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98 Chevy Prizm (Toyota Corolla) starts then dies and dash lights go crazy

My 1998 Chevy Prizm has been running great for years. Now it will start, the engine runs for 2 to 3 seconds, then it dies, the dash lights go crazy. It will start, run for a few second but then turn on the lights and it dies; cooling fans come on and stay on even after turning off the key (it is not hot…it only ran for a few seconds); I have read about similar problems on the web, but no one offers a solution. I’ve been told it could be a ground problem…but that offers little guidance with so many grounds. Has anyone solved this problem?