This is sort of a two question topic, one of then is really easy and one of them, I've gotta be completely vague because I have no idea what's going on. First issue: this computer had WinXP Pro on it and all of a sudden it just started freezing at the Windows XP loading screen. I had stuff I needed to recover, so I partitioned the drive, installed WinXP Pro again, and now I'm running off my second installation. My question however, is what could be the issue with the previous installation? I've scanned it for viruses with five different programs, scoured it for spyware with four different programs, and nothing has come up period. Could it be an issue with the MBR? How could I rectify that?

Now the second issue is with my second computer. I get the video card test screen at boot, then it heads to the POST screen and stops after the memory test at "Detecting IDE Devices..." and I wouldn't say that it freezes, as I can use Ctrl+Alt+Del, but I can't get into BIOS, I can't get anywhere. I don't hear any odd noises from my HDs or my optical drives, and I've unplugged them completely, checked for damage, reseated them, and plugged everything back in. I even checked the connections with the mobo and still nothing. Could my HDs just have randomly died? My computer didn't crash or anything, it was just one day I started the computer up and BAM! Nothing.

Any suggestions/tips/diagnostic help?

Note: This isn't my PC. This is a friend of mine and I have no physical access to the system. He is quite good at troubleshooting, but this has stumped him, and well me as well I'm afraid. Anyone have any experience with this sort of problem would be greatly appreciated.

Problem 1-
Use the xp pro disk to boot to.

Enter recovery console

Type"fixboot",try loading

If this works the ntldr tree was probably affected

If it doesn't work restart and again use recovery console

Type FixMBR

This tries to repair the MBR but I've only seen it work twice,I think

If these two fail then continue to install XP PRO but repair the installation instead of a clean install.You keep all files but it replaces all the system files.If this doesn't work you should back up your data to another HD as your current one *may* be on the way out.

Problem 2-Try resetting BIOS to Defaults

If it is a dell pc run a Diagnostic on the HD's and the RAM

Take out the HD's and attach to another pc already running windows

Let me know how things go to this point

It's a custom build and I do believe he's already tried all of those. Sorry to be confusing, but I'm half understanding the complete problem myself. Also he can't boot period so gaining access to the bios won't work, althought the HD does work when attatched to another system. Thanks for the assistance, and I'll relay the info to him.

You can reset the BIOS by using the jumper on the motherboard, or you can unplug the AC power cord and removing the battery on the motherboard for fifteen minutes or so. This being winter remember to touch the case of you computer to discharge any static electricity before you touch any of the components inside. ESDs kill chips.