|This is my final post on this issue. I appreciate all of the input from this and other sites.|
I replaced my samsung sv120h 120 GB ATA-100 hard drive with a Western Digital WD3200KSRTL 320 G SATA II drive ($79). My system recognizes the entire 320 GB and it works great. My system is working much faster. Whether this is the new drive, reinstalling all of the software, or a combination of both I don't know but it is operating well. Note: the samsung drive mean time to failure was 50,000 hours and I had 53,000 hours on it. I will pay attension to this in the future and be better prepared for failure.
I tried compaq recovery system and it failed. I ran disk scan and it failed and rebooted the system in to a chkdsk run that repaired 15 lost cluster files. Some of these where recovery and system files. At his point the system would not reboot. A located and ran the Samsung HD utilities and they failed to run. I could boot on floppy disk but nothing would work on the C: drive. Finally I ran Fdisk with the intend to reformat. After this failed the DOS prompt could not find the C: drive. I assumed the drive was dead and moved on.
WD makes both SATA II and ATA drives that are backwards compatible. For those like me that did not know, ATA and SATA just refers to the data transfer speed of the interface controller. The drive has to be compatable with the speed of the controller on you computer. You can find this information on the spec sheet for you motherboard. The motherboard has the model number printed on it in big letters or it may be listed by your manufacturer. My motherboard had SATA I and IDE plugs so I bought a SATA II drive that had jumpers to set it to SATA I mode. The drive did not come with a four pin to 15 pin power supply adapter only the data cable. I had to buy the power cable adapter seperately since my system used the old four pin power supply cables for the hard drive. The drive was easy and a snap to replace.
I bought a set of Compaq recovery discs from Computer Surgeons for my model. I did not make recovery discs before my original drive partition was damaged when I got the computer. If you have not made recovery discs, I suggest you do so to avoid spending $30 in the future. Despite the comment above the recovery disks, they recovered my system and booted up the original software in just under 2 hours.
Now the easy part was over. The HP Compaq support site had four firmware updates and about 30 software updates it suggested I download and install before doing a windows update. Most of these went on one at a time and rebooted the system. This took several hours. Then I ran windows update four times before everything was upto date. I did a system restore between each change so I could back up. The only update problem was Exporer 8. It kept causing system errors so I uninstalled it and installed Explorer 7 which works fine. Now with windows working well and internet access restored I installed the rest of my software and updated each piece.
Wikapedia was great in helping understand the terms and getting the big picture about standards and hardware systems. Hope no one else needs this post, but if you have my bad luck I hope this helps you solve it. Take care. Bill