XP Pro will not boot

Over the past month I've been battling with very slow boot times:


today I cannot get past the MB splash screen.  Here are today's actions:

3 days ago: routine restart-normal, 2minutes to reboot.
 routine restart--45 minutes with MB splash screen.
manual power off.  wait 30 seconds.
manual power on--MB splash screen, no boot, manual poweroff.
insert UltimateBoot CD (per instructions from earlier incident).
manual power on--no boot, MB splash page.

My data is backed up (Carbonite).  There is a second HD installed used for misc backup.

Earlier responders were questioning the condition of the HD although it passed various tests except for one alert that it had exceeded 110 degrees.

OK...shoot me the bad news or any other ideas about resuscitation.

Thanks for the New Years Eve attention.

Who is Participating?
dbruntonConnect With a Mentor Commented:
>> shouldn't the machine have booted from the UltimateBoot CD?--when it was connected before?


With everything disconnected this means that it is not the hard disk or drives that are faulty.

It is either motherboard or faulty power supply as in my first comment.  Most likely the motherboard.  Check it for blown or faulty capacitors.  See Bad Caps http://www.badcaps.net/pages.php?vid=5

If you have a spare power supply try that.  Same problem then it is definitely the motherboard.
An overheated HD can lead to loss of data on that HD, and 110 degrees is definitely overheated.  Since the HD passes all other tests, it sounds like a repair or full reinstall is in your future.
Motherboard or power supply failure would be my suggestion.

Try disconnecting all hard disks, CDROM and floppy drives, printer and scanner connections and then see if a reboot occurs to enable you to get into the BIOS.  Also try opening your case and have a large fan blowing into it and try rebooting that way.
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JEJohnsonAuthor Commented:
I disconnected all and powered on.  MB screen, no Setup screen.

reconnected main HD, power on--MB screen only.

shouldn't the machine have booted from the UltimateBoot CD?--when it was connected before?
JEJohnsonAuthor Commented:
I tried several things to no avail but fwiw--
installed new HD--no response exc MBsplash screen; reinstalled orig HD.
reconnected both CD's, printers etc.

insert XP Pro install CD, splash screen only.

after approx 5 min, machine powers off by itself.
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
This sounds like it might be a CPU thermal issue.  P4s will throttle rather than fail when they have thermal issues.  It may be worth investigating.

Open the case, remove the CPU cooler, and check the bottom of the CPU heatsink.  It should show a thin, sticky, uniform film of heat sink grease where the CPU was contacting it.  If not, clean the heat sink with isopropyl alcohol, clean the top of the CPU with isopropyl as well, and apply a thin film of heat sink grease to the CPU.  Reinstall the CPU cooler and latch it down.  Wiggle the heatsink to confirm that it is making good contact with the top of the CPU.

Turn on the system and confirm that the fan on the CPU heatsink is operating at full speed.

JEJohnsonAuthor Commented:
I replaced the PS with another.  Since this only supported IDE, I replaced the HD which I think actually has XP on it.

same thing--MB splash only.

Disregard earlier symptom of powering off by itself.  I had failed to secure the CPU fan in the midst of various playing around.  That is no longer occurring.

So..does this point to MB failure?  If so, what is easiest way to locate replacement that will accomodate my "not that old" Pent IV 2G Duo and 2G ofDDR2  RAM?  

Thanks again.  Happy New Year!
Still motherboard.

Motherboard look at eBay.
JEJohnsonAuthor Commented:
update--MB should arrive tomorrow and installed by end of week.  I'll get back with results and points.

JEJohnsonAuthor Commented:
thanks very much.  good troubleshooting.  I might observe that this is the fourth attempt to fix this problem an drbrunton got to the cause in 2-3 steps of testing.  The previous three queries covered a lot of territory but didn't get to the cause.  I appreciate everyone's efforts.
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