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forgive me if this is in the wrong forum section but i just didnt know where to put this.....
here is my situation,...hopefully somebody can help me out:


so my gal USED to have a DELL computer when we met,.....it ran great until her power supply went out.
she replaced the power supply and got "THE BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH"as they call it.
So we gave THAT comp to a friend to work on,they think it may have been the motherboard.

ok so fine,...couldnt afford to replace it.


we go almost a yr before she buys another computer of a guy here in town off of CRAIG`S LIST.
it ran GREAT for almost 3 weeks. Then we shut it down for an evening and when it starts to re-boot we get a black screen where it starts to show the SHARED MEMORY SPACE and the AVAILABLE MEMORY SPACE and 3/4`s down the screen it says DETECTING IDE DRIVES...

then nothing.
just sticks there.....

nothing new was added

So now we had friends telling us it was either the HARDDRIVE or POWER SUPPLY going out.

So we switched out the power supply with the DELL powersupply she had (since it was brand new and never got used) still nothing..(but THE BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH ON THIS COMP)
swapped out hard drives using 3 different hard drives,..
(2 of which were my old drives from when i was on an older computer and one had WINDOWS 98 and the other had WINDOWS XP the first edition)
figured the windows 98 would run if it was a windows error.....nothing
so,...we put all the original components BACK into the comp and waited 2 weeks till we found someone to check it out.
( since we are broke we cant afford to send it in to have it repaired)

So we had a neighbor here look at our comp....he did alot lil tests but never got the BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH or the CHECKING IDE DRIVES screen freeze...(typical just like going to the doctor when you got pains and getting there and not showing any signs of pain)

but he did strip out the WINDOWS XP program that was in there since we didnt have a disc of our own.
He installed a disc labeled WinXPProwithSP1a (no activation) and a serial code printed on the disc.....
comp ran awesome!!!!!'

then all of a sudden yesterday it all started over again...
Got the black screen with CHECKING IDE DRIVES on it.
so darnit!
had the guy walk over to our pad at like 11:30 at nite to check it out,....
he disconnected the bottom ROM and harddrive ,swapped out power supplies and did everything he did last time.
THIS TIME he got THE BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH.
great.

so he goes home and brings back this disc labeled KNOPPIX-KONKUEROR
and DISCONNECTS my harddrive and JUST has the top CD-ROM connected.
powers on the computer and has somekind of wierd penguin guy sitting on my screen while it boots up,....then a screen like a programmers screen with a search screen on it,.....then he types in WWW.GOOLE.COM and WHA-LAH!!!!!
I have internet access.

he says the disc will allow me to get online via the cd-rom but its not connected to the harddrive.

he says he doesnt think its the hard drive or my motherboard,....but he really isn`t sure WHAT it is.

i can only access the web with this disc in place.

(heck we even tried to replace that lil battery on the motherboard and it still acted the same........
we are at our wits end.
i mean with lil money at hand we feel helpless.

so i turn to the only other folksies i know,......you guys/gals.....

can someone tell me what MAY be wrong?

TG
 

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TSF Team Emeritus, Microsoft Support
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It is possible there are multiple problems which would add to the confusion.

First of all, when you swap out harddrives, it is highly likely the computer will not boot. When windows is originally installed on a harddrive, it automatically loads drivers for that specific motherboard. Now if you move that harddrive over to another motherboard which uses different drivers, windows will not be able to boot because it is still using the old drivers.

The "Checking IDE drives" error message is likely a sign of either a failing harddrive or motherboard, but I would lean strongly toward the harddrive as motherboards are typically pretty sturdy (especially since they have 0 moving parts vs. the harddrive which has many very tiny and fast moving parts).
The only other things it could be would be a bad IDE Ribbon cable (the big flat gray ones) or a VERY nasty virus (very unlikely).

If I were you I would connect the harddrive back up, after turning the computer on tap the Delete key (before it loads windows). This should put you into the BIOS. Once in the BIOS there should be a category which will allow you to view all attached drives; harddrives and cd-rom drives. Here you can see whether or not your computer will recognize your harddrive at all. If it does not you can switch IDE channels and see if your BIOS will recognize the harddrive on the secondary channel.
 
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