I cannot find anything specific on the problem. Guesses include a marginal hard disk or a motherboard-timing problem. I would scan for a virus, and download (http://www.maxtor.com/products/DiamondMax/techsupport/TechnicalProcedures/20014.htm) Maxtor’s Powermax Diagnostic Utilities and do a non-destructive scan of the hard disk.
“! WARNING !: All data will be lost when the "Write Disk Pack (low level format)" test is performed. Maxtor recommends that users backup any/all critical data and removing other hard drives before performing this test.” Don’t do it. But do take precautions (http://duxcw.com/digest/guides/hd/rules.htm
) before running any disk diagnostic program.
If you need a Windows 98/Me Startup floppy, instructions for making one are in our How to’s.
If the motherboard BIOS is older than 2/27/02, flashing it with the most recent version may fix the problem (http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/support/support.htm).
I'll warn you that you will be taking a chance if you flash the motherboard BIOS and you will be doing it at your own risk. If something goes wrong (e.g., a power outage) during this process you could end-up with an unbootable motherboard. If that happens you may have to find someone with the equipment to flash the BIOS, obtain another BIOS, or buy a new motherboard. I've done it many times without a problem. Larry