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Computer sometimes doesn't boot past PCI device listing

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I feel a little embarassed admitting this, but I'm not good at all with hardware. That's the reason I had someone else build a computer for me a couple of months ago. When it works, it works just great, but every now and then (once or twice a month or so) when I try to boot it up, it doesn't make it past the PCI device listing. I don't get an error, and it doesn't spontanically reboot either, it just hangs after listing the IRQ ports.

Whenever this happens I usually just open the case and check if all the wires are properly plugged in (they are), clean the fans a little, let it cool down for a few hours, things like that. It seems like nothing works, and then suddenly it does boot completely and everything works fine again. Or almost fine, as it usually recognizes only one of my two hard drives the first time or the first few times. And then, the next day or so, the second hard drive also makes it magic reappearance. As if nothing has ever happened.

Needless to say I'm very puzzled by all this. It's one thing for a computer to break down, but quite another to just magically repair itself again. I'm really not certain just what it is that's wrong with it.

I've been googling this problem a little (and I've been searching on this forum of course), and it would seem the BIOS has something to do with this, and that I should restore it to its factory defaults. I would gladly try this, but the thing is that I'm really not sure what kind of changes the person who built my computer has made to the BIOS, and how necessary those changes are. For example, I already mentioned my two (SATA) hard drives, they work a little so-so already and I'm afraid that if I flash the BIOS they will stop working altogether.

Asking the person who built it is no option, I'm afraid, as he's more of an ex-friend nowadays...

Anyway, to wrap this all up (sorry for being so long winded, but I really want to explain this problem properly) my question is two-fold:
One, how is it possible that my computer sometimes doesn't boot, and then a little later it suddenly does boot again?
Two, how dangerous is it for someone who doesn't really know what she's doing to flash the BIOS? Is it possible that parts of my computer will stop working properly or not at all, and should I take some kind of precautions to prevent that?

I would be very grateful for any help and tips you guys could give me. Thanks for reading.
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Well it's very possible that you have a piece of hardware that is dying.... if itonly detects one hard drive some times and not others it coulc be that is your problem....

flashing the bios is not really hard neccessarily but it is dangerous.... if done incorrectly or if the power is lost during it or it is interupted for another reason your bios can very possibly be ruined.... as in buy a new motherboard and/or computer... bios flashing is a last resort type of thing...

I would first remove the any cards in your computer.... have nothing but the cpu/and fan video card and memory... if it still does it or one hard drive still doesnt' show up then I'd run the hard drive diagnostic from what ever company makes the hard drive that isnt' showing up...
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