Here's the thread where all the specifics are:
Dell Dimension 4500, Pentium 4, 2.0 GHz, 1 Gb RAM, XP Pro
You can read it all there -- I first came here because of a virus, then I was missing a bunch of my System Files, but for a summary I'll copy and paste the comp's "final breakdown":
I've been having a problem with my mouse jumping around for a long time (months, maybe a year). I've also had a "Error ! USB device failed to initialize !!!" notice flash during bootup for a long time (I don't know if they started at the same time or if they're somehow connected). The latter might not have anything to do with my current problem but I have a gut feeling the jumping mouse is somehow connected.
I had a WD MyBook plugged in and a couple of programs running. I guess it was the comp's first "stress test" after I restored all the System Files. I'm not sure if it was before or after the first restart but my mouse jumped to the top of the screen a number of times and all-in-all acted flaky. Suddenly the comp restarted. I thought it was just a momentary power failure (my area gets that often). I logged on again and began starting my programs (which took about 5 minutes) my comp restarted a 2nd time. This time neither the keyboard or mouse would work and I was stuck at the Windows User Login page on bootup. So I tried restarting.
I got a black screen. No BIOS, no nothing. Just a black screen. The DVD-RW, CD-RW, and floppy disc lights will flash and the keyboard lights will flash for a sec and it seems like the HDDs start spinning but there's nothing on the screen. The green light on the motherboard also lghts. But nothing I do makes a difference. I tried putting in the XP disc, and the disc I made with M0le but nothing happens. Right now I'm on a comp at the library.
The obvious answer is to buy a new comp but I simply don't have the money right now. The 2nd thing is to bring it to Comp USA and have them fix it but I'm not too thrilled about spending 100s of dollars on an 8 year old comp. I could possibly replace the broken part(s) myself but I don't know how to give it a diagnosis.
So I have a 2 part queston:
1) is there anyway I can get my comp running again, even temporarily -- maybe by DLing something from this library comp (BIOS or something?)?
2) how can I find out what's wrong with it without taking it to Comp USA?
Hopefully I could do both -- get it running for a few weeks and use the time to do a diagnosis. Then I could use the time I gain to save for a new comp.
Thanks for any and all help and advice!
EDIT: I tried to do a new reinstall on Windows XP but nothing happened.
Edited by RussellJB, 11 September 2010 - 03:11 PM.