computer SORT OF detecting drive?

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adblink182

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I am trying to fix my gf's familys PC. She messed it up when she tried to install new ram. Long story short they needed a new mobo and it came in today and I'm trying to get things up and running around.

The computer has one HD and one cd-rom. The harddrive is set to master and is at the end of one ide cable with nothign else on it. The cd-rom is also set to master and at the end of the second ide cable with nothing else on it.

When I go into BIOS, under the "Advanced" tab, I go into "IDE Configuration" it lists the Harddrive has "Primary IDE Master", nothing installed under Primary IDE Slave, it lists the cd-rom drive under "Secondary IDE Master", and again nothing under secondary ide slave.

When I go into the Boot Device Priority section, there is only ONE option there, and it is set to the cd-rom

but when I let the computer boot from the windows xp disk, it does its thing but then shortly after I get this message saying "Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer. Make sure any hard disk drives are powered blah blah blah"

so whats going on? its there but its not there

there must be a setting or something in this bios im missing?
 

adblink182

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May 24, 2004
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not sure if this is relevant or not, but I have to set the "IDE Controller" to Both for the pc to pick up the 2 drives in the "IDE Configuration" section. Default it was disabled, but without it the drives wont work and BIOS takes FORVER to load when it was disabled
 
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Good Evening adblink182, you certainly seem to have done everything correctly.
Dont operate inside the case unless the power lead is removed from the system and follow sensible antistatic procedures.

The hard drive naturally needs to be identified and appear in the BIOS for it to function and be able to be seen.
Check the red stripe on the IDE cable is toward the power plug side on the hard drive.
Check the longer end of the IDE cable is toward the motherboard.
Check the IDE plug at the M/B end is properly indexed or the red stripe is toward pin 1 on the M/B.

Check the BIOS primary master is set for autodetect or if it does autodetect you may need to accept the setting displayed with Y. (the default is usually N)

I suspect your problem will be in this area somehow.

Edit, yes, both IDE's need to be enabled because you have devices on both of the cables.
When you find your way around you can select not fitted to the items that are absent on the other places on those IDEs, this will save time with fruitless searches for devices if they are set to auto.

Cheers, qldit.
 

adblink182

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May 24, 2004
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106
yup looks like you were right, the computer knew there was a harddrive connected to it, but I had to change "Type" to "auto" for it to figure out exactly what it was, same with the cd-rom. So Thanks for all the help on that one :D

But I'm not out of the clear yet tho, I booted the PC from the WinXP Pro disk, and its installing, except its PAINFULLY slow. During the windows setup (like after it has progressed from the blue background to the actual windows themed screen) it took over an HOUR to move from 32min remaing to 19min remaining, whyyyyyy the slow down!

The pc is a 1.5ghz P4 with 768mb of ram! (512+128+128). Never seen an installation take so long
 
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Good Afternoon adblink182, something is very wrong.
That system should take around 30-40 minutes max for the complete instal.

Is that a new hard drive?

I feel some in-depth tests would be in order.
Firstly a comprehensive memory test.
Obtain Memtest86, use a new perfect floppy disk and make a bootable floppy with tis image.
http://www.memtest.org/#downiso
the file to get is Download - Pre-Compiled package for Floppy (DOS - Win)
Boot on this disk and run this program for a couple of hours, accept no errors.
If errors are present they are usually quite evident.
This needs relocating memory sticks until a clean test can be achieved.
Defective sticks, if present should be determined, lablelled NFG, and left out.

Second. Try running this HDDRegenerator scanner.
http://www.dposoft.net/
This file makes a bootable CD or floppy. If you use a floppy ensure it is a perfect blank.
Boot on the disk, keep entering the defaults and the scanner should start.
If there is a problem it with the drive it should find it.

So you would appreciate having good memory and a good drive is halfway there.
If your drive is not new it is possibly there is some odd partition or problem with it.
To address this possibility I usually suggest a drive "Low Level" format (this writes zeroes to every memory block) this ensures anything on the drive is cleared.
To do this I suggest using the Madboot Floppy disk, the image is available here.
http://www.tucows.com/preview/345398
This image can be downloaded and makes a bootable disk. Ensure the floppy disk is perfect beforehand.

When you boot to this disk it will bring you to a graphical screen with a load of tools, the low level format button is simply operated and the process begins. This takes a while but it is worthwhile as a clean start.

When this completes you can use the Gdisk to make the drive as FAT then format it as FAT, this allows the scandisk program to be run which includes a different surface test which is also on that disk.

This stuff takes time but is worthwhile.


When you install Windows XP NTFS formatting can be selected during the install, so having FAT initially is no problem.

Cheers, qldit..
 

adblink182

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Joined
May 24, 2004
Messages
106
lots of great information! Thanks alot!

I will update you with my progress!

(thx again :))
 
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