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Computer won't boot

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I'm at my wit's end.

Yesterday, a friend asked me to help him partition and format a new HD. After we got it working and transfered files to it from three computers, we went back to computer A because there were some other files he forgot.

I hooked up the HD again and the computer just attempted to reboot over and over. I realized that I had forgotten to change the jumper setting....I had to change it from master to slave and back again depending on which computer we were transferring files from...Anyway, after I switched the the jumper, the computer attempted to boot but got stuck on the Windows splash screen. We turned it off and tried again. On the third try, we got NOTHING. Well, almost nothing.

The lights seem to all work, the HD is running but it doesn't seem to try booting. No beeps whatsoever. No startup (everything's ok) beep, no multiple (you've got problem's) beeps...nothing. Nothing on the screen. It seems, as the saying goes, the lights are on but nobody's home.

I've literally swapped out everything inside the case. every PCI card, the ribbon cables, the motherboard etc. Whatever wasn't swapped out, we just left disconnected (CD-ROM etc.). No matter what we tried, still no beeps and nothing on the screen. I even swapped out the speaker, just in case.

After about 4 hours of trying everything I could think of, we called in reinforcements. Another friend that is at least as well versed in computers as myself came over and we worked for another 8 hours. No change.

In my 25+ years of working on computers, I've never had an experience like this. The only thing that makes sense is that whatever is wrong with computer A is also broken on the parts we used to swap things out. We came to the conclusion that it must be either the bios chip, the CPU or the whole MB. We don't have new parts readily available so we swapped out using parts that were known to work previously. of course there's no guarantee they work now.

The bottom line is, I'm stuck. Just to prove a point to my friend that owns computer A, we plugged in the power cord to another computer, laying on the floor in pieces. It beeped...just like it was supposed to.

Does anyone have any insight they could share? A similar experience...preferably with a resolution? Any help would be appreciated.
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