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Old 10-27-2004, 15:11   #1
Russ in PA
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ribbon cables problem, I think

I began having problems with my 5 year-old Dell computer about a year ago. When starting-up the computer, I often get a blank screen that reads: "OPERATING SYSTEM NOT FOUND".

I found that by opening the housing (the thing that sits on the floor, you know!) & disconnecting & reconnecting each of the ribbon cables (there are maybe 4 connections that are accessable) that the problem goes away & I am able to get to my desktop.

This used to happen maybe once per month, but I now go through this routine at least once per week. Is there a simple remedy? Are the cables easily replaced? Or, is there maybe some type of liquid contact enhancer that might help?

Any ideas would be appreciated! I've thought about getting a new computer, but my present machine (Pentium 3, Windows 98, 128mb) has served me well & I'd like to run it for a few more years.

P. S. Yes, I've backed-up all of my important files!
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Old 10-27-2004, 15:35   #2
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yeah, if you unhook your hard drive, you'll ge that error too.

my guess is that that wide cable is slipping out.
they're a few bucks at any computer store, or radio shack.
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Old 10-27-2004, 16:04   #3
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You're getting the symptoms of hardware failure. My guess is either the drive dying or the controller on the motherboard dying.

If a cable works, it'll work. If it doesn't work, it won't work. They don't "go bad" unless you plug and unplug it regularly and even then it's usually a bent pin on the connection and not the cable.

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Old 10-27-2004, 17:56   #4
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I would try replacing the ribbon cable. It may be oncoming hardware failure so keep on top of your backups.

I've seen several times before where the ribbon cable will have a damaged conductor on one edge or the other from it scrapping against the sharp metal edges inside the PC and could be made to work by simply tapping the side of the PC case with your foot and it moving a fraction of an inch and making connection again.

That "housing" is the computer.
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