you are a bit experienced with PC hardware there are some things we can explore. It will require connecting and disconnecting cables, and pulling the BIOS backup battery.
Do you feel comfortable with that?
Splendid. Start by either unplugging the system, or turning off the switch on the power supply (if it has one; not all PC power supplies do.)
Wait for the light on the motherboard to go out. When that happens it is safe to work on the system.
Locate the coin cell battery on the motherboard. Most are mounted flat to the board and have a small latch holding them down. Push the latch back and eject the battery.
Remove all memory sticks from the system. Then disconnect all disk drives, both hard drive and CD, at the drive or at the motherboard -- whichever is more convenient. No need to disconnect the power leads to the drives, just the data cables.
Now turn the power back on / plug the supply back in, and turn the system on. Let me know what it does.
all have been disconnected
Here we are trying to discover if the board behaves the same when it is stripped and has no memory.
Same continuous beep pause beep pause
OK. This suggests that there is a memory problem, which is consonant with trying to swap out the memory.
Please bear with me a moment while I see if I can find a picture of the motherboard used in the A706N.
HP's spec page for the motherboard:
The board shown above?
Yes I see this on the mother board.
Good. Power down the system again.
Take the original memory (only one stick at this time, if two were supplied) and install it into the DDR socket closest to the CPU. Confirm that the latches snap down and lock into the side slots on the memory stick.
Turn the power back on and try to start the system. Let me know what happens.
There were two, I have installed one and locked
AMD CPUs sometimes require two identical sticks of memory. However, we will try it with only one to start with.
Note: MB manual available at:
Will I be able to save our chat?
Yes indeed. I have saved instructions for this since that is a very common request.
So far I see nothing unusual in the manual, and it is not stated that memory must be used in pairs.
Does the board boot to BIOS in this configuration?
You want me to try?
No same beep pattern
Please check jumper ... bah, the manual does not call out the jumper number. One moment while I get a picture.
Troubles come in threes; the site is not letting me upload images today. Please bear with me a moment while I upload to an outside site.
One other thing I remember when I tried the new memory I did smell something getting hot.
Did the new memory fit exactly, or did it fail to fit cleanly?
Yes it did fit exactly.
(click anywhere on the image above to see it at full size)
Check to confirm that the jumper is present, and that it is across pins 2 and 3.
They are both 2 -3
OK. Power down again, insert the second stick of original memory, power up again. Turn the system on and see if it boots to BIOS.
Let me know what you discover.
Same beep pattern
Based on the unusual smell from the board, I am thinking that something shorted at some time during the memory exchange. It would not necessarily have to be related to the memory; as boards get older they do become somewhat cranky.
If I had the board here on the bench the next step would be to plug a POST tester into it and see where it's failing, then test the memory in an expendable test system.
However, this is overkill when the entire working motherboard, CPU and memory can be had on ebay for $35, delivered.
Sounds like I will order it.
I suggest swapping out the whole thing -- motherboard, CPU and memory -- and the problem will definitely go away.
You will then have a spare CPU, spare CPU fan, spare button cell, and some spare memory. I would reserve the memory for an emergency, though, since it is not clear what caused the problem.
We know the CPU is ... well, it is most likely OK, since the board is able to put up the beeping error code.
This should be an exact swap and XP should not even notice that the motherboard changed. If it does, there will be no problem reauthorizing XP as Microsoft is now quite loose on XP authorizations.
Reading the manual, I am not sure why the problem occurred. The manual suggests that the board will take at least a 1 GB memory stick.
That is what I thought.
Since the memory fit correctly, it was not a case of DDR2 or DDR3 trying to go into a DDR socket.
And speed is not a concern; higher speed DDR going into a slower system almost always works because the board reads the memory speed configurations out of the memory stick, and selects one that will work.
It is baffling, but given that the solution is relatively inexpensive I would have to say it's only worth chasing so far, and it's been chased that far.
ok, do I just click the save and exit to save are chat?
"Save and exit" is used when closing a chat that will be left open for later continuation. Would you like the instructions for how to save this session to your system for later reference?
Surely. Before doing that, do you have any questions about what we've done to this point, or is anything unclear, or is there possibly some other computer related problem I might be able to advise on today? Don't hestiate to ask; my time is yours.
I do have one other question. I took the battery out and it was standing on its end. I don't which the positive out or in in the motherboard?
CMOS batteries are normally either flat on the board, in which case the positive side goes up, or 90 degrees to the board, in which case the positive side goes to the side with the flexible clip. If you will be keeping the battery from this system as a spare I recommend putting it in an envelope and setting it aside, as it does discharge when installed in the motherboard. The replacement motherboard will come with its own battery.
The CR2032 has a lifetime of 5 to 10 years and there's no telling when they will finally give up. When the system starts and says "CMOS settings lost" then it's time for a new battery.
Any other questions? Any computer related topic, not necessarily just this problem.
No thank you.
OK. Here's the instructions for saving this session:
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If you would like a permanent copy on your own system, continue with the instructions below. If the instructions appear too difficult, please ask me to transcribe the session for download.
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Now go to the text editor main window, click anywhere within it, and then press (Windows: CTRL and V / Mac: Apple-key and V) simultaneously. The text will paste into the text editor window.
If you're having trouble saving the session, let me know. I'll be glad to transcribe it for you so you can download it. It only takes a minute or so.
Can I help you further today? If not, let me know when you're ready to close this session and I'll bring in the closing info so that I don't delay you unnecessarily.
Here's the closing info, then ...
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