PC Crashing - Unknown device error + dead HD??

  Honrose 00:58 01 Jul 2006

Hi, I have a reconditioned PC I bought from an ex-boss with two hard disks - it kept crashing soon after I got it but we revived it, then it crashed quite seriously - revived again and was getting errors re the FAT32 System. Revived but the second (large ?storage?) disk seemed dead. Coped with the one C:\ disk only (tho slow) till recently when I downloaded Windows SP2 and updates- started crashing 1 per day - Windows error message cites "unknown" device driver error, and then that I had space problems - only 3 - 6% of disk space available. Freed up space (mainly by reducing the space used by System Restore). If I look at the D drive (the large one) it says it is unformatted. Questions:

1) If I reformat the D drive, would this solve the problem? How would that help the space problems on the C drive?

2) Since the D drive died (as I believe) I frequently have to reinstall the modem - it won't recognise the driver and I have to force it - how can I ensure that I retain i/n access if it goes horribly wrong?

3) What precautions should I take before reformatting - I have Windows XP Home EditionCD, but that's all in the way of disks - can/should I create a boot disk "in case" DOS goes pear shaped.

Sorry if this is a bit basic - I'm a fairly sophisticated user but no techie! and the thought of reformatting a disk scares me witless, but am worried that it will only get worse if I do nothing.

Thanks Rose

  Diodorus Siculus 02:28 01 Jul 2006

First of all, I'd save any data that is required - address book, emails, word processor documents etc.

Then boot with the XP CD and try a repair install - that may work and solve some of the problems (although to be honest I think that you need to format the drive and start again). click here How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install

If the repair doesn't work, try a clean install. During that you will have the option to format the disk and it will be checked for errors.

IF you wanted to, you could take the C drive out and set the D as master and then install XP onto that and see if it helps.

One last thing: are you sure there are two disks and not just one that has been partitioned?

  Zion_Lion 02:34 01 Jul 2006

Hi Honrose... sounds like you've been having a nightmare. Well first of all, if you've still got any important data left on your drives then back it up. If you pause the POST on star up, can you see both drives detected, if not then check in your motherboard BIOS to see if they are, if any of your hard drives are not seen in the BIOS then it’s more than likely dead (but not always the case) as long as there is definitely power to the drive and the jumpers are set correctly, but this involves opening up the case and having a look. If you know that all of your hard disks are being detected then the best way that I know to check your Hard disks would be to use a utility form the disk manufacturer, which would involved opening the case and having a look at the drive to determine the manufacturer. Download their bootable floppy (it will probably be a disk creator file that will create the bootable floppy and put their utility on, 1-2 floppies) and you can do various tests on the drives, you can even use them to partition and format your drives if you need to start from scratch. If the tests come up with any BAD SECTOR errors, then you’ll probably need to get a new drive
You can try installing Belarc Advisor to gain some system info and post back info on the hard drives processor and memory click here

Regards ZL

  Zion_Lion 22:16 01 Jul 2006

Hi mate... have you had any joy yet?

  woodchip 22:24 01 Jul 2006

Suggest you try running SFC /SCANNOW from the Run box with the XP CD in the computer. You will have to first stop auto run on the CD by holding shift key until the Drive light stops flashing

  Honrose 12:36 09 Sep 2006

Hi guys - thanks for all the messages - sorry not to have ocme back, but i got given another pc so problem (sort of ) solved.

Thanks for the advice


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