Possible motherboard failure

Not sure if this is the correct forum to post. This is a Hewlett Packard a450n desktop left with me. The Vista Home premium on the machine has issues but could boot to the system. Another drive was prepped and booted to the system. This day I find that the machine does not boot to the operating system but to a black screen with a flashing cursor.

In setup, the hard drive is seen and HDD detect is active. Have built many machines in prior years but do not know to proceed with the diagnosis. Guidance sought
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  1. I would try cheacking each stick of ram invidually. Then I would try without the graphics card. Then I would try a different power supply.
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