Unable to Write to Disk Win98SE

I have an AMD K6 200 desktop with Win98SE, 64 RAM and a 10G HDD Master and 6G HDD Slave. The 10G was added by Best Buy over a year ago and has worked fine. Now I am getting a lot of "Unable to write to disk in drive C: Data or files may be lost. Press any key to continue." I can usually save before I reboot, but not always. It occurs with a variety of programs (Word 97, Outlook Express). I have run Norton Disk Doctor, defragged, etc and no problem is indicated. I have about 5.5G of files on the 10G drive (the C drive) and use the 6G only for backup.I have no network card.
mmarlinAsked:
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mmarlinAuthor Commented:
Edited text of question.
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sorgieCommented:
Just for the Hell of it run win scandisk in thorough mode.
Let it surface scan for bad sectors.
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oldgreyguyCommented:
sounds like you may have a Virus.

bill
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hemorrisCommented:
Check out your CD drive and drivers to make sure it is functioning properly.  Or just disconnect it and run machine.  If that solves problem you then you have isolated that the problem is the CD drive and/or its drivers.  Check the CD drive drivers in the autoexec.bat and config.sys first as they have probably been changed by some recently installed software.  If you are certain that the CD autoexec.bat and config.sys configurations are correct then you may have a bad (worn-out) drive.
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bchewCommented:
Back up everything important soon!  I think your hard drive is failing.

Good Luck,

Bert
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dew_associatesCommented:
I kind of agree with the Old Guy, I'd start by looking for a virus, and if none, then take a real hard look at that drive to see if there are problems.
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mmarlinAuthor Commented:
1. Most recent update of Norton Anti-Virus says drive is O.K.
2. Thorough Scandisk says disk is O.K.
3. Removing CD drivers has no effect.
4. Can the problem be software and would reformatting the drive be a possible solution?
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oldgreyguyCommented:
have you run SFC?
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mmarlinAuthor Commented:
What's an"SFC"
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dew_associatesCommented:
SFC is the system files checker that comes with Win98. Here's the procedure for running it. As a matter of fact, follow this from start to finish.

Have your Windows 98 CD Rom disk handy.

1.      Reboot the system and either hold the Ctrl key down right after memory post or when you see the “Starting Windows…” dialogue, touch the F8 key.
2.      Choose #5 Command (MSDOS)  Prompt only.
3.      At the dos prompt, change directories to X:\Windows\Command, with “X” being the directory where Windows is installed.
4.      Now type SCANREG/FIX <enter>
5.      Follow the dialogue and let Scanreg review your registry and make any necessary repairs.
6.      When Scanreg is done, reboot into Windows.

NEXT:

1.      Insert your Windows 98 CD Rom disk into the drive.
2.      Click Start, Run and type  SFC <OK>
3.      This will start the System File Checker.
4.      Click on the settings button and select “Check for changed and deleted files” and click OK to start.
5.      Replace any files that are detected as bad or corrupt. Also watch the file dates carefully and always try and replace older files (pre-May 1998) with newer files, and most important, always use the latest version numbers for all files. SFC will copy the old file to X:\Windows\Sysbckup in case you need it back.
6.      When SFC is done, reboot the system and note the performance.


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oldgreyguyCommented:
sorry about the quick comment, the brain is a little smooth on the explaination side

bill
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mmarlinAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all the ideas! I tried everyone's ideas but nothing helped so I concluded it was a bad drive and had Maxtor send a replacement. I installed the new drive and loaded Win98 and it works fine. My problem now is that it won't assign a Drive letter to my second hard drive where I have stored all my backup data. The computer bios recognizes the second drive and so does Win98. When I go to My Computer, System Properties, Device Manager, Disk Drives I see the two hard drives. The second drive property settings, however, show no Drive Letter Assignment and will not allow me to assign a letter. How can I get to my second drive?
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dew_associatesCommented:
Did you verify the jumper settings on the new drive to make sure it was jumpered as a master and that the second drive is jumpered as a slave?
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oldgreyguyCommented:
Are the drives jumpered properly.................Master....Slave?
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mmarlinAuthor Commented:
Both drives are jumpered corectly
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bchewCommented:
Do you have a CD-ROM?  If so, what drive letter is assigned to it?  Can you see both drives if you boot into DOS?  Are both hard drives connected to the same controller?  If not, which drive shares the controller with the CD?  

Bert
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mmarlinAuthor Commented:
The CD-ROM is "E". I cannot see the second HDD (slave) when I boot into DOS, only the "C" and floppy ("A") drives. The 2 HDD's are on the primary IDE Controller and the CD is on the secondary IDE Controller.
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dew_associatesCommented:
MM, it can only be one of 6 things!

1. The drive is dead
2. The drive is not getting power
3. The ribbon cable is not connected properly
4. The jumpers on the drives are wrong
5. The bios is not setup correctly for drive recognition
6. There's and entry in the boot files that prevent the drive from being recognized, such as lastdrive=d etc.
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bchewCommented:
What happens if you move the slave to the second controller?

Bert
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mmarlinAuthor Commented:
I'm leaving town for 2 weeks and have not had a chance to try all of the ideas so generously suggested. Will try again when I return on Feb 10.
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mmarlinAuthor Commented:
Problem wasn't solved, but at least I saved data to a ZIP as recommended by bchew. I would like to thank everyone who responded. Like most things in life, I learned a lot about my computer from problems that developed.-- Mark
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