Long freeze after double clicking on My Computer. Hard drive dying?

My Maxtor Diamondmax 18G harddrive was purchased back in fall of 1999(or was it 2000).  Did a format of C drive and reinstalled Win98SE.  Recently whenever I open "My Computer" in Win98SE, the "My Computer" window would freeze for ~15-20 seconds and the hardrive light stays on during that time.  After the freeze the icons for harddrive C, D, CD-Rom etc show up.  Symptoms started occuring only after the reinstall of windows.  This problem not only occurs in My Computer, but also whenever I try to change folder in Word 2000(freeze first time, but not subsquent change) or save file to a location other than default directory.  As far as I know there's no (loud) screeching sound from the pc case or other abnormal sounds for that matter.  I've defrag the harddrives(HD was partitioned into C and D drive), and I've dled and ran the powermax program from Maxtor.  Did install, basic and advanced test and all showed no error.  Have yet to run burn in test(~30min per run, need 2-3 runs?)  

Can anyone help me determine the problem?  Is this win98SE problem?  Or is my harddrive dying?

Thanks a lot for replying.
speed12sil2Asked:
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kiranghagCommented:
there is one more utility from maxtor ppl called powerblast or maxblast.
it allows you to check your drive for defects...is it the same one you have downloaded???
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andyalderCommented:
15-20 seconds does seem a long time for the drive to spin up from standby but that's probably the case since it started this after you reinstalled windows. You can set it to not power down the drive in power settings in control panel.
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speed12sil2Author Commented:
Well the one I dled was for checking defects of drives made by Maxtor/Quantum.

This occurs RIGHT after I enter windows, so I don't think it's problem with harddrive in standby.  I double-checked the screensaver setting for harddrive, and it's set to 1hr, with system standby set to never.  Weird...
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arbertCommented:
Right after you enter windows?  How much stuff do you have loading in your startup.  I realize you just reinstalled windows, but have you checked to see how fragmented the drive is?  Did you do a windows update after you reinstalled windows?

Brett
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CeLLuSCommented:
Have you tried going to Microsoft windows update for win98 updates?  Maybe you need a newer hard drive driver.  I would also go to the Maxtor support website and see if they have recorded any similar issues to yours.  If you have no success I would consider reformatting again (worth a try) but make sure you delete all the partitions.  Talking about partitions did you only have 2 partitions before you formatted?

Good Luck and keep us updated.
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speed12sil2Author Commented:
I have disabled nearly all of the tasks in startup except loadpowerprofile, taskmon, explorer and sound card application(hercules digifire 7.1 prog).  I've updated all critical updates, and the partition were same as before I formatted.  I don't know if this is of any relevance, but before the reformat I had Chinese winxp installed, but was having problem so I reformatted C drive.  But didn't reformat D drive.  i didn't reformat D because I needed the files in D to be installed in win98SE again, so.

I'll go check out maxtor site to see if there's any similiar problems encountered by others.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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sathishkumar_sriCommented:
Try enabling DMA for the Hdd from the device manager. Check out the following URL:

http://www.pureperformance.com/js/showtip.asp?id=71

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kiranghagCommented:
if possible, take a backup of data
repartition hdd and reformat the disk to make sure that its clean...and reinstall the stuff
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andyalderCommented:
Have you scanned it for virus? it could be there's one in explorer.exe.
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NINECommented:
One more thing to check.  Do you hear your CDROM drive spinning up?  Try putting a CD in the drive.

I have experienced the same problem with another computer in my office.  Found that the computer was searching for some reason for a cdrom.  Popped one in and it solved the problem.  (temporarily till I could get a new drive)

-NINE
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speed12sil2Author Commented:
Nine's suggestion i think temporarily solved the problem.  I've defragged, scanned for virus/trojan/spyware, all came up negative.  Even did the burn in test and that passed too.  I guess I ought to reformat both partitions in the near future.

 
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NINECommented:
speed.... It's your cdrom drive.... try another if you have one handy.  What is happening is your cdrom drive keeps looking for a cd when none is present.  It keeps searching and searching until Windows times it out.  

By placing a CD in the drive it now finds data right away.  And up pops up explorer or "My Computer" much quicker.

-NINE
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pratiganCommented:
Hello Speed,
Here is my recommendations;  Depending upon how the reformat and reinstall was performed, you could have some registry corruption going on.  i would reformat the drive again and do a full reinstall of 98.  Then install all service patches and live updates.  Then I would verify the files needed on the D drive and clean that drive up as well, not necessarily reformat that drive but clean it up and scan disk it.  
I would then run Norton utilities full against the system to cleanup and verify the registry.
:)
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andyalderCommented:
Thinking back on it I had the same problem but with the floppy accessed when I tried to look at c: and it was the virus checker settings at fault.
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Bob StoneIT GuruCommented:
Win98 SE defaults to laptop like power settings, you need to set it so HDD doesn't power down when idle. That's in Control Panel / Power Options.
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speed12sil2Author Commented:
Thanks to all for the suggestions.  Nine, do you know any method that can disable the CD-ROM seeking?  I'd prefer having nothing in CD-ROM so.

BTW I don't really have a spare CD-ROM lying around, and I really don't want to buy another CD-ROM.  The current 32X creative CD-ROM and the lite-on CD-R/RW in the PC were working fine before the reformat.  Far as I know they still work fine now.  Oy..
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kiranghagCommented:
hold on a sec
it could be  well due to the creative cd-rom u have...
those drive were bad in all sense...try to remove the cdrom physically and see if there is any change...
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NINECommented:
no there is no way to disable drive seeking... This is one of those situations where either you deal with it or dont.  Sorry!  Everything should still work though, except for the long waiting period while exploring your computer.

-NINE
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arbertCommented:
What's the status on this question?
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NINECommented:
AOL mails out free CD's all the time... I am sure that you have one lying around... Also you can pick up free AOL CD's at Staples, Office Max, or CompUSA
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LucFEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
speed12sil2,
No comment has been added lately (18 days), so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area for this question:

RECOMMENDATION: Award points to NINE http:#8146720

Please leave any comments here within 4 days.

-- Please DO NOT accept this comment as an answer ! --

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LucF
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