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View Full Version : Hard drive locks up during Dos Scandisk



maryellen
12-09-2000, 08:00 PM
Ok I am working on a AST Cyrix 686 32 mb 2 gig computer. The customer told me that it keeps locking up no matter what she is trying to do. It is running windows 95. I ran a scandisk(had errors) locks up, ran a defrag, emptied files, (locked up) I backed up data and tried to reinstall to a clean directory(renamed windows to winold etc...) and tried to reload windows with a start up disk and Win 95. It said something to the affect that it was not compatible with this version of Windows and something about a compressed drive and to contact the vendor.

I finally got it to do a setup. It went to scandisk and it locked up. Had to shut off at power switch. Is this hard drive shot? Thanks for your replies.

Mary

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Mary Younger
technology consultant
http://www.handtech.com/4access2

Paleo Pete
12-09-2000, 09:14 PM
If it was lots of errors, I would suspect the drive. If it was just a few clusters, maybe not...

Did you run scandisk from a boot disk, and did that lock up?

Cyrix chips run hot. Heat could be part of the problem, but I don't think all of it. Some also run on a 75MHz bus instead of 66MHz, like most of their contemporaries by Intel and AMD. Since the memory is also tied to the system bus, if I understand it right, it may be causing memory related problems. Check the motherboard, and see if the voltage, bus speed and multiplier are correct for the CPU. If it's one of the ones that uses the 75MHz bus, that might be part of the problem. It would be making the memory run at 75MHz, and it's designed for 66MHz. If it's a CPU that should use 75MHz, and is running at 66 with a different multiplier, that could also affect it.

Overall, I think it sounds like mostly memory related. Check the BIOS settings too, and try different memory. Also could be the wrong memory type. I think EDO was standard for that class of motherboard. And check to see if the memory has been upgraded, that might give you a clue whether it could be the wrong type.

After all that's already been done, I would also think you might consider a full format and reinstall on a clean drive. Please wait and see if others agree, don't format it on my suggestion alone. I prefer that to be done with the agreement of several of us, and someone else could also have more ideas.



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Soon as I come up with all the answers...they change the questions!!

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Reid
12-09-2000, 10:03 PM
This problem sounds familiar, but I can't quite pin it down. I do recall having some compatibility problems when I used a Windows 98 startup disk on a Windows 95 system rather than set up CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT to load the CD driver.

I'm also thinking this might have something to do with a drive overlay to overcome a BIOS limitation on hard drive size (such as 540M), since it sounds like an older system. The drive may also have had DoubleSpace or DriveSpace installed.

These vague recollections probably do not help much, but here is a good link of Win95 FAQs (http://www.orca.bc.ca/win95/faq2.htm) that might help.

Let us know how it goes.

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reido@my-deja.com

BigBlue66
12-09-2000, 11:22 PM
I agree with Reid that DriveSpace is most likely enabled(installed). So what next? Format and start all over?

BB 66

Reid
12-10-2000, 12:45 AM
If you have an old DOS disk handy, try "CHKDSK /F" on the hard drive. It worked for me a couple of times when ScanDisk did not.

As BigBlue wonders, maybe it needs to be reformatted, but I'm not sure at this point.

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reido@my-deja.com

maryellen
12-10-2000, 12:50 AM
Thanks Guys,
I typed in fdisk it says bad command or file name, typed in format- the same thing, data was backed up so I am not worried about that. I wondered about the drive compression or Drive Space. I deleted the windows directory that I renamed to winold. I can't get past the lockup on the scandisk on reinstall. Now what?? I have never got into clock speeds etc (yet) so if it is the clock speed how would I change it or would I want to?

Mary


Originally posted by BigBlue66:
I agree with Reid that DriveSpace is most likely enabled(installed). So what next? Format and start all over?

BB 66



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Mary Younger
technology consultant
http://www.handtech.com/4access2

Reid
12-10-2000, 01:13 AM
Clock speed is usually set with a jumper over a pair of terminals on the motherboard (it may require a combination of pins to be set). Look for a group of terminals and see if you can find any with the bus speed marked on the board.

I have cleared up intermittent memory problems before by removing the SIMMs and cleaning the contacts of them with a pencil eraser.

Pete is right about Cyrix's running hot, so replace the fan if it is running slow.

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reido@my-deja.com

[This message has been edited by Reid (edited 12-10-2000).]

Paleo Pete
12-10-2000, 06:57 AM
Thanks guys, I thought a reinstall was a possibility, but wasn't positive that it was necessary. Seems most of you think the same...

Double Space is always loaded with win 95/98, but Drive Space shouldn't be necessary. It can be disabled by placing rem and a space infront of the line that refers to it in autoexec.bat or config.sys, whichever, and it should not have an adverse affect on the OS.

The drive overlay could be causing trouble, I've never seen it happen, but it certainly is possible, if one is present.

You don't need to change the clock speed, just check it and see what the settings are. That requires a motherboard manual. Also cleaning out the heatsink might be a very good idea, the Cyrix runs hot without dust all over the place, and check to be sure some heat sink grease is there too. With that CPU you want the grease type, not tape, heat sink tape is next to useless.

What start up disk are you using? Try a win95 disk, and run fdisk_/mbr with a space instead of the underscore ( _ ) to rewrite the Master Boot Record. I don't think it will fix everything, but it might help...fdisk and other utilities are loaded into the ramdrive when you use a win98 start up disk, so a DOS or win95 disk might be a better option if it won't work.

You might also try running msd and see what you can find after booting to a start up disk. It's not on the win98 one I don't think...msd should show any conflicts.

Reid's idea to clean the contacts is a good one also. That's not recommended as a regular thing, since it will eventually rub off the contacts, but once or twice should be no problem.

Check the BIOS Survival Guide (http://www.manawatu.gen.nz/pages/bios_survival/bios_sg.htm) and see if you can find any settings that may have a serious affect on performance. The PC Guide has a good BIOS section too. Safe BIOS setup (http://www.pcguide.com/proc/setup/biossafe.htm) will help get the system set so it should boot and run with the least chance of problems, and it also has a link to the detailed settings.

OK, I'm out of guesses...for now...

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Soon as I come up with all the answers...they change the questions!!

Computer Information Links (http://www.geocities.com/paleopete/)

Reid
12-10-2000, 07:40 AM
After doing some looking around, I think that computer should be able to support at least a 2G hard drive, so it wouldn't need an overlay.

If I recall correctly, Microsoft supplied DoubleSpace, but after a lawsuit from Stacker, re-coded it and called it DriveSpace.



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reido@my-deja.com