Desperate For Help

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ike, May 30, 2002.

  1. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    Argh!!

    My hard-drives (C: is the one Windows is installed to, D: contains my editing features) have been un-installing themselves.

    I can usually re-install them using CMOS, but they continue to uninstall themselves, and sometimes I can't autodetect them. I have to switch the computer off, wait awhile, and try again.

    I've taken the side off the PC, and everything is snugly connected.

    I'm somewhat of a novice when it comes to the inner workings and handling's of a PC, so if anyone has a solution, please present it assuming I know nothing (since I probably don't.)

    Even when I get the computer back up and running (like right now), I may not get my D: installed (like right now), and it occasionally locks up, or I get the dreaded blue screen that says something to the effect that the PC couldn't write to Drive C:.

    I have a hard time believing that both drives are going bad at the same time.

    So, I realize the details are sketchy, so ask me for clarification if needed. I'm stumped, and figure if anyone can figure it out, it'll be you guys.

    EDIT: Don't know if it's related, but it looks like my computer clock is off.
     
  2. Nick L

    Nick L Second Unit

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    Sounds to me like the hard drives or power supply are going bad. What kind of drives are they? and how old are they.

    Nick L
     
  3. Mike St.Louis

    Mike St.Louis Supporting Actor

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    Have you powered down and made sure that all your connections are tight and firmly connected? I mean the ribbon cables that connect your hard drives to the motherboard.
     
  4. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    I have no idea what brand they are (I bought the pieces for the machine, but I didn't generally look at brands), but they aren't a year old. They are both 40 gigs. It just seems odd that both would go at the same time.

    How would I check to see if the power supply was going bad?


    Mike: Yes. I did that. I'll do it again later just to make sure, but I tried that yesterday.
     
  5. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    Try disconnecting one drive at a time and see if the problem goes away (when disconnecting the master drive, reconfigure the slave as master).

    Also, if you can, try connecting each drive to its own IDE channel. It's possible that one drive is faulty and causing communications issues with the other drive. These steps will help isolate the bad drive and determine which one it is.

    KJP
     
  6. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    Kevin,

    I will try that later tonight.

    One more odd problem that I recently noticed-when I boot my computer (when I can get it to correctly boot), it incorrectly says my Processor is an AMD 700, when my processor is actually a 1.4 GIG AMD.

    It looks like I may still be losing time on my clock. Is this a power supply problem like suggested earlier?
     
  7. Nick L

    Nick L Second Unit

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    If your computer is loosing time, then most likely your cmos battery is dying. Its the large watch like battery on your motherboard. Replace that and see what happens.

    When your computer boots does it always say amd 700? What motherboard do you have?
     
  8. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    Okay, here's where my PC's at:

    It's up and running pretty smoothly since this morning (no lock-ups), but it seems to be a bit more sluggish than usual. The Processor count at start-up still incorrectly lists 700 instead of 1400.

    I've reset my clock, and so far, it hasn't lost any time.

    I'm still having to auto-detect my hard-drives. They both seem to be easily found now.

    Though it seems most of the symptoms of my problem are gone, it still doesn't seem like my computer is fixed.

    Probably most scary is that before all this started happening, I had 10 gigs left on my C:. Now, I have over 18 gigs. I don't know where that 8 gigs came from, and I can't see anything missing, but it still worries me.
     
  9. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

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    It sounds like your CMOS battery is going. The CMOS includes your hard drive settings, as well as real-time clock settings and the processor speed/multiplier settings.

    The motherboard probably defaults to 100MHz bus / 7.0X multiplier, as that was a 'safe' speed for the Athlon processors. Newer, faster processors use higher multipliers and/or bus speeds. The Athlon 1400 is a 10.5 multiplier and 133MHz bus speed.

    When your hard drives are inaccessible, they are probably being misdetected / ignored by the BIOS.

    You should see if you can get a new battery for your board. They are not very expensive, though usually they last longer than a year.

    As for the 8GB additional space - did you recently clear out your browser cache or delete temporary files? Internet Explorer, in particular, lets the browser cache grow to grotesque proportions. I usually set a 16MB cache, rather than the default (which I think is 40% of the hard drive!).

    If you didn't do this kind of maintenance recently, the BIOS may have detected your drive at the wrong size. Usually, the system wouldn't even boot if the drive geometry is misdetected ... but stranger things have happened.

    For that reason, the auto-detect setting is generally the preferred setting for your hard disk. A side benefit: You can later change hard drives without having to mess with CMOS settings again. That's very useful if you use a cartridge-swap system (like I do) to change out hard drives when you want to try another OS...
     

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