man. i had the longest most frustrating night again. u know what can drive a man crazy?

computer problems.

so i thought i had left the bad luck behind 3 months ago during that catastrophe. but this one isnt as bad, just a frustrating waste of time. i was supposed to finish a bigass assignment tonight, instead i field stripped my entire desktop and tested each part out one by one. ill lay out the IT problem for anyone out there that can lend a hand cuz im stumped (steve, myung, jon tsang, JM if you are reading this, it means you). heres the situation:

1. my desktop is a brand new computer only 3 months old. up until now ive had no problems with it.
2. i leave it on alot at night to download stuff, sometimes for days at a time before i give it a rest. this is pretty standard.
3. i rebooted tonight and for the first time since i built the machine, heard a strange "clicking noise" only at bootup (after BIOS checks memory, before floppy drive self-checks), the sound comes back again when the "starting up windows" screen appears
4. the sound is a repeated clicking/ticking for about 10 seconds, followed by a 1 second pause, and then continued clicking for another 5 seconds (i have a recording of it if anyone wants)
5. after booting into windows, everything works fine except the mouse goes haywire and clicks on its own
6. my first reaction was the hard drive - so i backed it up
7. i took everything apart but the sound continues on bootup even when no hard drives or CD-ROMs or any IDE devices are attached (good news: hard drive has clean bill of health)
8. i concluded its coming from the motherboard, but i dont recognize the beep code at all (it doesnt even sound like a beep, it really sounded EXACTLY like a clicking hard drive about to choke)
9. my motherboard is ASUS A7N8X-E deluxe
10. upon plugging in another computer, the outlet surged and burned the power supply of one of my old bootleg computers even though i have a belkin UPS w/ surge protection installed...

besides that everything seems to work fine except for that dreadful sound at bootup. im stumped, have no idea what is wrong, and have already wasted too much time trying to fix it.

possibilities i came up with: CPU/fan overheat, RAM not seated properly, bios corrupted


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