My computer stopped booting normally 3 days ago. Here are the particulars:
The computer is a Dell Optiplex 840 with 1 MB RAN and 40 GB hard drive.
I have Windows XP because I have legacy software that can't be upgraded.
I have a USB keyboard and mouse and a Trenonet USB HVM switch (for using another computer).
We had a thunderstorm the night before. I heard a click from the speakers. But the computer kept working.
Now when I start it, I see the following in sequence:
--- The Dell startup page
--- The Windows XP startup page
--- The mouse and keyboard lights come on
--- A blue screen with a long error message on it, but it lasts for less than one second, so I can't read it. All I can catch is "Windows failed to start because"
--- The mouse and keyboard lights go off.
--- The Windows Failed to Start recovery page appears. I have no control to change the settings.
--- The Dell startup page reappears. The cycle repeats. I have no control to cause boot from CD.
Here is the weird part: I can get it to boot normally with the following procedure:
- Unplug the keyboard from the HVM switch while the above is going on.
- Let the Dell startup page report a keyboard failure. It stays there.
- Turn off the computer.
- Plug the keyboard back in.
- Turn on the computer after waiting 15 seconds.
It starts normally.
The keyboard works perfectly while the computer is running. I am using it now.
What I don't understand is how this made anything different.
I can't eliminate the HVM from the system and boot normally because there are not enough USB commectors on the back to plug in both the computer and the mouse. The computer originally came with PS2 keyboard and mouse, but I upgraded years ago to use a PS2 KVM. I replaced the KVM with the HVM when the PS2 keyboard failed.
I have made no changes in the hardware configuration in the past year.