At 11:33 PM 7/23/2005 +0000, you wrote:
This may be a side effect of memory corruption with EMM386.  In
fact, it appears to be a result of some interaction with EMM386.
I do not believe the hard disk in question is faulty and I do not
believe that it has non-standard parameters.

Doubtful. There are no EMM386 interactions to interact with and no reported outstanding errors with EMM386. EMM386 plain wasn't running _anything_ by the end of your tests. What seems most likely based on current evidence is that the memory used by EMM386 when it is loaded, or the resultant memory image remaining after it is loaded, is triggering a problem within FDISK. Or possibly there is a multi-way interaction of drivers, kernel, and FDISK.

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