All right, I don't know if this will help anyone else. Here's what I did. After buying a new hdd and reloading everything, a week later the same splash screen purgatory returned. So I went another direction. I switched in my old ram sticks. Magic. Like a brand new computer. Again I don't know if this will help anyone else, especially laptop users who can not so easily switch out components, but it may be a next to last resort for the desperate.