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i need help with an older hp vectra

By donellemehrtens ·
i am helping a friend with an older hp vectra vl 5/75 series 3 desktop i have searched the entire hp web site and e-mailed my question to them and i can't find the answer. the computer goes through it's boot process and it passes all the checking in system configuration it says system okay, then it shows a blank screen with the exception of a little symbol where the curser might go, tha looks like a skeleton key and stops if you push enter (it allows you only four tries) it gives more little key symbols one with an x in the middle and then freezes. are you familiar with this problem?

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i need help with an older hp vectra

by True_Texan In reply to i need help with an older ...

I don't really have an answer for this specific model, but the system displaying a "key" would indicate to me that it wanted you to supply a password. Only allowing four tries would also reinforce this theory.

You didn't mention how long your friend has had the system, but if they had been using the system and did not put the password on the machine, a virus may be the suspect.

If you think they may have accidentally placed a CMOS password on the system, take out the CMOS battery for about 15 minutes to try and clear the password.

If you think this may be an OS password, you might try booting from a boot disk. If the boot disk works, something is causing a problem at the OS or application level.

Hope this helps.

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i need help with an older hp vectra

by donellemehrtens In reply to i need help with an older ...

Thank you, I thought a password was the problem also. Not the case. He has owned the system for a couple years and no password has been in it other than in CMOS. I have that password. I did clear the CMOS by way of the dip switch on the motherboard. No help! A virus is possible, only the computer won't boot to find out. I appreciate you thoughts. I am stumped I am glad to hear that my first thoughts were along the same lines as others. I spoke to someone from hp after posting my question, hewasn't able to help me either. Like I said a virus is my only good guess at this point. My problem is getting it to boot to findout.

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i need help with an older hp vectra

by Tech/Admin In reply to i need help with an older ...

You have a power on password enabled, and you need to find the jumper on the motherboard to clear the cmos to continue any farther. Sometimes removing the cmos battery will help also. Before you do any of the above go into System Setup and make good notes on all settings-Drives, video etc. If the system does not autodetect these values you may have to type them back in.

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i need help with an older hp vectra

by donellemehrtens In reply to i need help with an older ...

Thank you, I thought a password was the problem also. Not the case. He has owned the system for a couple years and no password has been in it other than in CMOS. I have that password. I did clear the CMOS by way of the dip switch on the motherboard. No help! A virus is possible, only the computer won't boot to find out. I appreciate you thoughts. I am stumped I am glad to hear that my first thoughts were along the same lines as others. I spoke to someone from hp after posting my question, he wasn't able to help me either. Like I said a virus is my only good guess at this point. My problem is getting it to boot to findout.

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i need help with an older hp vectra

by grump In reply to i need help with an older ...

Take of the cover and lood along the left side of the mother board.. You should find a switch block and look closely for PWCLR near one of the small switches.. move the switch to the oposite position and power on the computer. If you don't find thatparticular switch look for one to clear CMOS and follow the same instruction about turning on the computer.. You will need to put the switch back when prompt.. I think the VL 4 and VL 5 use the same theory on switch block and left side of the motherboard... What you have is POWER ON Password protection ... which is more trouble than worth for home computers..

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i need help with an older hp vectra

by donellemehrtens In reply to i need help with an older ...

Thank you, I thought a password was the problem also. Not the case. He has owned the system for a couple years and no password has been in it other than in CMOS. I have that password. I did clear the CMOS by way of the dip switch on the motherboard. No help! A virus is possible, only the computer won't boot to find out. I appreciate you thoughts. I am stumped I am glad to hear that my first thoughts were along the same lines as others. I spoke to someone from hp after posting my question, he wasn't able to help me either. Like I said a virus is my only good guess at this point. My problem is getting it to boot to findout.

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i need help with an older hp vectra

by Tech/Admin In reply to i need help with an older ...

does your "friend" have kids?

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i need help with an older hp vectra

by donellemehrtens In reply to i need help with an older ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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i need help with an older hp vectra

by Geek2D In reply to i need help with an older ...

Try this, First flash the BIOS with the latest version. Get you hands on another hard drive. Put it in in the others place. see if it will give the block again. If so the problem is at the mother board level. If it boots to the new HD then the problem is with the old HD. You can try loading windows on the new HD and slave the old one off of it and try to pull your files from it, but if it is a virus then that may not be a good idea. You may need to slave the old HD boot with a floppy and fdisk/format it. The most inportant step I would say though is flash the BIOS with the latest version,you realy cant go wrong with that.

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i need help with an older hp vectra

by Geek2D In reply to i need help with an older ...

If you don't already know, youget the BIOS Flashware from the hp web site.
Good Luck

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