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Booting problem. HD, Mobo, other?

Last response: in Systems
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August 2, 2011 3:54:47 AM

First my specs:

N-Alvorix-RS880-uATX Motherboard
AMD Phenom 2 X4 945 @3.0 Ghz
8 Gb PC3-10600 MB/sec RAM
ATI Radeon HD540 512Mb (PCI Express x16)
Integrated ALC888S-VD audio
802.11 wireless b/g/n PCI-e minicard
Hitachi 1Tb SATA hard drive
SuperMulti DVD Burner with LightScribe Technology
Bestec 300w PSU

Alright, so this machine is fairly new (just over a couple months old), and about a week ago I started experiencing seemingly random BSOD's and forced shutdowns. I suspected that this was just the beginning of something worse, and sure enough, in record time, that something worse presented itself when, after yet another forced hard shutdown, the machine refused to reboot. Would not even post. The lights and fans were on, but nobody was home. Initially I suspected a heat issue, so while I was in the midst of the BSOD's, but still able to boot properly, I ran both Speedfan, and Coretemp (while running the with the case open), and found that I was consistently ranging between mid 20's and mid 40's centigrade, with 20's being the low, and 40's being the peak while running intensive programs. I felt these were solid temps, but the crashes and BSOD's continued, so I figure it must not have been heat related.
My machine is still under warranty with HP, so I contacted customer service, who have come to the conclusion that it's a hard drive issue. Here's my issue though, and why I'm looking for outside opinion: would a hard drive issue equal lights on, fans running, but no other activity whatsoever, or would it be more like machine posts, attempts to read the HD, and hangs or freezes/BSOD's? I mean, I'm getting nothing but lights and fans. No clicks or beeps. I told them I was seeing the green LED on the mobo, which I always thought simply meant it was receiving power, but they seemed to think it meant it was ruled out as the culprit.
I went ahead and arranged for a replacement HD, as they were very insistent that it was a bad HD (I'm barely intermediate level with this stuff, so who am I to say), but I have a sinking feeling this won't be it, and that I'm in for a wrestling match with a company that wants to try the easy routes first, rather than dealing with the whole machine. Any ideas? Just looking for second opinions.

edit: I left something out (I always do it seems), that from time to time, if I leave it unplugged for a length of time, it will attempt to boot, but usually freezes not long after. On one occasion it attempted to boot, but left me with a blank screen with a blinking cursor in the upper left hand corner. I I try to simply boot directly after one of these freezes and subsequent hard shutdowns, it reverts to "light and AC are on, but nobody's home".

More about : booting problem mobo

August 2, 2011 8:59:14 AM

It can very well be the HDD amongst other things (ram, motherboard....). Since it is still under warranty you should let HP deal with it.

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August 2, 2011 12:47:34 PM
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If it doesn't post it cannot be the HD's fault. It must be the mobo, RAM or CPU or maybe even the GPU. I suspect that your Heatsink and fan aren't on properly. as it will try to boot when everything is cold (after you leave it for a long time). I bet the CPU is heating up and cutting out.

Good luck.
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August 3, 2011 3:22:40 AM

Yep, at this point I'd have to agree. Mainly I thought I would humor them since they were being so insistent about it, but they had their shot at it, and now I'm sending the whole thing in for them to take care of themselves. Got the new HD in today, installed it, it showed up in the bios with what little chance I had to actually use the machine, so I know the installation took properly, but the machine froze...in bios mode. Never had that happen before. So I was never even able to perform Windows recovery. This has to be something else. I just hope when I send them the machine they actually fix it on the first go.
August 14, 2011 2:46:12 AM

Best answer selected by GoodManBadSerf.
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