In case anyone has a similar problem - a bad, or absent, keyboard will also cause an endless loop during the boot process. It will show a message at the bottom of the screen but it flashes by real quick.
My husband ordered one for us. Received HP pro 3000 SSF 2.93 Ghz, 2gb ram, 160 gig hard drive and potentially a dvd-rw (havent tested the write part yet). It’s up and running pretty smoothly.
I got a Lenovo 2.93 GHz with 160 GB HD, 2 GB RAM, and DVD reader. The mouse was smashed during shipping and the keyboard has a space bar that refuses to move without excessive pressure.
The PC seems to work well except that I get a “media test failure, check cable” message during boot. Anyone know which cable I should check? It sounds like it should be the HD or CD drive, but they both seem to be working fine.