The computer in question is old as dirt, but it is just the oldie in the living room that our son uses to access the internet. It is running windows 98 SE and has 160MB RAM. I have been to microsoft's support pages and have done all the tests in Article 188867 (Troubleshooting Windows 98 Startup Problems). No go.
It will boot to safe mode, but will not boot to regular windows. Tells me it has a windows protection error and must be restarted. I have reinstalled windows, still didn't work. I reformatted the harddrive from dos and then reinstall windows again and it still is giving me the same error which totally puzzles me as I thought something in the windows registry was damaged irrepairably.
It has to be something hardware that is not working right. No changes were made to the PC... one day it worked, next day it didn't.
What do you think it is? Is the hard drive? I wouldn't think so as it sounds fine and came back perfect on the scan disk etc. Possibly the memory? Although it checks out ok on startup when it runs through its diagnostic stuff.
I do have more knowledge than the average computer user, but definitely (note that it is spelled correctly) not a hacker by any means. So don't feel like you have to explain what ram looks like etc., cause I don't have any qualms about delving into it and have pretty much replaced every generic thing in a computer before.
I'm just stumped as to what could be causing this problem.
Thanks in advance.