To sum it up in short, it was suggested that I remove my two sticks of RAM and make sure their slots were clean of dust. I was also instructed to remove the CMOS battery and keep it out for about a minute before placing it back in place. I did both these things and the computer/monitor problem was solved.
But then I started running into other issues. It's a bit hard to describe the problems I'm facing now.... but I'll do my best. It's basically like this: it seems that most of the times when booting up my computer Windows starts up fine, all the icons of processes set to run on startup show up in the taskbar near the clock and everything looks to be running and ready to go. But I am not able to open any application, including internet browsers. Folders open fine and I'm able to open up Windows Task Manager, but other than that apps won't work properly. I'll see Firefox for example running in Windows Task Manager, but no browser window will show up.
Assuming this problem has to do with the issues I had before with my computer and display, I decided to shutdown and press the memory sticks towards the motherboard, thinking that maybe they weren't sitting perfectly in their slots. The next time I booted up all was fine and apps ran perfectly.
This morning I powered on my computer again and faced the same problem - programs would not open. But this time I noticed something else...(which may or may not have been the case the previous time) it seemed that the order in which the icons in the Task Bar (near the clock) was different from how I remembered them normally. I shut down my computer again and powered back on. Windows came up and as the icons were beginning to appear in the Task Bar, I started clicking on the little arrow which hides/expands the view of these icons. I didn't have any special reason for doing this other than to keep and eye on the order they were appearing, but this time they were set in the order I remembered them normally being in. I tried opening some programs... and all was working fine. It's hard for me to believe that clicking on the hide/expand arrow button in the Task Bar shouldn't have any affect on processes or the order they are run, but I'm just describing what happened.
Is this a Windows related issue? Or could this be happening due to hardware problems, which may or may not have caused the computer/monitor issues I had earlier?
I'm running Windows XP.