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Old 07-19-2005, 06:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default can't find fresh formatted harddrive

I RMA'd my western digital 250 gig harddrive and I just got it back today. At first, the comp couldn't find the drive, but that's just because I didn't format yet. So I format with Partition Magic and then I make sure and format again with the XP disc. Once installing XP Home, it rebooted and booted fine from the harddrive with the new freshly formatted and freshlly installed windows XP.

i then shut it off because I had some other things to do around the house, and I come back and turn it on and it can't find a boot device. I then goto the bios and figure that the harddrive is just not first priority, but it's not even listed now.

is there some way to force it to read the harddrive, i do not wish to reformat and reinstall XP everytime I need to use the comp, pretty time consuming, LOL.


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Old 07-19-2005, 06:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Why did you send back the original drive? It is possbile that you got a second lemon!! ? Otherwise you may have to take a really hard look at your mobo!!! et al!

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Old 07-19-2005, 06:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If it is not listed in BIOS, it has nothing to do at all whether Windows is installed on it or not.

When you BIOS isnt detecting it, you probably have a hardware problem.

Some possible causes:
-Bad Hard Drive. I know you just RMA'd it, but who knows. If you have another computer to try it in that would be ideal.
-Bad Cable. Whether SATA or PATA, detection problems could be caused by a bad cable. If PATA, make sure it is an 80conductor cable.
-Bad Interface. It is possible that the interface on the motherboard is bad. Try the drive in other known-good slots.

Thats all I can really think of for now, but Im sure that someone will have something to add.

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Old 07-19-2005, 06:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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some bios's have specific ways they like things linked as well. Some like on HD and one CD device on the chain others like to have both HD and CDs on different channels.

Try connecting JUST that drive, and see if it finds it. Is it SATA or ATA? If it SATA then you need to have SATA enabled in the bios. Some systems don't like to use both SATA and ATA harddrives at the same time either so you may have to disable one or the other in the bios for it to work.

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Old 07-19-2005, 08:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default about hard drive

Well, in the BIOS is your hard drive set to "Auto". If so, i would take the advise of the last post and replace the cable. However, in order to really no, we need you to tell us what interface your are using " SATA OR ATA. !!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 07-19-2005, 08:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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funny thing, i tried to boot again and i choose to boot from cd, i was going to reinstall XP again just to see what happens, it actually booted from the harddrive, but now it takes a minute to find the drive before it boots. other than taking longer than usual to find the drive to boot from, it has been rebotted a few times so far with no troubles.

everything is on it's own channel, IDE 133 I do believe, and i am getting new round cables for everything to, so i'll see if new cables make a difference on thursday.
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Old 07-20-2005, 08:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Okay, I got some new information and some questions.

It seems that the comp/bios/whatever can't find the harddrive only after a complete shutdown. To get the comp up and running I have insert the XP disc and start to reinstall and then quit and reboot. After the initial reboot, I can reboot the comp all day without problems. But if I have to do a complete shutdown and try to boot again, I have to use the XP disc to "get the bios to see the drive".

One thing I do want to point out is that while the WD harddrive was being RMA'd, I installed a small leftover harddrive and installed windows 2000 and it worked perfectly, booted fine everytime on reboots and complete shutdowns. That leads me to believe that the new drive is faulty like some of you suggested, but why would a faulty drive boot at all?

So, my questions are these:

If the bios can't find the drive in the first place, how can it boot from the drive after messing with the XP disc? How can the XP disc make the comp find the drive? Or, how can XP see the drive if the bios can't, and if it's a hardware problem, why can I use the comp flawlessly when I finally get it booted?

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EDIT: since the drive is on it's own channel, i have it on master, should i move the jumper to cable select, or would that even make a difference?
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Old 07-20-2005, 08:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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You sure you don't have that thing plugged into a RAID controller or something funny? Some motherboards have that kind of stuff.
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Old 07-20-2005, 09:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I did not install the raid controller. It is connected with the same IDE cable that it always has been.

I have been reading up at Western Digital's website and it says something about a neutral jumper setting if there is only one drive on one channel, I have always thought it was just slave, master, and cable select. It seems that master and slave are to be used only for two drives on one channel, and the new-to-me neutral setting and cable select is for one drive on one channel. I wanted to ask you tech forum members if this is correct before I shutdown the comp once more and try to fix it.
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Old 07-20-2005, 09:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Put it on the universal setting.


put it on pins 6 and 8

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