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Repair Compaq Presario 6260AP (Log Book)

Read this if you want to know how to replace a motherboard for a branded PC

One day, I received a dead Compaq Presario, model 6260AP. At first, I predicted it is another power supply unit (PSU) failure, since PSU failure is very common nowaday, making up 80% of all my cases.

After performing hardware diagnostic, it comes out to be the motherboard is dead. So a dead motherboard cannot start the PSU's fan.

The owner is very unfortunate, I think. This system is running on a Asustek motherboard which company has a very good reputation of producing reliable and stable motherboard. No wonder Compaq uses Asustek motherboard. But if thing fails, it just fails. This is a real demonstration of the impermance of things in life.

I replaced the motherboard with a good one. I then boot the system into BIOS, and make sure it detects all the attached devices, like harddisks, cdrom etc. Looks pretty good now. I changed the harddisk parameter to CHS, else the harddisk won't start.

Next, I reboot it. The original Win XP Home cannot start now. This is expected again. Why? It is because the previous Win XP is installed with a different chipsets drivers. Short to the point: the new motherboard and the old motherboard are of different brand/model. So the Win XP has to be installed again.

This is the tough part if the system is branded, Compaq. The recovery cdrom provided or the recovery partition won't work at all after I replaced the motherboard. Why? It is because the new motherboard does not support the short-cut key to activate the recovery process anymore.

This is still doable, just follow these steps:

1) Install another WinXP using a bootable CDROM

2) DO NOT choose the format drive option. Just install the WinXP over the old Windows directory

3) Boot the WinXP

4) Run C:\I386\Winnt32 to install Win XP Home Edition

Note for step 4:

The directory C:\I386 contains the default WinXP Home installation provided by Compaq. However this C partition is of NTFS type. It is not easy to boot a DOS disk to access the directory. So have to install another WinXP first, in order to access it.

So you would ask, why I need to install Win XP twice? I am just trying to follow the legal procedure. The WinXP I stalled is WinXP Professional belonging to my company and its license key is different. So I just use it to access the recovery files that is installed by Compaq. By installing the original Win XP Home, does not violate any copyright law. However this is a tougher process.

Activate the Win XP through Internet

At the end of the installation, the wizard allows you to activate the Windows. The easiest way is to connect the PC to a LAN with DHCP server. For me, I am using a broadband router attached to a cable modem. I connect the PC to the router via a CAT5 ethernet cable. Choose "Automatically detect IP address" and "Automatically detect DNS servers".

For some unknown reason, I encounter problem of activation when I do this after installation. So it is best to activate XP right during installation.

Post Installation steps:

- Uninstall Win XP Professional and remove the boot entry for Windows XP Professional

- Install drivers for motherboard

- Activate the Win XP through Internet if it is not activated during installation

- Install the latest Service Pack 2

- Update the Windows through Internet

- Scan for virus and certify system 100% virus free

- Install antivirus software, EZArmor (Free Trial for 1 year)

- Create recovery discs

Recommendation to Client:

Add another 256MB RAM. The system comes with 128MB RAM by factory default. With this much of RAM, the system runs slowly.

RAM is cheap nowaday. The owner should consider to upgrade RAM to gain more performance.


Last Update: 03 March 2004