HP Pavilion ze4900 wont boot

11 replies [Last post]
iamdigitalman's picture
Offline
Joined: Mar 2 2004
Posts: 629

OK, a friend gave this to me, so no worries. it's a Celeron M 1.5ghz box, 256mb RAM (2 slots, one empty), no wifi card (has a miniPCI slot, I checked), 40gb hard drive, 15" screen, and, judging from the sticker, windows XP. When I hit the power key, I get a flashing amber light, but no boot. I get a different flash when there is no battery in it. There is a reset button on the bottom, and I have hit it a couple times, no change.

any help? I came across a yahoo answers post, but it was closed, with no relivant answer. Shame, as the guy had the exact same problem. it's a nice piece of kit, has a Altec Lansing sound system, intel graphics, but it should run linux with no trouble. it has 2 PC card slots, and I have a spare linksys wifi card from a failed experiment, so that will go in there in a minute.

thanks.

-digital Wink

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Jon's picture
Jon
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 2804
Any signs of dropping? ;)

Any signs of dropping? Wink

Have you reseated the RAM and checked if the CPu is soldered down or in a socket. If it's in a socket, is it fully seated. It ought to show SOME sign of life unless the RAM or CPU is out of place, or if the mobo is dead. Does it have a seperate DC board, and if so check the voltage it's putting out.

__________________

I am not in this world to live up to other people's expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine. - Fritz Perls

iamdigitalman's picture
Offline
Joined: Mar 2 2004
Posts: 629
I havnt had a chance to open

I havnt had a chance to open up yet, I guess I will have to now, even though i dont want to. I removed the access panels, and checked if it had the wireless card, and popped the ram dor, and reseated it. I'll check the other bits later.

as for it being dropped, dunno. it does have some signs of wear already, like on the cornders, and main trackpad button, there is some of the faux silver paint coming off.

if I cant get it running, no big deal. i'll hawk the hard drive and stick it in my mother's toshiba, which need s a new one.

any other ideas?

-digital Wink

Eudimorphodon's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 21 2003
Posts: 1132
Sounds familiar

Someone here at the office had an HP some-crazy-model-number notebook that exhibited similar symptoms. In that case the person knew what had happened: it apparently crashed in the middle of a flash BIOS update.

I don't know if that's what you're seeing but if so good luck. In this case the person tracked down some support forum threads implying it was possible to recover the system using a specially crafted disk to reflash the BIOS, but we never were able to get it to work. It *may* of been because we were trying to use a "generic" USB floppy drive instead of a specific HP one (which the user didn't have), but I have my doubts.

--Peace

Dr. Webster's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 1628
Re: Sounds familiar

Eudimorphodon wrote:

...It *may* of been because we were trying to use a "generic" USB floppy drive instead of a specific HP one (which the user didn't have), but I have my doubts.

There are certain models of USB floppy drive that work (and are certified for) out in DOS or Windows text mode. I have to use a specific USB floppy drive when I need to install RAID drivers for a new Windows installation on a server without a built-in floppy.

__________________

Applefritter Admin

Eudimorphodon's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 21 2003
Posts: 1132
Re: Sounds familiar

Dr. Webster wrote:

There are certain models of USB floppy drive that work (and are certified for) out in DOS or Windows text mode. I have to use a specific USB floppy drive when I need to install RAID drivers for a new Windows installation on a server without a built-in floppy.

*shrug* I used one Dell sells for use with their laptops. I've used the same drive to boot a Rackables-brand 1U server, and Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD identify it as a bog-standard USB floppy, so it seemed like a fair enough drive to use. A "proper" USB Mass Storage Class device should "just work" unless your BIOS expects something *other* then a generic device.

(Perhaps there are still floppy drives in circulation that don't adhere to the standard, and you've had problems with those in your Windows installs. A lot of early ones didn't.)

God knows what HP's BIOS expects, of course, particularly the brain-damaged recovery mode stub. It might of been looking for a specific vendor ID code. Or it might of just been screwed up beyond repair. What little I could discover by digging suggested their recovery mode wasn't very robust.

In my mind the real lesson to be drawn from the affair is that the *last* thing you should ever do when your machine is acting flakey is try updating the BIOS, particularly from Windows. Something else is wrong, fix that first.

--Peace

iamdigitalman's picture
Offline
Joined: Mar 2 2004
Posts: 629
I dont think it was a failed

I dont think it was a failed BIOs update. i'll ask him what his mother was doing the minute it died. running apps, processes, and whatever else. I need to collect as much data as possible before I deflower it by opening it and breaking it even worse. Just wanted to get some feeler info to see if anyone else had a simmilar issue. This is an end user, one who probibly doesnt even know what a BIOS is. They dont care how it works, so long as it does.

-digital Wink

coius's picture
Offline
Joined: Aug 25 2004
Posts: 1975
look up the beep code

or in this case, the  flash code.  It's got to be on the net.  It could be that the CPU konked out on ya.  it's much like beeps on a computer telling you that there is no RAM or something.  if  the CPU Board was disconnected, i doubt it would give you code at all since it requires a CPU to power the machine to begin with (this  is where A+ kicks in).  if you can get to it, there are lines for the CPU that need power to boot, if you can find where to check this, and there is no power to it, that might be the problem.
it would include a meter and some troubleshooting, but you could find the exact problem through that.  You also might want to  check the power supply (try the first non-destructive measures first) and see if the  power is good.  I also would say the first thing to check when  getting in, is to see if there is a power board, and check the voltage across it from the wires going to the logic board.

__________________

See my PB540c 33Mhz serve a website! http://yui-ikari.coius.info/

iamdigitalman's picture
Offline
Joined: Mar 2 2004
Posts: 629
yeah, I am starting to think

yeah, I am starting to think it's a loose CPU. I tried taking it apart, but after remving all the screws off the bottom and back, it was still holding together for some reason. there were 2 screws on the front edge that didnt come out, but were loose, and the bit they were holding hinged out some, but still nothing.

also, no beep codes, it just blinks an amber LED at me. there are three of them, one for the hard drive, one for power (marked I/O), and one for I think charging, with a lightning bolt. that is the one blinking at me, the one with the lightning bolt.

any thoughts?

-digital Wink

iamdigitalman's picture
Offline
Joined: Mar 2 2004
Posts: 629
Just wasted 1/2 an hour of my

Just wasted 1/2 an hour of my life talking to a live chat person; Told me nothing new, except the power dranage procedure. simmilar to the one on some powerbooks. below is a complete transcript of the chat log. btw, it's a ze4911us, not ze4900. Why the hell cant they come up with some good model names for these things?

chat log (warning: LONG):

Quote:

Chat Transcript Begins Here
--------------------------------------------------------------

Evelyn
Hello Leo.

Evelyn
Welcome to HP Total Care for Pavilion Notebooks. My name is Evelyn. How may I assist you today?

Leo LeBron
my Pavilion will not power on at all.

Evelyn
Could you please elaborate the issue at hand?

Leo LeBron
when I hit the power button, the light that is marked with the lightning bolt symbol goes orange, and if I hold the power button, the oarnge light blinks.

Evelyn
How long are you facing this issue?

Leo LeBron
the light goes off after a few seconds, and it makes no difference if I have it hooked into wall power, or running from the battery.

Leo LeBron
about 3 days now.

Evelyn
I recommend you use Power Drain procedure by following these steps: 1. Disconnect the AC Adapter. 2. Remove the Battery. 3. Hold the Power button down for 30 seconds to 1 minute. 4. Reconnect the AC adapter. 5. Turn on the Notebook power.

Leo LeBron
hold on, performing it now.

Evelyn
Sure.

Evelyn
Please take your time.

Leo LeBron
ok, now, with no battery and AC only, I get no lights or anything, but with the battery and AC in, I get the solid orange light when I hit the power button, and it goes out after 2-3 seconds. when I hold the power key with the battery and AC, it is blinking again, but it appears to be blinking quicker.

Evelyn
Okay.

Evelyn
Since you are not able to turn on the notebook even after performing the power drain steps and alternate power sources, I suspect the issue is with the notebook hardware.

Evelyn
I suggest you to send the notebook for repair at HP.

Evelyn
Is the notebook covered under warranty?

Leo LeBron
no, it is not anymore. I bought it back in January 2005.

Leo LeBron
I still have all the paperwork, however.
< br>
Evelyn
Could you please provide me the Serial Number (eg: CNS34915MC) and Product Number (eg:DS542U#ABA) of your Notebook? You may find that on a sticker attached to the underside of the Notebook.

Leo LeBron
serial number is CNF4431S4K

Leo LeBron
product number is PN586UA#ABA

Evelyn
Thank you for the information.

Leo LeBron
your welcome.

Evelyn
I am checking the warranty status of the notebook.

Evelyn
I have checked the warranty of the notebook.

Evelyn
I am sorry to inform you that your notebook warranty has expired.

Evelyn
When did you purchase the notebook on?

Leo LeBron
figures.

Leo LeBron
around January 2005

Evelyn
Leo, the notebook goes with 1 year standard warranty and has expired this year.

Evelyn
As the notebook is out of warrranty, I can create the mail-in service for the notebook on charge basis.

Evelyn
It will cost you around $298.00

Evelyn
Shalll I proceed creating the service for the notebook?

Leo LeBron
no thank you. I was really hoping I could get this fixed for free.

Evelyn
Okay.

Evelyn
Is there anything else I can assist you with today?

Leo LeBron
no. Thank you for your time.

Evelyn
Thank you for contacting HP Total Care Real-Time chat support. If you need further assistance, please contact us again at: http://www.hp.com/support/chat. Chat support is available 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week.

Evelyn
Bye.

Leo LeBron
bye

--------------------------------------------------------------
Chat Transcript Ends Here

any thoughts?

-digital Wink

Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 211
Re: Sounds familiar

Eudimorphodon wrote:
Dr. Webster wrote:

There are certain models of USB floppy drive that work (and are certified for) out in DOS or Windows text mode. I have to use a specific USB floppy drive when I need to install RAID drivers for a new Windows installation on a server without a built-in floppy.

*shrug* I used one Dell sells for use with their laptops. I've used the same drive to boot a Rackables-brand 1U server, and Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD identify it as a bog-standard USB floppy, so it seemed like a fair enough drive to use. A "proper" USB Mass Storage Class device should "just work" unless your BIOS expects something *other* then a generic device.

Not helpful to the original poster but may help others.

USB floppy drives definitely exhibit different properties. A colleague was trying to install mass storage drivers from a Sony-branded USB floppy drive during a Windows XP installation on a laptop with a generic Compal motherboard. The installation failed, so my colleague contacted the OEM who kindly shipped a USB floppy drive that they guaranteed would work. It was a Sony drive with the same model number as the one that failed, but the second drive did work.

Offline
Joined: Dec 5 2007
Posts: 1
I have the same issue.

Turns out a transistor on the board had been fried by a malfunctioning power supply. currently looking for replacement pieces.

Transistor code was ERF4R.

There are two of these, and the main one that regulates power to startup sections of the board was blown clear open. The secondary which regulates the warning system such as post alert light (power led on front of laptop that flashes to indicate damage to a critical component of the mobo.)

Sadly I need a new one, and hopefully I can fix mine. Hope this helps you a bit. Becareful what you use for power supplies. Even HP doesn't guarantee their tech against causing this damage.

__________________

TSHz Admin, NECT Owner, NDT/PTI Lvl II