Within the past month, I installed Norton 360 which did a general "tune-up" helping things run better. Basically, there is one hard drive that is partitioned into 2 drives. The C drive had consistently been too full, whereas the D drive still had quite a bit of space. I would guess (since I can't confirm) that the C drive was about 30 GB and the D drive was about 60-80 GB. With Norton 360, things did seem to be better, although a bit sluggish at times.
BEFORE installing Norton 360, I tried to backup both drives to my Western Digital external hard drive. The D drive backed up fine, but it refused to backup the C drive. I was hesitant to backup the drives again after the installation of Norton 360 to wait and see if there were any issues. So, the bottom line is almost a month has passed since I have done any sort of backup.
Today my computer was working fine. I was not in the room for probably 45 minutes, and when I came back to the computer, I was surprised to hear the tower churning and to see the monitor displaying the black background with white text describing the Primary Master Disk, Slave Disk, PCI Device Listing, etc. with a small dash at the bottom left of the screen flashing continually. I tried doing "Ctrl-Alt-Del," and it just rebooted. The Sony logo appeared, and then it immediately went to that same screen I just described.
I turned it off manually, waited, and rebooted...still same problem. I then powered down completely (turning off the UPS system), and it still would not work when I tried to fire it back up.
I DID try pressing F8 to go into Safe Mode as soon as the system was rebooting, but it refused to work.
I truly hope someone has some suggestions please as to what can be done. Thank goodness I have a laptop that works, so I can post this message.
Let's say that there is no hope of recovering anything...I have heard that there are ways to delete things off of your computer before donating it or disposing of it via software programs. How can I do this if it will not even boot? I had been thinking of buying a new computer soon anyway...sigh.