Solved! Notebook Startup Problems (NEC Versa P8100)

it4u

Great
Dec 20, 2018
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I have a 14-year old NEC Versa P8100, which, upon start up, this screen appears:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=13kTPalZKP5xaOvJoDfpxO27VXeoNfpX3

and then it automatically goes to this screen:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=12KCIzLP76Au-9Biy-Dg7zjvTBYJ3Vdmz

As you can see from the second photo, it is able to detect the Hard Disk Drive and RAM

BUT THEREAFTER,

Irregardless of whatever key I press (example: ESC, F2, F8, Fn-F9), nothing works. I can't get into BIOS to change the date, and neither can I get it to continue with the start up.

Aside, plugging in an external USB which contains a Windows-to-go operating system, does not work too.

Please help. and thanks in advance. I have already tried all known ways, such as continually pressing ESC before the start up screen, but nothing works.


 

Saga Lout

Olde English
Moderator
It's most porbable that the system changed somewhere alon teh line and because Windows 7 Ultimate has just become a more down to earth version wit no memory of what was installed. Fortunately, there is an option of a free Office package that can work with the existing doc, xls, ppt etc. that were created in MS Office. It's called Libre Office and is free.
 

it4u

Great
Dec 20, 2018
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Hi Saga Lout
the thing is irregardless of whatever I have tried, including pressing the ESC, F2, F whatever keys, immediately upon turning on AC Power, it simply goes onto the second screen.

Further, after the second screen appears, irregardless of whatever onscreen instructions (the F1, F2, FN F9- to get into SCU) keys mentioned at the bottom of the black colored second screen), NOTHING HAPPENS

Isn't that mystifying + frustrating? Thanks again
 

Saga Lout

Olde English
Moderator
If it's that bad, it isn't likely to allow you to run a DVD or thumb drive to reinstall Windows - unless - it's behaving badly because it can't find a bootable device.

You can use a USB stick and download a utility called Rufus and a ISO of your version of Windows from the Microsoft website. Rufus can make the stick bootable but you might prefer to remove the hard disk to retrieve you files. A DVD could also do the job.
 

it4u

Great
Dec 20, 2018
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Hi Saga Lout,
Regarding your suggestions (1) run a DVD / Thumb Drive to re-install windows, (2) use an external bootable device with an OS, (3) boot from a DVD. ALL these I have tried to no avail. it refuses to boot from DVD, Thumb Drive etc

I cannot get it into BIOS to answer your question about date displayed. Basically, i can't get into BIOS, no matter what I try

In the second photo, it reflects System Date at 10/20/2005

Yes, I believe that the CMOS battery is dead, but even with other notebooks which CMOS battery is dead, this has never happened to me before: it merely goes into BIOS automatically, for me to update the date manually, and then, it works.

What can I do now?

for such an old horse, it's not economical to spend any more money to fix it, BUT it'd be a huge waste to bin it, as the display is perfect

my HDD is also perfectly ok. I have tried it on other IDE-based notebooks., and it works perfectly, so we can eliminate this. also, RAM is not the issue

What can be done at my end? Please suggest. Thank you
 

Saga Lout

Olde English
Moderator
My best and last suggestion is to try it with a USB keyboard.

I broke a rule and looked at the photos; I usually avoid Google by a mile but in this Linux system in a VM, I decided to test the water. Hopefully, it's just a dud keyboard.
 

it4u

Great
Dec 20, 2018
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You're right. It was the keyboard
I managed to get into BIOS using a USB Keyboard
Now, there's another problem:
The first time, after revising the date / time, it entered into the Win 7 Ultimate desktop
Upon restart, it went into Windows Startup Repair,, and it has been at that for hours

 

Saga Lout

Olde English
Moderator
Good news and very bad, but at least you can fight back. If it fails, restart a few times and the StartUp Repair options will show up and you can get to a Command form.

That gives you the chance to test the hard disk and to fix missing or corrupt system files as well as rescue important folders and files.
 

it4u

Great
Dec 20, 2018
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@Saga Lout

Thanks for your advice
I can't force shutdown because when I clicked on "CANCEL", it says that the process cannot be stopped

Aside and additionally, I can't understand how is it possible that, the first time when I managed to boot up, it worked, and then after re-start, it cannot start up, and goes into this Startup Repair mode

further, the OS on this HDD works fine on another computer. Having checked the health status of the HDD previously, on another notebook, with HD Sentinel, i can attest that the health is at 100%. In short, there isn't anything wrong with the HDD nor the OS files. Please illuminate
 

Saga Lout

Olde English
Moderator
I was hoping it would get to the stage when you could select Command and run Checkdisk, which we now know is unnecessary, and sfc /scannow to find and fix missing or corrupt files.

I reckon that would be a decent shot if you can get back to Command, preferably as Administrator.
 

it4u

Great
Dec 20, 2018
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In the very first Startup Repair, which went on for hours, the result is that Windows was this error message:
"Startup Repair cannot repair this computer automatically", followed by these details

Problem Event name: StartupRepairOffline
Problem Signature 01, 02: 6.1.7600.16385
Problem signature 03: unknown
Problem Signature 04: 1567
Problem Signature 05: AutoFailover
Problem Signature 06: BadDriver
OS Version: 6.1.7600.2.0.0.256.1


----------------------------------------------
Each time I restart the notebook, it goes into a Blue Screen, with error message:
Technical Information:
STOP: 0x0000008E (0xC0000006, 0x874FAF32, 0x80D86208, 0x00000000)
CI.dll - Address 874FAF32 base at 874F2000, DateStamp 4a5bdac8

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I have gone through multiple Startup Repair attempts, always the same error messages and same message on the Blue Screen

the notebook is unable to boot from an external USB nor external HDD (that is pre-installed with an OS). Inspite of having revised the boot sequence to boot from CD, it is also unable to detect, read, and boot from the CD. I have tried two types of CDs: Lubuntu and Win 10 32-bit. Effectively, this might mean that I cannot do a fresh install of the OS

I can't seem to get into the Command Prompt

With the abovementioned feedback, what else can I do? Thank you
 

Saga Lout

Olde English
Moderator
It's a new one on me but if it came in my shop I'd reset BIOS to default settings and check that it shows the correct dataad time. If it can't pass that test, a new CMOS battery would be required.

I've been looking at this as a Windows problem because most of the time, it is down to that. If the OS installations you tried from the optical and USB drives were definitely bootable systems, BIOS is the only suspect, Even hardware can't be blamed here.
 

it4u

Great
Dec 20, 2018
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I saw, in BIOS, under BOOT options, that the only external device that can be booted from is "Floppy Drive".
In BIOS, there were no options for external USB, external USB HDD, external DVD/CD drive

IF I choose to reset BIOS to default settings, would I be taking on risks that cannot be retraced?
 

Saga Lout

Olde English
Moderator
We definitely had USB fourteen years ago as I have it on an old netbook so the sole option of a floppy drive would have to be connected that way unless there's some obscure slot on your case.

What is the current date and time status? It's important to know if the problem is just a CMOS battery. Maybe you'd like to open the case and remove the hard drive so you can slave it to another PC to let Windows run checks on it.
 

it4u

Great
Dec 20, 2018
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the date automatically reverts to 2005 whenever I switch on or restart the notebook
The notebook was kind of fixed last night, with chkdsk /f /r , using command prompt
Now, I can get it to the Win 7 Ultimate desktop and work on it. (BUT whenever I restart it, I have to hit F1 before it can go into the Windows 7 desktop) The notebook has multiple problems including: one of the RAM slots does not work (I have no clue why, the sole RAM slot refuses to read a 1GB RAM stick, so I am stuck with 512MB RAM ONLY), and I am not able to find the driver for the network card
Well, for a 14+ year old notebook, running on Pentium M, I am truly thankful that it worked finally. I appreciate all of your help, Saga Lout
 

Saga Lout

Olde English
Moderator
You're welcome. The Bad Driver report is worth investigating. If there's a recently added or connected piece of hardware, check for an update. It may have referred to the network adapter. What is the make and model of that? I've got drivers from back in the day when PC Database was still working if it helps.
 
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