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OK Jeremy. Sorry about the interval. Well, that's the CMOS battery disconnected and the sata chord both respectively disconnected and the system tested. Result: no change! It is still stuck on the Acer screen when I switch on.
Yes, all these conditions were satisfied.
Right. That's the CD drive and Hard drive power cables (which I presume are the ones with four actual cables - one red, one yellow, and two black - am I right?) detached and the computer switched back on.
Still the Acer screen.
Can't see anything like that. There's only one large motherboard that matches anything like it.
Jeremy! Sorry about the long breaks between communications. I will follow your suggestion about exchanging the motherboard (gulp), but I'm afraid there will be yet another long gap before I'm back in touch. Regards. Robin.