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Hard drive has "disappeared"

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Oedipax, Aug 7, 2006.

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  1. Oedipax

    Oedipax Thread Starter

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    I turned on my PC running XP yesterday and noticed that one of my secondary hard drives wasn't showing up (it's a Western Digital 200gb drive, connected through a Promise Ultra100 TX2 PCI ATA/100 card). To be more specific, it shows up (it's listed in Device Manager and under My Computer) but it doesn't show how much space is taken up or how much is left. Also, trying to open the drive stalls the computer for a minute or so every time. Under the Disk Management utility, it shows up as an unformatted hard drive.

    I ran SpinRite 6 on it, however, and everything is still there - and there's no lag whatsoever, it ran through the whole drive without a problem and didn't find any unreadable data or bad sectors. So I think my data is still there, and I'm not sure there's even a problem with the drive itself, maybe just how Windows is seeing (or not seeing) it. I tried running chkdsk on it, and it gets to step 2 (checking indexes) and basically stalls. I left it running overnight and when I came back today I just had a blank screen, my computer seemed to have locked.

    I'm wondering what the next step I should take should be. I've tried uninstalling the drive and rebooting, where it automatically reinstalls but has the same problem again. I suppose I could open the case up and reseat all the connectors, but I don't think that's the problem, since SpinRite had no problems seeing all the data. I'm just kind of stumped and it seems like I'm missing something obvious to get it going again. Any help is much appreciated.
     
  2. qldit

    qldit

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    Good Afternoon Oedipax, what is your primary and secondary drive type?
    Is this a board with no IDE connections only SATA?

    Spinrite is usually pretty reliable from my experience.

    I would be inclined to get that drive into another machine with an ordinary IDE system and check it there.

    qldit.
     
  3. Oedipax

    Oedipax Thread Starter

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    The board does have IDE connections; my primary drive is a relatively small IBM IDE drive (30gb) going into the D850GB mobo's primary IDE channel. The secondary channel is used by a DVD burner and a DVD-R drive.

    I have two secondary drives, both are running off that Promise ATA/100 PCI card. The other drive (Maxtor 120gb) is still working fine.
     
  4. qldit

    qldit

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    Gee, you like drives!
    So the primary slave position would appear to be clear.

    I would be suspicious of some problem with the IDE card and it's arrangement or some kind of interaction problem between the drives on that card, possibly involving a driver or some odd impediment like that.

    Is it possible to fit that WD200 to the primary slave position and see that it detects properly in BIOS?
    (or temporarily fit it on the other IDE system properly configged)
    This would likely need the bridge to be also re-positioned and be redetected in BIOS.

    I wasn't aware that spinrite could select extra card-mounted drives, that is handy to know.

    If you can find a configuration where the drive functions properly, the next thing is to consider what might have caused this problem!

    qldit.
     
  5. Oedipax

    Oedipax Thread Starter

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    Very interesting - I reconfigured the drive as slave on the primary IDE channel, booted into Windows, and the drive is back up and running! So it looks like it might be a problem with the ATA/100 card. Strange that the Maxtor has no problems on the same card though. This is a setup that has worked for 2 or 3 years...

    I'll keep messing with it, but at the moment I'm just happy that it appears the drive itself is fine.
     
  6. qldit

    qldit

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    Yes it is quite amazing, but don't discount the possibility that some altered state has happened for some odd reason.
    I had suspected previously that this kind of problem may somehow be related to spare blocks being used, but your spinrite run would have seen that.

    In some odd cases the name of the drive reverts to a coded name associated with the manufacturer and I have never understood why.

    I would be inclined to run spinrite on the Maxtor drive and see if it shows any blocks as bad.

    I have a feeling one of those two drives has some kind of interaction that may have developed.

    Chances are if you connect two different drives to that card the operation will be normal.

    But I am usually wrong, so it is pure guessing!! LOL!!

    It is good to see you still have your data!

    Cheers, qldit.
     
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