I have a old Pentium D-based computer with a ECS 945P-A motherboard. It has always been very reliable, but it has recently started to give me some trouble.
Last month, it suddenly stopped booting, and would give me a black "Windows failed to start" screen seconds after the Windows 7 boot flag animation appeared. Trying to use the "Repair my computer" option from the hard drive resulted in an immediate reboot, or a frozen screen if I tried to run it from a CD. I tried to pull my data off using a Linux CD, but every distro I tried, from Puppy to Mint, would freeze after transferring a few megabytes from the hard drive. I didn't have any super-critical data on it, so I grabbed the most essential documents and re-imaged it. After updating Windows, everything seemed just fine.
Fast forward one month. It suddenly started giving me the same "failed to start" error. Same symptoms, same everything. I moved the hard drive to a different SATA socket, and that seemed to fix it. Few days later, same problem. This time I couldn't resuscitate it. The hard drive is only 80gb, but it's not that old, and this seems like a really weird failure mode. So what do you guys/girls think? Is the mobo at the end of its life? Am I looking at a SATA controller failure? Or something far more insidious?