Ok, I am having a nightmare with my PC. The PC is a Compaq, ageing at around 4-5 years.
Ive never had any problems with the PC, until about a month back.
The problem - When the PC is turned off, It takes from anywhere between 5 mins - 30 mins to boot up. The fan accelerates at full speed, the PC recieves power, but windows just doesn't boot up. When it finally boots up, I have some graphic problems. Icons arent displayed properly, and any attempt at playing a game results in a fail. Other than this, the PC seems fine.
I feel that I could be the reason for this big problem. Over the course of a few months, I have accidently caused damage to the PC ( Shouldnt have messed with things I dont understand).
After messing around with everything, I carried out a 'Recovery operation' on the PC. The PC has a separate HDD for recovery. It resets windows but keeps my files and documents. This didnt fix the problem, so I went for a full reformat.
Firstly, my housemate wanted to try and install one of his programs for work. It required an older version of .NET frameworks. I cannot recall wether it succesfully installed or not. Could this cause problems?
Secondly, when I followed a tutorial to uninstall/install the ATI drivers for my card, I followed a step which asked me to go into something like regedit, and delete the ATI entry. Then uninstall the software via control panel. I did this, then was prompted with a question asking to remove just the software, or the chipsets aswell. I stupidly chose Remove ATI/AMD Chipsets. Could this be the graphic problem?
When I try to play games, it works fine for around 5mins, until the graphics all spike. Making it unplayable. I get a message from ATI CCC quite often, that the VPU accelerator has stopped responding.
I also had my PC exposed to dust. I had the side of the case off for the best part of a year. Dust filled the machine, but ive cleaned it all out now and replaced the side panel.
The PC had also been exposed to harmful viruses. After purchasing High-end antivirus software, it scanned and found over 15. This may of corrupted something?
I took the PC to an 'expert' who claimed for £109.00 i needed a new Graphics card, and that something had gone wrong with windows during reformat (even though the reformat came after the problems occured in hope it could fix it). The 'expert' would not resolve the problem, nor advise me what to do, unless i paid an extortionate fee.
I am really frustrated because im trying everything with no luck. When I reformatted, i lost everything, for nothing. I am considering buying a new graphics card, to see if this sorts it out.
Thankyou for taking the time to read my post, and all replies are appreciated. I am a complete PC noob in need!