Posted 06 February 2010 - 04:05 AM
The problem about which I'm posting is with a Gateway 820gm XP Media Center 2005 PC. Some background information on the state of this PC before the incident:
The system's main hard drive died last week (no mystery, I dropped the friggin' thing), so I recently put in a new HD and reinstalled the operating system. After many hours downloading all of the Windows Service Packs and other updates (the most recent of which was the Office 2007 Compatibility Pack), the PC was finally back up and running, and was doing so quite smoothly.
I typically leave my PC on overnight and use an alarm clock program to wake myself up. When I awoke to my cell phone alarm instead, I noticed the usual signs of a power outage. (12:00 blink on microwave, stereo, etc.) Naturally, I switched on my computer. Then...
The computer began to boot as normal and prompted me for the boot password, which it took as expected. It then continued to the usual Windows splash screen that precedes the Welcome Screen or the Desktop (depending on user settings). However, after the Windows splash screen, my monitors remained blank. After several minutes and, wondering if this was just a display failure, I began to take actions that would normally result in sound output (activating Windows Media Center, keying Shift 5 times for the StickyKeys beep, etc.) No result. I tested the "sleep" button on my keyboard which also yielded no result. I then did a hard reboot. Once more, I entered the boot password and went past that phase just fine. The PC apparently recognized the previous boot failure and directed me to the F8 boot menu. I first tried to boot as normal to see if this was a one-time issue. It was not. Hard reboot. The next time I tried the "Last settings that worked." No go. Hard reboot. The third time around I tried Safe Mode. Safe Mode boots successfully. I did a System Restore to the point just before my recent installation of Microsoft Office 2007 Compatibility Pack. Soft restart. Monitors still remain blank and system remains non-responsive. Hard reboot to F8 menu. Several more reboots to Safe Mode and System Restores to previous settings. No progress.
I'm left to wonder if this is a registry/driver/software issue that just coincided with a power outage, or a hardware problem somehow caused by a surge. I'm a bit stumped as to what steps to take to diagnose the problem.