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Apparent HDD failure at "Partition Disk" attempt.

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Catullus, Dec 9, 2009.

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  1. Catullus

    Catullus Thread Starter

    Dec 6, 2009
    Recently I decided to have a look at Linux as an alternative OS, I obtained a new Ubuntu CD-ROM from source and selected an HP A1280C workstation to be the installation target.

    Config: 1
    A1280C, X-Class workstation. WIN 2 K Pro OS.
    2 x Intel P3 @ 1GHz clock rate, 4 GB RAM, 1 x Adaptec AHA 29160 SCSI 160 adaptor, 2 x SCSI 160 HDD, 1 X IDE CD-RW, 1 x FDD, 1 x IDE TDD.

    Good hardware, running W2K and W2K apps. Attempted to install Ubuntu using automatic install script on CD-ROM. At the Partition Disk operation, received system error message "missing or damaged hard drive". Exchanged AHA 29160 SCSI HDD controller. Repeated attempt to install Linux, same result.

    Config: 2
    Removed SCSI storage sub-system, installed 2 x IDE HDD, connected via on board IDE controller, primary channel. Repeated attempt to install Linux, same result, "missing or damaged hard drive".

    Config: 3
    Considered possibility that the system board IO bridge had been damaged, random failures do occur! Replaced system board, ensured all configuration switches were set to factory default settings. Checked all connectors properly installed. Cleared BIOS and reloaded new copy from HP source disc. Cleared CMOS data. Configured system as in Config 2. Ran POST in prolix mode and watched the new system board detect every piece of hardware. Aha! progress. Ran HP DiagTools, clean bill of health for all system components, and that includes exhaustive CPU, RAM and HDD Write/Read testing.

    Attempted to install Ubuntu Linux as before, yes, you guessed it, right back to square 1. "Missing or Damaged hard drive".

    Go back to POST and run in prolix mode, no HDD detection!

    Attempt to reinstall WIN2K Pro, "missing or damaged hard drive" at partition disk operation.

    Now I'm not blaming Ubuntu Linux for this performance. I know of no way in which an OS problem could cause this kind of hardware damage, but somehow I've apparently destroyed two (expensive) system boards; and I haven't a clue what killed them. I would welcome any suggestions in case I have overlooked the obvious somewhere. Yes, I do work at an anti-static workstation and I do wear my grounding strap whenever my hands are inside any piece of electronic equipment,
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