FAT32 partition keeps going blank.
Posted on 2006-06-12
One of my clients has a DVR computer that is connected to a few security cameras. They have not had a problem since the computer was set up by another company (now out of business), a few years ago. Recently, they contracted us out to install additional cameras, upgrade their hard disk, and add a second video card to put some of the cameras on another screen that was out of customer view.
The installation went well. Too well. The cameras work great, the second video out works great. Unfortunatly, the hard disk doesn't work great.
After the initial installation, the computer worked fine for just under a week, when the system locked up, then failed to boot. Upon inspection, I found the (only) partition on the disk was completely blank. Normally, I would assume that sombody had screwed with it or given it a virus, except for the facts that:
A) This computer does not have any form of connection to any other machine (no internet, not on the network)
B) There is a security camera pointed straight at it
C) It is behind a locked gate that only the management has a key to. The system failed while the manager was away and the gate was locked.
We assumed that the hard disk was bad, and ordered a new one. In the meantime we put their original drive back in and updated it for the new settings. It did not fail. When the new drive came, we used Symanted ghost 2003 to clone the original drive to the new one. It ran fine for a week, then again failed under the same conditions as the previous one.
Upon examination, I determined that the partion table had become corrupted. I ran partition logic on the drive,and as soon as I ran it it notified me that the end cluster for the partition was set incorrectly, and it very helpfully corrected it for me. However, the partition is still blank, and the machine still does not boot.
What is going on here and how do I fix it?
The gory details:
The computer runs windows 98 SE. Not my personal choice, but not something we can't change
The original hard disk was a Seagate 80GB EIDE drive. The new drives have both been Westen Digital 250 GB EIDE drives.
The partion is FAT32
Data transfer was done with GHOST 2003
It is an Intel board. I'm not entirely sure exactly which model, but it's a 478, and by the looks of the machine, it's an early 478.
The DVR software is Geovision GV-800 software with the matching 8 port PCI card.
It has a Jaton nVidia Geforce 5700 VGA+DVI Pci card
I'm not sure about the exact amount of RAM.
Any help on this would be appreciated. We already have more money in this than we have gotten out of it, and would prefer not to have to eat the cost on another part, and the customer doesn't want to purchase anything that wasn't on the original quote (lots of paperwork and a few weeks back and forth from the corporate office in God-only-knows-where, California)