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Well, after two unslept nights, I am finally here, finally turning to someone else so maybe I feel less stupid on finding this pc's problem.

Machine Config: COMPAQ 5WV296 5000 Series (I know it is old, guys...)
- AMD Athlon 1Ghz
- 768Mb RAM
- 30Gb HD
- Dvd-ROM
- USB 2.0 PCI Card
- 32Mb TNT Riva 2 Video Card
- 10/100 PCI NIC
- Windows XP Pro

Machine stats:
- Last time I turned it on, a couple of hours after having turned it off normally from windows, Compaq screen comes up and then, for my surprise, that horrifying screen is showing saying "Your computer has not been turned off correctly and (...)" and the options given are to "start normally", "start in safe mode" , "safe mode with prompt", etc... The usual... The thing is: Any of them I click ends up at the same: the white windows loading bar goes up to the far right and the screens blinks slightly *once* and then the DOS cursor endlessly blinks up on the top left corner. Nothing happens afterwards.

What I have already tried:
- Ran some 3-hour tests on the memmory using Memory Test 86
- Replaced the video card.
- Disconnected and reconnected all cables
- Backed up the hard disk onto my main pc, formatted it and reinstalled windows, having it work normally on the *main* computer. When I tried to use the HD back in the COMPAQ, nothing.
- Took out the CMOS battery and just left it out for some time. All I got was the date & time being unset.

At each step I stopped and tested the computer. Same failure.

I am now here, waiting and wishing that someone can show me a way out of this. The computer is old but I need it, so I am considering fixing it, unless I need to buy anther motherboard.

Any clues? ;)

Cheers,
MV

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Last Post by marcosaccioly
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Have you tried installing XP from the machine that has the problem?

Windows XP ties itself tightly to the hardware of the machine and doesn't like it if you completely change your hardware (such as when you take the drive from one machine and slap it in another machine).

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Hi chris! Thanks for your reply...

Despite not knowing about these XP "preferences" for the hardware, that was actually the first thing I have tried. I tried to boot it from a Windows XP CD and it loaded the CD ok but, right after it started loading those components at the blue screen, it stopped at the third component (Core dll debugger I guess...).

I can try formatting it again, but now from the floppy disk drive...

I'll give that a try...

Cheers,

Vini

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