Computer can't see second hard drive.

By velo
Sep 12, 2007
  1. Hello Forum,
    I'm using a Dell Dimension 5150 with a Hitachi and a Maxtor HD. The Hitachi (C drive) came with the machine with XP Home edition. I then added the Maxtor with XP Professional (D-drive). For a while, both drives were bootable, with the OS boot choice being given at startup. While in the D drive, I could always see the C drive and search it. A while later I found that the C (Hitachi with XP-Home) would not boot. I didn't much care because I had planned to use only my D drive and use C for backup. I may have set the RAID function on and off again - can't remember.

    Yesterday I detached the (perfectly working) Maxtor and installed XP Pro on the Hitachi C drive and it will boot but now... the Maxtor will not. While in C, the Maxtor is not seen in My Computer or in the defrag tool but it is seen in Device Manager and in Disk Management. Here it has the status 'Active' and the C drive has the status 'System'. I call it the 'D' drive but the Maxtor has no letter assigned to it. The "Change Letter and Drive Path" option (on the right click) in Disk Management is greyed out.

    In BIOS, one drive is labeled 0 and the other is labeled 1. Either the C, Hitachi drive will boot or, when I switch the data feed cables, I will get the message "No boot device available."

    Both drives are SATA, they are enabled in BIOS, they are NTSF formatted and the BIOS boot sequence is set for SATA HD. I'm not inclined to turn on RAID as I seem to remember reading that it can prevent the drive from booting (as of course is the problem already.) I entered a new computer name when installing XP Pro.

    The C drive Hitachi will only boot from one of the two data cables and only when the Maxtor is also connected. Alone, or with the wrong data cable I'll get the message "Drive 0 not found: Setial ATA, SATA-0."

    Any help at all would be absolutely appreciated.
  2. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    This sounds like a motherboard issue if the board will see drives on one SATA slot and not another. It is possible that the SATA cable is bad - does the problem perhaps 'follow' the cable?
    The quickest way of finding out if it is the board is to try conneting the drives to another board if you have one available.
  3. velo

    velo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you for the advice and I do hope it is the motherboard or a cable. I'll be taking the drive to another location today to try on another computer. The troubling part is that one drive will work on both cables and the other will not.
  4. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    I think its the fact that it was never the boot drive
    the c was
    when you added the os to the 2nd drive the boot loader was on the first drive not the 2nd
    it is not been made bootable
    just active
    when you re-did the c you removed this option
    just edit the boot ini file in c to reflect the other drive it will work
    or make the d bootable
    look up boot.ini dual booting
    oh ya also
    your ownership of drive needs to be changed to
    look up taking possession of drive
    Hmm did I forget anything??
  5. velo

    velo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you Samstoned for the help. The issue is about resolved now. There's something very much up with the mainboard and it fried one hard drive. Recent power outages likely contributed to its demise. I had to pay to salvage some data (didn't back up - Duh!) The drive is now in overnight deep freeze so maybe I can elicit a few minutes more life from it. The mobo is an entry level cheapo Dell - serves me right.

    Thanks to all !
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add New Comment

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...