Gateway computer was restarting at shutdown & now won't start

By bsumrall ·
I have a Gateway 700X desktop(tower)running WinXP Pro.

A couple of months ago, my computer would not shut off. When I went through the shut down process, it seemed as if it shut down, but then started up again. That happened a couple of times and I decided not to tempt fate, and just left it on.

Then I came home one day to find the computer in the "standby" mode (the on/off button was yellow and not green). I could not get it to start (same scenario as now). Fiddling around with it for a while, I turned off the power, let it rest a good long time and then turned it back on. The on/off button was yellow and after a few hours it "clicked on" and started up. I had not had any problems since, but did not try to shut down or turn it off again.

Being concerned, I backed up the computer and did not have any problem reading the hard drive. I have had the occasion to restart it when loading windows updates, etc. I'm running WinXP Pro. And it restarted just fine.

Yesterday, with the intent of restarting the machine I instead clicked shut down. When the machine "shut down," I fully expected it to cycle up again. Instead, it started a lot of mechanical clicking sounds and the light on one of the CD drives was flashing. It seemed to be stuck in that loop and would not stop clicking. The on button light was yellow and never turned green. So I turned off the power strip to force it off. When I turned the power back on and pressed the start button it lights yellow but goes no further. No noise at all that I can discern. I can press and hold the on button and it will "turn off" (the light goes off). Any ideas if this is a hardware vs. software problem and what the fix is?

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