Unable to access hard drive error

By VinnIE_85
Jan 5, 2006
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  1. First of, I want to say hi and describe my problem. My 5 year old compaq presario, OS Windows 98 seems to want to retire soon. About 1 out of 5 booting, it would start up by the message:

    Unable to access hard drive
    Operating system not found on any devices
    Press any key to try again.

    If I turn it off and on again by the power button, it will load up just fine. I just want to know if there is a way to fix this problem, or is the hd about to die. If you can, please provide me with a little more details in the fix, if there is any, since I am a newbie in this area.

    By the way, I have Goback, it is a recovery program that loads even before windows, if that may be the problem.

    Thank you very much. I hope for your assisstance.
  2. wlknaack

    wlknaack Newcomer, in training Posts: 149

    Try going into setup and see if the bios is even seeing the HDD. If it is not seeing the HDD, you may simply have an intermittent connection problem, either in you IDE cable or connectors, or a more serious problem with your IDE controller on the MOBO or cracked traces on the MOBO.

    I had a similar problem on my WINXP system, where on boot my HDDs could not be found by the bios. After going through a multitude of tests to try to isolate the problem to no avail, I opened up the computer and cleaned out the dust, checked the EIDE cables from the MOBO to the HDD's for apparent defects and firmly seated the EIDE cable connectors to the HDD's and the MOBO. Although I could not find any discernable defects in the cables, nor did the connectors appear loose before I reseated them, the problem went away. I strongly suggest you do the same before you look elsewhere.
  3. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,896

    You may have a hard drive that is failing. I would suggest you back up any important data on that drive immediately.
  4. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,582

    try the drive in another machine
    look on motherboard for leaking parts the little can like things go bad and leak(capacitor)
    5 yrs is about right for oem drives
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