Having fiddled about with my 'new' self-built PC for some time, trying unsuccessfully to have a stable 'dual-boot' system I finally decided to keep things 'simple' and install just Win2k Pro. My decision was helped by the revelation (well, it was for me anyway) that there was a specific version of DirectX 8.1 for Win2K, hence I could play Max Payne on a Win2K system after all... but that's besides the point).
Anyway, my new 'stable' system is a bit temperamental about starting up. Restarts are no problem - always restarts no problem. Starting up 'cold' (and by cold I mean just shutdown/restart, as oppose to a simple restart) however frequently results in the system hanging - I get a totally blank/black screen which appears just after the initial startup sequence and just prior to point when the Win2k startup 'progress bar' is supposed to appear. I believe this is the precise point when the PC is attempting to boot up the OS from the hard drive.
Does anyone have any idea where the problem might lie?
One of the problems I was having with the dual boot setup might well be linked to this - when the PC reached the stage where it was offering a choice of OS to boot up, with the countdown from 30 secs to automatically booting into Win2K, it frequently hung when the return key was pressed, necessitating a reset/restart. If the countdown sequence was allowed to proceed, there was never any problem. Like I say, this might be related to my current problem, then again, it might not. I offer it only on the offchance that it might help the more technically aware amongst this board's readers diagnose my problem correctly.
My main hardware is all brand new - Hard drive is a IBM Deskstar 60GXP IDE 40GB (7200rpm),Mobo is an Elite K7S5A, RAM is Crucial PC2100 512Mb DDR.
I had already decided that going for a complete low-level reformat and reinstallation was probably the best option, but thought I'd better check my hard drive for errors first.
I then used the IBM program to wipe the boot sector and then the hard drive totally.
Opened up the case and checked the connections to the hard drive and motherboard - seemed okay.
Used a Win98 startup disk to boot up and ran FDISK. Created one active partition and then formatted it. Popped my Win2K disk into the CD drive, went into BIOS and set it to boot from CD. Ran through the startup sequence to the point where 'Searching for boot record from CD... ok' appeared. Next screen appears with 'Setup is inspecting your computers hardware configuration...' and nothing else happens.
Reboot - same sequence, only this time I get to the blue W2K startup menu screen. Didn't like that freeze-up however, so I decide to reboot again, just to see what happens. Sure enough, it freezes up at the same point on two of the next three boots...
I carry on anyway - do a full install of Win2K, including converting the FAT32 partition to NTFS. Shutdown. Reboot.
I get the same black screen as I was getting originally, at the same point. Press reset - machine boots up okay.
So there you have it. I'm thinking of trying another reformat and going for WinMe, just to see if it makes any difference, but I'm beginning to think that it's probably a hardware issue, given the freeze-ups that were occurring even before W2K was installed.
If it all hadn't cost me so much money, I'd have thrown the whole machine out the window by now.
Absolutely desperate and open to any suggestions...