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Win98SE hiccups

by CFeltham / June 8, 2004 9:23 PM PDT

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.


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Re:Win98SE hiccups
by TONI H / June 8, 2004 9:30 PM PDT
In reply to: Win98SE hiccups

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.


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'u didn't mention ''Maintenance''
by Cursorcowboy / June 8, 2004 10:44 PM PDT
In reply to: Win98SE hiccups

Warning Look at the date and time by hovering the cursor over the clock in the SysTray and be sure it's accurate (Q132627).

1. The "Type of test" -

a. Standard checks the files and folders on the selected drive for errors.

b. Thorough checks files and folders for errors, but it also checks the physical integrity of the disk?s surface. If you are running a Thorough test, click the Options button to specify which areas of the disk to check or which type of processing to perform. Select the options wanted, and then click OK.

(1) By default the Thorough mode for Scandisk test the disk surface by reading and writing and reports if any bad sectors are found and requests a response. If the option, Disable write-testing has been disabled, Scandisk only checks the surface for read errors and does not perform the write test. With this option disabled, Scandisk performs it's check much quicker but if you are experiencing hard disk read/write problems set this option to its default.

(2) The read/write testing that Scandisk performs is not destructive -- there will be no loss of data. The content of each sector is retrieved into memory before sector testing begins, the sector is read and written to - based on the programmer's instruction, the data is either placed back into the verified sector or moved to a new one if there was a failure in the testing and then the block is marked bad. Using Scandisk in this manner is very time consuming.

2. Notes on memory use in Windows (what I'm alluding to is that memory is not only important, but the right chip sets working properly and a goodly amount is worth while having); Reference, TechNet article Chapter 10 - Disks and File Systems:

a. MS-DOS and Windows keep track of drive characteristics in memory. For example, what a file is being copied, a program or application goes to this area to identify the media type. The information in memory should be identical to the BIOS Parameter Block (BPB) in the Boot Sector. Properly written programs use this area of memory for that drive's information instead of going to the BPB.

b. When some programs/applications need to know about a drive, such as drive letter, or size of its sector, they may access the DPB and use its information accordingly. The functions used to get that information have been superseded. The new DPB contains the FAT32 values by extending the existing DPB to include new 32-bit values while keeping the existing 16-bit fields for compatibility.

c. On drives larger than 2 GB (or if there is more than 2 GB free), if an application is displaying strange behavior anytime a drive or disk is accessed, it could be getting incomplete information from the old DPB. Also, some programs assume the size of internal Windows data structures. For example, some applications assume that a DPB is 33 bytes long and will never change in size. Programs like this will need to be upgraded to recognize the new ExtDPB. Also, third-party drivers that depend on the old DPB to load will hang if they do not have an error handler in place to terminate the driver.

d. Supplemental reading:

(1) "Err Msg: Your Computer Does Not Have Enough Free Memory to Defrag the Drive (Q229154)."
(2) "Information About Defragmenting the Windows Paging File (Q240755)."
(3) "How to Increase the Memory Capability of Your Computer (Q259184)."

3. To perform a write testing on the hard disk:

a. Select the drive in question.

b. Select the Thorough option.

c. Click the Options button and select System and Data areas

d. If the Do not perform write testing box is checked, remove it.

e. Click "OK"

f. If the Automatically fix box is checked, either remove it and monitor the system or leave it set to automatic.

g. Log file - Replace log (if you want to).

h. Cross-linked files = Delete

Note: Lost file fragments = Check the Free box. Note that most file fragments are not very useful but a user can make their own assumption for this setting. If you choose to convert there will be files created in the boot root (C:\) with an extension of .chk. Should there ever be any located there, open, or attempt to open any of these files in a text editor and see if there is anything ascertainable. Any of those files may be deleted or renamed at your desecration. I would highly suggest they be moved out of the boot root.

i. Please read, Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) article "Errors Creating Files or Folders in the Root Directory (Q120138)."

j. Check files for - (check the top two boxes).

Note: If files are not located on the Host drive, remove the check mark.

k. Click OK, and then click Start

4. Disk Defragmenter gathers the program files used most often on a system and moves them to the faster parts of the hard disk by default, which is supposed to speed things up on a user's computer. This option, which can be set below, may be useful but it takes an inordinate amount of time for Defragmenter to complete:

a. Click Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and click Disk Defragmenter.

b. Click Settings and make sure that the option to Rearrange program files so my programs start faster is selected, and click OK.

c. Otherwise, remove this check mark for Defragmenter to complete its task much quicker.


1. Understand fully the section titled, "Using System File Checker" in the TechNet article "Chapter 27 - General Troubleshooting" concerning the use and troubleshooting strategy with this utility. In addition a very good article on the TechAdvice site is "SFC." Heed the warning described in the article "System File Checker Tool Extracts Incorrect File Versions (Q192832)."

2. The article [Q186157] states that during the installation of a new program (including Win98), files on your hard disk may be detected and replaced with older versions, and describes the use of the Version Conflict Manager. If a newer version of a file is detected by Win98 Setup, a version conflict occurs. Prior to Win98, most installation programs (including Windows 95) prompt you to either keep the existing file or overwrite the file with the older file. When you install Win98, this prompt does not appear and newer files replaced by Win98 Setup are automatically backed up to your hard disk for compatibility purposes.
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Hardware hiccups
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 8, 2004 11:16 PM PDT
In reply to: Win98SE hiccups

There was a local company that lost many of those boards to the bad capacitor syndrome. Until they figured out the hardware angle, their techs were reloading Windows, drivers, BIOS, cursing Microsoft for the buggy OS and losing too much time. They had already learned the lesson about parasites, but that wasn't it. I offer two links you can review to see if this is your issue. I see you didn't list the power supply, but hope it's rated at about 450 Watts with that much in the box.

And clicking from a hard disk is a bad sign (the wrong sounding "click.") So get the hard drive maker's drive diagnostics and see if it's OK.


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