Ron, Thanks for the help. It's tons more than the people at PCWorks would give me. They wouldn't even post my letter! Anyway, As far as I know, I don't see how it could be a BIOS problem when I'm using the 40 gig drive (this one I'm using now), especially since Gateway sent me the 40 gig to replace the 20 gig that went bad on me 2 years after I bought this computer. It's now 4 years old, I think. Maybe just over 3. According to the info Gateway sent me on this particular machine, it CAN handle drives of at least 137 gig, and more if I can get an Ultra ATA. Now, the big problem is that no one seems to know where I can get one or which one will work for me. The same goes for some of these problems I'm having, my friend, Ed, tells me it's one thing and someone on PC Works tells me it's something completely different and someone else lays out a completely different theory. I don't know who to believe, but I know that most of the stuff Ed did didn't work very much if at all. I've tried getting more memory for it, but it either doesn't work or it's the wrong kind. I've just about had it with this beast!! For the rest of your letter, I'll reply segmentally because I think it's easier that way, I don't care what PC Works says about it. In a message dated 10/28/2004 1:35:33 AM Central Daylight Time, chizotz@xxxxxxxxx writes: The error message at shutdown you refer to could be caused by numerous things. One is the presence of the W32/Kriz virus. What can get rid of this? I have AVG on the 120 gig drive. Another is having multiple versions of AOL installed on the machine. I don't think I have that on the 120 gig. I'm pretty sure I just have 8.0 on that one, and 9.0 Optimized LE on this one (40 gig). All the 5.0 stuff is just saved, not functional, on the 250 gig D drive. The error message has also been associated with McAfee's firewall. I don't have that. The problems described with the hard drive may be related, or may be coincidental. I would suspect things like the BIOS is too old to handle a drive as large as 120 gig, Like I said, it's only 3 to 4 years old. As far as I know, 250's have been around for at least 2 years. the BIOS is not properly set for the drive, not recognizing the drive, or not correctly detecting the drive. I'd think it was the first or the last of those. Here's a good site on troubleshooting hard drive problems: _http://www.zdnet.com.au/insight/0,39023731,20267667,00.htm_ (http://www.zdnet.com.au/insight/0,39023731,20267667,00.htm) Thanks, I'll check these out later this weekend. I'm still too exhausted from last weekend's magic shows to get into anything that heavy right now. The W32/Kriz virus is a pretty nasty one. It can affect the BIOS of the computer by attempting to flash it. You mean, like a guy on the street in a rain coat? (-; I have no clue what flashing is in puterese. Here's a page on that: _http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/w32.kriz.html_ (http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/w32.kriz.html) and it could explain the hard drive problems. Again, I'll get to it in about 2 days. I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that the motherboard is shot. Maybe it is, but the probability is rather low; that's a relatively rare thing to happen. The fact that you're getting the same or similar problems on the original drive makes it sound like a BIOS issue to me. I guess, I'm pretty sure it's not the hard drives. How can it be if the 120 is only 4 weeks old and the 250 is a few months old? And I'm not having any problems with the 250. But that's set up as a slave, not a master or co-master. It could be as simple as replacing the battery on the motherboard so the BIOS settings are correctly retained between shut downs. I'll have to see if I can find one for it. Is it the same one that runs the clock? If so, the clock has been lagging a bit since I got the puter. I set it correctly and withing a few weeks, it's a minute or 4 slow, but it STAYS only that slow for months if not years, it never goes beyond that. Do you get any error messages during the POST (the black screen at boot where the memory is checked before Windows starts to load? I'm not absolutely sure, but a few years ago I think I was getting some BSOD messages as it was booting. I just got a brand new message just before I got on line. I was working on editing a cd for my best friend for her b-day this weekend, and, just after I clicked on the exit button, the screen went black, then blue, and said something like: Windows protection has shut down. Restart your computer. Now, what's all this stuff about bad clusters on the 120 gig? How can there be so many, all in the same space, on a brand new hard drive? Does the BIOS correctly identify the drive then? That's where I would start. I have no idea. How would I find out? Hope this helps. Yes, some of it has, thanks again. (-: A thought just occured to me; supposedly, I'm not supposed to be able to get AOL 9.0 on this machine. I got a 9.0 disc a few months ago and tried to load it, or dl it and it only took me to 8.0. A few months later I wrote zeroes to the 40 gig and reinstalled 9.0 again expecting to get 8.0 but it allowed me to get 9.0! When I installed the 120 gig and tried to put 9.0 on IT, it only went to 8.0 again. I was just thinking, is my having 9.0 when I'm not supposed be able to get it what's causing the problem, but that's only on this drive, not the 120, the one that I started having tons of problems on. Thanks again for the help. Dale For a web-based membership management utility and information on list policies, please see http://nibec.com/24hoursupport/ To unsubscribe, send a blank email to 24hoursupport-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with "unsubscribe" (without quotes) in the subject.