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Thread: Hard Drive finally crashed and burned

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    More computer bad news, though. My pc was making these odd noises a few days ago, like it had a bad connection and it sounded as if it was shutting down / starting up. A day later, while typing up an Email, it froze and had to be shutdown with the power button. But when I restarted, it went into not only the quick Scan Disk, it also automatically went into the thorough one. It was moving along, getting through used and unused sectors & clusters, as well as a few that were labeled bad sectors. But at 57%, it stopped progressing. I tried the restoration CD and the Windows 98 CD, but all things went back to the thorough Scan Disk and stopping at that one bad sector, with bad clusters. At one point I let it do its thing and had to go out for a couple hours. I was amazed to see that that it put up a message about finding an error and volunteering to fix it. So I let it do that and a few minutes later it found another... and then another... and then another... I had 18 bad clusters supposedly fixed, with mo end in sight. Then my son, Aaron came home and I asked if this thing was actually finding new bad clusters or just recycling the one and was actually going nowhere. He said that the hard drive is dead and it probably isn't doing anything real to fix anything.

    He happened to have another hard drive, from various cannibalized computers and he popped it in. And then he attempted to get the pc going again. So he put the Windows 98 CD in, as well as the Restoration disk. But the computer wouldn't recognize the modem. He popped another modem in, but it still refused to recognize it. He said the Restoration CD was scratched and while it restored other things, it would restore the modem. I tried cleaning the disk, but that disn't change anything. Then he went to the Gateway site and downloaded the info onto a floppy. But it still wouldn't recognize the modem. So I have a workable computer, but no driver to be able to get the modem running, and therefore I have no Internet.

    So he is going to order a wireless modem online, which will probably take a couple weeks to get here. He also is contemplating an upgrade to Windows 2000 and wants to talk to a guy in our church who builds computers about that - but he hasn't been available.

    I'm going to call Gateway and see if I can get a new Restoration Disk.

    So for now I am relegated to sporadic use of his laptop and the libraries.

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    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your computer problems... But the main thing that stuck out to me... is you neglected to use one of our brand new smilies put here just for people like you!!
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    nepenthes_ak's Avatar
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    dont use 98... get XP and a new computer!

    W/e works for you though.

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    SirKristoff is a poopiehead Ozzy's Avatar
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    endparenthesis's Avatar
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    Win98 would probably be a bad choice because it's no longer supported so you couldn't get all the security updates again very easily.

    Just do a fresh install of whatever Windows version you choose. Once a Windows installation goes that nuts, it's just not worth it trying to make it sane again (sane as it gets anyway). It's futile.

    As far as the modem goes, if you can find out what modem it is you can just go to the website of the maker to get the driver. This is the problem with computers bought from places like Gateway, Dell, etc... they want you in the dark as far as what hardware you have, otherwise you don't need them for anything. Assuming you knew what components you had, you could take that thing apart, put it back together, and install everything you need (using drivers online, which is better because they're newer anyway) without having to touch a Gateway CD or ever talk to tech support.

    It can be tricky identifying components just by looking at them. WinXP might be a good bet for that very reason... it has a more up to date library of components it can recognize automatically.

    If you turn off a lot of the display options, WinXP can probably run almost as fast as 2000 on an older computer (maybe just as fast), and it'll look about the same.

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    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    If you want to try to fix windows, then go through the motions. When windows throws a temper tantrum, you can't cut corners. Somehow I don't buy that a scratch on the CD is preventing ONLY the modem drivers from now working. Possible? Yes. Likely? No.

    Furthermore, you can get the drivers online. It doesn't matter that windows misrecognizes the hardware (for the moment) merely that it DOES recognize that it's connected.

    There's probably a CD that came with the modem with drivers. If not, then check the maker's website as they'll probably have some.

    And for the love of all things holy, hold the phone on that wireless modem. The last thing you need thrown in to this mix is wireless problems. If you're having troubles with drivers now, then don't even bother with a wireless modem. But once again, could it work? Yes. Likely to be an effective solution? Not really.


    So, to decribe how I'd to it:

    Is the Harddrive really hosed?
    Go through the motions. Let scandisk do its thing. If it finds bad sectors, fine. Just let it go all the way through. If you determine that it does in fact get hooked on a bad sector and/or is in fact hosed, then you ask yourself the next question.

    Do I need anything from the harddrive?
    If the answer is yes, then you look at A). If not, then you look at B).

    A). Is it salvagable? I'd ask my son to plug in the working harddrive and the hosed one in at the same time and see if he can move the files/contents you need from the hosed drive to the working one. (IE, have it boot off of the working one -master- and have the hosed one be the slave.)

    If you can't get the files back, then all you can do is focus on making the new HD work. See B.

    B). No, there's nothing I need, or the original HD is too hosed for me to get my stuff back. All that's missing is the modem. It sounds like it's just matter of windows 98 not recognizing the modem correctly (am I right?) If this's the case, then you probably just need the drivers. Drivers allow hardware and the operating system to communicate. You either have a CD that came with the modem, or you need to go to the maker's website for them.

    If you don't want to deal with this, or you don't mind installing windows 2000, then you can go down that road. However, you may end up needing drivers anyway if the modem requires something non-generic.

    Note: Buying a wireless modem doesn't figure in to this.

    The key to fixing your computer problem is humoring windows and gonig through the motions, and NOT spending money.

    Good luck Jim. Let us know how it works out for you.
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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input. The only reason why I have Windows 98 is because we just plain don't have money to buy another computer.

    My son did go to the Gateway site and downloaded whatever he thought would be recognized by the computer - but it didn't work. I called Gateway and talked with a representative and she said that they didn't have the restoration disk anynore, but suggested I go to the website - which was what my son already did. Today I went to Circuit City and talked to the gal in the department and she gave me conflicting info about a wireless modem. She said that since I use dial up, it wouldn't work. I would at least to have DSL or Broadband. This conflicts with what my son is aware of about the situation and his suggestion to get a wireless modem. She also said that I could upgrade to XP, but my son seems to think that I could only upgrade as far as Windows 2000. She could sell me another hard drive, but it would work only if I had Windows 98 Second Edition. Now he uses his XP laptop with a wireless card, that picks up the signal from (?) something nearby. I think he is going on the assumption that my pc could do the same. I'll tell ya... right about now I have enough knowledge of computer reality to be very cornfused.

    J.T.: I do like your suggestion about comparing the two hard drives and seeing if the one could draw the info from the other. I'll ask him if he knows how to do that.

    Andrew:

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    endparenthesis's Avatar
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    Sounds like your son is taking advantage of a neighbor's unsecured router.

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