I am fairly experienced with computer hardware, but this has me confounded!
This Dell Inspiron 620 tower I am working on suddenly stopped working, it would only launch startup repair, freeze and then have to be shut down. After some troubleshooting I learned that the hard drive was junk and bought a new one for it.
After installing the hard drive though, I cannot install Windows on it. It is a brand new drive. I've also tried installing Ubuntu both from a disc and a bootable USB. I've also tried a number of other things, resetting and updating the BIOS (updating fails) I cannot get anything to run at all, memtest, Windows, Linux, Ultimate Boot Disc, FreeDOS, etc. I have unplugged everything inside the tower and plugged it back in. NOTHING works.
This makes me think it is the motherboard or some component on the motherboard (hard drive controller, overheating southbridge), the cd drive is working, it will load all of those programs and utilities they all just freeze.
So before I spring for a new mobo, I'd like some advice, things to try, anything... Because if I am wrong about the mobo being bad I might just cry.
i had this intel board that did that too. it would read the hard drives. it would work fine in the BIOS and through a USB drive. but once you tried running something like the hard drives or dvd drive it would freeze. it turns out that the sata ports were dying because the hard drive controller was failing. it was an older board not like yours.
also have you tried an external usb dvd drive. and also do you have a power supply tester?