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Old October 3, 2008, 07:53 AM
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Question Need help with CPU problem

I have been researching this problem, done some basic troubleshooting, and no results. I asked in another forum i have been in (TechGuy) with no reply and now i found you guys so i thought i would try here. If the full question is too long then the short version is:

I am thinking of replacing the CPU in my laptop and would like to know how much latitude there is for putting in a slightly different make?

I am not thinking of upgrading but resolving a failure to boot (dsescribed below in the LONG question) and since it doesn't look like mine is very common i may need to get a slightly different Athlon XP-M.

My System:
Acer Ferrari 3000
AMD Mobile Athlon XP-M (Barton core 1.65V socket A)
Phoenix BIOS 4.0
Windows XP
> no recent software or hardware changes

The Problem:
1. Four loud beeps on boot (should be a CPU or MoBo problem as far as i can tell from the BIOS info on the net)
2. Next time i was using the comp it hung with the monitor on (like a screenshot just sitting there) and no control so i had to manually power off
3. On rebooting, more beeps (sometimes only two but otherwise four) but failed to get through POST (screen was working, lights on, cd spun and HD ran)
4. After a few times at #3 i swapped in a new memory module, using my second slot
5. That got it to boot (two beeps) and ran for about an hour before it hung (same as before: screen on but just a screenshot)
6. I ran a memtest.iso which hung (same as #5) before finishing
7. Things kinda spiralled downward from there, each boot producing something new
8. One boot gave me a warning about the date/time being wrong and a CMOS checksum error
9. One time (only) it gave another Error in addition to the the warning on wrong time and CMOS checksum error: "Resource Conflict - PCI Network Controller ..."
10. Stripped her down to check the CMOS battery and sure enough the seat had one contact broken. Soldered the contact very carefully (i checked that with an ohm-meter and it looks good).
11. Discovered thermal paste on the CPU had burned away to dust (after what, four years plus of constant use on a comp that is known to run at very high temps!) so i replaced that for good measure while i was in there
12. Re-assemble and same problem: powers on, doesn't boot, not even into BIOS, but fan and power light are on
13. Re-assemble with everything stripped out but the MoBo, CPU, memory (all possible options) and the monitor; no change: suspend before POST even starts (no beeps), fan and power light on, nothing on monitor (nothing to display)
14. No change.

Thoughts:
1. Power? Battery is as dead as a stone and the DC adapter has been changed. Screen did not go on after some time although i got some output on an external monitoring so that was kinda wacky since most of the time it would at least spin the cd, fan worked fine and the power light was on).
2. Hard Drive (other peripherals)? Don't see that.
3. CMOS Battery (Real Time Clock)? It is re-chargable so i left the comp on overnight and left on after a failed reboot for an hour or so and a volt meter reading was close to the rated output (not under load of course). Should just lose my settings (date & time) not fail to boot right?
4. Temperature problems have always been an issue, and are my prime suspect especially since having only recently learned about the importance of thermal paste. So my guess is a fried CPU.

The Question(s):
1. I guess there is always a chance the MoBo has a problem; any way to know?
2. If i replace the CPU how much latitude is there for putting in a slightly different make? I am not thinking of upgrading, but since it doesn't look like mine is very common i may need to get a slightly different Athlon XP-M (the Ferrari 3000 uses a 1.60/1.65 V socket A).

Thanks to anyone who got all the way through!
:help:
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Old October 3, 2008, 08:17 AM
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The only thing that I've found on the 3000 so far is one site lists the CPU as AMD Sempron and another lists it as XP-M2500. You might also check to see what the 4000 and 5000 run for cpus. Sorry that I couldn't be more help, but I'll keep looking around. BTW welcome to HWC!

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Old October 3, 2008, 09:19 AM
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Thanks for the welcome. I am still combing the site for related inquiries.

The Ferrari 3000 came with an Athlon XP-M 2500+ (your XP-M2500), "Barton" core Desktop Replacement (72 W, socket A, 1,867 MHz, 266 MT/s FSB, 1.65V, part # AXMA2500FKT4C) that was issued in 2003.

There are apparently other Athlon XP-M CPUs (2600+, 2800+, 3000+) which have the same FSB and voltage but different frequencies (2,000 2,133 2,200 MHz respectively) - according to Wikipedia ("List of AMD Athlon XP microprocessors").

Could any of those work too?
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Old October 3, 2008, 09:20 AM
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NVM....... you responded while I was typingHmmm....your needing an old Socket A Athlon Mobile...that could be tough to find any new one you would be best to look on Ebay....most of the Mobile Cpu's had changed socket awhile back...so your also very limited to your upgrade options.
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Old October 3, 2008, 09:33 AM
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With all the problems listed in your first post the CPU is a definite possibility as the culprit however the MOBO also sounds just as hooped...with the amount of beeps your having and all the hanging and the occasional successful boots it brings the focus away from the CPU as the main culprit.....
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Old October 3, 2008, 11:26 AM
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That was sort of my concern cwestwell. I was thinking that if i could find a cpu it would be a reasonable price to pay on a chance, whereas a new MoB is a much bigger investment. I'm leaning to getting a new machine anyway.

So my question remains: can i get a socket A Athlon and i'm done (hardly, right?), or would my MoBo only accept certain ones (and then i need to reconfigure BIOS or something)? Are there certain specs (voltage?) that are critical?
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Old October 3, 2008, 12:29 PM
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any of the similar Socket A AMD Mobile CPU's with identical FSB should work just fine but that is pending if you can even find one then you would possibly have to update your bios depending on the chip you got but not likely given the Ferrari's were one of the last gen Acer's with Socket A athlon Mobiles the bios should be as up to date as possible....If the option was available I would definitely abandon ship and get a new unit...you could end up blow a few hundred bucks for what.....an old out of date Ferrari that would be out performned but almost any $500-600 Acer with a current Chipset/IGP/Turion CPU
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Old October 3, 2008, 01:49 PM
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lol ... sniff ... i just hate to see an old friend go -- not to mention entering the nightmare of Vista!
Maybe i'll keep her and see if i can pick up a CPU sometime (my friend has an old Acer laptop) and pass it on to one of the kids. This being the case, i'd still be glad to hear any other opinions on swapping CPUs and then i'll think about a new post on the "looking for a new laptop" subject!
Thanks for the help cwestwell.
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