Customer says that after a storm, the computer (a compaq SR1000) won’t start anymore.
I take a look, and windows XP seems to mostly boot up, but just sits at a light blue screen. The mouse pointer works, but there is nothing to click on and keyboard commands (like Crtl-Alt-Del).
I figure a recovery, or a re-install is all that should be needed.
Well, the HP/Compaq recovery partition doesn’t start properly… Hmmm, not good.
The customer also created a recovery CD, but that didn’t work either.
Next, I try a fresh install of XP. The install process only gets part-way through, and then I get a familiar light-blue screen with a mouse pointer.
I also try removing as many peripherals as possible (dial-up modem, second CD drive), and replace RAM, reseat CPU, replace HDD, etc, but all to no avail.
Booting from a bart-PE CD and a linux CD, causes strange lock-ups, and errors.
In the end, I admit that the there is a subtle electronic failure on the motherboard or CPU.
Its not fixable, but it took a while to diagnose.
Grrr, I don’t like the weird problems that are difficult to diagnose!