I offer a little story, that might perhaps help some folks...
I have been using Win95 to some degree since the June beta. Despite many
quirks and various little problems, I generally enjoyed using Win95. Then
one day a few months ago, all of the sudden a 'behavior' popped up that was
unbearable. The computer would seemingly hang for a number of seconds
while the hard drive let out an uncharacteristic "meerp-meerp" sound.
Then everything would come back alive as if nothing had ever happened. At
that time I had been encountering some problems with the boot drive's
integrity. Those disk problems led me to the reformatting of the drive and
a complete reinstallation of Win95, and at the same time, since everything
was down anyway, I installed a new motherboard. When the dust settled, the
'hanging' problem no longer occured, so I thought little more of it.
Later, upon perusing this newsgroup, I noticed that other people
described having the same sort of problem, but there nobody ever came forward
with a solution. As didn't know how I had specifically overcome this
problem, I had little to say as well.
Last night a friend came over to use my scanner. I hadn't used it
for a few months, and needed to run Win3.1 to do so (never buy a
Microtek scanner, they want $ for new drivers). So I hooked up the
scanner to the SCSI card, ran Win3.1, and we scanned a buncha images
without a hitch. Just as we had wrapped up the scanning and were
about to return to Win95 to manipulate and compress the images, the
power blinked and the computer rebooted. This caused some rather
horrid cross-linking of the C-drive and some painful time spent
recovering things. But everything was soon recovered and I could once
again get into Win95. But, the gremlin had returned and worse than
ever! The computer would hang with that same old dreaded hard drive sound,
but now would do so for 20 or more seconds at a time, and so often that the
computer was practically unusable. Groan. I thought there must have been
some corrupted file that was causing it. I didn't have the time to try to
troubleshoot this and try reinstalling Win95 (which may or may not be the
solution). What had happened? What was the real problem? Would I have to
resort to the sledge hammer?
It suddenly dawned on me that the one difference was that the scanner
was plugged into the scsi card (even though the scanner was off), and
that my problems a few months ago coincided with my last use of the scanner
(which naturally was unconnected to swap motherboards, and never reconnected).
I unplugged it from the computer, and behold, flawless (well, as flawless as
Win95 gets) operation for nearly an hour. I plugged the scanner back in, and
within 10 minutes or so, the system was back to it's intermittant pausing.
So, apparantly with my PCI P90 with PCI DPT scsi controller card, when
this scanner is connected externally (yes, it is properly terminated),
and the scanner is not on (haven't tested it on), and when I am using Win95
(never had a problem with WinNT or Win3.1) the computer will intermittantly
freeze. I suspect some aspect of Win95's plug&play to be the culprit or some
scsi quirk or minor misconfiguration or both. If anybody has any more knowledge
about the specifics of this problem, and what might really be going on, I'd love
to hear it.
So, if this tale sounds familiar to you, perhaps you can kill a rather
* gremlin of your own, or at least get to know it better.