PC crashes and then won't start properly.

  WGW 20:30 25 May 2004

My friend's PC has recently started behaving very peculiarly.
It crashes often with a blue screen error message saying: "Unable to write to disk in drive C: Data files may be lost. Press any key to continue"
Then when he reboots before even reaching the OS stage (Windows ME)it sometimes asks for him to put his Boot diskette in A: Drive not ready etc. His boot up floppy doesn't seem to work and there was no System disk when he bought his Time PC.
Other times his PC starts with the list that gives him the option to start in Safe mode. Also, his PC clock sometimes goes back to midnight on 1st August 2000.
It's driving him and now me up the wall. Does anyone know what we should do about this? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  PSF 21:22 25 May 2004

Some of the problems could be caused by the battery on the motherboard, it might need replacing as it is a few years old. The bios will set to basic settings if the battery is flat. If you replace the battery and then enter the bios, usually Del key, and choose set-up defaults. You will have to reset the date in the bios at the same time.

The list you see is brought up after a crash for you to choose how to restart, eg safe mode, normal start up etc...

Have you run a thorough scan disc and defrag?

  WGW 21:18 27 May 2004

Thanks PSF. I did wonder about the battery but his PC clock ran perfectly for 2 weeks after the first time it reset, until now.
When he tried to run scandisk the pc stopped at 2 bars for about 2.5 hours before he switched it off. So, no he hasn't been able to scan or defrag it.

  WGW 23:44 04 Dec 2004

Bumped this back up because it's started happening again and I never really found out what was the cause the last time i.e. somebody else managed to fix it, for a time anyway.

The PC runs ok for a while then crashes and the fun and games begin when trying to reboot. Also noted that the PC has been unsuccessful when trying to perform a system restore.

The battery appears to be ok.

Any help would be much appreciated.

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