shadwo, i tend to agree with your opinion on the corrupt hardware, so it's good to have the second concurring opinion. however, i would like to make sure exactly what hardware is corrupt before we continue.
on that note, let's move on to the next update. so i've got my computer back up and running, at least well enough to boot windows and post this blog (hopefully you all can sense the slight more cheerful mood.) at the same time, i've still got plenty of problems, to include two errors during bios check: slave drive error and cpu fan error (son of a...!!) as well as some fairly poor system performace (which just really sucks on 6 month old $1200 machine.)
but let's take this one problem at a time, starting with the slave drive (just cause it seems like that'll be the easiest to fix.) so here's the deal, i get the "slave drive error, press F1 to continue" message during bios, but the drive *does* appear in my device manager. i can view the properties and even update the driver via device manager, but i can't access the drive either thru my computer or command prompt. if anyone has a clue, i'd love to hear it.
while we're all considering that puzzle, i'm taking preliminary steps to try to apply some diagnostics to the other problems. a friend refered me to http://www.sisoftware.net/
for a few tools to do just that. i've not checked it out yet, so opinions are sought.
aparently the guys at sisofware.net think their program is such hot stuff that they want you to pay for it. well....i'm broke and cheap, so nuts to that. =P need to find a free version.