Good day all !! Let me start by refreshing your memory of my system....
> Dell E520 (All drivers updated)
> O.S. Windows XP SP3
>Ram 4 gigs (even though I know windows usually doesn't see anything above 3+)
>Using Firefox 22.0
So here's what is going on. Last night, I did a normal shut-down (Start>Shutdown>Turn off) and the computer hung on the "Windows is now shutting down" screen. I had to hold the CPU power button to turn it off.
This morning, I pressed the power button and my external WD HDD turned on, the keyboard lit up and it stopped there (monitor did not turn on). Also, on the E520 there is a set of 4 numbers (numbered 1 - 4) that flash intermittently during start up and it has always done that. This morning when trying to start up, the numbers were hanging on 2 + 4 when the system stopped responding. The monitor (even though I turned it off and on) did not respond so I got no BSD or error messages. I had to turn the CPU off and on (manually via the power button) 4 times when finally the CPU started up normally. There is no adverse sounds and when it did startup, there was no abnormal delay. I run Malwarebytes a few times a week and CCleaner at least 2 times per week. I also use SPECCY to monitor the temps. My only start-up items are audio, Windows essentials, Intel Rapid Storage & Device Monitor 4 (which is used to recognize my video cam when plugged into the USB port yet not connected now). Any idea what could be causing this? I will not shut down the CPU until I can get a resolution to the issue. Also, if you feel it may be a possible HDD issue (may be going down), can you link me to the page here on the site to do a back up of the HDD before it does die?
NOTE: The last time this happened, it was due to me cleaning the internals of the CPU (about 4 months ago)and when I opened the heatsink, I had to scrape off the old metalic heatsink paste and apply new paste but when that happened, the numbers on the front of the CPU were hanging on 1 + 3 during startup.