|Ok here's what I did. I pulled the HD and tested it on another XP machine. It was fine, and all the data was still there. The noise was from my CPU cooling fan, which ran hi-speed on startup. (May be worth switching out) Both DVD drives were junk, and that happens after 5-6 yrs. to most. |
So I backed up my HD on an external, made sure everything was there, plugged in the HD, plugged in a good DVD drive, and did a clean install of XP w/ the disk. It booted.
All my progs were there along with data, except for the parameters like address book, bookmarks in Firefox, etc. Luckily those were backed up, and I re-installed them.
I could not connect to the internet, tho. I thought it was the ethernet adapter, but it turns out- Winsock in the registry was fouled up somehow.
Fixed that with a miraculous little program called "Winsock Fix", which you can Google, or get for free at Cnet.com. I am back in biz w/ a new DVD drive and power supply.
Thank you all for your tips, help, and cool ideas- especially the freezer one! I'd like to also thank my bud JB for the use of his tech bench for countless hours!
There is a way to do everything