I was having difficulty shutting down, and booting as well. I would have to do a hard shutdown at the power button, and then try to boot multiple times, not knowing when it would "take", and get through the boot process.
I usually got NO beeps when the boot failed, and had to just keep shutting it down at the power switch, and trying again, only to fail, sometimes up to 7 times in a row. Finally, I would get a boot, but the beeps were rather faint, compared to what they once were.
My son offered to help, and tried disconnecting 1) the second hard drive 2) both CD drives 3) connecting the main HDD to the other IDE slot 4) changing the boot order to go directly to the main drive
Nothing seemed to work, but I got the feeling that he was on the right track, trying to eliminate possibilities. So, I took over.
First, as soon as I got a successful boot (after several tries), I navigated to the Seagate site and made a fresh floppy of SEATOOLS for DOS, and re-booted into the floppy to run a test on the main hard drive. It showed good, as it always has, on both the quick and the full scans.
Next I re-installed the CD drives, using the original positions the cables were in on the 2 IDE slots. I then, after several attempts, booted successfully into the BIOS, made sure it was reading the drives, and in auto-detect mode in each case.
Next, I did what I believe fixed the problems
Just before I took this next step, I noticed that the BIOS was reading the memory speed as "133". I then decided to try letting the BIOS set everything to a default, so, I firstly chose "optimal settings" (I think it was "F6"), and then "best performance" (I think it was "F7). I then saved and exited the BIOS, and booted successfully into Windows. On the way out, I noticed that the BIOS was now reading the memory speed as "100", rather than the previous "133", but I thought, "Hmm,,we'll see,,".
Immediately, everything seemed faster, "snappier", even the boot.
From that point, and several times now, I haven't had any problem at all booting, shutting down, etc.
I figure it must have been a problem with the memory settings, and letting BIOS set the defaults must have done the trick.
After doing this, and achieving success, I also ran CCleaner, eliminating some needless temp files, and ran the registry cleaner also (CC) to clear up some unnecessary registry entries. After this, I ran check disc, and defragmented the drive.
A couple other things I notice have also been fixed. I was noticing that for a while now, whenever I double-clicked an image file, it was taking a while for it to appear, much longer than it used to. I also was noticing that whenever I deleted a file, the file would take up to a half-minute or so to complete its journey to the recycle bin, again, much longer than before. Now, both of those processes are back to their original, fast duration.
I'm a happy camper again.
One further question I have:
In the BIOS, the two "default" options are, in order, "Optimal", and "Best Performance". I don't know the difference between the two, and wonder if they are mutually exclusive. In other words, if you choose one, does it nullify the other? (In which case it must have been the LAST option I chose that must have been the answer, as I selected each in turn, one after the other.)
Thanks in advance.