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Bios freezes in "Hardware Monitor" section

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I've had a few different problems with my computer the past few weeks.
(... had the system for about 3 years, last hardware install was over a year ago)

I suspect main HDD is gone bad (windows xp no longer boots... keeps restarting during boot, and won't go into safe mode)

I have a second HDD with Windows XP installed on it... and it would boot up fine. (last night anways) and I was able to copy as much data off the main HDD as possible, but it already had a bunch of corrupt files (CRC errors when copying)

Current situation:

- When in BIOS, the when I go to the Power section, and choose "Hardware Monitor", the BIOS screen freezes.
I can view and edit every other option/section in BIOS... but if I select Hardware Monitor, then I'm forced to reboot.
ie: if I reboot and go into BIOS, I can look around and edit stuff for a while.. but if I reboot and go into BIOS' "Hardware Monitor" section right away, it will lock up

I've unplugged everything, and checked cpu fan and connections, removed ram and reinserted, and have also tried this without the HDD's plugged in.

I've read in other threads that sometimes Power Supplies or RAM can be the culprit... does that sound applicable here?
(or one more than the other?)

I can not use any 'Windows' programs at this point, since my computer will not boot up, not even in Safe Mode.
Which is a different issue (I've read other threads in regards to rebooting when getting to a certain .sys file or whatever)
(I am able to use the OEM Windows XP Disc to get into the Recovery Console, not sure if I can do any tests there?)

If this is a problem with the motherboard or cpu or anything, then I'd rather invest in a new system, versus attempted repairs.
Would a knowledgeable PC Technician be able to give me an informed analysis within their "1 hour" flat rate? or do you think they might need to mess around for a while to figure out what's going on?

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Have you checked to see if a BIOS update is available that fixes any problems you have. However, even before that I would run memtest to check your memory for any errors. You can put it on a floppy or CD, it is included with most Linux CDs as a boot option. These are possibilities I would eliminate first. It's also possible that you have a chipset error.
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