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Computer will not read Hard Drive, please help!!!

By dkiraz ยท 9 replies
Feb 6, 2007
  1. Well im having a pretty annoying problem. I have two hard drives, a recently bought 200gig and a 100gig. I formated and installed windows on the 200 gig, everything was fine. I plugged the 100gig hd in so i can transfer files and all of that to my 200gig hd. That was fine. Then i wanted to change the drive letter of the 100 gig from drive F to drive D. It worked, everything was fine. I decided to restart my computer, and that is where the problems arose. Now whenever i turn my comp on and it goes to the screen where it is detecting IDE drives (primary master and slave drives and all that) it doesnt show the 200gig as there. If i have the 100gig HD plugged in as well, doesnt matter if it is as master or slave drive, the screen freezes on the IDE detection screen.
    I can load my 100gig hd (it has winxp home installed) as long as my 200gig isnt plugged in.

    I have tried various methods, having the 200gig plugged in by itself, and changing the jumper to master, slave and cable select, still the drive isnt recognized and it just changes screens and says something to the affect of Disk Failure please enter boot disk, or something like that.

    I have tried a lot of things, but the 200gig HD just will not be recognized, so i cannot format it or anything because the comp doesnt see it. I have tried having both HD's plugged in, and changing around the options for master and slave drive, but the 200gig isnt being detected.

    The 200gig has xp pro installed.

    I hope i gave enough enough, and i would appreciate any help you can give.
  2. monton

    monton TS Booster Posts: 113

    Have you checked the BIOS settings? Are these IDE or SATA drives? Do you have CD or DVD or zip drives attached?

    Be sure both Primary and secondary IDE "channels" are on. You may be able to auto detect the hard drive from the BIOS.
  3. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    It might be hard for you to believe, but if what you say is true, this is definitely a hardware failure.

    I know - it is a huge coincidence - but if everything you say is true about it not being detected in the BIOS, you have master/slave set correctly and you have a working cable connecting it to your IDE channel, that is the only thing it can be.

    Look into taking it back and getting a replacement.
  4. dkiraz

    dkiraz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanx for suggestions, the thing is monton, the hard drives and everything was perfectly fine, so i would assume the BIOS is fine, but i could be wrong. I am not at my computer to check the BIOS settings.

    I am afraid that Rick may be right, the thing is i have had this hard drive for like 5 weeks, and i had windows on it before, i had to format it for different reasons, so getting a replacement means buying a new HD not getting a refund :(

    Also i transfered my most valuable data onto the 200gig hd, and only some of the minor data remains on the 100gig, so if i have to get a replacement i would lose the data, which is the last option for me.

    thanks again for the suggestions, hopefully someone has gone through this and was able to figure it out, and can help me.
  5. dkiraz

    dkiraz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Nobody else has any suggestions? I was hoping somebody would have more ideas, i really dont want to lose the files i have, so please, any help would be apprectiated, thankx.
  6. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    It is what it is and if everything you said is correct, that drive simply doesn't work anymore. It's tough, but it happens a lot and it happens with brand new drives.

    What I might try to do...
    1. Verify your motherboard supports drives larger than 138GB. Any system put together within the past few years should for sure, but check anyway. If it doesn't, you can probably update your BIOS, add a PCI IDE controller or use a drive overlay program like Maxblast (Maxtor drives) etc...
    2. Try the drive by itself, on its own cable on its own IDE channel using 'single master'. Remove other optical or hard drives if you must.
    3. Ensure the jumper is set to single master. Many drives have the option of single master and master with slave. Single master is the only one that will work here.
    4. Check to see if it is recognized in the BIOS as master on whatever IDE channel (Primary or secondary) you have it installed on.

      If it doesn't show up....
    5. Replace the IDE cable.
    6. Use a different power cable (4-pin molex connector)
    7. Replace the suspected bad drive with a known working drive to verify the board is indeed reading hard drives. If it reads the other drive, but not your 200GB, then verify it is capable of handling drives larger than 138GB (See #1)
    8. Try your 200GB drive in another system
    9. Try your 200GB in an external enclosure

      If you actually manage to exhaust every possibility listed here, consider finally that it MAY be dead.
      However, you can try the following:.

    10. Change the PCB (exposed circuit board) with an identical model drive
    11. Freezer trick (Yes, this is not a myth - From my experiences it works occasionally
    12. Professional data forensics

      At this point, your only option is to send it back for a replacement and lose your data.

      If at any point it actually does seem to work, run a full manufacturer's drive diagnostic on it several times to help ensure it is reliable.
  7. dkiraz

    dkiraz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks a lot Rick...
    Im afraid my Hard drive is dead then, the only things i have not tried are the last few suggestions (never of the freezer trick lol).
    I know my motherboard supports the hard drive, and a hard drive that size.
    Looks like i will have to get a replacement, Once again thanks for the suggesions.
  8. foozy

    foozy TS Rookie Posts: 139

    Wouldn't your optical drive already be set to D:? I don't see why it would let you assign identical drive letters in the first place, but that seems to be an oddity in and of itself.

    Course that might cause problems with your 100g but not your 200gig. I'd probably:

    Format both hdds to raw space
    install the 200g only
    reset CMOS
    try to boot up from a windows disc and see if the hard drive can be used

    edit: I missed the part where you said you didn't want to lose your files, but I suppose people harp on hd backups for a reason :)
  9. dkiraz

    dkiraz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Foozy, i cannot format my 200gig because my comp wont recognize it.
    I was able to change the drive letter of my 100gig to D because i changed other drives to diff letters, so drive D could be a useable letter.
    But as you said, that should affect my 200gig
  10. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,102   +419

    I'm not sure I understand. Just because you've used the hard drive doesn't mean you can't return it as defective and exchange it as long as it's within the warranty period.
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