I am new to this forum, but I have read the excellent advice provided for others and hope someone can help me please.
I built our home system in Jan 2009. System has been running fine, until last week. My partner was using the computer one morning and an error message came up about the C drive (but as I was not there, the details of that error were not fully understood). Computer continued fine that day, restarting fine after each of the 3 shut downs (an unusually high number of restarts, usually it is turned on once in the morning and maybe once in the afternoon). Upon the 4th start of the day it said windows had encountered an error and gave the option to start normally, in safe mode, etc. My partner turned off the computer and waited for my return home.
The keyboard issue
I tried starting the system, came to the same screen, offering safe mode, etc., but the keyboard was not recognized, so I could not select safe mode or anything else. After the system timer counts down with 'start normally' selected it restarts and comes back to the same screen again. I tried a different USB port for the keyboard - same issue. I realized the keyboard was recognized at start up (lights came on and I was able to enter the BIOS config, etc.). I changed the BIOS settings to 'fail safe' so as to see if that would work - no change. I tried another USB keyboard - same thing.
Changing the Hard Drive
I had added a second (2TB WD) hard drive to the system about a year ago, so I thought maybe I could get windows on to there (there is a spare partition that was large enough to take windows). I disconnected the C drive and started the system with only the 2nd HD connected. System told me windows did not exist on this drive and would not let me continue.
Checking the BIOS
I downloaded the second to latest BIOS version from the gigabyte site (latest version is a beta). I had a USB floppy drive so put the driver on to there and tried using the QFlash to update the BIOS. Now whilst the keyboard was recognized all the time I was selecting options going into the QFlash screen and would allow me to move the selection up and down, as soon as I select to update the BIOS, it freezes (if there is a disc in the A drive) or says nothing is found (if I have ejected the disc). I managed to change the config to boot from floppy first (as it was set at before), then CD/DVD, then HD so I can try to get windows in place
Managing to have the keyboard recognized
I forgot to disconnect the floppy drive, but restarted the system to see if anything I had done had maybe resulted in a positive change. Still went through to the same screen, offering safe mode etc. but this time the keyboard was recognized. I tried last known good config (just froze after that). Retried with safe mode - same thing, just froze). I tried again without the floppy connected and the keyboard is not recognized.
Checking the first Hard Drive
I bought an enclosure for an internal HD to see if there was a virus. I connected to another computer and ran a virus scan - no problems identified. So I backed up and then formatted the C drive with a plan to start completely afresh
Trying to reinstall windows
So now I can get the keyboard to work (if the floppy is connected) and I try one by one using my Vista (business) and windows 7 (professional SP1) discs to get windows to install. Vista says 'windows loading' and a status bar fills up once and then it hangs, for over an hour. Windows 7 has the status bar fill twice, then moves on to saying 'windows starting', and then that gets stuck.
Please help. I am really frustrated by the whole thing. The temperamental nature of the keyboard is leading me to suspect it is something with the BIOS/ some other hardware component, but I am not an expert in this area so it has left me stumped.
Full System Spec:
• OS: Vista Business, SP2 32 Bit
• Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP43-DS3
• Processor: Intel Core2DuoE8500 3.16GHz
• Hard Drive: Western Digital 500GB Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS
• Second Hard Drive: Western Digital 2TB Caviar Green
• Graphics: 1GB Gigabyte HD4650
• RAM: Kingston 4GB (2 x 2GB)
• Network Card: Dynamode PCI WL-GI-600-11N
• DVD Drive: LG GH22NS40 22x SATA
• Monitor: LG 22" W2252TQ
Even having to restart once a day, would have led me to look in the event viewer, to see what type of errors were logged.
Also, a clean AV scan is good, but doesn't necessarily mean there is not a problem ! Especially if you are using Mcafee or Norton ! Malwarebytes is a great supplement to have and they offer a free scanner for home users. And no, I am not an employee !
Reinstallation: Use another hard drive, or make sure the one you are using has been formatted, partitions deleted.