now, at the time, I put it out of my mind after a moment's panic, and continued on. I installed a CD mounting tool, handled various minutia, and so forth. and then I decided to reboot.
several rounds of attempting this later, I entered a frenzied panic. I wasn't getting anywhere besides occasionally being able to open up the BIOS setup. tried adjusting the boot order (in case the system was trying, for some reason, to read the virtual optical drive, and after a failed attempt at contacting my more-knowledgable brother, and my MS-employee father, it finally booted up, though it dragged it's heels considerably.
so, obvious thought first; I removed the mounting tool, and even went as far as to system restore to prior to having installed it. this changed nothing that I can see.
machine's still being stubborn/slow booting, and I'm rather sure it's not a malware issue; I'm going to run scans, but considering it was fine prior to that sound, had not been connected to the internet for several hours, I'm temporarily assuming malware isn't the problem.
got it to boot again, though, and although it was slow, it booted for some prodding earlier in the day. and so, I decided to go to the local B&N to get online, since I don't have 'net at home right now and the local library's not open on sunday.
around four tries to get it booted. one of them, it passed the splash that HP has hiding the POST from casual observation, and then I got what resembled a DOS text cursor blinking in the corner of the screen. after a while of this I chose to try again. didn't get past the splash within a fair wait. another try, and this time I hit ESC so I could see the POST. waited a fair while, didn't get past that. try again. this time, after another long wait, it actually got to loading windows, so here I am, posting and panicking, because this is currently our primrary means of getting online and accomplishing anything, since the library's computers are horribly restricted out of being able to work reasonably, constantly failing due to abuse by careless people, and rarely being fixed, due to the library not wanting to pay for a technician to fix things. and on top of that, their use is capped ut to an hour per person per day.
time difference means I'm not able to call my father for advice untill late, my brother hardly ever answers his phone, and I'm a bit broke from bills, so I can't take this thing into the nearest computer shop. end result, I comee to bleeping computer, hoping someone can help me identify the problem, if it's imminent hardware failure, or if there's potential for fixing this without great expense.
it doesn't help that HP didn't feel this machine should come with a restore disc; if I have to replace the OS, win7 upgrade is unavoidable. (and I'm short of blank DVDs to use for trying to make such a disc, if that's what they intended with that "HP_RECOVERY" partition. X_X
some machine details:
HP Pavillion dv9700 r1(according to belarc advisor) (refurbished)
3GB of RAM (different places in the system report different amounts; HP's info tool insists there's only 1GB installed, but windows itself can tell there's 3GB)
machine is running vista(SP2) (version in MS system info 8.0 reports as 6.0.6002) (which admittedly needs some updating, and when I'm sure nothing's gonna break, I intend to upgrade it to win7ult)
CPU is an AMD Turion 64 X2 Mobile Technology TL-60, according to controlpanel/system
I'm not sure if more info is needed, I'll try my best to provide if asked for it.
I throw myself before the more knowledgable types here; I want to do whatever I can about this before world war III starts with my mother; in spite of being half computer illiterate, she's the sort to blame me for anything that goes wrong; even if this isn't something either of us can take the blame for.
Edited by ZT-repairseek, 05 December 2010 - 03:53 PM.