NOW, my first prognosis was HDD trouble, but after pulling the unit and installing it into an external USB enclosure, I was able to navigate, access files and run programs on it from my Acer laptop. HeII, just for security's sake, I scanned it with anti-virus software and Spybot S&D and Adaware...I even tried to defrag it (it sais it wasn't fragged, if ya will). Of course, I haven't tried to BOOT from it, dunno if you can boot from a device attached to USB. Hooked the puppy back to the AMD...nuthin...same thing...flashing useless underscore
SO now, I'm thinking that if it IS indeed a hardware problem, not some pesky registry fudge-up, then maybe it's the CPU, RAM or motherboard...but then, I guess, that's like diagosing a runny nose as either a cold, alergy, flu or ebola!