actually his description of the problem is fairly clear the computer starts trying to run checkdisk on startup. it will get partway through than hang. the user than tried to start the machine in safe mode to discover that it was unbootable.
some basic diagnostic steps you can take to get information on what is actually wrong with the disk in the event of any suspected problem.
first of all put your ear to the disk and see if it is making any unusual sounds most of the time if checkdisk gets partway through and than stops it means it encountered a unrecoverable dataloss and is just too stubborn to get over it and move on to the next sector. seeing if it is making any unusual noises like randomly ticking loudly or a high pitched whine that differs than the normal humm usually indicated a problem with the internal armature the high pitched whine means usually the head is at somepoint contacting the physical platter or the bearings in the motor are failing.
also try mounting the drive on a second computer as an external and running somthing like seatools or other disk diagnostic.
if you dont have a disk utility you can try to pull the S.M.A.R.T status and see if the drives internal firmware test notices any indications of failure
since the computer wont boot and chkdsk seems to freeze or fail it looks like if your lucky a logical problem with your filesystem. of course since windows apearantly loads far enough to execute chkdisk this is most likley not the case or said program would have run through and repaired the isue
if your unlucky it could be damage to the disk it'sself at which point you want to connect it to an external computer and dump whatever data you need to save before the drive completely goes dead.
these are the worst case scenarios but you realy wont know anything till you get some disk diagnostic run on this thing that doesent die like a sissy when it hits a big bad dead sector.
best case scenario is you kicked the tower or jostled the ribbon cable loose and the problems are the result of a simple short or bad connection
looking at the system stats of pentium 4 with a 80 gig drive most likley IDE the computer is fairly old so it is not surprising that the hdd would be reaching the end of it's natural life
Edited by mikeloeven, 07 February 2011 - 05:01 PM.