On Mon, 24 Mar 2003 10:30:23 +1200, Paul Jordan <[log in to unmask]>
> I am having real problems with my computer. It's got 64 mb ram, Cyrix
> P200+ chip plus a 33.6 k modem (internal). 40 gig hdd Seagate I think.
> This beast has got slower and slower over the last few months. Most
> especially noticeable on the net. The hdd keeps thrashing and while it is
> doing that nothing else happens.
I've been following this thread with interest because I have a similar
sounding problem with our first home build, a P200MMX on a PC Chips TX Pro
MB, 32MB SDRAM, 2.5GB Western Digital Caviar HD.
I can tell you that none of the solutions suggested so far seem likely to
be applicable to this machine since I've re-formatted the original install
of Win95 which had become seriously dysfunctional, and put a fresh install
of 98 on. I've done nothing with this, I haven't installed any programs
at all, and yet boot up and shut down take just as long as they did with
the old 95. 1.5 minutes to shut down the computer immediately following a
fresh boot up is excessive by any standards. Lots of HD activity, and
prolonged silent pauses leaving you wondering what it could possibly be
doing. Scandisk, including the surface scan reveals nothing. Memory
check at boot up is OK, the right processor clock speed is reported.
With a fairly full HD under Win95 Explorer used to grind painfully slowly
scrolling through the directory structure.
The history of this machine includes 2 inexplicable deaths, one of a nice
Sony CDROM drive, and the other was a floppy drive. This lead me to
suspect the power supply, but I moored a voltmeter on the PS for ages,
measuring the 5V, then the 9v supply, and they were rock steady and
accurate regardless of load.
Commonly we might lose the HD one day, graphics another, sound or CDROM or
floppy access. We would take the lid off and symbolically poke the chips
(being careful to earth), and check the connections which were never
visibly lose, and it would usually resume functioning.
When not losing some component or other, programmes would run, even hungry
ones like Age of Empires slightly beyond the machine spec, indicating that
everything was in fact working, but still the immensely slow boot up and
I've never known any machine with win9x on it not to be despotic and
weird, so in combination with the possibility of some sort of hardware
fault, I've never managed to get to the real cause.
So my Q is, if there is a hardware fault, what hw fault could give rise to
such symptoms, and what tools are available to diagnose the fault? Ones
that are free, or don't cost more than the value of the computer
Best wishes, Neil Taylor
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