F Starting MS-DOS & Freezing with Mouse
Posted on 1998-05-19
I have a P100 system that is running a car repair estimating program and Windows 3.1. It had a 1GB hard drive that had been partitioned into two 500Mb (I don't know why). The problem started last week. While working in Win3.1, the system would totally freeze and require a hard boot. During the boot up, it would do the POST test fine then it would say "F Starting MS-DOS" and freeze. Every re-boot would report the same thing. The only thing that remedied it was to leave the machine for an hour or so (sometimes), then it will boot up normally. It freezes during file retrieval & the mouse will move on the screen but it won't click & clicking it appears to be the final cause of the freeze.
1. Thought heat - left running a burn in diagnostic overnight -- Heat was normal & all fans are working fine.
2. Thought hard drive failure (returned 7 bad clusters during scandisk. Ran again, returned 6 more. Diagnostic reported hard drive failed testing on read & write) -- Replaced with a 2.1GB hard drive. Still having same problem.
Could it be the motherboard failing? I am so stumped & it is difficult to recreate the problem. Can work fine up to a full day before problem surfaces.
Any ideas would be so appreciated.
P.S. Can't find any info on what F Starting MS-DOS means in Dos 6.22. Anyone know, assumed F=Failure.