HDD won't boot, BIOS can't see it - pls help

By cristian44b ยท 6 replies
May 23, 2005
  1. I own a '98 edition Plll Maxtor 8.5 GB system which won't boot. Error message is "can't detect primary drive" and BIOS can't autodetect it either. Emergency floppy is useless considering. All connections are ok. The data was backed up 2 weeks ago, but I still need it (badly). :(
    Pls, pls help
  2. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    do you feel the hard drive running
    you will have to open PC case for this
    do you here it is it load
    if it is not running it could be gone ,try the freezer test
    put in the freezer for bout 2 hrs
    see if it starts running now,if it is running and you can't detect
    your power connection may be loose ot your ribbon cable is bad connection

    If you have the fdisk that came with 98
    install this, boot up
    hit delete key go to bios and boot manager reset to boot first from floppy
    save this exit on reboot it will ask how you wan to tboot
    say a with cdrom suppot
    at A prompt type C: or you may need to type in CD C:\
  3. cristian44b

    cristian44b TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thx for yr reply . i don't knwo what you mean by "fdisk that came with 98" . is that the emrgency boot floppy ? i tried that and it won't do anythign since the hdd is undetectable, and even bios can't autodetect it.
    cdrom unit works and is now C:\ but i don't have any utils on cdrom. when i put in the win98 cd it tells me i have to manually create a boot partition on my hdd in order to fire it up, and that would be ok if i kne how to do it ;-)
  4. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Hello and welcome to Techspot.

    Have you tried a different IDE cable?
    It might be the culprit.

    Regards Howard :wave: :wave:
  5. cristian44b

    cristian44b TS Rookie Topic Starter

    i swapped power supplies and cables with the cd-rom units , which work just fine. i took the hdd out of its case and listened for spin, but could not detect much, although it warms up nicely after a couple of minutes. so could it be it's not getting enough power to start spinning ?

    i then changed the boot seq in BIOS and tried to boot off the win 98 cd, which worked to the point of beginning installing win98 & then gave the error " could not detect a hdd, pls create a dos partition to install win 98" ( :eek: )
    if i just boot off the cdrom with the cd-rom as sidekick, without attempting to reinstall win98 , it won't see C: at the prompt (drive not ready). if i boot off a: (the emergency disk), and go thru a couple of keystrokes, the system sees C: drive, but it is actually now the cd-rom, and d: is not avail.
  6. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    your drive is more'n likely fried, caput ,toast.
    again last thing to try,put the drive in a freezer,2hrs about.
    install it agian(cold)try to boot normal from.
    if it runs get what you can off of it in hurry
  7. cristian44b

    cristian44b TS Rookie Topic Starter

    i followed your suggestion from earlier and stuck it in the freezer but nothinghappened. i'm getting another maxtor 10 GB and try to install that as a master and the fried one as a slave, and try to ger stuff off it that way. do u think that will work ?
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