(Bryan: don't be so paranoid.  My reminders are usually less subtle than this....)

To all:

Thanks for all the great advice.  Reseating everything uncovered 2 interesting facts:

(1) The Firewire adapter/card was loose on the machine which refused to do anything.  Might have been contacting the video card directly above it and causing weirdness.  Removing, cleaning and reinstalling RAM and other bits made it all better.

(2) the SATA cable connecting the larger slave drive on the other computer was a bit loose.  This computer would freeze at start up.  Removing and reconnecting RAM and other things made it start up, but then the picture would go blank and the monitor indicated "no signal."   Tom at Canaan school suggested rebooting into VGA mode and then rolling back the video driver.  I did, and now it works perfectly.

And yes, Bryan's help was invaluable.
(Happy now, you big baby?  )

Drew
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On Mon, Apr 19, 2010 at 3:00 PM, Bryan Thompson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Drew's post was a gentle reminder that he asked me for help and I forgot. I disconnected every component and chip and then reseated it all again. Problem [FIXED!]

Bryan

Bryan Thompson
Technology Coordinator
Winooski School District
Winooski, VT 05404
802-655-2555


On Mon, Apr 19, 2010 at 1:01 PM, Drew Blanchard <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I have to support 11 Gateway Pentium D computers in my video lab, running XP Pro with 2 GB of RAM.  Suddenly, 2 of the machines will not boot.  Really  won't boot, as in the DVD drive light briefly flashes at startup, but the hard drive never spins up.  I don't even get the boot menu/bios screen.  I've tried the basics, nothing seems to work.  I'm not a newbie, but this mystifies me.  I wondered if was the CMOS battery; I pulled the battery and  reset it, which allowed the computer to restart in safe mode, but at reboot it went back to a blank screen.  Hardware isn't my specialty, but the fact I can't even access the bios says I need some advice.  Help?  

--
Drew Blanchard
Technology Teacher
Winooski City Schools
Normand St.
Winooski, VT 05404
(802) 655 - 3530 x6073




--
Drew Blanchard
Technology Teacher
Winooski City Schools
Normand St.
Winooski, VT 05404
(802) 655 - 3530 x6073