Vaio Model PCG-9411 won't detect ANY hard drive.

April 18, 2015 at 11:05:29
Specs: PC
On SETUP, BIOS reads NONE for PrimaryDrive, but shows CD. Cables appear OK and connect properly.
Tried three (3) new (virgin) IDE hard drives that work with other computers, but not detected on Sony. Floppy drive A:\ appears in DOS upon startup with the new Fujitsu hard drive, but not with the other IBM hard drive.

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April 18, 2015 at 20:25:17
Typically there are two separate places you need to set for hard drive to be bootable, first you need to set the hard drive as bootable in one place and then you need to put it into the boot order. If you are looking for it in the bot order before setting it as a bootable drive then you will not find it there.

Note that IDE (PATA) drives need their jumpers set, you are allowed one master and one slave drive per cable. Your primary hard drive needs to be the Master for one cable and your DVD/CD drive needs to be the master on the other cable, all other storage drives can be slaves. Use the master/slave options for the jumpers instead of the cable select option which is really for faster mfg. assembly and it is easy to get mixed up in what you intended to select or the cable length/position is not easy for the right drive to become master.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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April 18, 2015 at 20:42:57
Please clarify - isn't PCG-9411 a laptop? If it is how does floppy drive fit in a laptop.


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April 18, 2015 at 22:05:04
Thanks for your two responses. Clarification: #1. The problem is limited to the IDE hard drive, whose CHECKSUM reference is in error. Bios shows that there is NO drive there, but it starts up and spins when the computer is turned on. The computer is unable to find it because of errors in the setup, which happened by unexplained circumstances, after working correctly with the factory settings for some time. I have NO idea what the setup for the IDE should be, since I do NOT have the Manual for the Vaio PCG-9411 and can't find one on the Internet.

#2. LOL. Yes, the PCG-9411 is a laptop and has the factory installed floppy properly designated as A:\ drive.

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April 18, 2015 at 23:34:12
Apparently this is the manual:

The F610/630 is also the 9411. Anyway, according to those specs it has an AMD K6-2 cpu (socket 7) and comes with either a 6 or 12 gig hard drive. This other spec link:

shows compatible drives up to 250 gig. I doubt that. Anything as old as your 9411 probably won't see a drive anywhere near that large. Likely if you try installing a drive whose capacity is somewhere near what originally came with it the bios will see it OK.

message edited by DAVEINCAPS

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April 19, 2015 at 06:41:33
I agree with DAVEINCAPS. You never posted the make/model or capacity of the drives you've tried but your laptop is quite old & will likely not recognize "large" HDDs. Also, I see 256MB is the max RAM. Which OS do you intend to run on it? 256MB isn't even enough for WinXP so anything newer than that is out of the question. Win9x or a lightweight version of Linux is the best you can hope for.

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April 19, 2015 at 11:48:20
Thanks for the info. 12 gig hard drive needed. OS is Windows Me original and will remain. Need this computer to run very old files from 20 years ago.

Hard drive is supposed to be AUTO detect, but does NOT. Manual works but don't know the required settings.

CMOS Battery is DEAD. Have ordered new one, hoping this might work...hope, hope. Probably not, but need a new battery anyway.

By the way, Jumpers have been set and reset and battery has been removed and reinstalled....NO difference. Sony manual says to call Sony. Putting that off for the time being. Will see what happens with new battery.

message edited by Gant

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April 19, 2015 at 19:57:21
To manually configure the drive you usually only need the cylinders, heads and sectors (per track) specs of the drive. That should be on the label or available online.

But if you're using a 12 gig drive then it should auto configure if you're doing everything right and there's no other probelm.

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