Solved Curious hard drive problem

Dell Xps 420 desktop computer ( core 2 q...
February 6, 2014 at 09:42:59
Specs: Windows 7, quad core 2.4 ghz
Heres my problem

I have a Dell Xps 420 Desktop I have windows 7 64 bit on it..

I have a WD Blue Sata II 500G HDD as the main HD

I purchased a WD Caviar Black Sata III 1TB. HDD now heres the problem:

I formatted it. and i installed Windows 7 & on this drive Last year( hoping to have an extra windows Operating system in case my first HD failed.

When i went into the F2 Options when the computer first turns on,I have it set to try to boot from the 1TB drive first instead. when i first did it last year it it started to work ok the first time but if i reboot it a couple times it doesnt work ( IN the Boot list I have the 1TB as the first choice and the 500GB as the 2nd.

What happens is sometimes it wont boot from the 1tB . it will just boot to the 2nd.

If i even disconnect the 500GB it still wont boot from the 1TB

However If i leave both plugged in and i boot up to the 500GB , I can detect the 2nd 1tb drive
it can read and write filed to it and it seems like it does it all the time

My question is will as Sata III have issues on this computer? does it need to be formatted a certain ways ?

it a bad drive or what?

i was able to use an older 320GB in the pas and boot from both before if i wanted,( but it wasnt sata III)

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✔ Best Answer
February 7, 2014 at 21:34:58
If you only have SATA I native support then yes, that could be an issue.

Disabling fast boot in the BIOS may allow additional time. I always set up my rigs that way.

Do you have AHCI/IDE compatibility settings? If so, use AHCI. Need to change BEFORE installing Windows.

Back in #1 above that is what I was considering. When SATA III drives were first introduced, some had a jumper on the back to throttle them down for this reason.

The spinup jumper might be the same thing.

February 6, 2014 at 14:20:16
do you know if your SATA controllers are SATA II or even the slower SATA I?

Sometimes the BIOS may not search for the SATA III drive long enough. If you have an OEM computer you may not have any options in the BIOS to change that. If you have a custom built computer there may be an option to lengthen that seek time.

Personally, I don't ever install an OS on a second or third hard drive while the original drive is connected.

If you only have the single drive connected then Windows can not create the relationship between the two operating systems. This may seem inconvenient because when booting you will not automatically see the 30 second choice for which to boot to.

However, the drives are not dependent on each other.

The computer I am typing on has an option (F11) at POST time to choose which hardware to boot from. This only works if the OSes are on totally separate hard drives, not just different partition on the same hard drive. It also allows to to boot from optical disks. This only works for THAT boot cycle but does not change the boot order you have setup in the BIOS (setup).

I highly recommend this method.

Post back some specs.

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February 6, 2014 at 16:35:50
My computer is not custom built. It came directly from Dell outlet i have upgraded ram, power supply , HDDs,

Its an XPS 420

Bios:Phoenix BIOS PLUS Version 1.1.0 A07
Intel(core)2 Quad Core CPU Q6600 2.4Ghz
6GB PC2-5300, DDR2 RAM
Asus Amd Radeon HD 6670 Video card

1st HDD = Western Digital WD5000KSRTL/WD5000AAKS Caviar Blue 500 GB SATA Hard Drive which has my regular Windows 7 OS

the 2nd drive

Western Digital WD1002FAEX Caviar Black 1 TB SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Internal Desktop 3.5" Hard Drive

i just read here that it a Sata III uses double the power of a Sata II
I wonder if this could be it..... but if thats the case why did it still work as a secondary drive?

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February 6, 2014 at 17:19:48
Where did you read that SATA III drives consume more power? Even if that were true, the power consumption of a typical hard drive in read/write mode is 6 to 12 watts. That amount is nothing. Your power supply is rated in hundreds of watts.

See the section on power management to install it on the WD black. You would be better off using the WD black as your boot drive. The black has 64MB of cache while the blue has only 16MB. The black should work if it is not defective.

I suggest you download the WD fitness tool and test both drives. You may need to sping the black up slower. The links tells you how to do that.

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Related Solutions

February 6, 2014 at 20:25:10
the link is in the last post.
ill try the fitness tool and find out if its ok. thanks. ill get back to u soon

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February 7, 2014 at 07:44:51
If you disconnect the first hard drive and run a Start Up Repair from the install disk or repair disk, it will put the boot files on the newer Black drive and it will be bootable independently of the other hard drive. then you can either change the boot order in your BIOS or use the alternate boot options indicated above.

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

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February 7, 2014 at 09:24:26
I just ran the WD Data Ligeguard Diagnostic

both the fast and extended tested were passed.So now im confused

Oh and I have a Corsair 650 W Power supply I dont know if thats plenty for my system or not.

I just recently formatted the Black drive. its blank now because i was planning on reinstalling Windows 7 on that disk and try again.....but before I did I wanted to ask you all what i could be doing wrong.

One other thing I read somewhere that you have to ( in Disk Management) mark the drive ACTIVE in order to boot from it..
Last week i tried that and it didnt make any difference( of course this was AFTER i already had a windows & copy
I was thinking of reformatting it and making it active AGAIN.

How should i proceed now that its formatted??

Shall i just reinstall windows 7? with it set to active? and how should the drive be set to in Disk Management? Basic or Dyamic?

message edited by matvangogh

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February 7, 2014 at 12:39:13
Disconnect the Blue drive and then install Windows 7 on the Black. You may want to consider multiple partitions on that drive. You want to use BASIC. Installing each individually should mark each of them as active.

After Windows is installed, fully updated and you have an AntiVirus running then you can shut down and connect the original drive.

I recommend using Microsoft Security Essentials for your AV. You can get it at the link at the bottom of this response.

Takes forever to backup 1TB of data. Partitioning divides things up in more manageable chunks.

Most likely the C partition will need the most frequent backups. Imaging/backup to the Blue drive and you won't need 2 copies of Windows 7. That is too hard to keep current anyway. For you personal files I recommend you also copy them to external media. I like to use DVDR, but an external hard drive works too.

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February 7, 2014 at 15:19:27
ill try thanks ill let u know in all in a couple days if it works. But i wont bet on it. I installed windows a few times before on this same drive and ive tried to have both drives or just 1 black drive running and it didnt work...!

Im wondering if this just isnt compatible with my system Or its defective.

can a Sata 1 controller work with a Sata 3 drive? on my system?

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February 7, 2014 at 21:34:58
✔ Best Answer
If you only have SATA I native support then yes, that could be an issue.

Disabling fast boot in the BIOS may allow additional time. I always set up my rigs that way.

Do you have AHCI/IDE compatibility settings? If so, use AHCI. Need to change BEFORE installing Windows.

Back in #1 above that is what I was considering. When SATA III drives were first introduced, some had a jumper on the back to throttle them down for this reason.

The spinup jumper might be the same thing.

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February 7, 2014 at 21:45:00
Do we know of the XPS 420 with that motherboard i mentioned is only Sata 1?which jumpers do i choose to throttle down?

is there an tool i could use to test to see if i only have a sata 1 driver?

this says sata 1 i think

message edited by matvangogh

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February 8, 2014 at 05:05:25
Open Device Manager, switch to view by connection, drill down to see your SATA controller, copy controller type and Google it for details or post it here for those who will recognize it.

Note that some of the problem may simply be that the two drives were connected to the system at the same time and the boot partition and possibly other components were installed on the other drive since the windows installer could 'see' a present boot partition. If this is the case, then simply making sure that the drive you are installing on is the only drive present, should fix that.
After getting this drive up to a proper bootable drive, when you DO plug in the original drive, boot directly into BIOS set up and set only the Black drive as bootable and in the boot order. Save and exit and make sure all boots correctly. Later if you like, you can make both bootable and choose the boot order, but I would recommend staying with the single boot to the black drive.

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

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February 8, 2014 at 07:27:16
I agree with #11. I stated the same things above.

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February 8, 2014 at 07:42:06
its a intel ich8r/ich9r/ich10r/do sata raid controller

keep in mind when i got this PC it was from the Dell outlet and it had Vista

so anywhere between 2007+ 2009 is when i got this desktop if that helps you

this was my blue WD

this is my black drive

on the amazon site of the black drive it says" SATA 6 Gb/s interface - Twice the interface speed with backwards compatibility to legacy SATA standards."

SO i dont get it...

IM going to install windows 7 on Sunday and then turn off fast boot but how can i throttle it?

message edited by matvangogh

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February 8, 2014 at 07:50:28
SATA I to SATA III had some issues originally. I am not sure that is the problem here.

There is a clear diagram for the jumper in the blue link below. Just click on it to open it.

I asked you about BIOS settings for the drives in #9 above.

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February 8, 2014 at 08:09:29
thanks .
how long is the speed difference booting up between fast boot off or on?

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February 8, 2014 at 08:31:14
If you don't have lots of RAM it is maybe 10 seconds. Try it and see.

You still haven't answered about any BIOS settings for the drives. AHCI / IDE

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February 8, 2014 at 21:52:30
Opps sorry. The only settings for the drives ive seen in the BIOS are the Raid

nothing about AHCI/IDE

and theres 2 choices - Raid ON , or Raid Autodetect/ATA
I leave it on Raid on. if i turned on auto detect it doesn't seem to boot up. i think i tried that months ago.
I think it says default was ON anyway

so setting the jumper to power management will make it more compatible

oh and i just tested Fast Boot off .it takes over 1 min extra to boot up.
thats not practical. I bought this drive so things would be faster, not slower.

i used a jumper where the diagram showed.(jumping 3-4) now the black drive wont even be detected by windows at all

Update i just found a website with this info

in it it talks about OPT1 jumper to throttle to 1.5GB/s

this website explains the exact of what im talking about

It just converts a Sata 3 (6gb/s) drive into a Sata 1(1.5gb/s drive
I can live with that as long as im on this system. Not like i have a choice

i just set the jumper to it. and its working so far( as a blank drive)

im going to install windows later today ill keep you all informed. thank you again and wish me luck after i install windows again on the drive

message edited by matvangogh

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February 9, 2014 at 05:44:36
ich8r/ich9r/ich10r as well as the ich7 I have now in front of me are SATA II and should not be a problem with a SATA III drive so don't bother with SATA I speeds (1.5).

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

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February 9, 2014 at 08:35:11
You should NOT be using the RAID setting. If the only other setting is IDE then use that. If you install Windows while the BIOS is set to RAID and then add a second hard drive, you are building a RAID array. Probably defaults to RAID 0, which makes both look like one larger drive.

You need to disconnect the original blue drive and connect the Black to SATA 1. Then boot to your Windows DVD and install.

Page 30 of your manual addresses those settings. Page 132 addresses installing hard drives. There are 5 SATA connectors on the board. The group of 2 is what you should be using. If you don’t see which is #1 then consult the manual.

I am linking to the manual below. Copy and paste the address below into your browser address box.

message edited by OtheHill

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February 9, 2014 at 09:09:31
I dont understand the default setting in the BIOS says Raid ON- since it says the drive is Sata

See heres what i am planning on doing

I dont want a raid array to copy both on the same drive. I could but i never needed to or wanted to. I never bought 2 HDS of the same size.

What i did was install 2 separate drives... install windows 7 on both drives and copy files separate and independently

Then i would set the BIOS BOOT order to one drive and leave the other just on and detected to copy files if i needed to

That way, if anything happens to my Windows operating system( damaged system files,a bad system update, a bug that messed up something that i cant fix, a virus, etc) i have an entire backup operating system that i can use and boot up( but just going back into BIOS settings and changing the boot order around)

It may sound silly and inefficient.. but i dont usually buy 2 drives of the same size at once.

this worked before when i had a 500GB( the one im using( and the original HDD that came with the desktop- a 320GB

and i wanted to do it again by buying a 1tb WD black caviar drive. But something went wrong. It did allow me to install windows & on the newer 1tb drive. but then if i shut down and tried to reboot.. it might work if i did that once or twice. but if it did it a 3RD time it wouldnt be able to read from the drive. it would then revert to the next drive in the boot order( the WD 500g. , then it owuld use THAT Operating System and boot from that drive- as C would be then 500gb blue drive,. not the 1tb black drive i wanted to use..

I am gong to install windows 7 on the black drive today and see if i can duplicate this again. i will get back to u all soon and let you know of something went wrong.

If it doesnt work then either ill do what you recommended and only have 1 drive. or buy 2 of the same size and use a Mirroring Raid array
Thanks again

message edited by matvangogh

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February 9, 2014 at 09:49:47
One more time. Enter the BIOS and set the drive to IDE, NOT RAID. Then install Windows to the Black drive. Only have the Black drive connected at the time.

You may need a primer on RAID. RAID can be used on IDE, SATA, SCSI or other types of hard drives. Has nothing to do with the type of hard drive you have.

Just try what I am saying. Shut down, disonnect the data cables for BOTH hard drives. Connect the data cable for the Black drive to the #1 SATA port on the motherboard.

Start the computer and immediately enter the BIOS (setup). Change the setting from RAID to IDE. Save the changes and exit.

Quickly insert your Windows DVD. If you miss it then shut down and reboot.

Install Windows 7 to the Black hard drive. Install your preferred AntiVirus software (I use Microsoft Security Essentials). Then get all updated drivers from Dell. Then go to Windows Update Center and get all updates.

After all that, you can shut down and connect the Blue drive to #2 SATA port. That hard drive will no longer boot unless you perform a repair.

As I suggested above, you should not really try to maintain 2 copies of Windows. Totally unnecessary. Use the Blue drive for backup images of your Black drive.

Windows 7 has an excellent backup program built in. It is in Control Panel> backup and restore.

I am linking to Security essentials below. I also recommend Ccleaner Slim to keep your temp files and cookies in check. Get it from the second link below.

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February 9, 2014 at 11:32:06
I dont understand why i only have 2 choices Raid/Autodetect and Raid ON

i dont see any AHCI.. but i went on someone elses dell desktop
that is a little older than mine and i DO see it(ahci) in the BIOS settings. Why dont i see it?

of course my motherboard is Sata ONLY where as that other desktop has EIDE connectors

in my BIOS drives section:

Sata 0= 500gb blue drive
Sata 1= a DVDRW drive
Sata 2= 1tb black drive

so i will disconnect the 500gb drive and disable 0

then swap 1 and 2 with the black caviar and dvd drive
then install window on the black drive,
is this correct?

but when i try to turn on raid auto detect, none of the drives seem to work..

just out of curiosity, i swapped the blue(0) and black (2) and i used the jumper on the black (OPT1) to throttle the speed down. after 6 reboots the black appears to finally be working!

thanks for all your help guys!

message edited by matvangogh

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February 9, 2014 at 21:22:28
The drives will not boot because you had it set to RAID on. Use auto detect and reinstall.

Connect the BLACK to #1 SATA port. Do NOT disable it.

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February 9, 2014 at 23:26:38
Will do, and thank you again so much for your help with the jumpers! i was about to throw this drive out and buy a new one. I cant believe WD would be so stupid as to have Sata 3 drives not compatible by default with a computer as recent as 2008!

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