The Egg wrote:LoneWolf15 wrote:Has someone mentioned removing the CMOS battery yet, metering it, and if necessary replacing it?
A failing CMOS battery can sometimes cause quirky behavior, and a CR-2032 is cheap.
After that, I'd ensure the BIOS is defaulted, the system is cleaned thoroughly to get rid of any dust, and I'd remove the heatsink/fan, clean it and the CPU, and re-apply thermal compound.
I'd also inspect the system board very thoroughly for bad or leaking capacitors.
Generally a BIOS will throw up an error (Press F1 To Continue, etc) if it's been reset to default --- whether by battery, jumper, an update, or automatically due to error. Generally. Usually. You're correct that it's worth replacing the battery in a board of that age though.
My vote is to replace the board battery, update the BIOS to the latest from HP, and beyond that I'd probably donate it to Goodwill if it technically still functions. Probably not worth putting any more effort into our pondering either, at least until the OP posts back.
Agreed you can get error messages. However, I've seen situations where the battery is enough to hold settings, but low enough to exhibit odd behavior. One that meters at, say, 1.9v-3v can produce flaky behavior sometimes even though it can hold the settings.