This computer I'm using has been acting up. It's only 4 months old, but last week it had 3 blue screens and some problems with booting. Then all of a sudden, it fixed itself. There was nothing out of the ordinary yesterday, but this morning it refused to boot. After some tweaking and kicking, I got it into Windows, got blue screen, tried again and it was stable enough (but slooow for the first 10 minutes, then it started working almost normally). Anyway, I shut down the computer since I was going out. Upon returning and trying to start up the computer, I it got stuck in the "Loading Asus Express Gate" phase, and on every subsequent attempt it refused to get even that far (and that's the first thing you see when booting).
So I took it all apart, found nothing out of the ordinary, and put it together again.
It made a funny sound the first time I powered it up, but it got to Windows. I rebooted just to see if it was a fluke, and now it's working again (for now, at least), but for some reason I cannot comprehend some programs and files have gone missing, most notably Blood and its saves (and Windows says my antivirus software isn't on, but the software itself says it is) :|
Now I'm paranoid that the computer may just break down any moment. Sadly I don't have any spare components to pinpoint the faulty hardware, assuming there's some. Maybe it's just some cosmic rays messing with me.
I'm going to reboot again in the name of science!
/edit: reboot was successful, and now Windows admits the antivirus software is on
This sounds as a serious problem.
First thing to do is to take a file backup of all personal content that you would not want to loose if the PC breaks completely down.
It sounds as a problem that could be hard to trouble shoot......
No matter what the problem is it will hard for you to find out if you have actually corrected the problem already because your method of working , with all due respect , then it seems to be lacking.
Your installation seems to be damaged and even if you have corrected the problem or does correct the problem then the PC might keep acting up software/O.S. wise because of the seemingly damaged installation....
Best methology of working is to have one or more or image based backups of your installation (+ do an additional file backup now and then of changed content) and then in case of a problem you can file save/copy altered content and restore the installation from the backup, after any attempt to fix things, and see how things work then.
From your description "I it got stuck in the 'Loading Asus Express Gate' " then it could be that you have a hardware problem (but as said even after a fix of a hardware problem you need to restore software/O.S. to a previous working state to see if you efford have already helped).
Blue screens and loss of files can often be associated with Motherboard problems , CPU problems , RAM problems and HD problems.....
RAM is checked by running the Memtest86 or the Memtest86+ (both free to download) http://www.memtest86.com
You problem is very hard to pinpoint exactly (especially by remote virtual support like this) and your efforts up until now seems commendable.
However as you do not have my extreme experience then you , as most others , are probably not aware that some motherboards sometimes can act up and that this SOMETIMES can be fixed by doing a total "reset" of the Motherboard. I can not guarantee that it will fix your problem (hell you might even have fixed your problem already and just sits with a damaged O.S.) but I will explain how to "reset" a Mother board (in case you want to try that. Warning your MotherBoard, or other component, could already be going dead from what you describe).
To fully "reset" a Mother board :
Turn off PC power (pullout the PC power plug), remove all cables , RAM and CPU from motherboard. Remove Motherboard battery , then shortcircuit the CMOS memory thoroughly also (if this is done by a jumber then leave the jumper on) , then attach motherboard power cables and powerswitch + powerplug to PC. Without anything else (Also without RAM and CPU) then power on the board for some seconds. Pullout the PC power plug , remove the CMOS memory shortcircuit. Attach the PC power plug and then power on the board for some seconds.. Pullout the PC power plug and put on RAM , CPU, CMOS battery, and graphics card back + attach keyboard, mouse and screen . Attach the PC power plug.
This elaborate procedure should make any board (- BIOS damaged) forget any "bad" ideas it may have had.
Now tun on your board and see if you think that treatment has improved condition.
If not, you can attempt to flash the BIOS (+ load standard values afterwards) which might fix a BIOS problem.
To me it sounds as your board could
have a "fatal" problem (though it could also be either RAM , CPU or HD drive) and the above suggested treatment attempt is only meant for boards without any "fatal illnes".
The whole above described procedure should only be attempted performed by very competent persons with a good understanding of PCs and electronics !!!! All advice is given "as is" , plus all advice taken by you is taken at your own responsebility.