Win2K boot problem - getting nowhere

I'm stumped. Over the last week or so my computer would crash - video would just blink off as though the monitor was entering suspend mode except that the keyboard and mouse would also freeze up forcing reboot. During this time I would also have intermittent POST problems, sometimes would require 2 or 3 restarts before the computer would POST and boot. Sometimes the computer would be booting then *blink* off goes the video again. At this point I was suspecting the cause to be video card (because of video blinking off) or software (because mouse and keyboard would freeze when video blinked off).

However this problem has grown progressively worse, to the point where Win2K Pro will freeze during the boot screen, and will not even boot in any form of safe mode. Hard drive is making the odd clicking noise but I've heard much worse. Recovery Console will freeze at point where I log onto the drive (keyboard freezes too - CAPS lock doesn't toggle on and off). When trying to reinstall Win2K the process freezes at the "Searching for previous versions of Windows" point. I loaded Western Digital's Data Lifeguard utilities and scanned the drive and it found no problems. So I have borrowed a brand new h/d from work and installed Win2k on it to attempt to recover files from what I now suspect is a dying hard drive or corrupt Win2k install.

With the new h/d as master and ?dying? h/d as slave, I am able to boot into Safe Mode with Command prompt only (and had no problems reading from old h/d so I transferred my documents to new h/d, yay.), but normal boot still freezes as does Safe Mode with Networking. However the replacement h/d is also starting to have troubles now when booting alone - had some freezes and when it does boot properly it's very slow. Event Viewer listing lots of IDE time outs with new drive.

During all this I have another intermittent problem where the computer doesn't find the keyboard on boot (Press F1 to continue - what a laugh!) and I have to unplug USB and plug in PS2 to restore it.

So basically I'm having a problem diagnosing the true source of the problems. Motherboard? Power Supply? Two bad hard drives? Software? I could make a case for each one, but all I can say for sure is it's NOT overheating. Any ideas on how I can narrow this down would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks in advance guys.

System specs:

Asus A7V8X-DX mobo, bios version 1007
AMD 2700+ CPU
Antec 380W trupower power supply
2 X Kingston 512MB HyperX RAM
Western Digital WD800 h/d (original)
Samsung SP0411N h/d (borrowed from work)
Abit Ti4200 128mb vid card with Zalman heat sink
2 optical drives
Microsoft Intellitype keyboard and Logitech MX500 mouse
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  1. Let me see if I can help... I have a hunch but with a problem like this can be totaly dif.

    What is appears to be is your PSU started going out, the first paragraph was almost exactly what a problematic psu will do, some times they don't just pop. The psu supplied bad power making your PC to do some odd things. Then your next paragraph states things got worse, well it sounds like the PSU powering it down with spikes and browns probably corrupted your windows, so now you are realy up the creek.

    I would start by checking the PSU, change it if you can. I assume the ovbious stuff like checking for a virus has already been done. Then I would repair windows (boot from CD and do repair) if you can get into windows to the "sfc" utility, that will replace any corupt files. then patch and reinstall drivers. If during this process your PC powers down like it did before (unexpectantly) then look at that video card, it could be casuing a problem, but I have not seen too many cases where a vid would cause these issues.

    Try these things and see if your problem getts better. let us know what you found.


    YAHOO IM @ flagg7771234
  2. Thanks for your response, Kevin.

    I must admit I didn't suspect a PSU problem because I have an Antec true380 at just over a year old. However, the bios hardware monitor said the +5V lead was only puttin gout 4.45 volts - significantly more variance than the allowable 3%!!

    Anyway, the PSU looks to be the culprit. Computer back up and running although I had to reinstall windoze from scratch.

    Great catch, Kevin. I owe you a beer!

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