Read http://forums.cnet.com/7723-6122_102-569818/getting-ready-to/?tag=contentBody;threadListing for a start.
Safe mode is my clue to look at how long it's been since cleaning and replacement of the heat sink compound.
What is the most likely cause of the following mystery?
Computer starts without any sign of problems when left to its own for 5 minutes. However, no program will start; not by clicking a shortcut, not by clicking an icon from the quick start menu. The system will just freeze completely to the point that not even <ctrl> <alt> del has any effect.
It will work "fine" in safe-mode, and I have run all tests and diagnostics available, including chkdsk, bios analysis, on board diagnostics and a full disk deep scan with the latest version and virus database of AVG; not a peep anywhere indicating something is wrong.
I have tried to use the restore option in safe mode with various dates, going back several months, but that changes nothing as it does not seem to be able to do a restore.
Computer is a Dell Inspiron 9400 with latest updates of SP etc. with AVG, Zone alarm and Winpatrol all running automatically from start up.