|Tell us the make and model of your brand name system, or if you have a generic desktop system, the make and model of the mboard. |
The specific model of a brand name system is shown on a label on the outside of the case somewhere, or it can often be determined by going to the brand name's web site and loading a program they have available, if Windows is still working, on the subject computer.
For Dell computers, they have a Service Tag number - the specific model can be determined by using that on their site, or can often be determined there automatically by you downloading some software, if Windows is still working, on the subject computer. The Service Tag number should be on a label on the outside of the case, probably on the bottom on a laptop, on the back on a desktop, and is often also shown in the bios Setup.
The model, sometimes the make, of a mboard in a generic desktop system is usually printed on the mboard's surface in obvious larger characters, often between the slots.
Are you sure the PS/2 keyboard you're using is working properly and is plugged all the way into the proper - purple - PS/2 port ?
"Do NOT flash the BIOS! "
Bioses DO NOT spontaneously get corrupted !
If the same bios version allowed you to change settings in the bios previously, it makes NO SENSE AT ALL to flash the bios !
"Bios lock down "
You probably enabled that yourself.
If removing the cmos battery and reinstalling it doesn't help, some mboards have a jumper setting or a case switch connected to pins on the mboard that locks the bios.
Info about the bios lock would be in the MANUAL for your brand name system or in the mboard manual for your generic system !
"I put in a 160 gig hard drive with windows xp worked fine."
Did it work fine on THIS computer, or on another computer ?
If it DID work fine on THIS computer....
Check your SATA data cables. The connector on each end should "latch" into the socket on the drive and on the mboard, or on the drive controller card - it should not move when you merely brush your hand against it near the socket - if it does, mere vibration can cause a poor connection of it - use another SATA data cable that does "latch", or tape the connector in place.
(There is a slight projection or bump on one side of the outside of the connector that "latches" it into the socket - it's easily broken off or damaged)
The same thing applies for the SATA power connection.
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.
If it worked fine on ANOTHER computer and you haven't tried it on this one, then...
"Then the screen goes black."
When you have a drive that had XP installed on it when it was on one mboard, then connect that same drive to another mboard and try to boot from it, if the hardware on the two mboards is more than a little different , often XP will NOT load normally - one typical situation is you see the first bit of Windows graphics, then a black screen, blinking cursor top left, and nothing further happens.
That situation can be fixed by running a Repair installation of XP, without you losing your personal data on the Windows partition.
"I know whats happening,, Its reading the IDE to boot from and it doesnt have an O.S. on it."
In that case, the normal thing that would happen is you would see an error message " No Operating system Found" or similar, not a black screen, no message.
Some bioses default to try booting from the first IDE drive detected; others default to try booting from the first SATA drive detected.
If you have more than one hard drive connected, at least one is bootable, at least one is NOT bootable, if the default bios settings result in you seeing " No Operating system Found" or similar, then you need to change settings in the bios.
In most modern bioses, when you have more than one hard drive connected, there is a list of hard drives in the bios - it's often near the Boot Order or similar settings.
In that list, the drive model you want to boot from must be listed first, Save bios settings.
Less likely, if there is no list of hard drives, then more than one hard drive is listed in the Boot Order or similar list - the drive you want to boot from must be listed before any other other hard drive. They may be listed by their model, or generically - e.g. HDD0, HHD1, etc.
If you have more than one optical drive connected , then there's often a list of those in the bios Setup too. Some bioses will only boot from a bootable optical disk if it's in the first drive the bios detects, by default.