Can I use this Hard Drive on my computer?

Gigabyte / G31m-es2l
September 24, 2011 at 08:08:49
Specs: Windows 7 Ultimate, Intel Core 2 Quad 2.66 GHz / 4094 MB
I was recently thinking about buying a new hard drive for my desktop, because my 200 GB drive only has 20 GB left of free space.

I had a Direct TV DVR box lying around the house, and decided to open it up. It contained within a Western Digital hard drive with 500 GB. I plugged it in but don't know how to format it. Sounds funny, but I don't even know what formatting is! LOL! I have built 3 desktops and don't know what formatting is. XD

At first I left both, the old 200 GB drive and the Western Digital plugged in and started the computer. My BIOS read it, but it didn't have any space or anything. On the desktop screen windows sensed the new hardware and updated it. But I didn't know where to go from there... So I remove my older 200 GB drive and tried installing windows xp on the Western Digital drive. It gave me an error message about no hard drive being plugged in. I also tried installing windows 7 ultimate on it but it too showed that there was nothing plugged in. But when tried Ubuntu, Ubuntu did read it.

After Ubuntu finished installing it, I had to restart like normal, but when it did re-start it got stuck on a black screen with a 2" purple line going across the monitor screen. So I pressed the restart button on my desktop and when it started it looked like if it was going to work. And it did. But when I shut it off and turned it back on it was back to the old drawing board; the OS didn't start and my bios read the drive but it had nothing in it. Everything was 0.

I hope somebody reads all this and knows the answer to my issue. I know the hard drive works because when it's on I could feel it working and the BIOS show it’s there, and Ubuntu lets me install.

What should I do to make this hard drive work on my pc? What is formatting and how do I do it?


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#1
September 24, 2011 at 09:44:58
First is you better make sure you own that dvr.

Second is we can't tell what is going on.

You first need to know if your MB supports 48bit lba.

Second is you need to setup the disk in bios in almost all cases.

Then you might be able to continue.

That hard drive most likely can be used in a pc.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.


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#2
September 24, 2011 at 10:55:08
"First is you better make sure you own that dvr."

If it was provided by your ISP (Internet Service Provider), if you didn't pay for it separately, you are probably leasing (renting) the DVR - you don't own it.
The hard drive inside of it is not yours to mess with.

"You first need to know if your MB supports 48bit lba."

His present drive is 200gb, so it supports 48 bit LBA.

He said
"On the desktop screen windows sensed the new hardware and updated it"

So Windows is probably detecting a hard drive, whether he can see (a) partition(s) on in it My Computer or Windows Explorer or not.
...........

"On the desktop screen windows sensed the new hardware and updated it. But I didn't know where to go from there..."

The hard drive from the DVR is probably already formatted using a method the Windows already recognizes.
In that case, the hard drive from the DVR should show up in Windows in in My Computer or Windows Explorer as one or more drive letters for (a) hard drive partition(s) you didn't see there previously

If you didn't use the DVR, or if you did but deleted all saved data, the hard drive may not have any data on it at all..

It's NOT likely that the drive is NOT already formatted using a method the Windows already recognizes, but if it isn't, it probably shows up in Disk Management in Windows.

My internal drive is not displayed in My Computer or Windows Explorer. [182615]
http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/c...
................

"So I remove my older 200 GB drive and tried installing windows xp on the Western Digital drive. It gave me an error message about no hard drive being plugged in. I also tried installing windows 7 ultimate on it but it too showed that there was nothing plugged in."

If the hard drive from the DVR has SATA ports for the data and power connectors like in the picture on this page, it's a SATA hard drive.
http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/c...

If the hard drive from the DVR has a 40 pin data connector and a 4 pin power connector like in the picture on this page,, it's an IDE hard drive
http://www.helpwithpcs.com/upgradin...

I suspect the hard drive from the DVR is a SATA drive.

XP and the XP CD has no built in SATA drive controller drivers.
Windows 7 and the Windows 7 DVD probably has some SATA drive controller drivers built in, but not all possible ones.

If the bios Setup of the computer has the SATA drive controllers set to SATA or AHCI mode, the files initially loaded from the XP CD will not find any SATA drives by default.
The same may apply for the Vista and Windows 7 DVDs if the drivers for the specific SATA drive controller the mboard has are not built into the DVD.

The EASIEST way to cure that is to go into the bios Setup and set the SATA controller mode to an IDE compatible mode of some sort, Save bios settings, then the SATA drives WILL be detected by the files initially loaded from the XP CD or the Vista or Windows 7 DVD, as IDE compatible drives.

We can't tell you what specific setting in the bios is that you change if you have a brand name system, and we can't tell you what that is for a generic desktop system unless you tell us what the specific mboard model is, but whatever it is, it's presently set to SATA or AHCI, it can be changed, and at least one other choice is an IDE compatible mode of some sort.

"But when tried Ubuntu, Ubuntu did read it."

Ubuntu happened to have the specific SATA drive controller drivers your mboard needs built into it, so it found the SATA hard drive, despite the fact the bios has the SATA drive controllers set to SATA or AHCI mode. .

If you don't fully understand Windows, you shouldn't be messing with Ubuntu.
I know almost nothing about Ubuntu or any version of Linux, and the same applies to many of the people who regularly answer on this site.

When you have a computer that has Windows on one hard drive and Ubuntu on another , you need to know what you're doing in order to be able to multi-boot - be able to choose one or the other operating system - when you first boot the computer.

You could try connecting just the original hard drive, but Windows may not load from it now.
If it doesn't that can be easily fixed.
..............

If the original hard drive still loads Windows fine when it's installed by itself, you have two options

- If the Windows installation works fine as is, other than you haven't got enough free space on the hard drive, you can use a free drive preparation program available from the maker of either of the two hard drive's web sites to copy the entire contents of the 200gb to the 500gb drive (CLONE the drive). The program will automatically, or can be set to, accommodate to the size of the larger drive and make the partition Windows was installed on larger.
E,g, Seagate has two such Programs, one of which is MaxBlast, which is actually a crippled version of Acronis software (you can copy the entire drive but not individual partitions on it). Western Digital has a similar program that is also actually a crippled version of Acronis software.

- Install Windows from scratch on the 500gb drive - that's A LOT MORE WORK, if you don't actually need to do it. Running Setup is only the first step of many you will need to do.
After the initial files have been loaded for the Windows CD or DVD, you have the option of deleting the existing partition(s) on the hard drive and making one or more new ones.

How do I install, format, and partition my internal PATA or SATA drive in Windows 7 or Vista? [202291]
http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/c...



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#3
September 26, 2011 at 17:21:37
Yes, the driver is mine the DVR is mine. I bought it.

My motherboard is a Gigabyte G31M-ES2L. The driver has SATA port not IDE.

In the BIOS it shows the two drivers are connected. The DVR one on IDE Channel 0 Master and it sais this: [HL-DT-STDVD-RAM GSA-]. My 200 GB drive (my old one) is on IDE Channel 2 Master and it says [WDC WD2000JS-22MHBO]. They are both on auto.

When I enter the [WDC WD2000JS-22MHBO] (my old) driver it show the capacity of the drive and everything doing fine.
But, when I enter the [HL-DT-STDVD-RAM GSA-] (the dvr) drive it's as if there is nothing connected...

When I go to the Computer option it only shows 1 Hard Disk Drive as Local Disk (C:).

When I go to Device Manager on Disks Drives it shows the WDC WD2000JS-22MHBO ATA drive (my old one). But it doesn't show the other one. Instead, it comes out in DVD/CD-ROM drives as HL-DT-STDVD-RAM GSA-H22L ATA.

......

It's as if the hard drive is dead. I took it out and it doesn't feel like if its on.. But when I tryed to install ubuntu (I like windows better) it does feel like its on and ubuntu lets me install... But than again it only lets me boot right after the installation restart..after that its as if the hard drive is blocked or something...


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#4
September 30, 2011 at 07:33:48
"Yes, the driver is mine the DVR is mine. I bought it."

I assume you mean the 500gb hard drive inside the DVR, is yours because you bought the DVR separately.
Good.

Driver is software for a device, not the hardware device itself.
It's NOT correct to call a hard drive or an optical drive or a floppy drive or a flash drive etc. a driver - it's a physical drive.
All drives in Windows or in any operating system are logical drives - logical is usually omitted when referring to them. Hard drives can have more than one software partition, each of which is a logical drive, and each of those usually has a drive letter assigned to it / them.


"The driver has SATA port not IDE."

I assume you mean the 500gb drive from the DVR has the SATA data and SATA power sockets, not the 40 pin data header and 4 pin power socket a IDE (EIDE) hard drive has.


"My motherboard is a Gigabyte G31M-ES2L"

There are 4 different Revision series of that model.

GA-G31M-ES2L (rev. 1.x)
http://www.gigabyte.com/products/pr...

(Rev 1.1 on the mboard picture; it could also be 1.0 or any other 1.x Rev))

GA-G31M-ES2L (rev. 2.x)
http://www.gigabyte.com/products/pr...

(Rev 2.0 on the mboard picture; it could also be 2.1 or 2.2)

GA-G31M-ES2L (rev. 2.3)
http://www.gigabyte.com/products/pr...

(Rev 2.3 on the mboard picture)

GA-G31M-ES2L (rev. 2.4)
http://www.gigabyte.com/products/pr...

(Rev 2.4 on the mboard picture. This revision shows a blue mboard with turquoise SATA data headers. All the other Revisions show a different colored mboard with orange SATA data headers.)

When you click on the mboard picture to enlarge it, the Rev number is printed on the surface of the mboard in the top left corner.

which Rev x.x do you have ?
....

All the mboard revisions have.....
4 SATA data headers
1 IDE data header - supports up to two IDE (EIDE) drives
1 floppy drive data header

....

" WDC WD2000JS "

Western Digital Caviar SE WD2000JS 200GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ... Digital Caviar SE

Excerpts

"200 gb"
"Interface SATA 3.0Gb/s"


"HL-DT-STDVD-RAM GSA-H22L"

Review
GSA-H22L
http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/revie...

Excerpts

"The GSA-22L has an ATAPI interface..."

Clicking on pictures there reveals it's an IDE (EIDE) DVD "burner" drive, NOT a SATA drive, and certainly not a hard drive.
...

At the time when you looked that you quoted, your mboard's bios Setup WAS NOT detecting the 500gb SATA drive at all !

NOTE that it MUST have been detected when you installed Ubuntu - an operating system cannot detect a hard drive the bios Setup does not detect.

- make sure that the SATA data and SATA power connectors are inserted into their sockets on the 500gb drive all the way. They are "keyed" so they only go in all the way when they're lined up correctly - sometimes it's possible to have them go in part of the way into the sockets when the end connectors are upside dowm with respect to the sockets, but of course the drive won't work if they're upside down.

- Especially for the 500gb drive...
Check your SATA data cables. The connector on each end should "latch" into the socket on the drive and on the mboard, or on the drive controller card - it should not move when you merely brush your hand against it near the socket - if it does, mere vibration can cause a poor connection of it - use another SATA data cable that does "latch", or tape the connector in place.
(There is a slight projection or bump on one side of the outside of the connector that "latches" it into the socket - it's easily broken off or damaged)

The same thing applies for the SATA power connection.

- Make sure that the bios Setup has all IDE channels set to Auto detect drives. Some bioses will NOT bother to detect a drive if that's set to None or similar.
If you're not sure how to do that, load bios defaults in the bios Setup, save settings - that always sets all IDE channels to Auto detect drives connected to them, in modern bioses.

- the 500gb drive MUST spin when the computer is running. It may be hard to tell whether it is because of it not making much noise and because of fan noise etc. - if you place something solid between the drive and your ear or touch your head with it near your ear, you can hear whether it's spinning.

NOTE that you should ALWAYS have the AC power cord to the computer case unplugged, or switch off the AC power to the case otherwise, whenever you plug in or unplug anything inside the case, otherwise the hard drive or the mboard data connection it connects to can be damaged.
In the rare case the SATA data header circuits are damaged for a particular SATA data header, connecting the 500gb drive to a different SATA data header should allow it to be detected properly.
.........

"In the BIOS it shows the two drivers are connected. The DVR one on IDE Channel 0 Master and it sais this: [HL-DT-STDVD-RAM GSA-]. "

That's not the 500gb drive from the DVR - that's the DVD "burner" drive.

"My 200 GB drive (my old one) is on IDE Channel 2 Master and it says [WDC WD2000JS-22MHBO]."

That's correct.

"They are both on auto."

I assume you mean it's set to Auto detect a drive attached to the IDE channel.

Bios Setups often show IDE channels for drive connections whether the hard drive or optical (CD or DVD) drive is IDE (EIDE) or SATA. connected
Bioses usually list channels for IDE (EIDE) drives first.

"When I enter the [WDC WD2000JS-22MHBO] (my old) driver it show the capacity of the drive and everything doing fine."

That's fine.

"But, when I enter the [HL-DT-STDVD-RAM GSA-] (the dvr) drive it's as if there is nothing connected..."

That's your DVD "burner" drive. If there is no disk with data on it in the drive, there's no data there Windows, or whatever operating system, can read.


"When I go to the Computer option it only shows 1 Hard Disk Drive as Local Disk (C:).

When I go to Device Manager on Disks Drives it shows the WDC WD2000JS-22MHBO ATA drive (my old one). But it doesn't show the other one. Instead, it comes out in DVD/CD-ROM drives as HL-DT-STDVD-RAM GSA-H22L ATA "

That's all correct.

At the time you looked, the 500gb drive was not being detected by the mboard's bios setup, so it can't be seen by Device Manager in Windows

When the drive IS being detected by the mboard's bios Setup, the physical drive will show up in Disk Management, even when it doesn't show up in My Computer or Windows Explorer.



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