From: Ben Myers on
DaveJohnson12(a)nomail. wrote:
> On Wed, 14 Oct 2009 20:55:34 -0400, Ben Myers <ben_myers(a)> wrote:
>> DaveJohnson12(a)nomail. wrote:
>>> On Tue, 13 Oct 2009 22:18:14 -0400, Ben Myers <ben_myers(a)> wrote:
>>>> DaveJohnson12(a)nomail. wrote:
>>>>> On Tue, 13 Oct 2009 18:05:54 -0400, Ben Myers <ben_myers(a)> wrote:
>>>>>> DaveJohnson12(a)nomail. wrote:
>>>>>>> On Tue, 13 Oct 2009 00:11:03 -0400, Ben Myers <ben_myers(a)> wrote:
>>>>>>>> DaveJohnson12(a)nomail. wrote:
>>>>>>>>> It's an Optiplex 755 with Windows XP pro SP2.
>>>>>>>>> I get a blue screen saying Windows has detected an error and is shutting down to protect the
>>>>>>>>> computer. The screen did not list any drivers as causing an issue.
>>>>>>>>> I called Dell tech support. They had me run diagonostics. No hardware problems.
>>>>>>>>> The computer boots in safe mode. For some reason there are no restore points though it's set up to
>>>>>>>>> use 18GB of space for restore points. ;-) Dell recommends reinstalling the OS.
>>>>>>>>> Any suggestions on correcting the problem would be appreciated. :-)
>>>>>>>>> I was going to burn data to DVDs but Nero cannot find any DVD burners, probably because it only runs
>>>>>>>>> in safe mode. I have backups but they are so disorganized that it would be much easer to copy what
>>>>>>>>> data is on the computer now.
>>>>>>>>> I'm planning to buy another hard disk, install Windows on it and copy the data from the old hard
>>>>>>>>> drive to the new one, then reformat and reinstall Windows on the old hard disk if necessary.
>>>>>>>>> I haven't yet found a good place to buy the specific hard drive I want. Please see my other post if
>>>>>>>>> you have any recommendations about that.
>>>>>>>>> Thank you.
>>>>>>>> Run the DRIVE MANUFACTURER'S diagnostics, downloaded from the mfr's web
>>>>>>>> site, on the hard drive. Dell's diagnostics do a quick sanity check on
>>>>>>>> the drive, not at all thorough. Also run HDAT2, a free download, to
>>>>>>>> examine the SMART data on the drive.
>>>>>>> I downloaded Seatools. It's a seagate hard drive. Unfortunately I could not install it.
>>>>>>> The computer will only boot in safe mode and software can't be installed in safe mode.
>>>>>>> I tried a diagnostic startup and it would not boot like that either.
>>>>>>>> If you can wait until a new drive arrives, do so, unless the drive
>>>>>>>> diagnostics show the drive as A-OK. Then copy whatever data possible
>>>>>>> >from the old drive to the new one, after installing Windows.
>>>>>>> It looks like that is what I will do.
>>>>>>>> Any complaint about unusual performance by one of my clients gets me to
>>>>>>>> run diagnostics first, screw around with Windows afterward. If one does
>>>>>>>> otherwise, he is peeing in his own soup, to quote an old Slavic saying.
>>>>>>> lol good one. I never noticed any performance problem or any other kind of problem. I had the
>>>>>>> computer running for a while and when I came back to it the blue screen was there. Thanks.
>>>>>> You need a version of SeaTools that is self-booting and runs under DOS.
>>>>> If it's self booting, does that mean it somehow causes DOS to run? Is DOS included in the
>>>>> self-booting version?
>>>>>> Seagate has SeaTools downloads for a bootable CD (ISO file) or a
>>>>>> bootable floppy. Your CD burning software needs to be able to burn an
>>>>>> ISO file correctly. If your system does not have a built-in floppy
>>>>>> drive, an USB floppy drive will do.
>>>>> Do I have to change something in the BIOS to get the computer to boot from a CD. I don't
>>>>> have a floppy drive.
>>>>> I think HDAT2 also boots from a CD.
>>>>> I have Nero 6. I think that can burn from an ISO file though I have never done that.
>>>>>> For me, a blue screen almost always deserves to have the computer run
>>>>>> hard drive diagnostics. if you look through the descriptions of BSODs
>>>>>> on the Microsoft web site, they are as sketchy as can be. The
>>>>>> programmers dreamt up something to satisfy managers flogging their
>>>>>> backs, but they are rarely of much help... Ben Myers
>>>>> I believe you. Thank you.
>>>> Self-booting means that it has enough of MS-DOS (or FreeDOS or Caldera
>>>> DOS or IBM-DOS) to boot and run the diagnostic software.
>>> Cool.
>>>> With most Dells these days, you hit the F12 key to call up the menu that
>>>> offers the choice to boot from CD, hard drive, floppy drive (if
>>>> available), etc.
>>> Very convenient.
>>>> Download HDAT2 4.5.2, the latest non-demo version of the software. It,
>>>> like SeaTools, is available in both ISO format for CDs and a file that
>>>> builds a bootable floppy.
>>> I think I might wait until I have copied my data from the drive before running HDAT2.
>>>> I have not used Nero 6 in a long time. I know that some of the OEM
>>>> versions of Nero are somewhat crippled, and may not burn an ISO file
>>>> correctly, so that the CD boots. As very servicable alternatives, I
>>>> recommend CDBurnerXP (works with Win 2000 and Vista, too) and ImgBurn,
>>>> both free downloads. CDBurnerXP requires .NET 2.0 to install and run.
>>>> ... Ben Myers
>>> I tried Nero 6. It worked. Some of the OEM versions only allow you to use Nero Express
>>> which has fewer features.
>>> Thanks for all the detailed information.
>>> I tried booting from the Seatools boot CD.
>>> There was some information about FreeDOS then there was some kind of an error. It said:
>>> getFATblock failed: 0x000000E8
>>> Interrupt divide by zero, stack:
>>> 03C0 0000
>>> and some more 4 character sequences. It looks like an error in the Seatools program but
>>> I'm not sure.
>>> I think I will try running Seatools for Windows from the a new hard disk that I ordered
>>> once I get Windows installed on it. Then I will try HDAT2. Thank you.
>> I have two versions of Seatools for DOS. One has a Windows-like GUI
>> interface and the other is text-only with mouse support. Sometimes one
>> works. Sometimes the other. Neither Seagate nor Western Digital has
>> its act completely together with hard drive diagnostics.
> Oh I see. It's possible that the GUI thing is causing the problem. I should have realized
> that because I read something about it on their site. I'll try the text version.
>> I only run the WD Data Lifeguard diagnostic from floppy, because a CD
>> with their ISO simply does not work. When I reported the problem to WD,
>> their tech support told me I had a bad download, that my system's BIOS
>> was the problem, and made every excuse possible. I told the idiots that
>> I downloaded it several times and tried it, and that their diagnostic CD
>> fails on every system I ever used it on, including Intel-brand
>> motherboards. WD customer support needs to learn how to deal with real
>> live customers.
> I don't think WD's customer support people work for WD. I had to get them to escalate my
> call yesterday to level 2 in order to talk to someone who could accurately answer my
> question. They connected me to someone in the US at their corporate headquarters.
>> You might even run HDAT2 from bootable CD even before you switch drives.
>> It will give you a good indication of the overall health of the drive
>> and how much time it may have left. Seagate manages to mung up some of
>> the SMART values (as do other drive manufacturers), but you'll recognize
>> them because the values are so outrageous. SMART is supposed to be an
>> industry standard. HA! Someone should inform the drive manufacturers.
>> ... Ben Myers
> The only reason I'm thinking about waiting until I copy my data before using HDAT2 is I
> don't know much about the software and there might be some small risk of messing up the
> hard disk worse than it is. I won't be using the hard disk again until I copy data from
> it. Just in case it is about to fail completely I think I might also wait until I copy my
> data before trying the text version of Seatools. Thanks for all your help.

As with any troublesome hard drive, the risk is that it will spin up
this time, but never again. And nobody can quantify the risk. I guess
I agree that you need to play safe here... Ben
From: William R. Walsh on

> No the newest chipset I have in my old computers is the Intel 440 BX. ;-)
> :-)

Hey, if they're useful, why not? I'm sitting next to an HP Vectra VL Pentium
II/450 that's humming away nicely on Windows 2000.

And I recently built something out of a Pentium Pro-based Vectra VA Series
6/200. Something that, as it turned out, could do more than hold its own
against an Apple Time C[r]apsule:

Good luck! I hope you get things up and going again.