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First off, this is something that has been troubling me for quite a while because I am dealing with a pretty rare machine. I looked up this specific model but the computers I found were either from the same series but with a different CPU or were laptops with a similar name from years later. So, the only thing I know about my specific machine is that it runs on an Intel Celeron of some kind according to the sticker. This is literally the only spec I know as of now, great. Here's the problem:

  1. The computer is refusing to display anything on my tested and working CRT. It's definitely not a monitor issue.
  2. The computer is turning on, LEDs are lighting up, things are whirring, and when I put a CD of Windows 98 SE in the DVD ROM (which is also tested and working since I replaced the original one that was faulty), it did start whirring.
  3. It used to display. It once worked well with Windows 2000 (which I then proceeded to replace with 98 SE). The 98 SE installation did happen and got kinda far until it started with its own installation issues which were my mistake as the disc was burned on a dirty drive and it was a dirty, scratched, and basically ruined disc. My fault whatsoever.
  4. I do not know any specs aside from the CPU and did not find any driver discs anywhere in the house, thus, it probably was some preinstalled thing. What I know is that it used to run Windows 98 according to the sticker. I did find the burned Windows 2000 disc used to upgrade (but I have not used it yet).
  5. I have not found manuals or driver discs online and/or at home. HP apparently has saved nothing from the good ol' days and I have had a tough time looking up archives of the old Compaq site.
  6. The case is really hard to look through or take apart but I managed to switch out the clock battery (which did not fix my issue). It's a very peculiar case design that deconstructs the traditional cases, instead of taking apart the sides, you pull out the whole chassis.
  7. I took off the modem card as it did conflict, which fixed the display issue for a little while and then the issue came back again without the card installed.
  8. I forgot to check the specs when Windows 2000 did run but to tell the truth, there probably were no drivers in that installation as there was nothing in there but a sample picture. It was a very clean installation and Windows 2000 stopped booting after a few days, which led to me installing a new OS.

If anyone has any tips for this, I'd love the help. I hope this is not a bad question for this stack exchange but I am new here so I am learning.

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  • This is a smaller, a little bit irrelevant question but it relates to this. Since I am not well aware, are Celerons good CPUs for the time? I mean, I think they always ranked lower than Pentiums but are they good for playing games of the time? I do not know what integrated graphics this has, as I said, the only spec I know is some Celeron CPU is likely to be installed but not confirmed. I love the case but it's kinda aggravating to work with and look inside. Jun 21, 2023 at 18:21
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    Googling 'Compaq Presario CM0900' gets plenty of hits. Have you looked for the manual at support.hp.com?
    – dave
    Jun 21, 2023 at 19:39
  • Just tried, can't find it on the first few pages of Bing. I have just found listings on eBay but the listings are of models with different specs. All manuals are of laptops on HP and ManualsLib. Thanks for the advice but this is sadly not a very easy journey into internet lookups. I came here because I think this is a community with plenty of knowledge, maybe someone here knows...Thanks though @another-dave. Jun 22, 2023 at 11:45
  • Does the monitor stay in sleep mode? I have encountered a similar issue on modern PCs where the monitor doesn't exit sleep mode until I press a button or power cycle it. It could also be that the graphics adapter is faulty. Can you try changing the graphics card?
    – Tibi
    Jun 23, 2023 at 8:13
  • And of course, other things that you could try would be to swap the RAM which could be a problem and remove all non-essential components to see if any of them is causing the problem.
    – Tibi
    Jun 23, 2023 at 8:16

1 Answer 1

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While I don't know any particular details about this machine, here are a few steps you could take:

  1. Remove all non-essential hardware from the computer, including any expansion cards, disk drives, even the HDD. If the system works, that means one of the components you removed might be faulty. You can try adding them back one by one, until you find the culprit.

  2. Does the monitor wake from sleep mode? If not, try power cycling it. You can also try a different cable, or a different monitor. Even if the monitor is good, there might be some weird compatibility issue with the PC.

  3. Test/swap your RAM. You might have faulty RAM, which can result in other random failures.

  4. Inspect the hardware. Are there any obvious signs of damage, such as blown/leaked capacitors, or liquid damage?

  5. If all else fails, the problem is likely to be a faulty graphics card. You can try finding a compatible graphics card online (or if you're lucky, flea markets), and see if that solves the issue.

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  • Thanks, I just want to get that case dissassembled first, when that happens, I really can start looking at the parts closely. Jun 23, 2023 at 20:16

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