For the last month or so my computer would occasionally crash at seemingly random moments, the screen would suddenly go black, the monitor would read "no signal" and go dark. The machine would appear to be still running, the power light on the front of the tower remaining on, numlock light on keyboard, etc, but no response to moving mouse or pressing keys, etc. With a hard reset the computer would run normally, no problems.
That is, until about a week ago. Returning home after a few days away the computer would not successfully boot, but would crash during the "Windows XP" loading screen every time I tried to turn it on. I tried unplugging everything but the monitor and the keyboard, which got me as far as booting up and having the desktop visible for 10-15 seconds before crashing again.
I would sometimes get an error message saying that windows failed to start successfully, and was given the option to start normally, or in safe mode, or with last known good configuration. I tried all of these and they all yielded the same result as before.
I tried booting from the disc and using the recovery console to perform system repair, but the problem persisted.
I followed instructions from microsoft support to manually recover a corrupted registry, still no luck.
I tried doing a clean re-install of xp and was able to delete the existing partition, create a new partition, copy files, restart and proceed to the screen that says windows xp is being installed, "installation will take approximately 39 minutes," and at this point the computer crashes, I get a black screen and can't seem to do anything but a hard reset.
Finally, I tried removing one of two sticks of ram and trying each of them individually in one or the other memory slot, but every combination still yields a crash.
Any light that can be shed on this situation would be very much appreciated.