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Windows 98SE BSOD "Disk Write Error"...

Trish's Escape from Hardware Hell Help Board » Hardware » Hard Drive and Storage Related » Windows 98SE BSOD "Disk Write Error" « Previous Next »

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Drachen Birch
Posted on Thursday, December 23, 2004 - 4:27 pm:   

Howdy.

I have a homebuilt box, Shuttle AI61 MoBo, 512MB SDRAM, 700MHz Athlon, 40 Gig MDT HD, Toshiba DVD ODD, generic CDROM and floppy drives. Running Windows 98SE. Don't even suggest cooling problems. I built a custom case that has far more cooling than the system merits, and I live in Michigan, and my house isn't that snug, and it's Winter.
The problem: random BSOD, with "Disk Write Error". Then it says: Unable to write to disk in drive C: Data or files may be lost. Press any key to continue.
When I press the key, it gives me "Fatal exception 0E has occurred at 0177:BFF9DFFF". When I press any key to terminate the current application, it dumps me back to the BSOD. If I press any key to continue, I get a black screen freeze-up. The mouse cursor turns to the hourglass and stays there. I have to use a hardware boot to get past it. Usually this works.
I've run Tuff-Test on it, and it tells me the MoBo, hard drive and memory are all OK. I haven't tried messing with the ribbon cable yet, since I'm very attentive about stuffing connectors all the way on, and it was a new 80-lead cable installed just before the drive.
This system was damned stable (for a Windows box) prior to this. The hard drive is about a year old. The only things that had changed when the problem came up were: a recent install of Firefox, and transfering a couple of .mov files onto the HDD that were created on a MAC, but burned onto a CD that was suppossed to run on MAC or PC systems. One other thing, which I'm still kicking myself for: I went out and looked at a hacker site after the Firefox install, and forgot to put AntiVir and Zone Alarm back on. Yes, I can see the big neon "L" flashing over my head when I look in the mirror. Subsequent scans by AntiVir and Spybot S&D didn't find anything, but is it possible that a real live hacker, not some wannabe, dumped some bot on me that could escape detection, an unlimited HDD reformat, and still give these results? Am I reading too many novels? Or should I ignore what Tuff-Test says and start replacing hardware? I did a full unlimited reformat and reinstall of the system, minus Firefox, so it seems unlikely that anything could survive that, but the problem persists.
One last thing, weirdest of all: when I tried to do a defrag using the Windows system tools, I got a message after it was only about 5-10% complete: "Drive's contents changed", and then it would restart the defrag. It did this several times, and then it froze at 95% complete. Damndest thing to watch. The fragmented map kept re-appearing. I've never seen the like. So, is it demons?
Thanks in advance for any help on this, even if it's: "Yup. Ya got demons, son."
Moderator (Es)
Username: Es

Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Thursday, December 23, 2004 - 9:46 pm:   

Not demons on the Defrag try a safe mode Defrag.
As for the other issue with the failure to write message and the BSOD, HDD failure is a common cause as well as a bad memory chip. You can eliminate the memory chip easy enough if the BSOD mem address is different each time. If it is the same than you have a bad memory stick. The hard drive might be a bit more difficult to diagnose but the manufacturer should have a diagnostic utility you can DL and check it with.
Perhaps Santa will bring you a new mainboard and cpu so you can retire that old slotA AMD 751 chipset mainboard.
Drachen Birch
Posted on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 2:43 pm:   

Howdy. Back Again.

Could the above be caused by a deleted AUTOEXEC.BAT file? I just downloaded Disk Investigator, ran it on C:\ drive, and there it was in red text. DI couldn't undelete it, either. I tried moving the file onto C:\ off of the Win 98 startup floppy that it makes during the install. -Got a number of error messages like "path not found", and then it asked for Win 98 startup disk 2. I have no idea what it's asking for. I've never even heard of a "startup disk 2". Did a safe-mode boot, and removed autoexec.bat, rebooted, and here I am. HDD still checks out fine at surface and hardware level, BTW. Shouldn't the system have that file to run correctly? And would I reinstall it from the Win 98 CD? -Or could a bad HDD delete just that one file?
-OR, could it be something that spyware might do to me? I've apparently contracted a brand new one, and I don't know how long it might have been there. The latest update of Spybot S&D didn't find it, and I've submitted a detection report.
Weirdly enough, the original problem of BSOD has lessened in the last few days, now that I'm looking to compare addresses as per Es's suggestion. The system has been locking before I get to the addresses, however. I'll try posting about the new problem on the OS board. Thanks for any info on this new twist. Later.

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