While I won’t go into specifics, my invectives for my brother who can screw up a computer without even trying are not for the faint hearted at the moment.
He managed to screw up a reformat of HD/re-installation of WinXP and brought it over to me to fix. While I eventually did get a working copy of XP re-installed on reformated drive after 8 hours, it was the problem he didn’t tell me about that really caused headaches.
He had mentioned that he had to get USB keyboard/mouse as PS2 slots were no longer working for either. What he didn’t tell me was that he couldn’t reboot computer without at least a 20-30 minute wait. The following are the symptoms. I am thinking it is a corrupted BIOS but need to confirm this or pin it to the MB going bad. Then I need to know what may happen if I try to reflash the BIOS.
He can not restart after say installing software - Computer just freezes and sits there with black screen (DELL 4100 Dimension). If you try to start shortly after shutdown, you get black screen and nothing going on. Restart a bit later and you get the 2nd stage of the device line for the (I think) Rage AGP video loading. Restart after a bit longer wait you get the www.dell.com logo (3rd stage). After a 20-30 minute wait, it will fire up correctly. The other symptom, which really can make life (for me anyway) difficult is that there is no keyboard access until XP loads. I can’t even get to set up to see if there is anything screwy there.
This is beyond my experience to diagnose, but he is on limited budget (and for reasons I don’t want to go into), I have to find some sort of solution if I can. It evidently has been doing this for 6-7 months and per him, has not gotten any worse - just the repeat of the above.
Thanks to any and all who have any suggestions what I can try or information on how to procede to nail down what is exactly going on