I am hoping someone can help diagnose a hardware problem I am having. I am running a P3 1.0 Ghz, 512 M ram PC, Win 2000. Whenever I fire it up it starts tthe boot process but then hangs on the Win 2000 startup screen. Total freeze. If I turn it off and then boot up again it will get a *little* further along in the process, but then freezes up again. Now, if I repeat this process each time it freezes, it will take 4 or 5 times (each time getting a little further) to actually start up . Then it runs very well. If, however, I let it freeze the first time, and then leave it to sit in this frozen state for about 15 or 20 minutes, it will start up no problem the next time I start it again. I ran a diagostic on the hard drive, and windows told me that my Maxtor drive was on the verge of failure. I replaced the hard drive (I needed a bigger one anyway), and thinking my problems were solved, I started it up only to be faced with the same pattern of freezing. So, it's not the hard drive and not a virus (new HDD, new OS, same prob).
Now I am wondering if it could be the CMOS battery (the system is about 4 years old), or the PSU failing, or a CPU cooling problem.
Does this pattern of problems indicate anything to anyone? Sorry about the lengthy description, but I would appreciate any help that you can offer.