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I found this on my search for help for my (hopefully only temporarily) dead computer, and it seemed so useful that I thought I would try and ask for your help in reviving my computer - please?

It started failing last week - running fine but suddenly black screen and spontaneous rebooting which did not work. After shutting it down and switching back on, everything looked ok until, again, it suddenly died. Did this a few times, usually after 5-10 minutes it either froze or went to black and reboot.

I was trying to get my data off it with Synchback, and the profiles did not all run successfully (and gave a message about sectors and accessing), so people suggested that the hard drive might be failing. So I got a new one and put that in, but can't seem to get anything at all running - no Windows setup, no partitioning program, no clonezilla for hard disk restoring purposes. They all crash.

The hard drive, connected to my laptop, looks absolutely ok. Memtest reports everything ok with the memory. I can access the BIOS without problems.

I did replace the CPU fan last week just a couple of days before the first crash, but it looks to be running ok - computer reports a CPU temperature of anywhere between 29 and 50 degreed celsius at startup, depending on how long it has been running, obviously.

Any suggestions what it might be that causes this? People now suggest the motherboard may be failing, but if you can access the BIOS all right...?

I'd be grateful for any suggestions!

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How old is the PC? Store bought or home built? – Moab Feb 16 '12 at 3:06

well you can try changing the RAM(if you have 2 sticks then remove one, try it, also try it with the other one), and you say you've tried changing the CPU.

you may isolate it to one of those parts, but if after all those troubleshooting steps it still fails, then it's likely the motherboard.

It's extremely common that a motherboard has issues and you can still access the BIOS. That's a norm.

As to the hard drive, you can put it in another machine / -one that works- and copy the data off it. If you think it won't fit there are lots of adaptors.. IDE/ATA to SATA, 2.5"(a laptop size hard drive) to 3.5" a desktop sized one. USB-SATA USB-IDE etc.

Really your problem is a simple fundamental one of troubleshooting to isolate the problem.

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