Something REALLY CHEAP. The CMOS battery. Try a new one.
My 8 year old PC has a fault. I have used the recovery CD about 20 times over the last few years but this time it won't complete. I often get to the stage of removing the CD, but during the setup, the system stalls.
Pc is an IBM Netvista 2194/18A 733mgh with 512mb ram
Sometimes it won't turn on at all and if I wait a few hours it will. Sometimes it completes the re-install of windows, but it's in safe graphics mode. I can access the control panel but can't change the screen resolution.
I did a surface scan and it found one bad sector . As I had two hard drives in the machine, I took out the old hard drive and made the newer, WD400, the master. I attempted to reload via the recovery disc and got all the same symptoms, right up to the safe graphics mode, including a few times when it wouldn't start and I left it for a few hours, then it would start and continue trying to install.
I flashed the BIOS, just in case it was corrupted in some way
I ran a linux os (Ubuntu) from a CD which worked fine. Including correct screen resolution. I choose to install that system and it loaded everything off the disc, then it stalled at 15%
The system ran for over 2 hours doing the surface scan and over an hour using the Ubuntu CD- which sort of suggests this problem is not heat / time related.
The new hard drive eliminates a faulty HD problem
The correct screen res of Ubuntu eliminates any graphics problem (it has a SIS 630 graphics, whatever that is)
I really would like to keep this old Pc working and fixing it increases my limited knowledge of how they work. I have no data in the PC to worry about.
Something is faulty somewhere, I hope someone here can give me a few clues.