|If you provide the make and model of your brand name system, or the make and model of your mboard, we can probably help you better. |
"...I accidentally turned off the power strip to our tower..."
Doing that does not normally cause the problems you are having.
There may be a poor connection inside your case somewhere.
Unplug the case/power supply.
Power off your monitor.
Open up the case by removing the left panel as seen when you're looking at the front of the case.
Check all the connections of the wiring to make sure they are all the way onto their pins and into their sockets, especially the main connector from the power supply. The wires close to the mboard going into the main power connector/socket should be more or less perpendicular to the mboard surface rather than at an angle. Make sure all cards in slots are all the way down in their slots.
While you're in there, if the cpu fan/heatsink has mung (dust, lint, etc.) on it, clean it off, but DO NOT use a vaccuum cleaner to do that (they produce a tremendous amount of static electricity when running, and anything connected to them can discharge that to your components) - use canned air, or an air nozzle if you have access to an air compressor, or an artist's brush that can be used in small spaces, etc. It may be difficult to clean the top of the heatsink under the cpu fan - the most likely place to have mung on it - and the bottom side of the cpu fan blades unless you remove the fan. If you have a case fan, clean that too if it needs it.
A common thing that can happen with ram, even ram that worked fine previously, is the ram has, or has developed, a poor connection in it's slot(s).
See response 2 in this - try cleaning the contacts on the ram modules, and making sure the modules are properly seated:
Restore the AC power to the computer.
If it still won't boot properly, do you have a regular Windows CD, or are you trying to use a Recovery CD for your brand name system model?
A Recovery CD should only be used as a last resort.
You can repair many problems with a regular Windows CD in a short time without having to resort to using a Recovery CD.
If you don't have a regular Windows CD, you would be much better off if you could borrow one from someone.
In order for you to be able to boot from a CD, the CD must be bootable, and a CD drive must be before any hard drive in the boot order in your bios Setup settings.
If both those things are right, you see "Press any key to boot from CD" or similar while booting - you must press the specified key while the prompt to press a key is still on the screen - often within 5 seconds.
If you have two or more optical (CD or DVD) drives, many mboard bioses will only boot a bootable CD from the first optical drive it detects while booting, or the first one in a list of optical drives specified in the bios settings - try the bootable CD in other optical drives.
If you don't see "Press any key to boot from CD" or similar while booting, you need to go into your mboard's bios Setup and change the boot order settings so a CD drive is before any hard drive - if you have a floppy drive that should be listed first, if you can list both a floppy drive and a CD drive. The key you press to get into the bios Setup is usually displayed on the screen as you boot - press the specified key while the prompt to do so is still on the screen.
If you manage to get a regular Windows CD to boot, let it load the intial files, then at the first screen where it asks if you want to Repair Windows, press R to go to the black screen Recovery Console interface.
It will search for Windows installations and list them.
(If it doesn't find any, you probably have a SATA hard drive and you need further instructions from us.)
Usually the only one that will be listed is
Press 1, then Enter.
You then see a line ....Password:
If there are no asterisks - *s - "stars" - the uppercase of 8 on your keyboard - beside ...Password: . then there is no password - just press Enter.
If there ARE asterisks beside ....Password:, the password is the same one as used for Administrator in Windows, whether letters are upper or lower case is important, then press Enter.
That should take you to the prompt
C:\Windows> or similar
type: chkdsk /r c: (press Enter)
that will take a while to finish
type: exit (press Enter) to exit the Recovery Console and reboot the computer.
Don't boot from the CD.
Let it try to boot normally.
If that doesn't help, we can supply further instructions.