Please register or login. There are 0 registered and 1341 anonymous users currently online. Current bandwidth usage: 326.30 kbit/s December 17 - 10:10pm EST 
Hardware Analysis
      
Forums Product Prices
  Contents 
 
 

  Latest Topics 
 

More >>
 

    
 
 

  You Are Here: 
 
/ Forums / Problem Products /
 

  Compaq Armada 1580DMT Character Display Problems in DOS ! 
 
 Author 
 Date Written 
 Tools 
Phil Knowles Feb 04, 2005, 02:04pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List Replies: 9 - Views: 1977
Hi

I currently have a Compaq Armada laptop, when it boots up to DOS it loads ok then the screen goes garbled and DOS text becomes nearly unreadable i.e. wrong chars in the wrong places e.g. Disk displays as D)SK and its with other letters as well.

Have formatted and still no joy and im thinking its a hardware problem!

If anyone can help it'll be appreciated.

Phil


Want to enjoy fewer advertisements and more features? Click here to become a Hardware Analysis registered user.
Patrick O'Furniture Feb 04, 2005, 05:41pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List  
>> Re: Compaq Armada 1580DMT Character Display Problems in DOS !
Boot the system with a bootable DOS floppy or Win9.x bootdisk, which will bypass the HDD, and see if the symptoms change, remain the same, or go away completely. If the problem remains, my guess is that you're going to have to roll up your sleeves and do some surgery, but don't worry about that for now. Make SURE the bootup floppy is CLEAN (no nasties hiding on it) and write-protected, so you don't start cross-infecting anything.

Good luck; let us know what you find out after performing this test.

Phil Knowles Feb 04, 2005, 07:41pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List  
>> Re: Compaq Armada 1580DMT Character Display Problems in DOS !
Yeah i got a copy of a win98 startup disc and still it remains garbled!

I hazard a guess that somehow its a graphics card problem.

I Fdisked it and wiped the partition and made a new one and then fully formatted it.

Theres no chance of nasties but the underlying problem is still there :(

Oh well!

Patrick O'Furniture Feb 04, 2005, 08:02pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List  
>> Re: Compaq Armada 1580DMT Character Display Problems in DOS !
FDISK and FORMAT do NOT always delete the crud from a harddrive; there are MANY nasties that hide themselves in areas unaffected by the FDISK and FORMAT programs, which is why I told you to be SURE the floppy disk itself was clean; if the bootup floppy disk has the same critter hiding on it somewhere, you'll never be able to diagnose this properly.

Anyway, when individual characters are being replaced, odds are very good that you're looking at an infection of some type. You're going to have to run an AV program to check the ENTIRE harddrive, along with the RAM. You could have a memory-resident bug hidden somewhere on the HDD, which will load itself into the RAM at bootup.

One more test you can do is to shut down the system, disconnect the HDD completely, and boot with your Windows CD-ROM. That way, the HDD is out of the loop, and you KNOW that your Windows CD is virus-free from the factory. Check for a change in the symptoms; if the problem goes away, but returns when you re-attach the HDD, you'll KNOW that your system is infected with SOMETHING.

Let us know what you learn; good luck.

Phil Knowles Feb 05, 2005, 09:59am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List  
>> Re: Compaq Armada 1580DMT Character Display Problems in DOS !
Well the floppy is a new out of the box!

I can see the hdd under the cd player but its under the plastic. what connection will it be and will it be simple to disconnect it. last night i was taking bits off left and right and checking connectors to no avail.

i know loads about desktops but laptops are completely different i just wanna know that the hdd is easy to disconnect\reconnect. im guessing to get to it i'd have to remove the entire bottom case (which will be fun :S )

What AV programs can i get that will go straight to floppy? Do u know of any sites which would have it? I.e. Old microsoft AV?

Thnx in advance
Phil

Patrick O'Furniture Feb 05, 2005, 04:11pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List  
>> Re: Compaq Armada 1580DMT Character Display Problems in DOS !
The NEW floppy doesn't help you at ALL if it was INFECTED when the bootdisk was created, no matter WHICH system it was created it on. You DID remember to write-protect the floppy BEFORE you used it on the laptop, didn't you? No sense in making things even worse than they already are...

Try this link for an online anti-virus check; be sure to use the Internet Explorer browser. As much as I hate IE, as horrible as it is, you'll save yourself a lot of aggravation by running the virus scan through IE, rather than Mozilla or Firefox.

http://housecall.trendmicro.com

Scan the ENTIRE drive; it will take a while, but if you do this RIGHT, you'll only have to do it ONCE. When the virus scan is finished, if no problems are found, you can eliminate an infection as the probable culprit, and move on. I hope you'll install an AV program SOON; there are a few free programs you can download, so let Google do the walking, and I imagine you'll find something pretty quickly.

Disconnecting the power from your HDD should be fairly simple, though I've never disassembled an Armada, and can't really advise you. The Compaq laptops I've repaired in the past have been relatively easy to deal with, but...

As for the power connector itself, I can only tell you that you'll see TWO connectors on the back of the laptop HDD; one is a twenty-pin ribbon cable, probably two inches across, and the OTHER one is the power cable, which is (obviously) the one you want to disconnect.

I've seen a few similar display problems when the video driver is corrupted, and when the videochip itself begins to fail, but I URGE you to do the AV scan FIRST.

Do you know which videochip your system uses? If not, you should be able to find that information at the Compaq website fairly easily. While you're there, download the latest drivers for your system, ESPECIALLY the video driver, even if you've already done that recently. If one of your drivers is corrupted and responsible for this problem, installing a fresh version should help you correct this. If that ISN'T the problem, then at least you'll have eliminated the drivers as possible culprits.

One program that can help you identify the components in any system is Everest Home Edition, which you can find here:

http://www.lavalys.com/products/download.php?pid=1&lang=en

Download and install it on the laptop; you'll know a LOT more about your hardware, OS, and installed software than you do right now. I use Everest frequently, and I hope you'll find it useful.

Lastly, if all else fails, you MIGHT be looking at a defective videochip, though you'll have to deal with the SIMPLER solutions before we consider that. Since you DON'T see problems with the ENTIRE video display (it IS readable), you can rule out the LCD screen for the time being; LCD screens don't develop the problem you've described (neither do CRTs, for that matter, but I realize we're concerned with your laptop display).

Anyway, keep punching; sooner or later, you'll pin this down, but you have to do it by the numbers, dealing with the usual suspects first, and eliminating the variables as you go. Keep us posted on your progress, and lastly, don't rush this. You've got a great opportunity to learn a LOT here, so keep things in perspective, and sooner or later, you're bound to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Phil Knowles Feb 06, 2005, 09:06am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List  
>> Re: Compaq Armada 1580DMT Character Display Problems in DOS !
Errr yeah, there is currently no O.S. on the armada now cuz i formatted n Fdisked it, so that rules out online AV scans, I tried installing windows 98 and it wont install i think due to the graphics problem the computer just locks up.

The floppy was new and i created it on my desktop system after i found a site which had bootdisks for various O.S's and yes i did write protect.

Im gonna have a go later at d/c the hard disk and try booting up as this seems like the only realistic method of testing if this is a Viral problem or Hardware Problem.

But thnx for ur input u have given me a few ideas.



Patrick O'Furniture Feb 06, 2005, 09:18am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List  
>> Re: Compaq Armada 1580DMT Character Display Problems in DOS !
Hi again, Phil,

Well, now that I know that Windows is history on your harddrive, here's a suggestion; boot with the floppy disk, and when you get to the A:\> prompt, type this command (no quotation marks):

"FDISK / MBR"

then press the Enter key.

You'll see the system doing something for a few seconds, then it will return you to the A:\> prompt. That commmand uses a special feature of the FDISK utility to DELETE the Master Boot Record ( AKA the "MBR" ), and then to create a NEW MBR to replace the deleted one.

Use that command SEVERAL times; you can't really hurt much of anything now, and it will prepare the new MBR for a fresh install of Windows. I HAVE seen occasions when the command didn't work the FIRST time it was used, but doing it several times will do the trick.

That way, you'll be more familiar with the command, and you'll KNOW the MBR has been thoroughly hosed.

As always, good luck, and please remember to keep us posted about your problems and progress; I'm sure you're going to get your laptop running again soon.

Phil Knowles Mar 01, 2005, 01:08pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List  
>> Re: Compaq Armada 1580DMT Character Display Problems in DOS !
Well last night, i disassembled the laptop, i tried cleaning connectors and disconnecting/reconnecting various hardware, i tried booting with no HDD all of which did nothing.

All i can think is the display has shorted out somewhere, or possibly become corrupted as nothing cud bring that old beast back to life.

Shame.....

P.s. My 2 goldfish died today too

Bea Louis Jul 21, 2011, 10:08pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List  
>> Re: Compaq Armada 1580DMT Character Display Problems in DOS !
I had the same problem with older Compaq and Thinkpad laptops - I held down the Fn key while typing commands.. the text was not garbled. If I recall.. Thinkpads are known to do the same - they have different keystrokes to use to correct the problem. Hope that helps;)


Write a Reply >>


 

    
 
 

  Topic Tools 
 
RSS UpdatesRSS Updates
 

  Related Articles 
 
 

  Newsletter 
 
A weekly newsletter featuring an editorial and a roundup of the latest articles, news and other interesting topics.

Please enter your email address below and click Subscribe.