Argh!! PC won't boot (or won't admit it to me!)

I installed AVG today (the GRISOFT antivirus product). As part of the setup / initial run, it prompted me to create a backup / restore disk of some sort. I followed the prompts to create a floppy disk version and it seemed to want me to create a bootable diskette. I did one diskette and decided to hold off and do it at a later time as I was short on diskettes. So I stopped that process.

Unfortunately, I left the one diskette in the drive.

Later in the day, I shut down the PC. When my son tried to start it up after school, reportedly it said “Insert bootable disk #2” or something like that (he’s 10, and a bit weak on the details).

Now, despite a number of restarts involving powering the whole thing down by holding the power switch, powering it down by turning off the UPS, and restarting it both with and without the one floppy in the drive, it doesn’t seem to want to boot. The monitor displays a “no signal received” message, And it does not respond to keyboard commands at all except sometimes, if the floppy is in the drive, the floppy drive light seems to flash.

If I try inserting a random CD-ROM game, it’ll spin for a few minutes. So I know it’s responding somehow.

I thought perhaps if I make a bootable CD-ROM from our other computer, that might work. Can’t make bootable diskettes because the spare computer is a laptop and isn’t burdened with anything so TwenCen.

Specs: IBM NetVista PC, running XP Home. All antivirus stuff is up to date (we were running Norton until I installed AVG today; haven’t disabled Norton yet).

Any thoughts on what to try? I have been unsuccessful in figuring out how to make a bootable CD-ROM.

Forgot to mention - my son implied that the computer went into “powersaver” or “sleep” mode. Right now I’m looking at it and the power-on light is flashing. And when I press the power switch, disk drives start spinning immediately and the light is no longer flashing.

Try unplugging it for 30 seconds from the power main. Plug it back in, power on.

If it’s still doing it, while it’s on and unresponsive, hold down the power button for at least 10 seconds and then let go, the computer should be off. Turn it back on, see if that helps.

groman thanks - I’d tried all those things and they’d failed, but thanks for suggesting them.

I’m almost embarassed to post this - it turns out the problem was “won’t admit it”. I had checked the cables to the monitor very carefully. From the monitor to the A/B switch (we share the monitor among two PCs) and from the A/B switch to the computer. Everything was connected tightly.

When I connected it directly to the errant PC, it worked fine. The Windows startup screen showed up very nicely - with what I’m sure was a reproachful look. Or maybe it was laughing at me. It’s hard to tell, those startup screens are pretty inscrutable.

Would still love to find out how to create a bootable disk, as this would be useful should bugs / viri creep up in the future.

And as a total aside, our digital camera - deceased recently as a result of an encounter with a very leaky tent - heard me tell Papa Zappa that I had ordered a new one today.

It worked perfectly for the first time in a month.

I think I’ll stay away from technology for the rest of the week. Oh d*mn, I’m an IT professional. Oops.