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Failing to boot

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I've been running a home built system for a couple of years- although I'd upgraded PCs in the past, this was my first full build. Aside from an overheating issue (solved with a better ventilated case and a better CPU heatsink/fan), it was great, performing really well for all my needs.

I moved from the UK to NZ, and the PC spend some six months in store/transit before being fired up again.

I used the machine quite happily for a week or so, and then one morning it failed to boot. It got as far as the windows logo screen, but then restarted, and if I didn't switch it off it would just go on doing this again and again. My assumption was that the OS was somehow corrupted, so I carried out a repair install on both HDDs. I'm not prepared to try a clean install yet as I want to recover some files before doing so. This hasn't fixed the problem, I've tried booting from both drives and no joy. I would find it very odd if both drives had failed simultaneously, so I wonder where else the problem might lie. I've reset the bios, tried both AHCI and RAID IDE modes, nothing. I should mention that both drives are SATA.

I'm not sure where I should be looking next. Could it be a motherboard issue? It is, after all, a cheap MoBo (ConRoeXFire-eSATA2). I get a single beep on startup which implies the MoBo is OK, and no error codes, so it's really got me scratching my head.

Pending a fix I've bought a secondhand Dell machine, which is due to arrive next week. This is an SFF PC, so doesn't have room for a second HDD. This leads to another question. Can I use this to help me troubleshoot- ie if I simply take the HDD from one machine and put it in another, should it work? After all, various drivers might be different. I hope this isn't a stupid question, I've never tried running an older HDD as C drive in a different machine, only as data storage. If I can, I can troubleshoot a lot better- ie if my current HDD will boot in the new PC, I know that it's not the problem.

Thanks in anticipation.

Edited by Fishplate, 07 July 2009 - 11:02 PM.

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