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Can a hard disc failure prevent POST?

ddantes asked
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Recently, one of my antiquated computers failed to boot.  Nothing appeared on the monitor, although the HDD LED showed continuous illumination.  One of the hard drives was making a periodic clunk, so I removed the power connector from that disc, and then the system booted up.  I am unclear how a hard disc failure can prevent the system from performing CMOS functions.  How is that possible?
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