on shutdown, Win98 loses info about HD

This has happened twice on the same machine. The user does a shutdown/restart, the computer comes up in 80x25 mode and absolutely does not recognize the hard drive...just as if it were FDISKed. And of course, the only recourse is to re-install Win98...and all data are lost.

Anyone else heard of this problem...and of course, the solution?

Thanks, Kingpin
KingpinAsked:
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mrcmillerConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Many viruses try to modify the CMOS data (including the hard drive info).  Sometimes that's how it infects the computer.  If infection of the CMOS data was unsuccessful, every time the virus was encountered, the hard drive data could reset.  Since the Ghost CD is probably not infected, when you installed that image, it overwrote the infected hard drive data and partition information.  Again, presuming that CMOS infection was unsuccessful, the new partition wouldn't be infected and you won't see this problem again.

I'd still recommend a full virus scan in case it's still dormant on the system somewhere.  Sometimes they're time/date-activated.
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kjanxCommented:
the motherboard has a bad on board disk controller.
time for a new one. kj
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KingpinAuthor Commented:
We just re-installed the entire system from the Ghost CD. It works fine now. If it was the controller, how come it's working now?
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Don FaulknerMIS ManagerCommented:
Can I get some more info?

when the system crashes. when you use fdisk, does it show a partition at all before you reinstall from the ghost cd?

You might just have a bad controller, or possibly an intermittent IDE cable.

I have ran across only 1 harddrive that would do what you have described and several viruses (chernobyl as examp).
You might try a scan of system for such and try replacing the IDE cable if no luck.
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dew_associatesCommented:
Kingpin, what kind of MB and hard drive is involved? How old are they?
Dennis
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MATTCEICommented:
Did the master that the Ghost copy was made from have Norton or some similar utility installed? If so,the settings probably don't apply to this system and can cause all sorts of problems.
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KingpinAuthor Commented:
Here's the history: We got four brand new identical AOpen machines. They were all shipped with the wrong image on the HD. Consequently, they all started developing problems, etc.

Called AOpen, we mentioned the HD size and they immediately say, "yeah, those were all shipped with the wrong disk image." [my thought? if you knew that, why in the hell did you not bust your butt getting us the right image...but whatever]. They sent us the proper (and unmarked) Ghost CD w/startup diskette.

Now, one machine periodically hangs (2-3x/day), and the other machine is the one we're talking about now...

particulars:
   -it's a 3.01GB drive and when it fails, FDISK shows it as UNKNOWN
   -the Ghost CD had Norton on it. We since totally removed it from the HD. On Microsoft's site, they mention that virus detection software could cause this.

Since we got this machine back up and running, we have removed Norton from all of these AOpen machines.

We took the machine that loses it HD info and are using it in a different capacity. And we gave a different AOpen to that guy. If the problem follows, we can assume it's hardware related.

Let's hope for the best. Thanks to all for your help!

Kingpin.
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dew_associatesCommented:
Kingpin, how about a fresh install of 98 without using the image cd. Do a straight install of 98.
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KingpinAuthor Commented:
That could work, but we still need the audio drivers from the Ghost CD...unless 98 is able to detect the audio card.
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dew_associatesCommented:
It should readily. I hven't found any *good* cards thus far that weren't recognized.
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reitersCommented:
i would lean towards thinking a virus.  Is your virus protection very up to date?
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KingpinAuthor Commented:
I'm assuming it is since the machine is 2 months old.
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reitersCommented:
assumptions are a bad thing.  the build may be six months old and the virus info can be older than that.  If you have a floppy with a virus, it will nuke the partition table every time you forget and boot with the disk in, or run an exe from the disk.
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KingpinAuthor Commented:
The user of the machine says he is not downloading anything. I don't know if he is bringing in any floppies...
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reitersCommented:
Just a thought. I am not looging for points.  Good luck!
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