|"The indicated voltage values are: 3.36, 5.10 and 11.97."|
Those voltages are within 10%, so they're okay. However other things can be wrong with the power supply.
"I should also mention that the C-drive disc is the 40 Mb (indicated but 37 useable) with the XP Pro system."
The hard drive manufacturer specifies the size of the drive as a bogus decimal size, e.g. 1 million bytes per mb. The bios and Windows (any operating system) always sees the size of the drive as it's binary size e.g. 1,048,576 bytes per mb, 1,073,741,824 bytes per gb.
40.0000 gb hard drive manufacturer's size = 37.2529 gb binary size
Hard drive sizes vary a bit from the standard sizes - e.g. yours is probably roughly but not exactly 40 gb.
"I shouldn't have to point out that, since I am able to scroll down (in Bios), the USB ports would have to be functioning."
You didn't mention whether you were using a USB or PS/2 keyboard when you said you could get into the bios previously in the last few posts, but if you can with a USB keyboard, then, yes, at least the USB port it's plugged into is working.
"The wireless keyboard and mouse work at this point in time although there is no indicator light showing on Microsoft sending unit."
Did you use a corded USB keyboard or a wireless keyboard to get into the bios ?
In most bioses, no mouse of any kind works in it, although I've seen that it did work in some bioses many years ago.
I haven't used a wireless keyboard, so I don't know if it's normal for the led on the USB transceiver device to be off when you're not in the operating system.
Do they work with the 20gb hard drive Windows installation ?
"It got to the point where Windows logo page should appear but I got the Disc Boot Failure instead."
If you saw Windows graphics just before that, the hard drive is booting but either there is data damage or the hard drive is in the process is failing.
If you didn't see Windows graphics at all, one or more of.....
- the hard drive is NOT booting from the Windows partition for whatever reason
- the boot order settings in the bios are set incorrectly
- you have specfic dfrive paramters specified for a different drive in the bios (older bioses only)
- you have more than one hard drive connected and the bios is trying to boot from one that is not bootable (it won't try to boot from anything else if the first hard drive it detects by default or is set to detect is not bootable.)
When you have more than one hard drive connected, in the bios, there is either
- a list of hard drives - the hard drive you want to boot from must be the first one in the list. They're usually listed by their model numbers.
- or - less commonly for on modern computers - there is more than one hard drive listed in the Boot Order or similar list - the hard drive you want to boot from must be the first one in the list. Usually they're listed generically. )
- there is data damage
- the hard drive is in the process of failing.
"I then inserted a (Spotmau) disc into CD drive and re-started."
"This time it started better but diverted into the Spotmau page. I could not do anything because the mouse and keyboard were again useless. "
Which mouse and keyboard ? The wireless ones ? There are lots of programs that won't work with wireless ones. There are some older ones that won't work with anything but PS/2 ones or serial mice.
"Then I disconnected the 40 Gb. HD and connected the backup 20 Gb. I pressed the start button and everything went as it should and within 30 seconds the Desktop appeared. I moved the mouse and the pointer is reacting and the keyboard is functioning - still dead rear USB ports."
Which ones work ? The wireless ones ?
If some of the USB ports work, then they were probably working all along, before Windows loaded. Whether they worked in Windows on the possibly defective or data damaged 40 gb drive (you use the hard drive manufacturer's size when you're referring to them) is another matter.
If the rear USB ports don't work for anything USB before Windows loads or after Windows loads from the 20 gb drive, and if you're sure all USB controllers are enabled in the bios, then the only thing left is the circuits for those ports are damaged.
If you have any USB headers on the mboard nothing is presently connected to, try connecting the front USB ports wiring to those, or a USB wiring adapter for a plate (bracket) that has 2 or 4 USB ports on it that installs in a slot space at the back of the case - they may or may not work.
"But, the original rear USB, PS2 and sound/mic ports are NOT working."
The sound ports will usually have no output until the sound adapter drivers are installed, unless they were built into Windows.
(There are some old Mitac mboards that were primarily used in HP and Compaq desktop computers that had no pins on the mboard that worked (they were there) for a case speaker / mboard beeps. You had to connect amplified speakers to the green sound port to hear mboard beeps, and that works whether or not there was a hard drive installed.)
Are you SURE you plugged the mouse into the proper PS/2 port - usually it's green - and the keyboard into the proper PS/2 port - usually it's purple ??
NOTE if you used a gender adapter with a corded USB keyboard to convert it to PS/2 port use, that won't necessarily work - see the info about that in response 4.
The keyboard PS/2 port not working indicates damage - there is never any setting in the bios that can disable the PS/2 keyboard port. You can disable the PS/2 mouse (and the port) in most bioses.
My newest computer was new about 3 years ago (custom built by me for someone else but she died June 2010 and I ended up with it because she owed me money for it - her father gave it to me ) , and it has two 500 gb SATA drives, but I have several older computers and many IDE drives, some of which are small capacity. The one that probably has the most hours on it is a 13.66 gb Maxtor (desktop drive) I bought new in late 1999 and it still works fine, although I have not used it full time like I was for about 6 months now.
I have 98SE on it, the Windows partition is ~ 8 gb, and I have never completely filled the Windows partition or the drive with data.
Test your 40 hard drive (you use the hard drive manufacturer's size when you're referring to them) with hard drive manufacturer's diagnostics.
Seagate's SeaTools will test (almost) any brand of hard drive.
Do the long test.
The Dos bootable versions of SeaTools can test the hard drive when Windows will not load properly, or even when the drive has no data on it.
It the drive itself passes the test, any data problems on the drive can be fixed one way or another.
NOTE that the bios MUST be seeing the hard drive properly in order for it to be tested properly..
If the bios isn't detecting the drive at all, then neither can the diagnostics
If you see oddball characters instead of the proper model for the drive while booting or in the bios, you probably have a data cable connection problem.
It is common to un-intentionally damage IDE data cables, especially while removing them - the 80 wire ones are more likely to be damaged. What usually happens is the cable is ripped at either edge and the wires there are either damaged or severed, often right at a connector or under it's cable clamp there, where it's hard to see - if a wire is severed but it's ends are touching, the connection is intermittent, rather than being reliable.
Another common thing is for the data cable to be separated from the connector contacts a bit after you have removed a cable - there should be no gap between the data cable and the connector - if there is press the cable against the connector to eliminate the gap.
80 wire data cables are also easily damaged at either edge if the cable is sharply creased at a fold in the cable.
Try another data cable if in doubt.
80 wire data cables must have the proper end connector connected to the mboard IDE header - usually that's blue, but in any case it's the one farther from the middle connector on a 3 connector data cable.