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Losing My Boot Sector?


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Here's what happens:


Every two to three weeks, I walk up to my machine to find it sitting at the "Boot from ATAPI" screen because it rebooted for some reason and can't boot the windows partition. Occasionally, I get to see it screw up. It usually starts with Firefox giving weird errors, as I'm usually surfing. Then, I notice that everything in my Start Menu is all garbled up (screwy characters). At this point, I don't know what to do besides a reboot, but that always ends in the ATAPI message.


From here, I've found that re-imaging the windows partition with Ghost does not work, but a windows re-install does. What I do now is run through the windows re-install until the first reboot then re-image. By my estimation, the boot sector is dying for whatever reason. The first part of the re-install sets the boot sector right again, and then the re-image gives me my windows partition back.


My solution to this problem always gets me back up and running in about an hour, but it's very annoying. The drive is new (Hitachi 160GB, 7200 ATA, 3 months old or so), so I could RMA it, but I don't have enough spare room to backup all the crap I have on it before I send it in...


Any ideas how this is happening, or WHAT is actually happening? The only programs I seem to be using when this happens are Firefox, DVD Decryptor, and CloneDVD2.


Thanks yet again folks....

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