Random computer problems on an in-law's computer

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by spodosaurus, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. spodosaurus

    spodosaurus Guest

    Hi all,

    The other night (well, actually day turned into night) I was going to
    help an in-law install a video card and migrate a windows 98 se system
    to a larger hard disk drive. I was told that everything was working
    fine, it just needed a better video card to play a new(ish) game. So, I
    made some ghost boot floppies and a backup of my win98se install cdrom
    (they had their manual with the license but couldn't find their cdrom)
    and headed over. The computer was working fine, right? That's where the
    fun starts, and I was hoping for some feedback as to the likely cause of
    the problems I'm about to describe. I didn't bring my tools with me to
    test things because everything was working...riiiiiight....

    So, I can't fit both drives in at once because the Gigabyte micro ATX
    motherboard (in a full size ATX case with 300W Auriga power supply)
    doesn't allow enough room to fit a drive in the second hard drive bay
    without removing the P4 2.4GHz CPU (the shop they went to and bought the
    new hard drive from said it would be fine, but they obviously didn't try
    a test fit). So I removed the old drive and set it up on a static bag
    outside the case as master on IDE 1 after installing the new drive as
    master on IDE 2 (I disconnected the cdrw and dvdrom drives). All set to
    ghost, right? The floppy doesn't see boot media.

    I connect up another spare demonstrably working floppy on the same power
    connector and floppy cable (same spot), resulting in the same error. So,
    maybe the power supply is messed up or the floppy controller on the
    motherboard is gone or there's a problem with the floppy ribbon. They
    never use the floppy, so they didn't know of the problem.

    So I reconnect the optical drives and put the hard drives on the same
    channel, boot into win98se, and use the Western Digital clone utility
    from a cdr I brought along to clone C: to D: and everything goes fine,
    with the program reporting a successful clone and that the 7 files it
    did not copy over would be replaced by the operating system (files such
    as cookies.txt and the like). I disconnect the old drive, put the new
    drive as master, and try and reboot. The system POSTs but doesn't boot,
    just hanging right before it should go to win98se.

    Now I'm getting a little frustrated, so we've got a backup copy of my
    win98se and the in-law's license for his win98se, and the next step we
    decided on was a clean install. Unfortunately the system would freeze
    after asking if we wanted to boot from the cdrom or the hard drive with
    the backup copy of win98se in the old dvdrom. In the old cdrw drive it
    doesn't even get this far, complaining of not liking the boot media. A
    second backup of win98 (original) is tried in both drives and the
    results are worse with neither drive 'seeing' the cd. Booting into
    win98se from the original drive works fine, and again the drives can
    read and transfer data from all cdrs.

    Wondering about the PSU, I put all the devices on the same branch of
    power connectors from the PSU (there are two branches). Now even the
    floppy works! I'm able to do a successful clone with ghost (after
    disconnecting the optical drives and putting the old drive as master on
    IDE 1 and the new drive as master on IDE 2, just like I had set
    originally) and the system boots into win98se. Everything is working
    (beyond it identifying an unknown device in the system devices list as
    well as a conflict with the haupage TV tuner card and a driver problem
    with the modem wave device) and so I install the new video card and the
    ATi drivers. Everything works. We install his new game, and it works on
    the new card where it wouldn't with the old card. I even put the floppy
    back onto the original branch of the PSU that it was on at the start
    (leaving the other drives alone) and now the floppy works again and will
    boot with several different boot floppies where at the beginning it
    wouldn't see any!

    I'm wondering what the hell happened? Is this a flaky old PSU getting
    ready to die? I kept having to try and retry things and sometimes they'd
    work, sometimes they wouldn't, and in the end they were working when an
    hour before they were dead or functioning improperly. I didn't have my
    tools or backup hardware to test these things, and it was a real hassle.
    It may be working now, but I'd really like some input as to what may be
    the problem or problems with this system, as most of the trouble was
    well outside of windows so I can't blame it on a user screwing up the OS.

    Cheers,

    Ari


    --
    spammage trappage: replace fishies_ with yahoo

    I'm going to die rather sooner than I'd like. I tried to protect my
    neighbours from crime, and became the victim of it. Complications in
    hospital following this resulted in a serious illness. I now need a bone
    marrow transplant. Many people around the world are waiting for a marrow
    transplant, too. Please volunteer to be a marrow donor:
    http://www.abmdr.org.au/
    http://www.marrow.org/
     
    spodosaurus, Feb 21, 2005
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. spodosaurus

    spodosaurus Guest

    I was aware of that beforehand and made sure the jumpers were configured
    properly on all drives throughout the 'ordeal' :)

    Ari

    --
    spammage trappage: replace fishies_ with yahoo

    I'm going to die rather sooner than I'd like. I tried to protect my
    neighbours from crime, and became the victim of it. Complications in
    hospital following this resulted in a serious illness. I now need a bone
    marrow transplant. Many people around the world are waiting for a marrow
    transplant, too. Please volunteer to be a marrow donor:
    http://www.abmdr.org.au/
    http://www.marrow.org/
     
    spodosaurus, Feb 22, 2005
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. spodosaurus

    senn Guest

    heck for me this is normal having issues. *lol*

    i work with ancient hardware.

    i often tell the people i do it free for that they should go sacrifice a
    goat and pray for the processes success at whatever altar they worship at.
    as they are africans they love the sense of humor.

    if a day comes along where a system upgrade just works i mark it down as a
    miracle. *lol*
     
    senn, Feb 22, 2005
    #3
  4. spodosaurus

    spodosaurus Guest

    What is your reference for this? Anti static materials are supposed to
    be non conductive to prevent just the sort of things you're worried about.

    --
    spammage trappage: replace fishies_ with yahoo

    I'm going to die rather sooner than I'd like. I tried to protect my
    neighbours from crime, and became the victim of it. Complications in
    hospital following this resulted in a serious illness. I now need a bone
    marrow transplant. Many people around the world are waiting for a marrow
    transplant, too. Please volunteer to be a marrow donor:
    http://www.abmdr.org.au/
    http://www.marrow.org/
     
    spodosaurus, Feb 23, 2005
    #4
  5. spodosaurus

    spodosaurus Guest

    The new drive was never on the bag, though, only the old drive which
    never missed a beat (neither did the new drive once the ghosting was
    finished). It also doesn't explain the floppy drive and other weirdness
    when no connected drives were on the bag (which was most of the time
    that I was fartsing around, I just didn't list every last thing I did
    during the hours of wanting to bash the PC with a hammer as my original
    post was already long).

    I've never heard that the static bags were conductive, though. I was
    under the impression that they're quite the opposite to prevent charge
    reaching the materials that they contain. Do you have a reference for
    this? Like something general that might point out other interesting
    tidbits that would be good for me to know? dg also pointed this out in
    this thread.

    Ari



    --
    spammage trappage: replace fishies_ with yahoo

    I'm going to die rather sooner than I'd like. I tried to protect my
    neighbours from crime, and became the victim of it. Complications in
    hospital following this resulted in a serious illness. I now need a bone
    marrow transplant. Many people around the world are waiting for a marrow
    transplant, too. Please volunteer to be a marrow donor:
    http://www.abmdr.org.au/
    http://www.marrow.org/
     
    spodosaurus, Feb 23, 2005
    #5
  6. spodosaurus

    John Doe Guest

    I think antistatic material is supposed to be conductive to keep all
    points at the same voltage. It would also help dissipate static
    electricity arriving at any one point.

    A very bright high school student said something like that to me
    once, that he didn't understand why humidity would help dissipate
    static electricity. Humidity (water vapor) is conductive.
     
    John Doe, Feb 23, 2005
    #6
  7. spodosaurus

    spodosaurus Guest

    I'm still hoping someone can give me a site that has this sort of
    information and other related information so that I can do some reading
    and avoid making these types of errors. I've seen static bags used in
    case-mods and in industry in exactly the way I was using it (but it was
    only in use for a small number of the problems, and generally there
    weren't problems when it was in use in this case), but that doesn't mean
    that 'just because everyone else is doing it' that it's the right thing.

    --
    spammage trappage: replace fishies_ with yahoo

    I'm going to die rather sooner than I'd like. I tried to protect my
    neighbours from crime, and became the victim of it. Complications in
    hospital following this resulted in a serious illness. I now need a bone
    marrow transplant. Many people around the world are waiting for a marrow
    transplant, too. Please volunteer to be a marrow donor:
    http://www.abmdr.org.au/
    http://www.marrow.org/
     
    spodosaurus, Feb 23, 2005
    #7
  8. spodosaurus

    spodosaurus Guest

    David Maynard wrote:

    Nope, motherboard was in the case and properly installed. The only thing
    I did with that was reset to failsafe defaults after the problems
    started and change the boot order sometimes.

    Thanks, I'll have a read through!


    --
    spammage trappage: replace fishies_ with yahoo

    I'm going to die rather sooner than I'd like. I tried to protect my
    neighbours from crime, and became the victim of it. Complications in
    hospital following this resulted in a serious illness. I now need a bone
    marrow transplant. Many people around the world are waiting for a marrow
    transplant, too. Please volunteer to be a marrow donor:
    http://www.abmdr.org.au/
    http://www.marrow.org/
     
    spodosaurus, Feb 23, 2005
    #8
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.