I'm trying to determine if a startup error is related to a faulty motherboard. I have an ASUS P5Q with a Core2Duo (65w) and 4 GB of Gskill DDR2 RAM. I have a relatively new 650W PSU and a brand new optical drive. A month ago, I put Windows into Sleep Mode and it was frozen when I attempted to wake it. Upon a reset the BIOS completed all its tasks and the Windows Vista loading screen appeared. The progress bar scrolled across multiple times until it eventually froze - it never got past that point. Eventually after a hard reset, the progress bar would freeze, the LEDS on my mouse and keyboard would go dead, and a blank screen would emerge with a blinking cursor. And it would never get past that point. It froze on the progress bar when I tried booting into Safe Mode. I tried booting from Ubuntu Live and Windows Live CDs and they too would freeze when the splash screens would come up. I took out the hard drive and placed it into another machine and it booted into windows but it also froze so I thought maybe the hard drive was faulty. I placed a different bootable hard drive (with Winxp64) into the suspicious computer and it successfully booted into WinXP64 just fine and ran stable. So I purchased a fresh hard drive and copy of Win764. It installed into the suspicious computer perfectly and ran fine for 2 weeks. I put it into sleep mode again the other night and when I came back it was frozen. Upon hard reset it is now doing the same thing only with the Windows 7 progress bar. I have reseated the RAM, switched out the RAM with other known working RAM, enabled and disabled all USB/LAN devices that I thought could be causing an interrupt, reset the bios, and removed all non-essential hardware. I put the Win7 live CD in and, again, it freezes while it says "setup is loading files".
Basically, I am trying to determine where the source of the error is. What is failing when the computer freezes when it is trying to load the OS or the necessary files from a bootable disc? I do not suspect overheating since there is no overclocking and the BIOS Health status is always showing a normal operating CPU and Chipset temperature. Does the loss of power of the keyboard and mouse indicate something? Did sleep mode corrupt my motherboard? Why did this problem exist, cease to exist, and then exist? That is generally not how hardware functions - it usually either works or it doesn't. I suppose sometimes hardware is intermittent but that is not even the case here. It would not work no matter what until I replaced the hard drive and installed a fresh copy of Win7 and then it worked without a hitch for weeks and now it won't boot no matter what I try.
Is it possible that sleep mode corrupted the hard drive's boot sector or something? Even if that was the case I would think that attempting to boot from a LIVE cd would work as I would assume there is no physical damage to the hard drive preventing it from being reformatted or anything like that.
Most people that complain of windows "freezing" on startup see it occur intermittently and many of them don't experience the problem when trying to boot into safe mode and none of them seem to have the problem when they try re-installing or repairing from a bootable disc. I am experiencing effectively the same problem at the same point in time independent of the method I am choosing to boot.
Does anyone have any clues as to the source of this error. I have swapped out the Video Card, hard drive, optical drives, and RAM with another known working system and there have been no issues. I do not suspect the PSU to be bad, there is no dust build up and the computer is in a cool ventilated area. I will purchase a new MoBo/CPU combo as a last resort, but in my experience, if a Board doesn't work it doesn't work PERIOD. So this has me very perplexed.