First post, by Andrew T.
I own a Pentium III-based Compaq Deskpro EN system from 2000. This is no retro build: I've had this computer for more than 15 years, and when it came into my hands in 2003 it was merely an off-lease used machine...that so happened to come with legacy ports, ISA slots, and Windows 95 drivers! My eye was on the past even then.
I had upgraded and adapted the configuration over the years. At one point I added a second 40GB Seagate hard drive (partitioned as two, to get around Win95's 32GB limit). I installed Windows 2000 on this second drive, giving myself a dual-boot configuration with Windows 95 OSR2 remaining on the original Maxtor 10GB disk.
Today, however, the old Maxtor finally gave up the ghost. After booting Windows 95 this morning and working on it for several hours without incident, the hard drive abruptly started to emit a series of repetitive clicks and all action on-screen froze in its tracks. The instant I saw and heard this cataphony, I knew exactly what happened: The hard drive failed on my well-worn 2002 Dell laptop several years ago, and it froze and clicked at the instant of failure in the exact same way.
I turned off the computer. Upon power-up, the primary HD clicked as before and failed to spin. Neither primary nor secondary drive was detected by CMOS, and the words "1782-Disk Controller Failure" appeared in their place.
I'm not surprised that this happened. The Maxtor drive is 19 years old, it's been booted literally thousands of times, and it's exceeded its expected lifespan many times over. And though I'm bummed out, this isn't an irrecoverable tragedy. I have backups of my data (though not backups of the disk images themselves), and I had a habit of saving important files to the newer, secondary hard drive anyway.
But, I need to decide what to do next...
* Would it be possible to revive the Maxtor long enough to make one final backup? My hopes aren't high, but I have nothing to lose.
* In the short term, I'd be happy getting Windows 2000 booting on the existing secondary drive.
* In the long term, I'd like to restore Windows 95...and find a larger compatible replacement drive that would last for years to come.
* It's also been 3-4 years since I last tinkered with hardware and OS installation, so any tips or refreshers would be great.