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Hard Drives not recognized during boot-up. Seeking advice.

by CardsFan29 / January 27, 2008 1:06 PM PST

Well, I have had something rather unexpected and bad happen earlier this evening. Both the Hard Drives suddenly don't want to be recognized on my desktop. This is what happened:

I originally had a 20GB HD and was running out of space. I decided to purchase a 160GB HD (Both drives are EIDE). I put Windows XP Home and all the programs that were on the old drive onto the new drive. Everything went smoothly. During this process, if I wanted to work on either drive, I would physically disconnect the power and data connection from one drive and put it on the other.

I thought I put everything onto the new HD, so I just left the connection to the new drive. My mom went to print a document, but she couldn't. It turns out I forgot to install the printer software onto the new drive. Not a big deal.

I couldn't find the Printer CD right away so I went online (while in the new drive)and e-mailed the document in question to myself with the intention of switching to the old drive and printing it there. (Again, shouldn't be a big deal.)

I went to the old drive and went online and discovered I made a goof-up and didn't hit the attach button on the yahoo e-mail. Annoying, but not a big deal. I went to switch back to the new HD, but suddenly during boot-up, I get a DISK BOOT FAILURE message. It doesn't recognize the 160GB HD. Now, I'm a bit worried at this. I disconnect the power and data connection from the 160GB HD and connect to the 20GB HD and boot up. I get the same DISK BOOT FAILURE message. Needless to say I'm a bit freaked out about this. I'm thinking since both hard drives aren't recognized during the boot-up process that I unintentionally fried something on the motherboard. Could I be wrong? Should I to repair the Windows XP install?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Try F1
by Dango517 / January 27, 2008 1:20 PM PST

then choose a drive and press enter. Let's hope this works. Where both drives given the same drive letter?

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A brief update
by CardsFan29 / January 27, 2008 1:27 PM PST
In reply to: Try F1

I tried booting up from the CD-Rom to use a copy of ERD Commander that I got from a friend and I still get that DISK BOOT Error message. I would tend to think it's a Motherboard that has finally gone kaput.

With my Hard Drives, they were both C: drives. One one Hard Drive was booted up at one given time. If I was on one Hard Drive (the 20GB drive for example), the 160GB drive would be disconnected from the power and data, so no other hardware could see it.

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But not the last time both came up C: at the same time
by Dango517 / January 27, 2008 2:37 PM PST
In reply to: A brief update

during the boot.

Referring to your post: "the 160GB drive would be disconnected from the power and data, so no other hardware could see it."

I recently did the same thing with cloning software and had to start over with both drives after reformatting them.

Try this first....reinstall the OS on the small drive assign it a different drive letter, maybe D: and see if it shows up. If it does you might be able to salvage the second larger drive using the OS on the small drive. If it doesn't you'll need some software with a boot loader on it, maybe Acronis.

More then likely your mother board is OK. You have a problem with the boot loader, the MBR or possibly the MBF. If this is the worst possible scenario you may need to purchase at least some software or doubtful, but possibly a hard drive.


Using this method you will not need to unplug either of them just choose one on a window. If you configure both drives as NTFS you'll be asked to choose which drive to use right after the BIOs screen. I have mine set up that way now.

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by CardsFan29 / January 28, 2008 7:31 AM PST

Do you think it might be possible to put the hard drives on another box and see if they boot up?

Also, Would a repair of the Windows install do any good in this situation?

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Try the first
by Dango517 / January 28, 2008 12:19 PM PST
In reply to: hmm...

it worth a shot. Long shot but it might repair the boot loader. The problem here is with the program that boots the OS. When this program is flawed you can't boot the OS. This program rests between the PCs BIOs and the OS.

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What software might I need?
by CardsFan29 / February 2, 2008 6:49 AM PST

I'm curious, what software might I need for that situation?

I've been in a bit of a waiting pattern with this situation as I am waiting for some software from a friend of mine.

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Read this
by Dango517 / February 2, 2008 3:42 PM PST
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These might also help
by Dango517 / February 2, 2008 4:02 PM PST
In reply to: Read this
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Ugh..I think I have to re-format the drives
by CardsFan29 / February 10, 2008 12:05 PM PST
In reply to: These might also help

Well, I tried a copy of ERD commander and I tried to do a repair of the Windows install but the drive wasn't recognized at all. I'm thinking at this point the drives will need to be reformatted. It isn't a big deal, as the most vital data has already been backed up, but it's still a hassle especially when you don't really want to do it.

I guess I couldn't purchase an enclosure for the Hard drive to try to access the data before the reformat?

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Ok. Ok I give up
by Dango517 / February 10, 2008 1:11 PM PST

use the Enclosure. What else should you do? And the answer is:(fill in the blank) ................................................ OK do that too.

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Hard Drive update complete with plot twist
by CardsFan29 / February 16, 2008 1:24 AM PST

I bought a new Hard Drive yesterday because I still wanted to try to salvage the data on the old hard drives. I set the jumpers on the new drive to "single" and started the process of putting Windows XP on the new drive. Well, the NEW drive wasn't recognized! That is certainly an interesting plot twist in this whole saga.

My thoughts right now is that the data connector to the hard drive might be bad or it is indeed something wrong with the motherboard.

Does anyone any additional thoughts on this matter?

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put the jumper back the way it was and try that
by Dango517 / February 17, 2008 8:57 PM PST

If you have several drives unplug them first. Let's see if it's working. When changing jumper always double check the manufactures web site about the details.

Don't loss that jumper. I use tweezers. Do they make vise-grip tweezers? Grin I bet the medical people make something like vise-grip tweezers (just a thought).

Sorry, about the delay in getting back with you; I must of over looked your post.

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by CardsFan29 / February 18, 2008 4:11 AM PST

I was able to fix the problem! It turns out that the IDE cable that connects the HD to the motherboard went bad on me. I swapped it out for one I had lying around the house and it now works once again!

I guess I'll turn the HD I purchased a couple of days ago into a back-up external HD.

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Pesky cable!
by Dango517 / February 18, 2008 10:40 AM PST
In reply to: Resolution!
HappyGrinHappy glad to hear you've solved it. Good luck to you. Hope all your other problems are as easy to solve as this one. GrinHappy
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