Stupid Laptop question/tech help

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  • Stupid Laptop question/tech help
  • stumpy01
    Member

    A few weeks ago I posted a question about fixing my parents laptop and it now seems that I am a ‘family computer repair man’….although I don’t really know what I am doing…

    I have now been asked to fix my OH’s parents’ HP Presario CQ61 laptop.

    It was starting to boot windows and then stopping. Window repair unsurprisingly did nothing.
    Then some HP utilities came up and I ran a check disk. This ran and found no bad sectors….

    This evening I took the HDD out & backed up the files (via a caddy plugged into my laptop), intending to put it back in & run the HP restore utility & see if that got it working again.

    But, now I’ve put the HDD back in, all I get when I turn the computer on is 3 regular beeps and some flashing lights, which I guess are some fault codes – it looks to be a memory error from what I have seen on the internet.
    I checked the HDD was correctly installed, but it’s still doing it.

    The weird thing is that this computer is supposed to have 2GB of RAM, but taking the covers off….there are no RAM modules in there at all. I have looked at some disassembly videos and there doesn’t appear to be any RAM anywhere else in the chassis. All the RAM updgrade videos I have seen just show the RAM in the normal slots – which are completely empty.

    I don’t understand thought why it started loading windows before removing the HDD, but now it won’t. As I say, all I get is 3 steady beats repeating…..I did wonder whether it was perhaps the battery on the motherboard, but don’t know how that would be affected by removing the HDD??

    I don’t know if anyone else has looked at this computer, but am wondering if someone has taken the RAM out of this computer…..?!

    I think I am going to take a stick of RAM out of my parents’ laptop & stick it into this one & see what happens.

    Still got to do a pic of the day too!!! Arse…

    stumpy01
    Member

    Gah! Right then. Just stuck 2Gb of RAM into it from another laptop & it started up straight away. Still wouldn’t load windows but at least it started. Removed the RAM and back to steady beeping…

    Currently running startup repair…..this time it says fixing disk errors, so perhaps it will work.

    Still completely bemused as to why the issue of missing RAM only reared it’s head once the HDD had been removed and put back in.

    stumpy01
    Member

    Bump…where’s Cougar when you need him!

    Any ideas why Windows would start to load (but then stop) before I took the hdd out (no RAM present), then give me a BIOS error after taking the hdd out & putting it back in.
    Only when I nicked some RAM from a different laptop would it once again start to load Windows (before stopping again).

    Gonna run the recovery thing tonight…

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    I was going to guess that there’s a stick of RAM elsewhere on the motherboard and the slot you’ve access to is an ‘expansion’ bay. Jostling the laptop has dislodged it.

    Looking at the service guide though, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

    It’s hard to know what else to say here; there has to have been RAM in it at some point, for fairly obvious reasons. I can only think that either someone’s taken it out or you just haven’t noticed the other stick.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Generally, if you don’t know what you are doing, just back up files, format and reinstall windows. It’s a hell of a lot easier, quicker and more effective than trying to fix windows.

    stumpy01
    Member

    Yeah, mol that’s what I will be doing this evening. Hence why I took the drive out last night to stick it in a caddy & back up the files.

    Just find it weird that before I took it out, the BIOS was fine & windows at least attempted to load.

    Put the hard drive back in & get a BIOS error, even though to all intents & purposes I didn’t change anything.
    Only way to sort that was to put a stick of RAM into the empty slots, which then allowed the BIOS to load & windows to attempt to load.
    Took out the RAM & back to the BIOS error. But why? BIOS was ok before I removed the hdd. What has removing the hdd done to the system that the BIOS won’t load with the computer in it’s original configuration. Confused?

    Also can’t fathom why it has no RAM in the slots. Starting to suspect that someone they lent the laptop to recently has ‘borrowed’ it.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    What has removing the hdd done to the system

    Who knows, but if something’s gonna fail, it has to fail at a particular point in time. As Cougar says, it could be something dislodged, some sort of freak static discharge, a piece of metal swarf dislodged, an electrical glitch, any of which could have pushed a tired component over the edge I suppose.

    Also can’t fathom why it has no RAM in the slots

    I’ve had that. Sometimes there’s more than one place to put memory. My work laptop has the usual slot underneath which was empty when I looked – there’s another two slots under the keyboard.

    stumpy01
    Member

    Cougar, didn’t see your post….

    Yeah. I thought it might have some ‘on board’ RAM, but don’t think it does. I looked at loads of YouTube disassembly vids.

    Definitely no RAM in the two accessible slots.
    As I say, I am starting to think that someone has pinched the RAM. Still doesn’t explain why it ‘worked’ before I took the hdd out but not after.

    Only thing I can think of is that there is some ‘RAM’/cache or something in the hdd that held some info in it until I disconnected it. Now that info is gone, it won’t boot until I stick some more RAM in…? Dunno?

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Can’t see it myself. The only explanation that makes any sense is that someone’s taken it out. Either that or you have eyesight issues (which would also explain why you missed my post).

    stumpy01
    Member

    There is that…

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    I’ve never seen a PC start up without memory in. I’d have to look it up to be certain, but offhand I’m pretty sure the the POST code is copied into RAM to be executed; no memory, no booty.

    I’d hazard that it’s as close to ‘impossible’ as makes no odds.

    stumpy01
    Member

    ^^^ that’s what I thought.

    Maybe as suggested earlier some RAM has been dislodged during my fiddling although looking on the HP website earlier it said that depending on model, RAM is stored under a panel on the bottom of the laptop OR behind the keyboard but not both.
    This laptop has 2 slots underneath, and I definitely didn’t remove anything from them. My oh is going to ask her parents whether anyone borrowed it. We have someone in mind who has form for this kind of thing.

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