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Yesterday I had occasion to resurrect an old student handout I had created for a tech class I taught. I thought some of you in here might be able to relate to the graphic I used for the cover.


Basic Computer Pre-Tech


Just for completeness, here are the handouts from the other two courses I taught:


Learn Basic Computer Fundamentals


Learn Basic HTML

Edited by Spock
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LOL... Kinda can actually..


There's a rather frustrating computer I've been working on at work. It's a brand new system a customer bought as parts and had someone build it. Looks great, but it doesn't seem to want to boot beyond the BIOS screen. It starts loading Windows (ANY flavor - XP, Vista, 7, and 8.1) and blue screens with some error (can't read it most of the time since the BSOD reboots the system right after the BSOD appears). It doesn't matter if it's booting from a hard drive OR booting from an installation DVD.


I've swapped out everything in the system thus far except the CPU and the case - to NO avail. Getting the guy to RMA the CPU this weekend... If that doesn't fix the problem, quite frankly, I am quite stumped as to what it can be. I seriously doubt the case could be at fault.


Now then.. That class.. There's some seriously outdated tech being discussed in there.. Does anyone still employ anything beyond Ethernet, Wifi and TCP/IP any more?

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I don't know if it would help but I have a red foam rubber hammer I used to take into class to demonstrate my favorite method of frustration troubleshooting. Perhaps if you could find something similar, it would at least help you feel better ...





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I agree, it's way outdated. I stopped teaching sometime about (mid 2009?) and didn't feel any burning desire to update something I may never use again.


As far as your problem is concerned, seems to me that I remember a setting in BIOS that, if turned on, will cause a computer to reboot on a system failure. If you can find the option and turn it off it may stay off until you can at least read the error message.


I don't know if it would help but I have a red foam rubber hammer I used to take into class to demonstrate my favorite method of frustration troubleshooting. Perhaps if you could find something similar, it would at least help you feel better ...

The setting in question is buried in Windows. under the system properties and has to do with what Windows does after a BSOD.. Unfortunately, that particular setting is only available when Windows is up and actually running...


The boot, BSOD, reboot, BSOD cycle actually breaks down and stops after a few dozen cycles. The system crashes after so many times and you can read the BSOD.. It has something to do with an unhandled exception error. And of course, all of the known fixes require booting the system successfully and going in and changing settings - which aren't ever available as the system blows up well before even the Windows Kernal is fully loaded.


As for dealing with frustrations... I have my means of dealing with those. A good romp thru a video game beating up on baddies usually does it for me.

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Sounds like you need to do a good cleaning of the harddisk involved followed by low level and then standard format before reinstalling Windows. The harddisk may have developed a bad spot.


The safest way to do it would be to install a known good boot disk as the primary boot device so you can save off any required information from the original drive before blasting its contents away.


Of course, if this is a new build, there shouldn't be anything on the boot drive ...


I'm surprised though. Usually I can get into BIOS even if the harddrive is unbootable. You don't think the BIOS may be at fault do you?

Edited by Spock
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OK.. Think I may not have been quite as clear as I could have been. It's not the hard drive.


1.) I've swapped in another hard drive (this one with Windows 7 on it. It blows chunks at about the same spot.

2.) I've tried booting from a Windows 8.1 DVD (One that came direct from Microsoft.)

3.) I tried a Windows 8.0 boot dvd.

4.) I tried a few Windows 7 install DVDs.

5.) I even tried a Windows Vista install DVD.

6.) Just for grins and giggles, I even downloaded a copy of Ubuntu (whatever the latest flavor happens to be) burnt it to a disk and tried installing it


7.) I swapped out SATA cables, the power supply, the RAM. The motherboard was swapped out first as the one that arrived with the rest of the system had no video.


Every instance of Windows we've tried to boot - blows a BSOD at or about the same point with the same error message. The Ubuntu boot process kicked up a LOT of cryptic messages before blowing it's own flavor of chunks.


8.) The only thing that DID work is a boot disk running Grub4DOS by Hirens. It's got a few useful tools that can be used to check things like RAM, use LINUX tools to fix passwords, etc... It boots, and the memory test (Memtest86+) runs completely without errors.


So... I'm 99.999999999999999999999999999999999999% positive it's not the hard drive, nor the motherboard, nor the RAM. The only thing left is the CPU.


Oh.. and I checked the BIOS version against the recommendation for the flavor of CPU that's installed on the board - and it's the correct revision.

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