The computer's a year old, running XP, and my boyfriend and I have no idea what's wrong with it (it's his). I'd put in hardware support but I don't know which piece of hardware may be corrupted, exploding as we speak, or what.
It began last night. He's done this before -- he has two monitors, one meant for a TV (I believe) and another old computer screen. Normally it runs on the TV one because it's bigger. He switched to the older one to show me how he can adjust the settings so that it's all vertical. That was great and dandy and we didn't expect any issues. He's done it before and it really isn't doing much to the computer.
Later, after midnight, he goes to switch everything back to normal. First, the computer acts like the monitor is there but that it can't do anything -- it tries to go into sleep mode or something. Then I suggest he unplug, shut down, plug things back in normally, and power back up. This appears to work.
I was a bit happy then, until we got to the XP loading screen. It's going... and then after, it flashes, then goes black. Nothing comes up, nothing does anything.
And so the three hour saga of last night begins. We restart, we spam F8, we get into safe mode, he disables Nvidia but can't open the application. Nor does his mouse function in safe mode (I know some don't, but it really doesn't help the situation). I've used my laptop to bring up shortcut keys and we're functioning through everything that way. He restarts after disabling Nvidia, and nothing's different. Spam F8, repeat. We go to the device manager and look for any signs of danger. He re-enables Nvidia, restarts, nothing different. He tries looking for updates and he tells me that Nvidia doesn't need any, nor does anything else in the device manager, so far as he can see. I'd written down the driver for Nvidia, prepared to find any updates online and download it and somehow get it to him, since even in safe mode with networking, it didn't seem like he could get to the internet.
He's already started trying things again today but I think he wants to give up and just throw it out, which we really can't do. This makes no sense, either, so I refuse to give up until I find out what the heck is wrong with it in the first place.
Furthermore, in safe mode, everything is running incredibly slowly. I don't know if this is normal since I've never had to do this, but I'm talking 1-2 minutes between each command, sometimes.
We also could not enter VGA mode for some reason, nor are we able to normally boot.
He went to F2, and possibly F12 as well, and couldn't find anything there that looked helpful, but... I just don't know what's going on or where to look, because nothing appears to be wrong besides the way that it's acting.
Please, and thank you so much. I'll greatly appreciate anyone who can quickly assist and stick around for a little while for our answers (as they'll take some time with the speed of the computer right now).
The Nvidia driver is:
Nvidia GeForce 6150SE nForce 430
I'm on my laptop if that wasn't clear, which is a separate computer.