This was my problem, with a solution. It might help someone.
My system: Biostar M7NCD PRO, Windows XP SP3
This worked for many years without significant problems. Recently, there have been intermittent but persistent BSOD failures.
() System error log showed clusters of failed disk reads, with success on retry.
() System error log showed nvidesm1 service failed to start within allowed time.
() Sometimes, a following BSOD would report
(These errors are almost always a problem with a device driver or a failing hardware device.)
() Windows would repeatedly trigger CHKSDK scans at bootup. It sometimes would find a bad block and fix it. Independent scans using Western Digital utilities found no errors, including stand alone verifications using a boot disk.
After much investigation and hair pulling, the solution was to replace the NVIDIA IDE driver with the plain, default driver supplied by Microsoft.
Theory of the problem: Something distributed through Windows Update must have conflicted with the Biostar/Nvidia "optimized" IDE drivers. The default drivers are more compatible and recent.
I installed this driver at the same time as a video driver witout realising it. I had numerous random BSOD crashes with the error codes 0x0000009c (0x00000004, 0x80546ef0, 0xb2000000, 0x00070f0f). It took weeks to figure out this was the problem. I ddin't see a way to uninstall just the IDE driver. I uninstalled all NVIDIA but the video driver and then reinstalled all but the IDE driver.