How long has it been since you've been inside the case? I would suspect dusty conditions have caused the primary and/or secondary controllers to become unstable where the cable connects to them. I would check that first...unplug the cable and reseat firmly at both the controller and harddrive ends to make sure they aren't loose or making bad connections. Cheapest fix if it works so I start there.
If this doesn't work, the next cheapest fix is replace the cables themselves.
OK coming here to see if anyone here has any ideas.
Asus P4B mobo w/ Intel P4 1.8GHz processor
2 x 256Mb Crucial PC133 memory
nVidia 128Mb GeForce4 Ti4400 video
Audigy sound card
Maxtor 60Gb HDD (primary IDE master)
Maxtor 120Gb HDD (primary IDE slave)
oK - my problem is this:
It has been probably about 10-11 months since my last install of Win98, but these symptoms have happened to me the last couple of times before reinstalls. Basically, the system will experience hiccups where it locks up for anywhere from 10-60 seconds. I click a shortcut to start a program, and the system hangs and does nothing for about 30 seconds, then will start loading up the program. The system will also often hang when I close down all open windows. I shut down the last IE window, and system hangs for a bit. I reboot and it seems to go away for a bit, but if the system has been running a while, it starts doing it.
The other problem I have is this: My system keeps "losing" drive partitions. My current configuration is as such - the primary drive has a boot (C: ) partition of about 4Gb and then 3 more partitions of about 15Gb. The slave drive has 4 partitions of about 30Gb each. About 2 months ago... one of the partitions on the primary drive became unreadable. If I clicked on the drive in "my computer" - the system would hang while it tried to access the drive, and then report the drive as not ready etc. Clicking "my computer" would hang the system while it tried to access the partition and eventually open the navigator window. If I click on the partition directly, you could hear the computer cranking away with a rhythmic <clickkkkkk..... clickkkkkk.... clickkkkkk> before deciding the partition was unaccessable.
My problem here is that this is the 3rd physical drive that 1 single partition has all of a sudden become unaccessable. Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated, as I am probably on the brink of yet another fresh install of 98SE and would like to try and prevent the same things from happening yet again.