Replacing HDD in Compaq 6710b

February 4, 2010 at 12:23:52
Specs: Windows XP
Hi everyone,

I recently bought a WD 250gb Sata 8mb 2.5" Internal Hard Drive for my Compaq 6710b laptop but when installing it the laptop doesn't recognise the HDD?? I'm wondering whether I have bought the wrong HDD or whether the our IT department has locked the laptop and therefore preventing new HDDs being installed. Any ideas?

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February 4, 2010 at 13:50:12
It's not being recognized at all or you can't install Windows XP on it? You can't install XP until you load the SATA drivers. If it's not being recognized by the BIOS, double check that you've installed it correctly. Is it a new or used HDD?

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February 4, 2010 at 14:59:44
Hi Jam,

Thanks for the quick response. When I try to install XP it begins the process and then says it can't find the hard drive so presumably it's the issue you mentioned with the drivers. How can I go about installing the drivers?

The HDD is brand new, delivered from amazon just today.

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February 4, 2010 at 15:12:31
"How can I go about installing the drivers?"

At the very beginning of the XP installation you need to press F6 then load the drivers off a floppy. If you don't have a floppy drive, you'll need to create a new XP CD which already has the SATA drivers slipstreamed into it. You can use a program called nLite to create the new disc:

You can find the SATA driver at the following link under Driver - Storage:

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February 4, 2010 at 16:46:29
Before you do any of the above I suggest you watch the start up screens to verify the full drive capacity is being configured in those screens.

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February 4, 2010 at 18:53:11
If you have no floppy drive built in, or in any case, there is another simpler way. (Most USB connected floppy drive models are not detected by XP's Setup - it has to be one of a few models available when XP was first released, none of which are being made these days, or one of a very few other models. 2000 and XP's Setup won't recognize files on flash drives, external drives, or CD/DVD drives during the early part of Setup as valid for the location of SATA controller drivers.)
Go into the bios Setup and find a setting for the SATA controller(s) or similar where you can set it's mode to IDE compatible or similar, or SATA (or AHCI) - it's presently set to SATA (or AHCI) - set that to IDE compatible or similar, Save bios settings.

XP's Setup will then detect the SATA drive (as an IDE compatible drive) no problem, if the SATA drive is detected properly.

However, if your regular XP CD or the equivalent does not have at least SP1 updates built in, it won't recognize a drive larger than 137gb manufacturer's decimal size = 128gb binary in Windows and the mboard's bios as it's full size, in Windows.
When Setup runs with such a disk, any drive larger than 137gb manufacturer's size / 128gb in the bios and in Windows will be seen by Setup as ~128gb or ~131072 mb

If you see that, you must make a bootable slipstreamed CD with the contents of your CD with the SP3 updates integrated to it. While you're at it you might as well integrate the SATA controller drivers into it too. Use that to run Setup with rather than your own CD. The same Product Key will work.

Regular Windows CDs have SP2 or SP3 printed on them if they include those updates. All the regular CDs with SP1 updates I've seen do NOT have SP1 printed on them, but the volume labels - the label you see in Windows for the CD - for CDs without SP1 updates are different from those with SP1 updates - you can look up the volume label on the web to determine which is the case.

When Setup has finished, if you have loaded your Windows from a regular CD or the equivalent, rather than from a Recovery DVD or a set of Recovery disks for your specific model, load the specific drivers for your model including the SATA controller drivers. They are available in the downloads for your model on the brand name system's web site.

Whenever you load Windows from a regular Windows CD (or DVD) from scratch, after Setup is finished you must load the drivers for the mboard, particularly the main chipset drivers, in order for Windows to have the proper drivers for and information about your mboard hardware, including it's AGP or PCI-E, ACPI, USB 2.0 if it has it, and hard drive controller support. If you have a generic system and have the CD that came with the mboard, all the necessary drivers are on it. If you load drivers from the web, brand name system builders and mboard makers often DO NOT have the main chipset drivers listed in the downloads for your model - in that case you must go to the maker of the main chipset's web site, get the drivers, and load them.
Load the main chipset drivers first.

Then you can go back into the bios Setup, and set the SATA controller(s) or similar to SATA (or AHCI) mode, Save settings.


If you have loaded your Windows from a regular CD or the equivalent, rather than from a Recovery DVD or a set of Recovery disks for your specific model....

If you Windows CD or the equivalent does not have any SP updates built in, you will have no USB 2.0 support until at least SP1 updates have been installed, and the main chipset drivers have been installed. USB 1.1support will already be present when Setup has finished.

If Windows XP did not auto identify your network adapter, it will not have been able to Activate Windows in the final stages of Setup, and you will have no access to the internet until the network adapter drivers have been installed.

See Response 11 in this:

Scroll down to:
If Windows 7 did not auto identify your network adapter, ....
(the same applies)

If you are connecting to the internet wirelessly, only, see the Wireless Network connection info at end of that Response.

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February 4, 2010 at 21:11:49
Compaq 6710b


Scroll down
- Service and maintenance information

Double click on the first manual listed to view it (OR RIGHT click on it, choose Save Target As in IE, choose a location to download it to - 5.49 mb).
When it has finished loading, click once on the floppy icon top left of the Acrobat Reader window if you want to Save the manual to somewhere.
Adobe Acrobat Reader greater than 6.x required to read everthing in the manual properly, but I can still read it in 6.x

~ equivalent to Bios Setup info.
System Configuration Menu
See page 100 (108 of the pdf)

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February 5, 2010 at 07:02:40
Thanks for all the suggestions, I will look into this when I'm back home later today.

In the meantime, I'm wondering whether someone can answer the following:

I note when I install the HDD that one set of the connections on the hard drive does not have a corrsponding slot in the laptop. I do not believe this is the SATA connection but rather some kind of surplus connection --> it's the connection with the 4 pins on the right hand side of this picture:

Can someone advise what the purpose is of this connection? If it needs a corresponding slot then perhaps this is the cause of the problems.

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February 5, 2010 at 08:06:24
That is probably used to downgrade the speed of the drive to SATA I speeds if necessary because of BIOS limitations.

I don't know if it is necessary to use those pins or not. See the link below. Has the old hard drive died? If not, an easier method to install the drive would be to clone the existing drive the new drive and then install the new drive. All the existing files would then already be in place.

If this laptop is a company issued unit don't you think you should consult the IT department before opening the case?

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February 5, 2010 at 10:29:56
Your model of laptop is recent enough that you probably don't need to install any jumpers on the pins.
If the old drive has pins but has no jumpers on the pins, the new drive probably doesn't need them.

"Has the old hard drive died? If not, an easier method to install the drive would be to clone the existing drive the new drive and then install the new drive. All the existing files would then already be in place."

If you're not sure...

It's a good idea to run CHKDSK on C in XP before you run any hard drive diagnostics tests.
Start - Run - type: cmd (press Enter or clik OK)
type: CHKDSK /F C: (press Enter) (a space before /f )
Answer yes to any question.
You will get a message that CHKDSK will run the next time the computer is booted or similar.
Close the black Window.
Let CHKDSK run to completion.
Don't press any keys when it wants to run.

Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:

(thanks to Dan Penny for this link:)
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities

If you don't have a floppy drive, you can get a CD image diagnostic utility from most hard drive manufacturer's web sites, but obviously you would need to make a burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibilty, on another computer if you need to.

If the hard drive passes all tests okay, it's fine.
You can copy it's existing contents.

Your link in response 7 shows in it's URL the model of the drive is WD3200bevt , a 320gb SATA drive.

It that's your new drive, go here to get a suitable program to copy the drive:

Get Acronis True Image WD edition

It normally must be installed on the drive you want to copy, and there must be at least a minimum amount of free space on the drive in order to install and to run it.

When it has finished copying, you simply swap the new drive for the one you copied.

You install the new drive in a USB connected external (drive) enclosure, connect it to the laptop. It you don't have one or can't borrow one, laptop drive - 2.5" hard drive - external enclosures are inexpensive e.g. $30 or so - if your drive is SATA you need a SATA model - I recommend Vantec models - they have two USB connectors on the computer end of the USB connection, you may need to connect both, one has a pass-through USB plug - other USB devices can be plugged into it. Note that an external drive/enclosure may not work correctly unless it is plugged into at least one USB port built into the laptop base.

More stuff found in the manual I pointed to in Response 6

page 100 (108 in pdf)

Enable/Disable SATA Native mode

Disable that in order for XP's Setup to be able to see the SATA drive (as IDE compatible).
Enable that again after the SATA controller drivers have been loaded in Windows

Hard drive cover - page 116 (124 of pdf)

Remove/replace hard drive
pages 52, 53 (60, 61 of pdf)

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