First, thanks to all who sent in suggestions, but there’s a new development in the story.
Since a new hard drive was going to have to be bought in a few months for a new system anyway, I bought a Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 and clean-installed Windows XP Home last night, figuring I’d start trying your suggestions over the weekend.
It ran OK, until, well, now. The machine began to spontaneously reboot, and well, take three guesses which file it tells me is now corrupt when it stops working?
You got it, ntfs.sys.
That happens once by chance. It doesn’t happen by chance twice with two different hard drives (and no, naughty drive one wasn’t connected at the time).
Sounds like a hardware problem to me.
My first suspicion is memory, so I’m going to swap in some new sticks, try memtest86 on the old RAM, maybe reinstall Windows after that.
If none of that works, well, that’s what the article is about.
Any similiar experiences or wise thoughts?