Question Need help. Used gaming pc wont boot

Jul 30, 2019
So I purchased a used gaming pc. With ecs mother board Pentium 4 core 3.50 ghz. 550w power supply Hitachi hard drive. (Not ssd) and radeon stu graphics card. I had to purchase a hdd. Now when it boots. I get 2 beeps on boot then goes to auto recovery. I think its windows 10. I tried booting from usb drive just sits on windows logo. Or if I do the recovery it just reloads the recovery page in under a second. Tells me win38.exe failed to start error code. I used to be techy but now I'm old I guess. (I can not acces bios. Just 2005 cmos screen. Or boot selector) I tried pulling all 3rd party tech out same boot. Nothing works. Do i need to wipe the mother board before trying to re install windows? If so how do i do that??? I did cmos jumper. It wont start unless jumper is on left 2 of 3 pins. I'm so confused!!!!!!


Oct 10, 2016
Beeps have their language: one long, one short
or two long, or two short, so it's important to figure out what your beeps mean for your motherboard.

Reinstalling windows is the way you wipe the motherboard. There's no "wipe" to do other than that. It will delete materials from and format the drive that you select to host the operating system.

Jeezus, Mannoman, this is like a Windows XP era build, right? 2005? The Pentium 4 came out in 2000. You might have as little as 64 mega bytes of RAM! (minimum recommended was 128 MB) and the minimum for Win 7, which by the way is no longer supported (or close to no longer supported) is 1 gig. Your system likely CANNOT hold more than two gigs of ram. It is true that the minimum requirements for Win 7 and Win 10 are 1 GB of ram but no one in his right mind would try to run any of these later operating systems on the minimum RAM. Not even ultra cheap laptops. Minimum requirements are seldom the REAL requirements. As a practical matter the XP systems need 512 mb of RAM, and today's systems want 4 to 8 gigs, not one gig which is still officially the minimum spec.

This is a gaming laptop the same way that Percy Lambert's Talbot is a race car. This $90 used chromebook has 4 gigs of ram. Are you using a cathode ray tube monitor? If you tell folks you have a gaming computer you're going to create a lot of confusion.

I think we need a little more explanation of what it is you are trying to do. If you were trying to put something together for a movie set in early 2000s, for example. Bottom line is, I think Judgment Day will be upon us before you load Win 10 into that machine. If you really want to get that thing fired up try looking around for a version of Windows XP. Try ebay. Here is one for ten bucks. But why spend ten bucks on an operating system for an antique when $90 gets you a chrome book?

I will hand it to you though, there are a few Pentiums still on the market for $25 to $50. These would be mostly for legacy systems that people keep running because they're connected to something that would be very expensive to replace or rewire, like machining equipment or HVAC systems. But the idea of a legacy system is you keep it running because you need it, so it doesn't get into advanced disrepair.

It is possible to get additional RAM into one of those motherboards which is likely a prerequisite. You might want to get all new (used) RAM in order to make sure it's working. I tried finding some RAM but all I found was whole XP desktops from the period for $50.

I will say that I have a PC case upstairs from the late 90s. It even has a 3.5 inch floppy drive. But the motherboard and working parts are "only" five years old.

The problem is that a vast gulf opened up when Windows XP went away. To my mind the Windows 7 machines that were released around 2009-2010 are much closer to the current generation of computers than your XP era build is to Win 7. Breaking open the RAM limitations, multi threading--this changed stuff A LOT.

To sum up, do this project because you like working on older stuff and getting it to work and don't mind if it takes time and costs money--just like fixing up a beat up old car. But if it's a computer you want this is probably not the right choice.

And there is an engineering lesson here, which took me a long time to learn: the software is not independent of the hardware, you can't put Win 10 into an XP era machine any more than you can put an F15 engine into a Sopwith camel.

Hope that helps,
Greg N
Last edited:
Jul 30, 2019
So yea it's an old one I thought it was newer.. it has 2 gigs of ram. And yes. I see what you are saying so much I wanna say in return like 2 short beeps and was using LCD and ps2 . But I'm just gonna start fresh.. as you said its circa xp so it was dumb to pay 60 bucks for it lmao thanks for your speedy response!!!! You really helped me here. Something I now see I was blinded by first pc computing syndrome lmao cant find out how to post pic. I think I will salvage what I can from the board like radeon hd and hdd maybe the case and psu so not a total loss just old components trying to be used with modern stuff. I'm cheap lmao