dy < XXXX@XXXXX.COM > wrote
It can be a variety of things, including a failing motherboard with
bad caps, or a weak power supply that doesnt start properly.
It isnt usually a bad HD and even less likely to be file corruption.
File corruption should produce an error message.
You wont get that effect with file corruption.
Are you ever seeing anything on the screen at all,
particularly the black bios screen listing the drives etc ?
Unlikely, a modem problem shouldnt produce those symptoms either.
You should get an error message or not being able to use the net etc.
Its easy to decide you are seeing a difference when
the fault is variable like this one, when what you are
changing doesnt actually make any difference at all.
Thats just one possibility, and again, a bad HD would
normally produce different symptoms, particularly the
system complaining about the HD at boot time.
Thats more likely to be a bad motherboard or power supply.
Again, the system should be complaining
about the HD, not just freezing on startup.
Yeah, best to leave it on till you resolve the problem.
Thats the least likely possibility for the cause of the problem.
Those would all produce some sort of error message.
Yes, particularly the tests you have done.
Again, if it was the HD you should be seeing an error message
when the system cant find a HD or cant read the files properly.
I wouldnt bother with that test right now.
Yeah, its unlikely to be that.
That makes it sound like you are seeing the black bios screen
at startup, and then it freezes later on the bad starts.
You should still get an error message if the HD
cant be seen, tho the bios can take a surprisingly
long time to decide that it cant see a HD, minutes.
Yes, thats important, to do that.
Have a look at the motherboard and check for bad caps.
These are the usually black or blue plastic covered post
like things sticking up vertically from the motherboard.
Check the tops of those, they should be flat. See if
you can see any that have bulged or even leaked.
Try another power supply if you can, tho
it sounds unlikely that you have a spare.
See what the Everest SMART stats for the drive say. Quote them
here. That should show if the drive is having a problem spinning up.
If the system is still under warranty, make them fix the problem, after
you have backed up the stuff you will slash your wrists if you lose them.
Say exactly how far it gets before it freezes on a bad start.
If you can see the black bios screen but no hard drive listed
on it, wait at least 10 mins to see if its taking a long time
to decide that there is no HD visible.
If its not under warranty, and the motherboard caps look
ok, and it isnt just taking a long time to decide that there
is no HD visible, I'd try another power supply next, mainly
because thats a lot cheaper to try than a new motherboard.
If there are visibly bad motherboard caps, it may make
more sense to move the drive to a new system than to
replace the motherboard with a proprietary system like HP.
No, its always possible to work out where the problem is. Not
as easy if you dont have spares like a spare power supply tho.