15 Apr 2005
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United Kingdom
I'm really scared now! Last week I fitted into my computer the following:

an Alphacool Vacuum fluorescent display (fits in a drive bay, displays itunes or other pc data), this plugs into a USB port which plugs into the motherboard (i unscrewed a port from the usb backplate i have). No problems with this (nothing their forum couldnt help with anyway).

An LG Blu ray / HD DVD player and multifunction drive - it records all other formats. This came with software to play blu ray films, powerdvd. SATA connection. Again, no problems.

All was working fine, until today. I was watching an internet movie, when all of a sudden the screen went blank and there was a repeating clicking from the speakers (this may have been part of the film repeating). I pushed the reset button (after the usual tricks), the pc audibly rebooted (i can tell when the HDD stops and starts etc), and the clicking stopped.

Unfortunately, after the BIOS screen disappeared, nothing happened. Like a clean PC.

I pushed the reset button another 3 times, then all the fans and everything stopped for 3 seconds and the pc came back on. I was then prompted that windows was not shut down right, and the default option was to start normally. I chose this, but then all stopped once again.

I restarted once more, and it told me windows failed to start! Which it then did once more when i turned to my laptop!

It now wants my windows disk. Do I give it the disk? What will it do?

I'm running windows vista ultimate 32 bit. Processor is 2.13GHz Intel core 2 duo (cant remember model no). Graphics card is ATI Radeon X1950. I have 4GB RAM fitted (though only just over 3 is recognised - i fitted 2 extra GB last week - could this be the problem? This was the first mod and worked fine and I understand why vista 32 bit wont recognise it all)

I built the computer myself and it has worked beautifully until this day. I regularly scan with norton (sorry) and i rarely have to reboot.

For info, in the past, the screen has gone blank for a few seconds at a time, but always come back to life and never affected sound etc. I put it down to the dual monitor setup playing a hissy fit when i only had one monitor on. But this is far more serious!

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Not that I know, but...

Is the power supply up to all these new toys you have loaded onto it?

Try taking all the new stuff off

Check security of all internal plugs and connections

Then see if it will start in Safe mode. During restart have a look at BIOS and see if it recognised your HDD(s)

Check that you still have the backup CDs you recorded before tinkering with the PC.

I don't know Vista but I expect it has some self-repairing ability. If you put the Windows disk in be careful to only do a repair and not reformat or anything which will destroy data created in the few days since you took your last backup.

Prepare yourself to be mocked if you didn't backup your data.
This might be useful.

However, I suspect the Windows startup issue is the result of the sudden power loss you seem to have had. Still, if you can get it running, it would be a start. Then check the build and perhaps remove some of the kit you recently installed. Get it to a stable state for a period of time and then add a component and repeat. What model/size PSU do you have btw?
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I have an antec NSK2480 desktop case - and the PSU I'm using is the one it shipped with over a year ago. It is currently shipping with a 380 watt PSU. The PSU is mounted so you cant see its data plate.

I'm glad to report I have the PC running - I removed the extra RAM and it seems fine now.

I may, in a week or so, replace one of the RAM modules - making 3GB. No point putting them both back in, since it wont recognise all 4 anyway.