I am trying to avoid a 100% reformat of this computer, just because it will be a major pain to install all programs and settings again. Windows XP Media Center. HP with Athlon 3200 XP CPU (about 9 years old). 500 gb WD HD. Corsair 4 GB.
First problem: My computer can't be turned off, or else it has a hard time coming back up. What happens is it get to BIOS screen...and hangs. If I wait, claims hard drive error...press key to continue. If I do that, it just hangs on "wait" screen.
Strange thing is, I can get it to finally boot up just fine, if I restart 7-10 times in a row. Once it hangs in BIOS for 3 seconds, I know it's messed up, so I CNTRL ALT DEL and do it again...and again...and again, until finally it goes right through the into windows. Funny thing is, I can ALWAYS get it to come up eventually. The hardrive passes all tests, and I replaced the CMOS battery on my MB as well. I do not believe it's the HD. Also, I flashed the BIOS...no change. However, my case fans now behave much better (not stuck on 100% 24/7)..much quieter!
As I remember, this problem started after a Blue Screen Of Death after coming out of sleep mode. I used to keep my computer in sleep mode all the time, now won't work. When it wakes up, BSOD every time.
I tried system restore. It fails. It picks a point, and reboots. But when it comes up, it tells me it failed.
So I decided to reinstall windows. I wanted to "repair", but did not remember administrator password. So I installed over old one. Voila...I restarted several times in a row...and no hanging!!!!!!!!!!! I was so happy...my computer was fixed.
But what about sleep? So I tried it. Big mistake...not only did I get the BSOD, but my old booting problem came right back!
Oh another thing...during windows install...i had several "red X" error messages about missing dll's...so even windows install did not go 100% perfect.
Another strange thing is I cannot get into safe mode by holding down F8.
Can I get these problems fixed without clean install? It's like something is corrupted. My computer runs GREAT if I leave it on and don't reboot! But there is something majorly wrong...booting, system restore, installing windows, safe mode, sleep. Thanks.
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At 9 years old, the motherboard is probably starting to fail. Before you go that route though, have you checked your power supply? A 9 year old power supply probably isn't working as efficient as it used to especially if you had it running 24/7 (yes, it runs in sleep mode too, just less power). A program like HWMonitor should be able to display your voltages. If any reading is more than +/-5% then I'd replace it.