Okay I'll start out with some brief specs of my computer.
Ram - 2x512mb = 1024mb
Cpu - Iintel pentium 3 - not too sure of the GHz but thats not important
Hardrive - 80Gb Dankstar (??) - not too sure of rpm
Motherboard - Atx form factor - some cheap generic brand that I've never heard of
Video Card - Onboard (8mb cache I believe)
BIOS - Phoenix v6.0 - not updated because it was flashed (see below)
OS - Windows XP Pro SP2 - but I don't think I'm gonna be able to save this (or any other data for that matter)
The only way to start my computer without it freezing mid-post is to take out the bios battery with the power off, put it back in momentarily, then take it out. This (for some reason) turns on the computer, but inevitably flashes the bios. This is problem #1.
Problem #2 happens after this. I've tried countless bootdisk varieties (burnt to dvds because this computer has no floppy), including a windows xp cd, and dozens of other 'guarantee surefire' downloaded boot disks. The windows cd had the most success without failing - it said that I had a partition (I: ) which I know used to be C:, that was the right size. It formatted the drive fine, and copied the windows files to the drive. But that's it. After that I get on of the same errors as all the other bootdisks:
"hal.dll cannot be found operating system failed to start" or
"NTFDS cannot be found operating system failed to start" or
"Operating system failed to start"
Every other bootdisk I've used doesn't let me access drive I: or C:...so I'm curious if that partition really even exists. Fdisk doesn't show it, and I can't format the disk or copy the above mentioned files to it. I've tried NTFS-compatible DOS boot disks, windows 98 boot disks, nothing works. I checked all the jumpers and cables, their a OK. I'm thinking I need a new harddrive and/or motherboard - but I'm determined to fix this thing without spending a dime! Any help would be appreciated!!!