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I am working on a Compaq NX6310, cant startup. Its not my own computer so I cant tell what type of abuse it has gone through, but I assume a decent amount, as the owners are clueless. Either right after POST or a split second after WINDOWS shows up it gives a blue screen stating that my comp was shut down to protect it, and a I should remove any new hard drives and hard drive controllers. I have changed the RAM, switched DIMMs, used a fully working HDD, I have also tried booting from a formatted external HDD (the bios supported USB booting). I can boot and run Knoppix from DVD without any problems, so obviously the Motherboard isn't totally dead like I originally thought. I also removed the battery to the BIOS in case it had a Windows virus embedded. I checked everything easily check-able on the motherboard for signs of damage, i.e. removed all dust inside fan (was actually considerable). reseated CPU, fan heatsink. Being that I eliminated everything else, it must be a hard drive controller, as stated in the error. Is that changeable on a laptop? I thought the controller was located on the actual HDD, and I used THREE different disks. Can it be anything else? What really strikes me strange is that even when booting from an external USB HDD, I had the same issues, does the HDD controller also control USB drives? I am really stumped.
BTW, I was able to boot from XP CD and copy all the files, but upon restart it always crashes before it actually implements them. I checked externally that the files were there and they were.
Another random fact. After removing the HDD and inserting in my own laptop, I couldn't get the thing to stop booting into the HP recovery even after rewriting the boot.ini file. So I had to fully format the drive and reinstall windows. I couldn't use the recovery console to rewrite the MBR and such because it right away booted into the HP recovery. I tried the recovery thrice to no avail.
This question has forced me to look into getting formal IT training.

Now I downloaded a BIOS upgrade from HP that may fix such an error, but when loading the bootable CD, it boots but the keyboard has stopped working so I cant select upgrade.
The next time I tried booting from the CD it just shows the FreeDos screen but doesnt go into the utility. Things are just getting worse and worse.
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