Fatal Events:

Yestarday, I decided to give my system a decent cleaning with compressed air. It had been a while and there was a decent amount of dust buildup in the heatsink and fans. Enough to make a shirt out of. It was fairly bad. But the machine still ran like a champ. Anyway. I disconnected the computer, moved it to another spot in the room and started to blow away and remove the dust. The only hardware I removed was the Heatsinks fan, and the video card. I didn't disconnect any cables or other hardware.

Once it was clean, I reconnected the fan and the video card.

I started up the machine, and noticed that it took much longer than usual to boot to Windows Vista Ultimate. Once it made it to the login screen everything looked fine. Although after I typed in my password. The system logged in and all that I could see was the cursor. Nothing else, but the cursor (Mouse arrow).

So I proceeded to restart and check settings, relogin. Nothing.

My system wouldn't even boot into safe mode. It would lock up at a certain point. I've left 1GB of ram in the machine and decided whatever was on my OS drives was not valueable enough to cry over and proceeded to reinstall the OS. Sadly, the system would not accept my DVD of Windows Vista. Why, I have no idea. So I started to install Windows XP Pro SP2 onto my machine. This had issue after issue not being able to copy or locate installation files. I tested the ram and that turned out fine using Memtest. The Hard drives are in a healthy raid (Says NVRAID). The Windows Installation CD I'm using has the SATA/Raid drivers built into it (Thank you NLite)... So I'm left with issues... I cannot get another copy of Windows Vista because .connect.microsoft.com no longer provides downloads for Vista for the beta testers, so I'm somewhat stuck.

Any suggestions?
Anyone with a Windows Vista Ultimate disc or Windows XP Pro SP2 disc live in Raleigh NC? or Cary NC? I work in Cary, live almost in Wake Forest.
Argh, that and I'm trying to download RVMUpdatepack 2.1.11 so that I don't have to download all of those individual windows updates after SP2. :p


Beware the G-Man
Folding Team
Political User
Check all connections, since you used compressed air you could have dislodged something. Also pull the video card and re-insert and lastly, check to see if the battery in the MoBo isn't loose or dislodged.

Now you stated that:

The only hardware I removed was the Heatsinks fan, and the video card. I didn't disconnect any cables or other hardware.
Did you physically remove the heatsink from the CPU? If so, is it mounted correctly and fully touching the CPU? Maybe recheck the fan connection also. If the CPU is getting too hot or the video card isn't seated properly they could create problems.

Good Luck.


Staff member
Political User
Sounds like a CPU problem to me, though I'm nowhere near certain about that. Have you checked to make sure that the thermal paste from your HSF is still making complete contact with the CPU? It's best to reapply it when removing and then reinstalling a HSF. That could be causing the CPU to overheat and go a bit mental.

Other than that I don't know. Good luck though, I hope you sort it all out.
Well, I finally discovered that the problem was, somehow, Windows got corrupted. That was it. I had tried all of the above already. I reinstalled Vista Ultimate today and it's working like a champ. I also was able to get my dual seagate 250GB drives to be recognized as not being in a raid so they were detected by the Silicon Image controller just fine finally so I didn't have to use a PCI SATA raid controller.

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Yes, but the uptime has been fabulous, X would be proud!
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What a long strange trip it's been. =)

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