Win95 keeps crashing hard drive

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In an older production unit, using win95 on a NUM computer unit (plain
PC + special bus card, ISA) the HD has now crashed for the 3rd or 4th
I am not near it, but have to fix it soon.

There should be bad sectors all over, and the software does not start.

Now, 3 or 4 broken HDs tell me that the problem is something else. It
works, but does this.
What would be the next step?
Can I blame the power supply for this, or should I replace the entire
computer (that will be a new computer next to the machine as the NUM
is built in).
When replacing it has to be an old one with ISA bus.

What do you poeple think?

Re: Win95 keeps crashing hard drive

On 06/09/2011 13:57, Sonnich Jensen wrote:
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A power issue is quite likely.  I would start by replacing the
PSU.  I have seen the molex power connector pins become loose
and an intermittent power connection can cause strange HD problems
and eventually kill a drive.
If it is used in an industrial environment, there could be spikes
generated by machinery coming down the power line.  A good PSU should
filter those, but it may be wise to add a line filter between PC and
the mains outlet.
It would also be worth changing the data cable to the hard drive when
you next have the PC open - unlikely to be the problem, but they are

Re: Win95 keeps crashing hard drive

Sonnich Jensen wrote:
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    If the drives are really damaged, I would agree that about the only
thing that could damage them is the power supply.  I would however take
one of those bad drives and run CHKDSK on another computer to see if
they are really bad.  You could have a poor connection on a data cable,
or even some bad memory.  This might even include the cache memory in
addition to RAM.

Re: Win95 keeps crashing hard drive

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Thanks guys. I was considering this myself. Now I need to find a way
to place a PSU there, there is really not much space.... and the NUM
one has a funny shape.


Re: Win95 keeps crashing hard drive

Sonnich Jensen wrote:
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If anybody still makes ISA bus motherboards, it's SuperMicro.  I saw a
Pentium4 model with one ISA slot, built-in graphics, and no AGP or PCI-
E slots.

How's the cooling fan on the CPU?  Old ones can seize up or slow down
a lot.

With a computer that old, I'd try unplugging and replugging the power
connectors and memory modules a few times to clean off any oxide.

Have you measured voltages with a meter, not only the three main
voltages from the power supply when it's running the computer but also
any from voltage regulators on the mobo?  Unless the CPU runs at 3.3V,
there should be a regulator to drop 5V down to 2.0-2.8V.  If the
memory is DDR or newer, there will be a voltage regulator to drop the
5V or 3.3V down to 2.5V or less.   The capacitors in those regulator
circuits and in the PSU can go bad -- see

Are the HDs actually damaged, or did they just get junk written to
them by an unstable comptuer?   I'd test the HDs in another computer,
using the DOS versions of Seagate's SeaTools or MHDD.  MHDD not only
indicates what sectors are outright bad but also which are hard to
read.   And could the data cable be bad or the power cable connectors
loose? (squeeze latter's metal tubes with needle-nose pliers, or pry
between them and their surrounding plastic with a tiny screwdriver)

Re: Win95 keeps crashing hard drive

larry moe 'n curly wrote:
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A company called iBase still makes them too. Maybe there is something
here, that matches the old processor.


Re: Win95 keeps crashing hard drive

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Run a ram test

run the mfg's hard-drive diagnostic

Re: Win95 keeps crashing hard drive

On 7/09/2011 12:57 a.m., Sonnich Jensen wrote:
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FWIW I have an identical situation with an ex lease IBM Small Form
Factor PC.

In the less than two years the customer has had it, it's killed 3 hard
drives and is now on it's fourth.

The one consistent symptom is the HD disappears from BIOS suggesting
either a faulty IDE cable or PSU/Mole.

I've replaced the IDE cable leaving the Molex & or PSU as the only
likely suspect. Trouble is the DVD drive uses the same IDE Cable and
power Leads (cable select) and it is 'allways' there.
The PSU test up fine, and I've soldered the Molex going into the HD!!!!

Wish you the best of luck, but I suspect replacement is the only viable
option (which is what's happening here)


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