if the bios is taking along time to pass, try clearing NVRAM. long shot, but never know. also, try reseating the IDE cable. make sure if you do a fixmbr, clear nvram first as when the mbr is setup from a zero write (instead of a format, like low level format), the bootstrap info is passed the the MBR. so clear NVRAM, if that doesn't work, write zeroes. actually, before even that I would possibly update the bios. ALSO, do you have any drives in slave configuration? disconnect them and try again. also disconnect the secondary IDE controller from the cd drive if no slave drives are present. not saying do this permanently but it will show if there is a problem with the drive configs with the registry. ESPECIALLY since registry is taking soooo long. When it freezes for a bit what is the LAST thing shown being detected and the next thing after it gets passed it? AND is it like that EVERYTIME (as in the last and next thing detected from bios constant or does it very). Thats going to be you likely culprit, the next thing loaded that is. so clear nvram see what that does. either do that in bios (if supported), and if not then jumper the MBD to reset. reboot. get the date time error. shut off, set jumper BACK to normal, reboot and reset the bios. make sure HDD is set for auto, and that the jumper is set on HDD to manual. if that messes up, try setting the HDD to master, but auto SHOULD work.
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