Windows7 Ult x86 hangs on reboot

I have an HP dc7600, 3GB RAM, 80GB SATA HD, with an ATI R3650 (512MB) which has been running Vista Ult perfectly fine for the last 2 years or so and I decided it was time to move to 7.    Windows install runs fine until it's time to reboot, at which point it hangs - the monitor stays on but shows a black screen.  I can power down the machine fine via the power button, and it starts normally, but once I reboot, back to the black screen.  I see the BIOS, POST, but where it should say "Starting Windows", the screen is blank.  

I removed all USB and peripheral devices (which included a SATA BluRay drive and the aforementioned video card), reset the BIOS to factory default and reinstalled windows with the same result.  There is literally nothing plugged in but the power supply, HD, memory and PS2 keyboard/mouse and I get the same thing - backlit black screen.  I left it at this point overnight and all day at work, approx 18 hours.  Still it taunts me.....  please help.  
moransaAsked:
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sfossupportCommented:
Windows 7 is not officially supported on your computer according to the hp website. My guess is there is a chipset incompatability on either the sata controller or the graphics driver.
  Good luck
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nobusCommented:
not sure if this applies to W7 also :  http://www.logicitc.com/blog/?p=102
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moransaAuthor Commented:
Not a single machine I own is "officially supported", that's why I turn to EE =)  I thought I might disable the SATA controller in the BIOS and use an IDE HD.  

nobus, I will try your suggestion as soon as I can, the first one looks very promising, thanks!!  
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senadCommented:
Change sata mode to IDE in Bios.
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moransaAuthor Commented:
senad; I will try.  Can anyone explain or have clues why it works fine with a cold boot, but hangs only on restart?  
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nobusCommented:
you can try a bios update - check on the site what it fixes !
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moransaAuthor Commented:
I updated the BIOS, but that only allowed bitlocker.  I changed the BIOS from "Combined IDE controller" to "Separate IDE Controller", that was the only setting resembling "SATA mode".  That did not work.  I can shutdown the PC and turn it back on, but I CANNOT RESTART.  No cursor, no start bar, just a black screen, but the monitor does not go to sleep.  If I shutdown and turn it back on, windows runs perfectly fine.  

Now I've taken an image of the HD, changed to an IDE HD and disabled the SATA controller.  The IDE HD does not fit into my case, so this is a troubleshooting step that cannot be the end solution, so I'm still looking for answers here.  
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moransaAuthor Commented:
The system restore was successful.  I restored the image to an IDE HD and ran with the SATA controller disabled and it still did the same thing.  I decided to test memory, so I restarted with 1 stick in different slots each time, same thing.  I looked at every event in the event log and nothing is being logged.  I reset the CMOS and even reseated the BIOS battery (took about 10 minutes to read all 3072MB of RAM).  Same result.  Flat out of ideas, if I can't get it to work I'll have to admit defeat and put 'MEv2' ( a.k.a Vista) back on it.  
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nobusCommented:
it looks like the bios was not the cause, so the OS is the only thing left..it seems
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moransaAuthor Commented:
senad, I'm inclined to agree, but if it were OS, I should have seen something in the eventlog.  I've decided to run with this and just shutdown/power on anytime I have system changes.  Maybe patching will help.....  
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moransaAuthor Commented:
Sorry, nobus, that last comment was directed to you =(
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nobusCommented:
i thought so - and asked my wife what's my name ?   lol
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moransaAuthor Commented:
Funny thing, I used the Windows7 recovery disk (the one I used to image the IDE HD), and when I tried to test the memory or HD, it says it will test after the first reboot, so I say ok, then it fails right away, no reboot.  What reasons would it have to fail?  I wonder if this isn't related to my rebooting problem....  
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nobusCommented:
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moransaAuthor Commented:
I built the cd from another Win7 install.  
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nobusCommented:
then i suppose the build is not OK..
use ubcd to test ram and disk : http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      
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moransaAuthor Commented:
RAM and disk tested fine.  Updates provided no relief.  
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jazzIIIloveCommented:
Could you press F8 and go to VGA mode?
It could be a bad video card driver issue.

Regards.
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moransaAuthor Commented:
All drivers were updated and the PCI video card was removed for much of the troubleshooting, as mentioned in the post.  
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nobusCommented:
can you install Vista again for testing the problem?   something ( a device) may have gone bad.
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nobusCommented:
you can also run the system from a live Knoppix cd to test  the hardware : http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html
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moransaAuthor Commented:
Problem solved.  This thing has been a major PITA on all 3 OSes from day 1.  Today, it finally died, just shut off while I was trying to view the error log and wouldn't come back on.  So I removed the BD player, HD and memory and "went all office space on it".  Sure as hell felt good.  Nobus gets the points for helping me the most, they would have worked on a computer not possessed by the devil.  Nobus, I wish you were here to get a swing in, too, thanks for your help.  

P.S., Don't buy HP.  
IMG-1519-1-.JPG
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nobusCommented:
wish i was there - but don't get hard feelings against HP; their products are good, but every once in a while you get a system with intermittent problems; always difficult to troubleshoot !
tx for the feedback
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