Bios no post loop

I apologise if this subject has already been seen in this forum. In that case I would really appreciate your help in finding the thread.

I have an acer e 380 with vista home premium.
I downloaded updates for windows (a bunch, since I hadn't done it for several months).
The computer started configuring the updates and then blocked.

This is what happens now:
I connect the power supply cable and the computer starts automatically.
It gives the ACER logo page (with DEL (to access BIOS) and F12 (to access boot menu) options). Then the page disappears and I read verifying DMI data... . I hear beep. Nothing happens and I read a NO SIGNAL message. Then the computer stops. Then it starts again. I see the acer page, the message, i hearthe beep, i get the no signal message, and the computer stops.

This cycle continues forever.

I have tried F8 but to no avail.
I have tried the TAB key (just luck, actually) - it gets me into the bios check page and I see the checks of the cd dvd drive and of the hard drive. When these drives have been checked, the bios checkup stops and I get the NO SIGNAL page again.

I suppose it doesn't get to the POST phase (I'm using technical jargon that I've picked up here and there since I started looking into this problem - but I have a very elementary knowledge of computers - I suppose I am a self-trained educated ignorant - basically ignorant, anyway).

I've been reading a few posts here and there but this BOOT LOOP mostly happens once VISTA is loaded or is trying to load, as far as i can gather - i.o.w. a lot of other people with a boot loop problem can at least see the windows page, or can go windows safe temporary mode, or can use their desktop. I CAN'T.

I've entered the bios (scared stiff as I did it!) to see what's going on in there and I saw that I have IDE channels (I have a sata hard drive) - is that a problem?

I've tried taking the battery out for a couple of hours but nothing happens; I've tried moving the RAM sticks around but nothing happens (I must add that a few months ago I had changed the RAM config: originally it had 2 GB total (in two sticks), then I added a further 2GB (in one stick) to take it to a total of 4GB. At that point one of the 1GB sticks didn't work, so I took it out and I now have 3GB total, of whicjh one GB is original, and 2GB are added. I've looked at the sticks and they do not seem to be the same (they have different codes - but the vendor told me they were compatible because they were the same make - I recall some of the code to be the same but I would have to confirm that later if you think that ccould be a problem).

N.B. 1 - I don't have vista discs.
N.B. 2 - As per acer manual on the web, if I do F10, I can access the Acer recovery pages with a windows XP logo (!!??) and there I have the following options: recover via CD DVD, recover original factory defaults, recover user backup (dated something 2007 - I bought the computer at the end of 2007), or other... I think this would overwrite my C: so I'm trying to find another solution. But, if I chose to use the Acer tool, would this recovery get my computer to work again? What do you think?
N.B. 3 - I have connected my hard disk to another computer and I can access it, so it is not broken - what's more, I have a backup dated jan 2009 on my D: partition. How can I recover that? I can only read my hard disk from another computer...

Anyway, the computer was working quite okay before I started downloading alll the wndows updates (about 300 mb) that had accumulated.

I can give you these specs:

Acer aspire e380
Phoenix award workstation
BIOS 6.00 PG
System bios Acer R01 - B4
April 27, 2007

AMD athlon 64 x 2 Dual core 4400+
320 GB

(Main board EM61SM / EM61 PM)(I got this somewhere but I can't remember where...)
Mother board HT 2000 MC61PM-AM Rev 1.0A (this is on the motherboard itself)

I can also give you the following info from the BIOS:
IDE channel 0 Master Hl DT St DVD -RW
IDE Channel 0 Slave none
IDE channel 2 Master ST 3320820As3.aad
IDE channel 3 master none
IDE channel 4 Master none
IDE channel 5 Master none

It's all a perfect mystery to me...

I really hope some of you can help me since it's slowly turning into a nightmare.

I would greatly appreciate step by step explanations in simple baby-language as I am really only in the learning stage.

Thanks for your patience and attention.
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More about bios post loop
  1. Have you tried pulling out the power lead as soon as the computer has finished post and just before it restarts? If you do this then Vista’s start up trouble shooter should start-up on the next boot. If this doesn’t work then you will have to get the Vista install disc and boot into system console and try scandsk.
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