I am a bit stumped and looking for suggestions/experience prior to continuing my investigations.
I have a P5B Deluxe mobo, Intel Core 2 duo (2.4GHz), 4 Gig RAM. I have a 74 GB 10,000 RPM WD raptor system drive (SATA) and a series of other drives that I've collected over the years.
Until about 2 months ago I was running Windows XP Pro perfectly happily. As I was developing with Visual Studio and SQL Server (as well as a multitude of 3rd party apps) I decided to up the memory (previously 2 Gig RAM) and change the operating system to XP 64 bit.
All was fine for a number of weeks until a Windows Update. I am not blaming the update but after it restarted I couldn't reboot into Windows. There were a series of missing file errors in its place. I ran checkdisk a few times, the first time it said it ran out of space (when there was at least 60 Gig free). The second time it reached the end I managed to get into Windows.
The next time I started the machine to boot into Windows I couldn't get it going at all. So I did a re-install of Windows (I chose 32 bit this time). This install lasted all of about a day before I had disk problems again. Fair enough I thought, the hard drive must be jiggered. So I installed onto a different hard drive (Windows XP Pro 64 bit). I have just finished going through all the updates, SPs etc and created an Acronis backup.
So after a day, guess what happens... files missing from Windows\System\...
So 3 fresh installs 3, 3 problematic Windows environments on 2 hard drives.
I even wiped all data from the hard drives using Acronis Cleanser before the most recent install.
I am currently restoring the Acronis backup onto the second hard drive to see if it happens again.
Please, has anyone got any ideas as to what could be causing this. I am reluctant to put it down to hardware when its happened to 2 separate Hard Drives. Can viruses be this nasty and if so what is a good way of finding the cause and ridding the pest? I'm getting sick of seeing the Windows set-up screen...