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Computer stuck on boot, can't select safe mode or boot from DVD

Vista PC was working fine yesterday. It is on automatic update, obviously installed something and rebooted overnight, Now it gets stuck at the Microsoft temperature bar (don't know the technical term) and will not progress from there into Windows.
I have tried booting into Safe mode from F8, however, although the PC seems to recognise the keyboard within BIOS setup etc., the keyboard does not seem to work at all on the screen where I have the safe mode option. The arrow keys do not select anything, Enter has no effect, so the PC just waits 30 seconds then tries to Start Windows Normally, which just has the same result.
I tried to boot from my Vista DVD, but in spite of selecting this as top priority in the Boot sequence in BIOS, the PC does not boot from the DVD, it just goes back to trying to boot from HDD. I do not seem to have an option to delete options (such as HDD) from the boot sequence and I do not know if there is an easy way to force a boot into Safe mode.
So I seem to be a bit stuck.
Any suggestions?
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obuckley
Asked:
obuckley
2 Solutions
 
apinetCommented:
Is this a desktop or a laptop.  If it's a laptop plug an external keyboard into the unit.  If it's a desktop and using a usb port move the keyboard to a different port.  Then try to get into safe mode.
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obuckleyAuthor Commented:
Sorry, it's a desktop and Vista Ultimate 32-bit.
I tried moving the keyboard to another USB port (on the front, not the back), but that did not work.
So I tried replacing both the keyboard and the mouse with PS/2 versions and that has achieved modest progress. I can now navigate the option screen where I can select Safe Mode.
However, when I tried Safe Mode, the boot process listed a number of drivers it was loading, then said "Please Wait" and then hung there.
So I tried booting into "Last Known Good" but that hangs on the temperature bar as before.
Is there a way of getting into System Restore and trying to get back to a system which worked?
The last change I am aware of was hooking up a webcam about a week ago. It is possible that until this morning, the PC had not been re-booted since then and it  may be the webcam which is causing trouble.
I have disconnected the webcam.
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amichaellCommented:
Disabling USB Legacy Support in BIOS can cause that issue.

http://www.intel.com/support/peripherals/sb/cs-011939.htm
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burrcmCommented:
OK. With the PS2 keyboard you can change the boot order to CD first, boot to your Vista DVD then select repair my computer. While in bios, enable USB keyboard so you can use the usb unit next time.

Chris B
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burrcmCommented:
You will need to press a key when prompted to boot to DVD. It only lasts for a couple of seconds - watch for it.

Chris B
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obuckleyAuthor Commented:
I checked the BIOS and indeed USB Legacy Support was Disabled- don't know how that happened. Anyway I have now enabled it. However, this does not appear to have solved my major problem.
When I try to boot into Safe Mode, the system loads drivers up to: disk.sys then classpnp.sys, then crcdisk.sys, then it hangs.
Trying to boot into Safe Mode with networking produces the same result,at the same point.
Booting for Windows to start normally still hangs at the temperature bar and Last Known Good does the same.
It has not been possible to get the PC to boot from DVD. I have selected the priority for DVD drive above HDD or FDD in BIOS, also if F8 is pressed during POST, this BIOS has a BBS screen which asks which device to boot from. Selecting DVD drive is immediately followed by the option screen for Safe Mode etc. all of which appear to be HDD alternatives. No option to Repair ever appears.
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burrcmCommented:
The repair option will only happen if you boot to DVD. It can be done, or you wouldn't have a system. Do you have two DVD drives? If so, try the other one. If just one, tap the space bar while it is booting, as you may be missing the message. If no joy, reset the bios to defaults and try once more.

Chris B
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obuckleyAuthor Commented:
Hi Chris,
Part of the problem is that I do not seem to be able to boot to DVD.
Sorry, I only have the one DVD drive.
Your suggestion of tapping the space bar did have one effect.
I got a screen I have not seen before asking which operating system I wanted to boot and giving me only one option which was Windows Vista.
The lower half of this same screen offered to do a Diagnostic Memory Check, which I selected, just for the fun of it and the machine passed the test. However, I still do not get any option to boot from the Vista DVD.
Now it gets worse: I tried your final suggestion of resetting the BIOS back to default setup values saved that and tried again. Now it will not even allow me into the BIOS when it boots. If I press DEL while the BIOS splash screen is visible, I get a more DOS-based screen which flashes a few messages about the Hard Disks, then hangs, if I don't press DEL, it just hangs at the BIOS splash screen.
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obuckleyAuthor Commented:
I am sure I remember going into a System Restore utility in the past, which backdated the system to an earlier "known good" position. Is this worth a try? How do I get into that option? Or do I only get that option once I have got a lot further into booting than I can at present?
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obuckleyAuthor Commented:
Reset the BIOS by taking out the CMOS battery and switching the RTC jumper. On re-boot it started to look promising - we got past the usual sticking point in the POST and I was able to enter the BIOS Setup and reset some parameters, but once I saved these, I got straight back into the old cycle of the machine hanging at either the BIOS splash or the POST screen - depending whether I hit DEL or not.
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burrcmCommented:
System restore requires a bootable system. This is looking like a hardware fault I suspect. Perhaps a failing power supply. Might be time to have it looked at by a repairer. If you want to test the theory, unplug the power to the hdd and dvd and see if it will boot to bios reliably.

Chris B
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obuckleyAuthor Commented:
Hi Chris B,
I have taken the machine apart now and gone through a lot of hardware attempts. Fortunately, I only replaced the system HDD about six weeks ago, and had not done anything with the previous HDD, so I re-installed the old HDD and set it as the boot disk. I notice that the DVD drive is not currently recognised at all (will fix that later) and also noticed that the plug with the last four connections from PSU to mobo (it is a 20+4 rig) had come out of its socket. Don't know if that had anything to do with the issue.
I have successfully copied all recent user files from the new HDD back to the older one, so I think I am back in business again. It does look as though it may be the new HDD which is causing the problem or something on it. I'll go through some extra virus checks, but it definitely eems as though the PC will boot fine and works fine from the old HDD whereas with the new HDD alone it will not boot and sometimes with the new HDD even connected as a secondary HDD, it still won't boot. Thankfully not always, which is how come I got the newer user files back off it again.
Nightmare these computers :)
I am in a position to award points which go mostly to you. I propose to allocate a few to amichaell as well since he solved the Legacy USB support issue.
Many thanks to all of you who helped on this problem.
Regards
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burrcmCommented:
Thanks for the points. As you say, it may be the drive itself - you could slave it into another system to see how it goes, but if adding a second drive causes boot issues, a power supply problem is possible. This may also be why the DVD isn't recognized. If the 4 pin connector was out it would not boot, it must have been loose and came out when you were looking around inside. In a loose state it would cause any amount of intermittent errors.

Chris B
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