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IDE Drive Recognised by BIOS not by Operating Systems

By 3guesses
Dec 13, 2013
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  1. Hi,

    A couple of months ago the system drive on one of my old PCs suddenly stopped working - not particularly surprising given that it's about 10 years old. I swapped it out and left it until I had time to try to pull the data off it. It's a 60GB Western Digital Caviar WD600AB-32CDB0 EIDE drive. Now, when I connect it to the secondary IDE bus on my PC it does seem to spin up and the BIOS recognises it no problem, but neither Windows XP (Disk Manager) nor Slackware Linux 9.1 (cfdisk) do. This is not a situation I've come across before (disk recognised by BIOS but not the O.S.). Does anybody know what the problem might be and what I can do to try to resolve it? I have been pretty careful with its usage over the years (eg. not having a paging file) which I guess is why it has lasted so long, but I don't really need to use it any more - I would just like to pull the data off it if possible without incurring significant expense.

    Edit: I forgot to say, on bootup SMART reports no problems!

    Thanks very much,

  2. TheHawk

    TheHawk TS Enthusiast Posts: 32   +9

    Hey 3g. I've never been in that situation myself, I do believe the BIOS only reads parameters about the drive that it gets from the preprogrammed circuits in the drive, whereas Windows is trying to actually read data off the drive and can't. Is the drive configured correctly for where it's placed with it's jumper pins?. You may want to run a diagnostic test on the drive from the link below

  3. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +185

    I'm not a hardware guy but do recall reading (as TheHawk points) possible issue re: jumpering. See page 2 about IDE jumpering HERE

    You could also just try USB/IDE cable to try reading it as an external USB drive.
    (in any case is not expensive and handy to have a USB to IDE/SATA cable around the house

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