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After several days I found out about this site. I've reviewed 'search' results for " master IDE controller". I was surprised at the number. I am hoping someone can help zero in on a course of action.

Computer: DELL using Win98, Pentium(r) II MMX, & 128 mb ram. OEM included CDROM, floppy, & ZIP drives. PC has the Intel 82371AB/EB PCI Bus Master IDE Controller. One year ago I put an ACER CDRW in the box. Everything well relatively smooth.

Recently, I installed Age of Empires II & within a few days problems began to occur (freezes, slowdowns). Finally, hard crashes. After which the CDROM & CDRW drives can no longer be found. Yesterday, it leaked over to the ZIP drive and it couldn't be found either. Using My Computer, I've checked properties/settings & restarted the computer many times using defaults, enabling primary or secondary or both drives. Sometimes things appear okay & work can be done, but are lost on the next restart or after shutdown.

I've uninstalled AoEII, but that may be a red herring. I'm beginning to suspect something has not only happened to IDE controller, but memory too. Is that possible? The swapfile is relatively unused but cache is always maxed out. When printing out MS system info the I/O section (which I don't understand) is filled with repitious entries over IDE controllers.

I'll stop here before I go on with more superfluous info - and let someone tell me what I really need to be saying or asking.
 

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Ever scan your hard drive for a virus? No game would cause you that many problems unless you downloaded it from somewhere and were infected. I would start there. If your IDE controller had failed you wouldn't be able to do anything with your PC.
 
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