Can't Stop Restart Booting from A:

When I use the "restart" option from the start menu, the system hangs because it tries to boot from the A: (floppy) drive.  If I hit the reset button at this point, the system boots up OK and windows comes up.  If I put a bootable disk in A:, and hit a key as the message requests the system reboots using the floppy, but the hard disk is not recognized.  If I boot from a cold boot using the same floppy, the drive is fully accessable.  If I use "Restart in MSDOS Mode", and then restart windows by typing "EXIT", Windows restarts properly.  If I do a CTRL-ALT-DEL from MSDOS Mode - again the system restarts properly.

HOW CAN I STOP WINDOWS98 FROM GOING TO THE A: DRIVE?  WHERE WOULD IT BE GETTING THE INFORMATION?  (Bios Boot is set to C: A: - there is no C: ONLY option).  The unrecognizable hard drive situation might be reason for the problem.  If that is the case, what is the difference between RESTART and SHUT DOWN followed by RESET BUTTON?  When doing a RESTART, what is the process followed, and where does the image come from?

Full marks for SOLID ANSWER - Part marks for a GOOD HINT.

---

System Configuration:
Pentium 200MMX - Award Bios - about 3 yrs old
Hard Drive - 6.4Gb Fujitsu - About 1 Yr old
Partitioned into
C: 255MB  (Fat 16) Used for DOS Progs
D: 1500MB (Fat 32) Used for Windows
E: Remainder ((Fat 32)  Used for DATA

The drive was originally created with FDISK and FORMAT under [Windows95 OSR2 4.00.950 B].

Background:
I recently attempted to upgrade my system from Windows95 to Windows98 Second edition.  I have the ability to change the Hard Drive on my computer, and I have a spare drive so the procedure I followed was as follows:

1. Formatted C: and D:
2. Did a Sys C: from a bootable floppy
3. Created a config.sys/Autoexec.bat to allow CDROM Drive access.
4. Ran Setup from Windows CD to do the install. Windows was installed to D:\WINDOWS

When I had this problem, I thought It might be because I started from a WINDOWS95 boot inmage, so I created a Windows98 boot floppy with system files and FORMAT command.  Repeated steps 1-4
above after booting from the Windows98 boot floppy I just created.  Again - same problem.  

I also did three searches using REGEDIT for /A: / boot / restart - nothing found that would indicate a pointer to the A: drive.

My current production system runs Windows95 OSR2 [4.00.950 B] and works fine.  It was originally created the same way as I described above - from a bare drive using a bootable floppy and the install CD.

---- UPDATE TO QUESTION ----
Follow Up to Comments:
Thanks to all who have responded so far... here is additional follow up info/comments.
Additional INFO:
Because the system boots fine from a HARD RESET, but only experiences a problem when doing a RESTART from the START menu, the issue is going to be in the diffference between these two types of boot.  What is the difference between these types of restart?  I don't know excatly how to describe it, but from my understanding, there is a boot image or bootstrap in memory that is accessed by an INT call.  If Windows98 due to different memory management techniques is
corrupting this image could that be the source of the problem.

Note - Drop to DOS then Warm Boot (Ctrl-Alt-Del) works fine!  So does cold boot.  So how does a windows RESTART differ from the warm boot when sitting at the DOS prompt?

Following are my replys to individual posts:

To: dew_associates (Dennis)

#1. Although my intuition tells me that it may be a bad cluster on the drive, ...

The drive has successfully passed SCANDISK... If I do not get any beter suggestions, my next step was going to be to completelty remake the drive with FDISK for Windows98 and reformat.

#2 - First, you didn't need to create a config.sys or an autoexec.bat unless you intended to use a boot menu, but based upon your post, it doesn't appear as though you are doing this.
The AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS were required to start the system.  As mentioned in my post, I cleaned off Windows95 and would not have any CDROM access without it.  
AUTOEXEC.BAT contained only an MSCDEX statement, and CONFIG.SYS only contained HIMEM.SYS and
the CDROM driver.  After the installation was finished, both these files were empty and had a filesize of 0 bytes.

#3 Check the path statement in the autoexec.bat file as well as autoexec.dos.
Autoexec.bat is empty... Autoexec.dos is the original statement that was used to start the system... it refers to the C: drive.  AUTOEXEC.DOS is also run when I restart in MSDOS mode.  As mentioned, this works OK.

#4 Next, I would start with the bios for the motherboard and make sure that it is current. If its as old as the motherboard, it could cause problems as well.
This is a possibility... if this is the case, then I guess I'm stuck for the moment as I'm not prepared to buy a new motherboard.  (I don't know if upgrading the bios is practical since it is a "no name" motherboard)

#5 To go any further, I would need to know how you're handling boot issues on the "C" drive.

I will be happy to answer any question that you care to ask.  

Please note that THE SYSTEM HAS ONLY ONE HARD DRIVE THAT HAS BEEN PARTITIONED!  I have taken this approach for many years, and it has saved my bacon on many occasions.  I make extensive use of NORTON ghost to save my system when experimenting with new software/shareware/trialware etc - I will make a ghost image of the D: drive and save it on E:... then install the test software, play with it, and if I don't like it, all I do is run GHOST and reload the D: partition, and the system is RIGHT BACK TO THE WAY IT WAS... NO GARBAGE DLLS, NO REGISTRY REMNANTS... very clean.  It also simplifies backup and maintenance for several other reasons that I will not bore you with (due to quirks in some programs that I run).  The system is bare except for Windows98 at this point, so these programs can not be creating problems.
======================================
To: Apoc
#1 Your problem may lie in your bios in the IDE Auto-Detect section.  I would try redetecting if you have that option in your bios.  Your first hard drive should use "Normal" and your second, "LBA".  
PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE DRIVE. I HAVE PARTITIONED IT INTO MULTIPLE LOGICAL DRIVES.
FYI the drive is set in the bios as LBA.  It worked great under Windows95 OSR2.


#2 There is no harm done trying different configurations to see what will boot.  Another option might be to disable "Floppy drive seek at bootup".  This is merely a diagnostic and is usually not needed.
I already had it turned off, and I also normally disable boot from A: as a safety measure.  After initial install, I turned my boot to C: A:
======================================
To: astaec

#1 Curious why you chose to install Windows on the D drive; yet attempting to boot to C.
Please see #5 above addressed to drew.  One other reason is that it provides a small measure
of virus/trojan protection.  If someone managed to bomb me with a FORMAT C: it creates no
real problem as I simply need to restore C: since it never changes - I won't even loose a few days work (any onther partition may not have been backed up for 2 or three days).

#2 Cannot Access Hard Disk After Booting from Floppy Disk
For everyones info there is NO DRIVEMANAGER or similar software in use. The drive is a FUJITSU MPB3064AT - BIOS recognizes correctly - set to LBA MODE in the BIOS

#3 Windows 98 Second Edition Setuptip.txt File
The final link I'm including has additional links to each of the Windows 98 SE readme files   helpful.
Thanks for pointing these out, but I did read through them before comming online with the problem.
======================================
moore031197Asked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

dew_associatesCommented:
Moore, unfortunately there are no "SOLID" answers that anyone could post as there are too many variables involved.

Although my intuition tells me that it may be a bad cluster on the drive, there are a raft of other things that could cause this.

First, you didn't need to create a config.sys or an autoexec.bat unless you intended to use a boot menu, but based upon your post, it doesn't appear as though you are doing this. Check the path statement in the autoexec.bat file as well as autoexec.dos.

Next, I would start with the bios for the motherboard and make sure that it is current. If its as old as the motherboard, it could cause problems as well.

To go any further, I would need to know how you're handling boot issues on the "C" drive.
Dennis
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ApocCommented:
Your problem may lie in your bios in the IDE Auto-Detect section.  I would try redetecting if you have that option in your bios.  Your first hard drive should use "Normal" and your second, "LBA".  There is no harm done trying different configurations to see what will boot.  Another option might be to disable "Floppy drive seek at bootup".  This is merely a diagnostic and is usually not needed.
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
Curious why you chose to install Windows on the D drive; yet attempting to boot to C.  
---

Windows 98 Second Edition General.txt File
http://support.microsoft.com/support/windows/readme/Win98se/W98segeneraltxt.asp?LNG=ENG&SA=PER#KNOWN
---
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q188/8/67.ASP?LNG=ENG&SA=PER

Troubleshooting Windows 98 Startup Problems

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The information in this article applies to:

Microsoft Windows 98
Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This article describes troubleshooting steps that may help you solve problems starting Windows 98. This information is also available in our Windows 98 Startup and Shutdown Troubleshooting Wizard. We recommend using this wizard, but we have also created this text-based article for your convenience. The Windows 98 Startup and Shutdown Troubleshooting Wizard is located on the following Microsoft Web page:

http://support.microsoft.com/support/tshoot/default.asp

SUMMARY
This article lists troubleshooting steps you can use if your computer stops responding (hangs), or you receive an error message, such as a fatal exception error message or an invalid VxD error message.

This article describes troubleshooting steps using the System Information Utility (Msconfig.exe). After restarting your computer several times, this tool can help isolate a specific file or registry entry that is causing the problem. Once the specific entry that is causing the problem is determined, you should edit the appropriate file or registry key to remove the entry and then return the System Configuration Utility to Normal Startup mode.

For information about clean booting Windows 98 using the System Configuration Utility, please see the "Narrowing the Focus" section in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

ARTICLE - ID: Q192926
TITLE : How to Perform Clean-Boot Troubleshooting for Windows 98

More details when you connect to above link.




0
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q245/1/62.asp?LNG=ENG&SA=PER

Cannot Access Hard Disk After Booting from Floppy Disk
---

http://support.microsoft.com/support/windows/readme/Win98se/w98sesetuptiptxt.asp?LNG=ENG&SA=PER

Windows 98 Second Edition Setuptip.txt File

----

The final link I'm including has additional links to each of the Windows 98 SE readme files ;  helpful.

http://support.microsoft.com/support/windows/readme/win98se/w98sereadme.asp

0
moore031197Author Commented:
Edited text of question.
0
moore031197Author Commented:
Thanks to all who have posted so far. Please see my comments that I have added to the original question.  
0
dew_associatesCommented:
Moore, what you have posted helps somewhat, but unfortunately there are several other factors that enter the equation. Let's deal with a few of them in order to try and point to the problem, but before doing so I feel as I did before, that the issue is with the hardware. The problem is either with the motherboard and bios, a memory module problem or a hard drive problem especially with the first physical sector on the drive.

Your mentioned of bootstrap reinforces my contention as to what is wrong. At the end of the ROM BIOS bootstrap routine, the BIOS reads and executes the first physical sector of the first hard disk drive on the system. This first sector of the hard disk is called the master boot record (or sometimes the partition table or master boot block). At the beginning of this sector of the hard disk is a small program. At the end of this sector is where the partition information, or partition table, is stored. This program uses the partition information to determine which partition is bootable (usually the first primary DOS partition) and attempts to boot from it.
 
This program is what is written to the disk by FDISK /MBR and is usually called
the master boot record. During normal operation, Fdisk writes this program to
the disk *only if there is no master boot record*. Repartitioning with Fdisk does not rewrite this information. Fdisk has an undocumented parameter called /MBR that causes it to write the master boot record to the hard disk without altering the partition table information. On certain hard disks partitioned with SpeedStor, writing the master boot record to the hard disk in this manner can make them unstable or unusable. It can also cause problems for some dual-boot programs and disks with more than four partitions.

So, in answer to your query, could this be a bootstrap problem, yes it could. Not at a Windows 98 level, but rather at the ROM BIOS level on the motherboard. As you can see by the above though, the same problem can arise if there is a flaw in a memory module, and likewise, if there is a problem with the first sector on the drive. Merely running scandisk will not always detect this. You would need a lower level utility to root out this problem if it is at the drive level.
Dennis


0
SmartGamerCommented:
In the BIOS, is there a function that lets you swap boot priority? if so, change it to Try To Boot C: Before A:; or whatever drives you can find. I'm watching...
0
Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
Hi, Moore,

   If I may propose; it makes following this thread easier for all if you post comments as you go through the process versus amending your original question to track progress.  Plus, it makes your input process quicker as well.

Asta
0
Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
http://support.microsoft.com/support/windows/readme/98/W98fat32ebdtxt.asp?LNG=ENG&SA=PER

Windows 98 Fat32ebd.txt


Microsoft Windows 98 README
for the Fat32 Emergency Boot Disk


0
moore031197Author Commented:
Thanks all for suggestions so far... my comments/feedback are as follows:

To: dew_associates

Thanks for your quick reply.  Please help me on a couple of points. RE:

Moore, what you have posted helps somewhat, but unfortunately there are several other factors that enter the equation. Let's deal with a few of them in order to try and point to the problem, but before doing so I feel as I did before, that the issue is with the hardware. The problem is either with the motherboard and bios, a memory module problem or a hard drive problem especially with the first physical sector on the drive.

#1 - [problem is either with the motherboard and bios]
FYI BIOS INFORMATION WHILE BOOTING
Award Modula Bios v4.50PG (c)1984-95
Award Plug & Play Extension v1.0A (c)1995
Adaptec AHA-1540CP/1542CP BIOS v1.02 (c) 1995

INFO FROM THE SETUP PROGRAM:
ROM PCI/ISA BIOS (2A59CM29)
The Following settings MAY be important:
(There are others such as memory & I/O wait
times that I have not mentioned)
BOOT SEQUENCE        - C,A
SWAP FLOPPY          - DISABLED
BOOT FLOPPY SEEK     - DISABLED
PCI/VGA PALETTE SWAP - DISABLED
VIDEO BIOS SHADOW    - ENABLED (2)
C8000-CBFFF SHADOW   - DISABLED
CC000-CFFFF SHADOW   - DISABLED
D0000-D3FFF SHADOW   - DISABLED
D4000-D7FFF SHADOW   - ENABLED (1)
D8000-DBFFF SHADOW   - DISABLED
DC000-DFFFF SHADOW   - DISABLED
 
SYSTEM BIOS CACHABLE - DISABLED(3)
VIDEO BIOS CACHABLE  - DISABLED
MEMORY HOLE AT 15-16M- DISABLED

PCI CONCURRENCY      - DISABLED
PCI STREAMING        - ENABLED
PCI BURST            - ENABLED

HARD DRIVE INFO
PRIMARY MASTER CHS,MODE4
SIZE   6481MB
CYLS   788
HEAD   255
LANDZ  13409
SECTOR 63
LBA

There is also a secondary master (SparQ)- it is empty (no cartridge) and not used.
I have NOT loaded any softare to support any of my other hardware (Printer, SCSI Scanner, CD-RW Drive, Sound Card, PCI Serial Card for COM3/4 etc.)

I also borrowed a copy of Windows98 First Edition and tried it - same problem.  Using the Windows 98 first edition, I also tried changing the settings above to:
(1) D4000-D7FFF SHADOW   - ENABLED to DISABLED
(2) VIDEO BIOS SHADOW    - ENABLED to DISABLED
(3) SYSTEM BIOS CACHABLE - DISABLED to ENABLED
in sequence leaving the previous change until all three changes were made.  The system still functioned properly, but the problem did not go away/

#2 - a memory module problem
Would changing the shadow setings as mentioned above case a shift in memory allocation?
On repeated self tests, the memory test always passes.  Is there a way to alter the memory footprint?

If it was a memory problem why does Drop to MS-DOS followed by CTRL-ALT-DEL work but RESTART from the START MENU not work?

#3 - Your mentioned of bootstrap reinforces my contention as to what is wrong. At the end of the ROM BIOS bootstrap routine, the BIOS reads and executes the first physical sector of the first hard disk drive on the system. This first sector of the hard disk is called the master boot record (or sometimes the partition table or master boot block). At the beginning of this sector of the hard disk is a small program. At the end of this sector is where the partition information, or partition table, is stored. This program uses the partition information to determine which partition is bootable (usually the first primary DOS partition) and attempts to boot from it.

This is my understanding too, but what I am not clear about is what is the difference between:
1-Hard Boot (Reset Button)
2-Warm Boot from MS-DOS mode
3-Restart from the START menu
My guess is the difference between 2 & 3 is that Windows memory management is walking over data that is rewritten by a hard boot, but not with a warm boot.  How would I troubleshoot/resolve a problem?

#4 - This program is what is written to the disk by FDISK /MBR and is usually called
the master boot record. During normal operation, Fdisk writes this program to the disk *only if there is no master boot record*. Repartitioning with Fdisk does not rewrite this information. Fdisk has an undocumented parameter called /MBR that causes it to write the master boot record to the hard disk without altering the partition table information. On certain hard disks partitioned with SpeedStor, writing the master boot record to the hard disk in this manner can make them unstable or unusable. It can also cause problems for some dual-boot programs and disks with more than four partitions.

I dropped to MS-DOS mode and tried using FDISK (Windows 98) and executed
FDISK /MBR
from D:\WINDOWS - the command returned without any messages.  It did not cause any problems, but also did not fix the problem.

#5 - So, in answer to your query, could this be a bootstrap problem, yes it could. Not at a Windows 98 level, but rather at the ROM BIOS level on the motherboard.

Why would Windows95 work OK?  As mentioned, I have my hard drive mounted in a bracket, and have been back and forth between my attempts to build 98 and my production 95 system.  Windows 95 works fine on an idential drive (Same model & partition structure).  The drive that I am rebuilding was my old copy of my production system that I copied with GHOST, and then reformatted as previously described.


#6 - As you can see by the above though, the same problem can arise if there is a flaw in a memory module, and likewise, if there is a problem with the first sector on the drive. Merely running scandisk will not always detect this. You would need a lower level utility to root out this problem if it is at the drive level.

Does not Windows95 require integrity of that first sector as well.  I removed a functioning Windows95. I could try running reinstalling Windows95 on the drive if you think there is any point in it - I also have a small 4.0GB Western Digital Drive that has an old 95 build on it that I could wipe clean and try.

Thanks again Dennis - any additional points/suggestions would be appreciated.
----
To: SmartGamer
#1 In the BIOS, is there a function that lets you swap boot priority? if so, change it to Try To Boot C: Before A:; or whatever drives you can find. I'm watching...

Thanks... but already done.... see above.

To: astaec
If I may propose; it makes following this thread easier for all if you post comments as you go through the process versus amending your original question to track progress.  Plus, it makes your input process quicker as well.

Hi Asta.... No problem... suggestion noted.
-----
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moore031197Author Commented:
To: astaec

#1 - http://support.microsoft.com/support/windows/readme/98/W98fat32ebdtxt.asp?LNG=ENG&SA=PER 
Windows 98 Fat32ebd.txt
Microsoft Windows 98 README for the Fat32 Emergency Boot Disk
---
Sorry I missed your point... I have read this FAQ... what are you suggesting?
0
Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
My thinking here was that perhaps a mix of fat16 (boot drive) and fat32 others caused some havoc (assuming you last booted successfully from A and never from C since the redo of your environs).  You mentioned, "When I had this problem, I thought It might be because I started from a WINDOWS95 boot inmage, so I created a Windows98 boot floppy with system files and FORMAT command.  Repeated steps 1-4
above after booting from the Windows98 boot floppy I just created.  Again - same problem." .... and this led me to recommend using the actual windows 98-based EBD with all requirements to boot, including the ability to boot/use CD-Rom (assuming your BIOS is updated to support CD-ROM boot as well).

My motherboard, for example, on one of my primary test systems is an older Asus, and an AMIBIOS as well (probably about as old as yours; and I've upgraded/flashed the bios numerous times after checking the motherboard site for 'relevant' upgrades.

If not relevant, or nonsensical, sorry, it's been a long night.

Asta

 
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
When your system first boots (or reboots) you should be able to depress the PAUSE button to read the BIOS details on your start up screen.  It's a toggle option, so to resume, hit PAUSE again when you've captured the information and can post for us.  

THIS IS ONLY IF YOUR ISSUES IS STILL UNRESOLVED, OF COURSE.  

When you issue the RESTART command that causes this problem, are you sure you're not running a dos-based application in the background?

If the case, check this for pertinence:

http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q130/4/48.asp?LNG=ENG&SA=PER




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moore031197Author Commented:
To: astaec

#1- My thinking here was that perhaps a mix of fat16 (boot drive) and fat32 others caused some havoc (assuming you last booted successfully from A and never from C since the redo of your environs).  You mentioned, "When I had this problem, I thought It might be because I started from a WINDOWS95 boot inmage, so I created a Windows98 boot floppy with system files and FORMAT command.  Repeated steps 1-4 above after booting from the Windows98 boot floppy I just created.  Again - same problem." .... and this led me to recommend using the actual windows 98-based EBD with all requirements to boot, including the ability to boot/use CD-Rom (assuming your BIOS is updated to support CD-ROM boot as well).

My motherboard, for example, on one of my primary test systems is an older Asus, and an AMIBIOS as well (probably about as old as yours; and I've upgraded/flashed the bios numerous times after checking the motherboard site for 'relevant' upgrades.

Hi Asta...

#1 - I was thinking that my next step would be to totally wipe the drive and recreate.
I think in the absence of a better suggestion from elsewhere is to create an EBD as suggested, and then totally re FDISK the disk. Possibly without the FAT16 partition... good idea... hadn't thought about that one.

Please note that my system does boot very nicely from the C: drive.  It just ends up going to A: when I do a restart.  I can warm boot after dropping to MSDOS and it also works fine.
0
dew_associatesCommented:
Okay, let's go through your post. I'm not going to repeat all that you have posted, I'll just respond to it.

#1: While that Bios would be ok for Win95 from OSR1 through OSR2b, it is outdated and will cause a problem for Win98. The bios shouldn't really be any later than 9/98 and preferably between 11/98 to 12/98.

What you may want to try as a shot in the dark would be to: (A) See if there is a Bios flash upgrade available, or at least (B) find a clear CMOS jumper on the motherboard, and if found, shut the system down, remove the power cord, clear the cmos and put the jumper back, reapply power and then boot into the Bios setup and choose either the default settings or optimal. Then check your processor and drive settings and leave all others at the defaults.

NOTE: For now remove the SPARC drive from IDE#2.

#2: <<Would changing the shadow setings as mentioned above case a shift in memory allocation?>> YES

<<On repeated self tests, the memory test always passes.>>

This only tests for a complete module fail. You would need a read/write test on the module to determine whether it is ok or not.

<<Is there a way to alter the memory footprint?>> Not really. You can preallocate memory areas, but in general that will cause problems for Windows and may even cause strange problems such as continous reboots etc.

<<If it was a memory problem why does Drop to MS-DOS followed by CTRL-ALT-DEL work but RESTART from the START MENU not work?>>

Ctrl/Alt/Del causes a reboot via the boot prom, but a restart from the start menu relies on the APM feature of the board, a software signal from windows and data at the first physical sector.

#3:

1-Hard Boot (Reset Button) **Calls the physical boot prom in the MB Bios.

2-Warm Boot from MS-DOS mode **Does the same thing, calls the physical boot prom in the MB Bios.

3-Restart from the START menu

<<My guess is the difference between 2 & 3 is that Windows memory management is walking over data that is rewritten by a hard boot, but not with a warm boot.>>

Nice try, but no joy! No Windows version walks over any boot prom issues. 1 and 2 are direct boot prom handlers, which windows causes the boot process by first shutting down all applications and then invokes a restart via the apm line. So, this problem could still be bios or disk related at the least.

<<How would I troubleshoot/resolve a problem?>>

I would start at the MB level as I noted earlier in this post. Then, using a Win98 startup boot disk, I'd pull all of the partitions, put new ones in and then load the OS by using the boot disk to access the CD rom drive.

#4:<<I dropped to MS-DOS mode and tried using FDISK (Windows 98) and executed
FDISK /MBR from D:\WINDOWS - the command returned without any messages.  It did not cause any problems, but also did not fix the problem.>>

Why would you run fdisk/mbr from D:\Windows? Boot to the Win98 floppy and then run fdisk/mbr.

#5: <<Why would Windows95 work OK?>>

Different OS than 98, and 95 was optimized for your outdated bios.

<<As mentioned, I have my hard drive mounted in a bracket, and have been back and forth between my attempts to build 98 and my production 95 system.  Windows 95 works fine on an idential drive (Same model & partition structure).  The drive that I am rebuilding was my old copy of my production system that I copied with GHOST, and then reformatted as previously described.>>

Some of these problems you are having may be caused by these ghost images, but I'm not certain of this.

#6: <<Does not Windows95 require integrity of that first sector as well.  I removed a functioning Windows95. I could try running reinstalling Windows95 on the drive if you think there is any point in it>>

Only to the level of a valid MBR, but again, you are dealing with Win98 and an outdated Bios.

<<I also have a small 4.0GB Western Digital Drive that has an old 95 build on it that I could wipe clean and try.>>

I don't think this would server any purpose at the moment. See my comments at the end of the response for #3. I'd start there.

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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
Dennis, you know so much; awesome!  Is there no end to learning?

Anyway, just wanted to insert a small comment about the ghosting issue.  Although my software was different, also had images built in past times using many different vendor's software and NEVER found this to be a flawed process; it was always as though the dynamic nature of things never properly updated all requirements/interfaces.

Listening further.

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moore031197Author Commented:
To: dew_associates

Hi Dennis....

#1. What you may want to try as a shot in the dark would be to: (A) See if there is a Bios flash upgrade available, or at least ....

Where would I look for the flash upgrade?  The MB is a no name clone.

#2. (B) find a clear CMOS jumper on the motherboard, and if found, shut the system down, remove the power cord, clear the cmos and put the jumper back, reapply power and then boot into the Bios setup and choose either the default settings or optimal. Then check your processor and drive settings and leave all others at the defaults.

Is powerdown/short out jumper necessary... the setup program has a menu option to do exactly what you are suggesting.
---
#3 - Ctrl/Alt/Del causes a reboot via the boot prom, but a restart from the start menu relies on the APM feature of the board, a software signal from windows and data at the first physical sector.

I assume APM means automatic power management?  I have disabled all shutdown settings in the bios.  Can you expand on this a bit?  Also why would hitting [CTRL-ALT-DEL] not clear this problem.  It still goes back to trying to boot from A:.
---
Thanks for the input, I am going to try cleaning the drive bare and recreating it from an EBD.


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dew_associatesCommented:
#1:<<Where would I look for the flash upgrade?  The MB is a no name clone.>>

No-name or not, every motherboard has a manufacturer and a bios made for it by one of the big four (was five). So you may have to do a little work via the vendor for support, they should have flash instructions.

#2:<<Is powerdown/short out jumper necessary... the setup program has a menu option to do exactly what you are suggesting.>>

If what you are suggesting will actually clear the cmos, which then requires you to reset the settings therein via botting into the bios setup, then yes.

#3:<<I have disabled all shutdown settings in the bios.  Can you expand on this a bit?>>

APM also refers to the motherboards circuitry and is part of the ROM BIOS.

<<Also why would hitting [CTRL-ALT-DEL] not clear this problem.>>

A Ctrl/Alt/Del only causes a signal to the ROM to reboot the dynamic side of the bios and clear the memory structure, nothing more.

<<It still goes back to trying to boot from A:.>>

Like I said earlier a few times, there's too many factors here, Bios, how you setup the machine, the boot partition on "C", the OS on "D".

I'd starting hunting a Bios or a board.

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ApocCommented:
Certain peripherals can cause restart problems with Win98.  I had a 48x cd-rom that would detect normally during cold boot, but whenever I did a restart from Win98, the cd-rom would not detect, and would not even let me eject the cd afterward.  Unfortunately, my solution was to get a new cd-rom.

I guess what I'm getting at is that maybe you should swap in a different a: drive or just remove it temporarily just to see if that alleviates your problem.
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moore031197Author Commented:
Dennis you may well be right about the BIOS update needed, but before I go to that step I wanted to run one more thing past the group here.  I downloaded some motherboard drivers
from the manufacturer's site, and installed them.  The problem went away except that I don't think that it was the right driver because when I went to the system properties page my hard drive had disappeared!  However the system seemed to work OK.  It said something about performace degraded Drive in MS-DOS compatability mode or something similar.

Then I stripped down the drive an repartitioned it and installed windows on C:\WINDOWS.  
The C: partition is about 1.8MB and is a FAT32 partition.  Reformatted and reinstalled
Windows98.  The problem returned.  

Decided to run System Info, and under the PROBLEM DEVICES, I found the following.
I'm wondering if this might be the source of the problem.  

 PCI Input Controller
    Unknown
    This Device Has a Problem: Code=28 (0x1C)
    The drivers for this device are not installed correctly. To install the driver
    for this device, click the Driver tab, and then click Update Driver.
    Registry Key:           HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\enum\PCI\VEN_1102&DEV_7002&SUBSYS_00201102&REV_05\BUS_00&DEV_11&FUNC_01
    Alloc resources:          Logical Configuration 0
    IO Range:                 Base=x6100 End=x6107 Min=x0000 Max=xFFFF  Alias=xFF, Decode=x00
    Forced resources:         None
    Boot resources:      Logical Configuration 0
    IO Range:            Base=x6100 End=x6107 Min=x0000 Max=xFFFF  Alias=xFF, Decode=x00
    Filtered resources:  None
    Basic resources:     Logical Configuration 0
    IO Range:            Base=x6100 End=x6107 Min=x0000 Max=xFFFF  Alias=xFF, Decode=x00
    HW Revision:         005
    Driver:              Driver Not Installed

If so, wonder where to get a driver.  What is a PCI Input controller - is it involved with
the IDE Controller?

Thanks again for the assistance.  Other than the upgraded BIOS, any more suggestions anyone?


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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
Dennis will be responding, I'm sure, wanted to share this link.  It describes the various error codes that Device Manager and MSINFO32 reflect.

http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q125/1/74.ASP

In the meantime, perhaps this link to DRIVERS helps.

http://www.driver-forum.com/sound/8930.html

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dew_associatesCommented:
When you downloaded those drivers and installed them, the problem really didn't go away, it was just masked as the drivers failed to load, thereby forcing the system into MS-DOS compatibility mode. As a side note, motherboard drivers for all boards prior to 8/98 are on the Win98 CD. Therefore, this again points the need to clear the CMOS portion of the Bios Prom, reset the bios settings and then setup the system. And, if at all possible, update the bios.

Can you point me to any infomation at all regarding this particular motherboard?
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moore031197Author Commented:
To: Dennis
#1 - When you downloaded those drivers and installed them, the problem really didn't go away, it was just masked as the drivers failed to load, thereby forcing the system into MS-DOS compatibility

That's what I thought...

I am certainly convinced that your are right that the BIOS needs to be upgraded.  

Info on the Bios and MB:
Award Modular Bios v4.50PG
03/26/96-i430FX-2A59CM29C-00
----
MB is made by MyComp - PCI54ITS - V2.0B
Web Site: www.mycomp-tmc.com
----
Wasn't quite sure which upgrade to use... there are 4 upgrades shown-tried to download all 4, but only 2 of them would actually download.  It appears that the most recent were OK.  Now I need a way to make sure I don't kill my system by doing the flash.  

Have you flashed a system before?  I did some reading around the internet, and I found a site
http://www.ping.be/bios/ (I assume you know about this site... if you don't, give it a peek)- gave a whole rundown on the process, and if they are correct, the flash programs SHOULD save the image and there SHOULD BE a boot BIOS that will allow running the flash program from an AUTOEXEC.BAT file on a bootable floppy.  I would feel a lot more comfortable being SURE that I could read an image of the BIOS BEFORE I do the actual flash.  I would want to make sure that I had that AUTOEXEC.BAT set up and working just in case.

This has been the weekend from H#LL!  After working on the test drive(W98), I went to put my W95 drive back, and it was not being recognized.  I don't know exactly what happened, but I fooled around going back and forth.  Finally when I set up the BIOS for a 4.0GB Western Digital Drive with W95 on it, (other drives are 6.4GB Fujitsu), and then set up the W95 Fujitsu again, the drive came back to life.  Then I could not get the W98 drive to be recognized any more.  Then all of a sudden it started to work, so I cleaned it off with W95 (FDISK & then Format) and made the geometry idential with my production drive.  I don't know what kind of memory about the drive other than the type/size/cyls/LBA that shows on the setup screen is held by the CMOS, but it seems there must be something weird going on.  Sure scared the CR#P out of me though.

I wonder how I can find out FOR SURE which is the correct BIOS, and if I'm going to have any problems if I upgrade.  I can't afford to loose the system.
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dew_associatesCommented:
In order that you an I stay on the same page as to bios updates, here are the four that I see:

PCI54IT & PCI54ITS

#1 PCI54ITD.EXE
Award BIOS Version I13. For PCI54IT 2.00 (SMC 665). This BIOS adds support for Y2K Compliance.

#2 PCI54IT10T.EXE
Award BIOS Version I10T-ZG. This BIOS version supports PCI54IT (SMC 665 only). It will add 200MHz to the sign-on message to the I10-ZG version.

#3 PCI54IT10U.EXE
Award BIOS Version I10U-ZG: For use with UMC's 669 Super I/O Floppy Disk Controller with Infrared Support.

#4 PCI54IT8U.EXE
AMI BIOS Version T8U-ZG: For use with UMC's 669 multi-I/O chip.

As you can see, I've numbered each of the choices.

#4 is not an option, as it is an AMI bios upgrade and your board is using Award.

Choices #1 & #2 are for 665 chipset, while #3 is for a 669.

So now we need to determine which chipset you have.

As for the procedure using an autoexec.bat file to do this, ignore it as it's dangerous. I'll make sure you have a step by step when your ready.

In the meantime, lets find out which chipset you have.

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moore031197Author Commented:
Hi Dennis....

Yes we are on the same page.  I have downloaded both #1 and #2.  

Not quite sure how to tell which chipset I have.  In the manual there is a dirgram which shows jumper locations, and a few of the key chips.  There is a 37C665 on that diagram.  I assume that is what we are looking for.

What is a 37C665... I know the C means CMOS, but I have never seen that one before.

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dew_associatesCommented:
37C665 is the bus chipset for the motherboard. Make sure that your manual doesn't identify any other chipset except for that one.
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moore031197Author Commented:
The Chips shown are 37C665, 82437, 82371, 82438 (Think this s a chache memory chip)
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dew_associatesCommented:
Okay then, #1 should be the correct bios update as it provides year 2k compliance. Are you familiar with the bios flash procedure. Its easy, but I just want to make sure you are comfortable with it. It won't kill the Bios, but the recovery procedure should be handy as well.
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moore031197Author Commented:
Hi Dennis...

#1-Okay then, #1 should be the correct bios update.....
OK-Door #1 it is!

#2-Are you familiar with the bios flash procedure.
Have never done it.... Read the README that came inside the file... It looks very simple AS LONG AS IT WORKS....  the concern is the disclaimer USE AT OWN RISK... YOUR SYSTEM MAY NOT BOOT etc...

#3-Its easy, but I just want to make sure you are comfortable with it.
It looks it... what do I need on hand when I do it? I would assume a bootable floppy with space to store the old BIOS.  Since the BIOS is not cached, the system could be unable to do any I/O immediately after flashing???  
My procedure would be:
1-Prepare a bootable floppy with space to store the recovery file on.  
(I was thinking about making it a DOS6 boot since I have an old notebook I can use that is running DOS6 if I have to make up some type of recovery disk.
2-Start the computer to be flashed in MSDOS mode.
3-Run the Flash program and tell it to save the old BIOS to the A: prepared in #1
4-PRAY
5-REBOOT & PRAY SOMEMORE!

#4-It won't kill the Bios, but the recovery procedure should be handy as well.
What do I do if the system won't boot after flashing?  If this happens I won't be able
to communicate with you because I won't have a system.

-----

I can no longer access the Disk that I put Windows98 on... think it is a matter of it being FSISKED with messed up BIOS, but I'm not sure.  Know of any way to clear the disk off.
(Was reading that there is a known bug in the Win95 FDISK (Not sure if it applies to OSR2
or just the original version of Win95.
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dew_associatesCommented:
Okay, let's see if we can streamline this some to reduce stress.

<<#3-Its easy, but I just want to make sure you are comfortable with it.
It looks it... what do I need on hand when I do it?>>

If you can Win95 or win98 running, put a floppy into the drive, go into my computer, right click on the floppy drive and choose format and copy system files. Now boot to it to verify that it is bootable. If it is, make another one as a backup.

<<I would assume a bootable floppy with space to store the old BIOS.  Since the BIOS is not cached, the system could be unable to do any I/O immediately after flashing???>>

Yes, you would have the system files to make the floppy bootable, the flash program and the new bios. During the procedure, you would save the old bios as OLDBIOS.XXX, with XXX representing the same file extension as the new one. As an example, if the file in abcde.bin, then the saved one would be oldbios.bin. This will aloow you to flash back to it in the event there is a problem.

<<My procedure would be:
1-Prepare a bootable floppy with space to store the recovery file on.>>

Use My Computer as noted above if you can.

<<2-Start the computer to be flashed in MSDOS mode.>>

By booting to the floppy with the bios update on it.

<<3-Run the Flash program and tell it to save the old BIOS to the A: prepared in #1>>

Right!

NOTE: Make sure that the motherboard does not have a bios block jumper. Some motherboards require that you move a jumper let's say from its default of 2-3 to 1-2 to enable the bios to be flashed. Verify whether or not this is the case.

<<4-PRAY
<<5-REBOOT & PRAY SOMEMORE!>>

You'll be fine!

<<#4-It won't kill the Bios, but the recovery procedure should be handy as well. What do I do if the system won't boot after flashing?  If this happens I won't be able to communicate with you because I won't have a system.>>

Generally, to revert to the original bios, you repeat the procedure and flash back to the old bios. Your motherboard and/or bios data should refer to this. Check it!

-----

<<I can no longer access the Disk that I put Windows98 on... think it is a matter of it being FSISKED with messed up BIOS, but I'm not sure.  Know of any way to clear the disk off.(Was reading that there is a known bug in the Win95 FDISK (Not sure if it applies to OSR2
or just the original version of Win95.)

At this point, don't do anything with it until you verify that the motherboard is ready with a current bios and then we can deal with it. It could be a drive recognition problem caused by the bios or an fdisk problem or a disk problem, but there's no way to tell until you are at a known point.
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moore031197Author Commented:
After flashing if something goes wrong, I won't be able to reboot will I - or at least there is a good chance I won't.  If that happens, how do I reflash?

<Your motherboard and/or bios data should refer to this. Check it!>
Sorry.... I don't understand.... can you please clarify this for me?

I need to discuss this now, because if it happens, I won't be able to  communicate with you because I won't have a system!

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dew_associatesCommented:
Okay, I've just sent them an inquiry to double check the bios recovery method for the board.
0
moore031197Author Commented:
Thanks I'll stay tuned!
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SmartGamerCommented:
Looking at a much older comment of Dennis's, the one about 3 types of reboot:
Type One: Hit The @#$% Reset Button
Pressing the reset button is as close to a power cycle as a computer can get without power-cycling. It's almost the same, but not all devices get re-initialised the same way as they do in the kick-in-the-seat-of-the-data Power Cycle.

Type Two: Shut Down to Dos, type "EXIT"
This isn't a reboot. It's a restart. The boot sector is not called in my computer, anyway; Windows is just run again.

Type Three: Start Menu Reboot
This is a true reboot where it calls the MB sector, but unlike a Kick-In-The-Seat-Of-The-Data, it does not correctly re-init all or even most of the drivers. My network fails if I do that reboot. It works fine, however, with either of the other 2 methods.

I know this is off the topic, but you asked about the difference.

P.S. Dennis, this is how MY computer is. Maybe yours and everyone else's is different, mine's 10 years old with 6 month old boards but an old MBS and BIOS. Don't flame me this time about bad info; it's how it is for me.
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dew_associatesCommented:
Relax SG, I won't flame you. Your young and in your learning curve making an old network work. There's nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately though, you can't draw comparisons betweenhow your older systems work and newer ones, and must allow for that in your comments.
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dew_associatesCommented:
Moore, here's the boot block recovery procedure:

Steps to restore Boot Block BIOS:

1. Create a bootable floppy as you did before.

Put these three files on it.

A. flash upgrade utility

   (a copy of the one you will use t flash the new bios)

B. the BIOS binary file

   (this would be your old bios, so name as I noted above OLDBIOS.BIN)

C. AUTOEXEC.BAT

   (This you will modify to add one line as follows:

flashutility oldbios.bin /Py /Sn>

(note that /Py /Sn means Program=Yes, Save=No, and it makes the procedure run without user intervention)

An Example of the autoexec.bat line:

flash613 114in12.bin /Py /Sn

2. Boot the system from the bootable diskette containing the three files from Step 1. The system then runs flash utility according to the line in AUTOEXEC.BAT. Note that because Boot Block BIOS is small, it does not support PCI and AGP VGA graphics cards - it supports only ISA VGA cards. If you cannot find an ISA card for this procedure, you'll still be able to complete it, but without seeing anything on the screen.

You can also try to reset the CMOS by removing the CMOS battery for at least 2 minutes and try to short the negative and positive side of the battery socket by pressing it downward.

Then repeat the recovery procedure.
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moore031197Author Commented:
Hi Dennis...

Tried doing the flash, and here is what happened.  The choices were:

PCI54ITD.EXE
Award BIOS Version I13. For PCI54IT 2.00 (SMC 665). This BIOS adds support for Y2K Compliance.
(FYI Date on the .BIN file is 06/06/97)

PCI54IT10T.EXE
Award BIOS Version I10T-ZG. This BIOS version supports PCI54IT (SMC 665 only). It will add 200MHz to the sign-on message to the I10-ZG version.
(FYI Date on the .BIN file is 08/08/96)

#1-First tried to Flash using PCI54ITD as you suggested, and I got the following warning:

This Programs File's Part Number does not match your system.
[(So Much for the english :) ]

So I aborted, and did not do the flash... then I tried the other one P54IT10T.  The flash
worked, and after rebooting, the bios displayed

AWARD MODULAR BIOS v4.51PG  [Was v4.50PG]
05/06/96-i430FX-2A59CM29C-00  [Date was 03/26/96]

System works fine except with the drive that I set up under Windows98.  System still does not recognize the drive prepared under Windows98.

Thought the drive might be defective, so I took it over to my father's - he has an Asus P2B w/PII-233 [AWARD BIOS V4.51PG - Revision 1002 04/02/98].  I successfully loaded Windows98 on that drive that I can not even access on my machine.  The drive and Windows98 works flawlessly on the ASUS P2B.  [Therefore we can assume the problem isn't the drive-Correct?]


Questions:
#1-Is there is nothing else I should try?  
[I assume I was right not to flash with PCI54ITD]

#2-Am I correct in assuming the problem isn't the drive because I was able to make it work on another machine?

#3-If there is nothing else to try, what can I do to clean off the hard drive so I use it again under Windows95?

Thanks Again!

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dew_associatesCommented:
As I see it, you have two options. Pickup a better motherboard, as there are some hot releases out right now and the prices are right, OR, just Fdisk the drive with the Windows 95 Fdisk, pull and re-create the partitions and then format and install Win95. There's still some great socket 7 motherboards out there!
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moore031197Author Commented:
I assume not flashing with PCI54ITD that gave the warning:

<This Programs File's Part Number does not match your system.>

was the correct thing to do?

FDISK can not read the drive!!!  Any Ideas?


0
dew_associatesCommented:
Moore, all things considered now, the problems you may have been seeing may have been the motherboard going bad, or at the very least a severe bios problem. Can I presume that after you flashed the bios, you cleared the Cmos and then set the cmos to it default settings and then made sure that the hard drive recognition was then done?
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moore031197Author Commented:
I reset to default settings...  Put in my Win95 drive... did autorecognize....
worked fine... tried to the same with the Windows98 drive....

One thing with the Win95 Drive I get a message ESCD Updated... but for some reason I don't get this with the Win98 Drive.

What is ESCD?

What does clearing the CMOS do that resetting to default settings doen't?

0
dew_associatesCommented:
ESCD (Extended System Configuration Data) This is a place in the computer's PnP BIOSs where information about peripheral devices  is stored reflecting the status of the systems configuration the last time the computer was booted. This used to apply mostly to older legacy cards. Some motherboards have a BIOS which allows you to delete the ESCD information  from the BIOS after an older legacy card has been added or removed from the motherboard.

Some BIOSs also have a setting in the PnP section called "Reset Configuration Data". If you have a message "updating ESCD...." you can "reset" the configuration of the computer's ESCD, or you can flush it by shorting the clear Cmos jumpers.

On some motherboards operating with EDO memory you can also try Enabling the EDO DRAM install option which is found in the Chipset Features section of the BIOS depending on the age and design of the bios.

Normally NVRAM utlities are installed either in the bios and/or in the OS (but rarely) and this is a utility which uses the Plug and Play BIOS interface to read, write, and parse ESCD data from either the systems ESCD NVRAM storage area, or from files. When the Extended System Configuration Data update fails in the BIOS as the system boots, and the problem occurs with both AMI and Award BIOS versions, it is usually because the board uses a poorly written bios method to prevent using compressed BIOS code while updating ESCD (Extended System Configuration Data) memory area in the BIOS.

As for the Win95 over Win98, that is easy, the bios is not Win98 compatibile as Win98 has the ability parse out this data and prevent the error.


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moore031197Author Commented:
Hi Dennis....

FYI I found a program called SLATE that wipes the partition table.  Once I ran it, no more problems with Windows95.  For now, I am going to go back to Windows95...  maybe will upgrade my hardware later, but for now too much touble.

Thanks again for all your help.... I am declaring this issue closed, and you are clearly the winner (since you correctly identified the BIOS problem).

I have awarded you a 10% bonus for effort above & beyond the call of duty.

Thanks Again!

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moore031197Author Commented:
Hi Dennis....

                FYI I found a program called SLATE that wipes the partition table.  Once I ran it, no more problems with Windows95.  For now, I am going to go back to Windows95...  maybe will upgrade my hardware later, but for now too much touble.

Thanks again for all your help.... I am declaring this issue closed, and you are clearly the winner (since you correctly identified the BIOS problem).

I have awarded you a 10% bonus for effort above & beyond the call of duty.

Thanks Again!
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