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If the computer is overheating it will shut down to save the hardware from heat damage, the temp is pre set. It may get hot, due to air flow in a minute or and hour. What does the "screen comes up says problem " say? Check the fan and vents for dust and clean, improve air flow around bottom vents and side vents. Perhaps a Laptop Cooler? When the computer shuts down unepectedly, the computer see it as a crash and will load in that option screen. Run a 'Check Disk" on the OS drive buy opening computer in start menu, right click the drive with the OS (C), open properties, Tools, Check now, choose all options, follow instructions, reboot.
You may need to take the hard drive out and find a portable USB hard drive case to put it in ...if it is 3 years old it is probably an IDE drive ...newer ones are SATA drives....then hook it to another computer and and check it ...you can also reformat it in the portable case on another computer then put it back in the laptop and then reinstall windows......if it isn't recognized by the other computer then it probly wrecked the hard drive somehow..
Hope this helps
The hard drives ready for failing, back up everything now to avoid loosing data, run chkdsk /f this command will scan the disk for any problems and try to fix any bad sectors, if this doesn't work i'd think about buying a new hard drive
You are unable to enter bios....to select drive c...try to remove the hard drive and install it in the other machine that you have....or just boot your notebook without the Hard disk and see if it makes any difference.....
Can you explain more on... "The computer trys to start and then just shuts down in approx, 8 seconds."