I've spent hours reading on this forum looking for an explanation or possible lead, to no avail.
My system freezes at the point where Windows would normally begin loading. The BIOS will load and I can even enter the BIOS and make adjustments. I can also get to the F8 screen to attempt to start in Safe mode, and when I do that, it begins to do it's thing listing the many items on the screen and then just plain freezes.
This is a system that has been operational without issue for several months, and this happened suddenly out of the blue. I leave my machine on 24/7, so I was surprised to find it off one night after work. I attempted to turn it on and discovered this issue.
CPU shows no physical evidence of having burned up. Fans are all working, video card is apparently fine, as I indicated I get full video during the BIOS phase. I've done musical chairs with the RAM to no avail, and PSU seems to be fine, as everything is getting power including HDD, 2 DVD drives, Video card, fans, and case leds through the MOBO.
As I indicated the system has been operating flawlessly for several months. The HDD is new from several months ago, not that this rules out the possibility of it suddenly dying, but I'm 95% sure I hear it spinning up. Seems like they usually die soon after installation if they are defective. Again not impossible it could have crapped out, but the "I just took it out of the box and it died" scenario is way more common. Right??
Maybe I'm not framing the question correctly. After reading my first post, is it even possible that the MOBO or CPU are in question. Said another way, can a system go to BIOS and even F8 if the MOBO is bad? Is the HDD the most likely thing in this scenario? It won't be the first time, but I'm going to feel really stupid if all I needed to do was check the HDD.
I went bare bones by removing the video card, unplugging the IDE CD/DVD drives. I was left with the HDD only. Of course, same boot issue. It hangs as I begin to load in safe mode when I get to the following line item: multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows\system32\drivers\isapnp.sys
There are some indications on the web that this might be a corrupt file or driver or something with Windows. I wonder what would happen if I tried to boot to a Windows install/recovery CD?
New update: It won't boot to the CD even though I set the CD group as number one boot in the BIOS. Did get it to begin to load in safe mode, but it hangs always. Once on the welcome screen then once right after.
Interestingly, I left it on for a few minutes to see if maybe it was just working hard. Turns out something was definitely working hard, as my CPU hit 50C in less than 10 minutes. Fans are working fine, but something caused the CPU to get hotter than normal very quickly.
I erroneously thought I had the CD group set in the BIOS to boot first, but of course I didn't. Once I corrected this, it booted to the Windows restore CD and I reinstalled Windows. So, hats off to rolli59 for giving the correct answer on the first try. Nice work rolli59!
My system is back to life.
Anyone have any idea how Windows gotr corrupted? Virus? Could it be caused by a hardware issue?