Hard Drive Not Detected on My PC

September 3, 2010 at 15:08:08
Specs: Windows XP home
I downloaded comodo,, had it for a while all was ok.. decided to branch out a bit,, and use the wipe facility,, to clean off all the deleted and uninstalled stuff that THEY TOLD ME WAS THERE on my 6 year old computer... set it off..( i chose the random overwrite). seemed like it was going to be a long task, as there was thousands of things..... went and had a cup of tea.. came back to find lots and lots of small windows saying something like critical error windows cannot find this and find that-- and something has replace part of the system with unrecognizable THINGS well you get the idea !!
MY COMPUTER IS "DEAD" I have the XP CD version2002 which includes service pack 2... I have been at it for two days now so I have tried just about everything,, it cannot find my hard drive.!!! I have the motherboard cd with drivers ... I have tried to make a floppy disk to boot up with or rather..... booot up with the xp cd and use the F6 button to load the drivers ... it just will not have it .... it say it cant find a certain file... then next time it says it cannot find a different on... I have put all the files that it wants on one floppy disk.. then put each file on 6,7or8 floppy disks.. I have lost count now... I have another old really slow xp computer that I am doing all this on as my computer .. well you can do nothing on it.... I have been in touch with the place that made it.. they have told me what to do in 3/4 phone calls buy nothing works ... I have been to every site on the web --- downloaded all of the bootable things that will get me out of this jam... nothing works.....Do you think it is a lost cause ???? Oh I had better say I have a 'striped raid system' so it makes it a bit more complicated I am told... I was told also that if I put a windows 7 cd in that would work as it has all the drivers that i need pre-loaded.. so went through it all again with no luch only to be told that my ATI rs 400+SB400 motherboard will not suppot windows 7............ I have as i said this raid hard drive 500GB so two 250GB... it also has 2GB ram.......... 3.6ghz processor... Cant think of anything else to tell you.... other than I need H.E.L.P. !!!!!!! So if you could do anything it would be really appreciated....

See More: Hard Drive Not Detected on My PC

Report •

September 3, 2010 at 15:51:43
When XP setup reports it is unable to find certain files that is usually a sign of a problem with the ram.

You need at this point to stop trying to install XP and do some diagnostics on the system hardware.

First obtain Memtest86. Download it on a different PC and create a bootfloppy to use to test the problem machine.

Set the BIOS boot order to Floppy first followed by CD then Harddrive.

Boot to the Memtest floppy and let the test complete at least one full pass.

If any errors are reported you have your answer. Replace the ram.

Next thing is to run some harddrive diagnostics. Again the best method is to run these from a bootable floppy or CD. Obtain a suitable diagnostic tool from the drive maker's website.

Would also recommend you reconsider your RAID setup. There is no valid reason to run RAID 0 and numerous very good reasons not to.

Chief among these is if you suffer any problem with either physical disk you lose everything.

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)

Report •

September 3, 2010 at 16:29:44
Is the hard drive in question a SATA type?

Report •

September 21, 2010 at 06:23:56
Has been a while... I gave up on computering for a bit as it was so depressing.. But Thanks for the help guys.. to Othehill.. yes it is a SATA.. To Richard 59 I downloaded the Memtest86.. that did not work ??? But I did spend at least half a day on it....
What I have done now is.. I have taken the hard drive out of an old computer and put it into mine.. it had winXP service pack 2 on it... I have done zillions of windows up dates and SP3.. I now have a running computer... I have installed all of my periferals so now it is like having a new computer...I now obviously do not have the raid set up and like you say Richard what is the point of it...
When I start up in the bios my two original drives are there, also it shows the new drive, which is what I am using...
I do not seem to be able to access my two old drives,, which is a shame as they are both 250 GB so it would be good to be able to use them either to back up my system or store photos and such like.. Is there anyway I can get to these Hard drives, now that I am using this third drive as the main drive.. ??
Also Richard I took on board what you said about the Ram memory.. So I have looked into getting some more.. Before all this started I had done a scan of my computer with 'ORCA' so I know what I can put in my computer... what is there at the moment is-- i have four bays each with 512MB.. Orca say the max I can put in is 4GB and that I should use LOW DENSITY.... WOW this is a very problamatic area !! ... It seems that there is no-one on the planet (well none that work for computer firms) that can tell you how to distinguish between LOW and HIGH DENSITY.. If I incorrectly buy High Density I have been told that it will either not work!! or will only work at half speed... so if I put 4GB in and it is HIGH it will be as if I had done nothing.. ( back to where I was before) I have looked all over the place for info and have even phoned ORCA "NO ONE KNOWS" Orca said if it has 8 eight chips a side it will be low density--- great !! So I go to ebay.. and the first thing I see is the correct numbers for the memory that I am after-184 pin 1GB PC-3200 DDR-400 CL3 and as big as brass the advert is for HIGH DENSITY.. Plus the memory has 8 chips a side... just like the low density has... Another guy on a forum says that Both LOW and HIGH have sixteen chips but the difference is that LOW Density has 64Mx8 and HIGH Density has 128Mx4.. well that is a big help, SHAME no one told ram memory makers to put that on the chips.!!! This Ram Memory is very expensive,, it seems that the memory that goes into my computer is the dearest of all ( aint it always the way) If I buy 1GB from samsung or transend or people like that( they avertise it as LOW Density) "" Inc vat it works out at around £38... I have found a guy that has four NEW 1GB Ram memory for £85 inc postage. So a great deal. But He does not know if it is HIGH or LOW DENSITY.!!! so as there is no way of telling what do you do.??????? This memory is advertised as "" RamBo"" 1GB PC-3200 DDR-400 CL3....On each of the sixteen chips it has PC 400RB512DDO8AV-5K 1033D..... but nothing that gives away if it is HIGH or LOW Density..????? any Ideas......

Report •

Related Solutions

September 21, 2010 at 08:22:35
A suggestion for you. Use paragraphs. Your post is difficult to read.

Look in Disk Management for the other two drives. If they are not showing up there then you need to install the SATA controller drivers. Those can be downloaded from the manufacturer of the motherboard's website or if you have a CD that came with the board.

Just install them like any other update and then reboot. The SATA drives should then be available in Disk Management. You will need to partition and format them in order to use them.

Post back for clarification if you don't understand any or all of this.

Report •

September 21, 2010 at 17:13:33
Hi otheHill
Sorry if you have found my post hard to read... I write as I think (waffle). plus just about everything you write online, if you use paragraphs on these web things, when you read it back they have taken out all the spaces that you have put in....

Hows that.. and thanks for sticking with me.. I have done as you suggested. All three of my spare drives are shown in disk management. The first one says 'basic' online NTFS Healthy (system). this has my operating system on it, well everything.

The second says Basic, online, Unallocated..
The third says, Unknown, not initialized,, Unallocated. This also has a red warning sign.

I have read a section in 'help and support' about disk management and how I need to convert to a basic disk. The third disk, if I right click on it, says it is not initialized, so Looks like I need to do that?.. the second disk does not say that it is 'Healthy' though...
looks like I have to do all that before I can do a Partition.. which you alluded to...

As Long as anything that I now do does not interfere with the operating system on the first disk... Cannot go through that again.. cheers

Report •

September 21, 2010 at 19:38:58
It sounds like you may have the two SATA disks set as a RAID array in the BIOS. If you don't know how to change that then just try moving one of them to a different SATA port.

While in Disk Management choose Action> All Tasks> partition, then format. You may also need to assign a drive letter.

Right now you can move your optical drive/s to higher unused letters. That will free up the lower letters so you can have contiguous lettering for your hard drives.

The idea with changing drive letter assignment is that the letter must be available. So you move the CD drive to say S. Then allow Windows to assign the next available letter to the next hard drive which would probably be D. Repeat for the second SATA and then you can move the CD drive back to the next letter.

Report •

September 22, 2010 at 04:32:49
Good Morning Othehill.
If you remember my first letter I mentioned that my system was Raid, You know that I don't know what that is/was, but I did have that..

Your first point about moving to a different port sounds like a physical move??
if that is right, should I do that and then go to disk management. or
do I change the port allocation while in disk management.?

Have just been to disk management, I don't get Partition or format as an option, I get with the second disk just 'properties' with the third disk I just get 'Initialze' disk and properties

Thought I would look to change the drive letter in my CD ROM.. from D to R but it said that if I do that some programs Might not run, so I clicked cancel..

Report •

September 22, 2010 at 05:00:45
I remember you mentioning RAID. Moving the hard drive from one controller to another should break the stripe array. That is why I suggested you do that. You need to try that first and then return to disk management.

Even if your SATA drives are configured as RAID you should still be able to partition and format the first one. Are you sure you are looking at all the options?

The warning about changing drive letter assignment is a generic message. You don't need to worry about it at this point. Say you did get all drives working and installed programs on one of the hard drives. Then you changed the letter on that hard drive. The program would no longer work because all the pointers in Windows would be looking for the program elsewhere.

Going back to the SATA drives in disk management. The reason you are not seeing any options with the second SATA drive is that the current configuration in the BIOS sets that drive as part of a RAID array. Breaking the array should then allow you to partition and format each individually. If physically moving the cable doesn't break the array then just leave the second SATA drive disconnected for the time being. That will break the array.

Go ahead and change the CD drive letter, no harm should come from that.

Post the full model number and brand of your motherboard. If the RAID issue persists I will download the manual and figure out what settings you need to change.

Report •

September 24, 2010 at 10:42:23
Hi..Othehill.. The house next door is up for sale, do you fancy a move??

This is some info from a scan that I performed a while ago.. I have the whole readout if it would help.
Model RS400SB400
Serial Number
BIOS Name )Phoenix - Award WorkstationBIOS v6.00PG
BIOS Vendor Phoenix Technologies, LTD
SMBIOS Version 6.00 PG
BIOS Date 08/11/2005
I will look out the Brand, I am sure I had a book that came with it at the time..

I clicked cancel, when I was about to change the CD drive letter as I thought what might happen was if I called on a program to do something and it was looking for the CD drive and I had changed the letter it would not be able to find it... But I will change it as soon as I have it all together again...

I have the computer in bits at the moment, well not in bits, but apart.. I am just about to put 4GB of memory in it, which was why I was trying to find out about low and high density.. I have phoned up two computer makers a few shops 'ARIA' and 'ORCA' and no-one knows how to tell if the memory I have in my hand is low or high.

I even phoned up a place in Australia that sells this ' RamBo ' brand of memory and they cannot tell me either. The consensus is that Low is 64Mx8 and High is 128Mx4.. the only problem with that is that those figures just are not written on the memory anywhere.. I was told today that if there are 8 chips a side they were Low Density, I pointed out to him that, the High density ones for sale on ebay have 8 chips a side too.. would be handy if the manufacturers thought about a label...

Back to the drives, as my computer is on the floor, I have just taken the opportunity to do as you suggest, there were four Sata sockets, mine were in 1&2..so have moved them to 3&4... I will get it back together and see how I get on in Disk management Now.. I will make sure that I look into every option that is there... I really do appreciate your help..

Report •

September 24, 2010 at 12:50:01
Don't move BOTH SATA cables, just one. 1&2 are a pair. 3&4 are a pair. You don't want to use pairs as that will make it a RAID array.

I suggest you concentrate on getting the drive issue sorted out before messing with any other hardware. Leave the RAM as it is for now. We can get into the issue of low and high density RAM later.

Report •

September 24, 2010 at 13:28:48
Too late.. I'm afraid,,( but I do feel suitably chastised) I had put the ram in as I was answering your message, I am now back on my computer, after putting it back together,, I guess I will have to undo it again and move just ONE of the Sata cables back to where it was..Doh!

The reason I was asking about low and high density ram 3 or four posts ago was I had the chance of some relatively inexpensive 1GB x 4.. the guy sent it to me to try as neither of us could tell what it was, I kinda felt obliged to try it...... all seems to be OK.. Did an orca scan to see if I was getting the full 4 GB, but it is hard to tell,, well for me it is hard to tell...

Report •

September 24, 2010 at 22:07:08
If you are running a 32 bit OS you will not have access to the full 4GB. This is normal. 3/3/5GB is usual.

Report •

Ask Question