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Hard drive not recognized

By Makk
Jul 20, 2008
  1. Well I have a dell desktop (not sure of the exact type) and I have Windows Xp Home edition. My computer suddenly stopped working saying that my hard drives were not found. I'm at a loss here and I have no idea.

    Any help is appreciated. :)

    Thanks.

    ~Makk
     
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,349   +50

    Does Windows still work in any shape or form? Can you give details of what happens when you switch on - any fan or drive noises, any lights, any beeps? Anything on the screen ? If so, what does it say - exact wording please.

    It will speed things up if you also tell me what model your PC is, it's age, and any other details that you can. At this moment, anything might turn out to be relevant. Do you have a floppy disc drive, do you have any original install CD for Windows, if so exactly what? From Dell likely nothing at all.....

    We are looking here at failed Hard drive, power supply or motherboard, which is as wide a choice as you can get....
     
  3. Makk

    Makk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Does Windows still work in any shape or form? Can you give details of what happens when you switch on - any fan or drive noises, any lights, any beeps? Anything on the screen ? If so, what does it say - exact wording please.

    It will speed things up if you also tell me what model your PC is, it's age, and any other details that you can. At this moment, anything might turn out to be relevant. Do you have a floppy disc drive, do you have any original install CD for Windows, if so exactly what? From Dell likely nothing at all.....

    We are looking here at failed Hard drive, power supply or motherboard, which is as wide a choice as you can get....

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It turns on and shows the loading screen (where it states the computer is a Dimension 4550) and then shortly after the loading is done it takes me to a screen telling me that my primary hard drives 0 and 1 were not found. When i turn it on it makes 2 beeping noises. My computer is about 5 years old I would say and I do have a floppy drive. I have the reinstallation cd for reinstalling my operating system.

    I think it might be a virus, just a hunch becuase I haven't messed with any slave drive installing or anything ever.

    ~Makk
     
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Your hard drive has likely gone bad on a computer that old. Dell had a lot of trouble with the Western Digital, Maxtor, and Samsung drives they used in that model.. You might still be able to rescue the data on it by installing a new hard drive, then jumpering it as Master with the old drive jumpered as slave. Then drag the data to the new drive ( if you don't know how to do that, get some cheap recovery software off of www.majorgeeks.com.
    You can also put the old drive into a USB enclosure, and drag it across the USB connection to where you can save it or burn it.

    The hard drive can be easily replaced with a phillps screw driver... That model uses an EIDE PATA drive which you can buy cheaply at www.directron.com, www.zipzoomfly.com, www.newegg.com, www.pcmall.com, www.tigerdirect.com, www.outpost.com, www.techdepot.com, www.CDW.com or many others.
    You use the disk set that came with the computer to reinstall Windows and drivers. Then uses Windows Update and the Dell drivers you will find at the Dell support site using your Service Tag number.
     
  5. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,349   +50

    Go to the Dell service site and see what the beep codes mean. Since it talks about both drive 0 and 1 I am not certain that refers to a single bad drive, though it could be. The beep codes will tell you. The second would be the CD.

    It might also be the motherboard gone bad, or even a nasty virus. I would open th case, disconnect the power lead to the drive and measure for 12V+. Assuming power is ok, after that point, I would concentrate all efforts on extracting your data and whatever settings you can from the existing Hard drive. If you can, mount the HDD in another PC and see if it is readable. If it is, then you are looking more to virus, power supply and motherboard in that order. If it does not appear make sure whoever helps you mount it in a second PC knows what they are doing regarding jumpering the drive to suite. For guidance, if you put it in place of an existing CD/DVD which is on a separate cable, you will be ok (drive as master). Otherwise you will have to jumper it as slave.

    Assuming the drive is faulty and you are desperate to retreive some data, I have sometimes succeeded by wrapping the drive well in a plastic bag and putting it in the freezer for a night. You will often get 10-15 minutes from it the next morning, and can sometimes do that more than once. Luck
     
  6. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Look at the beep codes published here on this forum by Tedster when you have that srot of suggestion. It is a very good beep code list that should soon become a stickie... it includes all the Dell beep codes. But most failed hard drives do not result in beep codes... Dell does not issue beep codes for dead hard drives because it has the error message liste, and Makk did not mention beeps anyway.
    The failure report of hard drives were not found is a typical report of a Dell hard drive failure or a hard drive cable failure.
     
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