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Two HDDs with the exact same problem. Is it possible?

This story just can?t be made any shorter than this. At least not by me.

I have as computer with most components from 2003 or so and I am running XP SP3. And it works fine, but I need more HDD. So I went ahead and bought a Western Digital Black Caviar 1TB SATA 6.0GB/s. My motherboard is an MSI 865PE Neo2-LS which only supports SATA 150MB/s. I thought they were backwards compatible, but apparently not according to WD?s own support.
So I went ahead and got a WD Black Caviar 1TB SATA 3.0GB/s instead. The exact same problem. And the problem was as follows:

Booted up the computer. The HDD is recognized in BIOS. Went into Partition Magic 8 and formatted it but did not partitioned it because I only want one partition and it is going to be used as a backup drive or second drive. My main drive is a SEAGATE 320 GB also SATA and has worked fine the entire time I?ve had it. I have a third drive that is a Maxtor 120 GB but that is IDE drive.
Once that was done I started to copy all files I had on my first drive and they copied fine and I could even see them afterwards. As soon as I rebooted the drive had disappeared from My computer and Disk Management. In the device manager it appears and also in BIOS . And when I looked for it in Partition Magic it sad BAD.
It should also be said that with the drives connected to the computer, from this moment it took 13 minutes top reboot every time I tried it (once it tried to get into Windows the dots at the bottom of the Windows Logo just kept going by and by and by), which WD blamed on the facxt that the computer was looking for it since BIOS sees it. When they were unplugged, it started up as usual.

I never was able to get to the drive again (thank ms Fortune that I only copied the filed and didn't move them!)and my wife took both drives (both with the exact same symptom) to her job and the IT guy there and he couldn?t find them either on his state of the art computer.

I tried flashing my BIOS because mine was outdated (mine was 1.7 and the latest was 2.5) and gave it another try, but no. In BIOS it shows up but not in My Computer. I wanted to take all the files off of the drive because I had personal information but had no choice but to leave it and trust that WD only are going to try to format it and then wipe it clean and sell it as refurbished or just dispose of it.

The tech support at MSI told me that most likely the Mobo doesn?t support that size of HDDs when asking how much it did support they didn?t have an answer. Finally they told me it didn?t support more than 137GB which I found strange because BIOS v. 2.4 was there to make it support >137GB, not up to 137GB!
And before I had upgraded to BIOS v. 2.5 I already had a 320GB in the computer that worked fine. I have it partitioned, yes, but it hasn?t had the problems that these two WD drives had.

I was told by WD that if they showed up as BAD in Partition Magic, then they must have been bad. But how can the exact same problem occur with two different HDDs and two different models? I know it?s been Halloween, but this was before that. I have also read on the web that PM sometimes does show drives as BAD, it's something with the coding of the software apparently. I've tried it on Paragon Patition Manager too and that won't even open when the drive is in.

I am now in the business for a large capacity HDD and it would feel stupid to get a new HDD from Newegg and have to send it back again, if the problem is my Mobo, which I am leaning towards?

If I buy a HDD and an enclosure for USB 2.0 would that support a large drive? That's not the option that I want to go for, but if nothing else is possible that may be my only way out apart from building a new system. Or is there a reason known to anyone that the previous two drives didn?t work.

Any help appreciated.

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I see one odd step.

If I had XP SP3 installed I would not use Partition Magic as it's uncalled for in this case.

Also, I read your post twice and never found where you tried using XP's native partition and format tools. Try that.

Also you wrote "Went into Partition Magic 8 and formatted it but did not partitioned it" which is technically impossible for Windows since we can only format a partition. I wonder if this is a typo and you meant you created one partition and formatted the one partition.

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"Also you wrote "Went into Partition Magic 8 and formatted it but did not partitioned it" which is technically impossible for Windows since we can only format a partition. I wonder if this is a typo and you meant you created one partition and formatted the one partition."

Yes that was a typo. I partitioned it and them formatted it. I forgot that step or meant that I had it in one partition only.

I don't really know if I dare buying one more HDD IF it is the mobo that doesn't take it. Also, it worked fine until I started to transfer files over to the new drive. After rebooting with the new files on is when the problem came. As I said I have some very personal information that I don't want to share with complete strangers.

I was advised to do it in PM, but I know that Windows has it's own tool for it. I just wonder could that really be the reason?

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Wanted to resize...

I should also say that I wanted to resize the first disk's partition. Move all the other files except from the software installed to the new drive and then create one partition out of C instead of six as it is now. AFAIK it is not possible to resize a partition in WXP...

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And that is something PM does.

Even then I don't use PM. I use GPARTED but that is not under discussion and your partitioning is not under discussion. You lead off with the issues of vanishing drives so that's what I'll focus on.

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Glad we cleared up a few things.

Even if just one.

Ok, this area is a minefield of issues since you are mixing SATA and XP which had no idea of SATA or what a SATA drive is or how to talk to a SATA drive.

On top of that most folk have that IDE EMULATION (called by many names!) turned on and the BIOS will be a maze of options with some working and some not. Often with this turned on you get combination choices such as:
1. 2 SATA and 2 IDE devices.
2. 4 SATA and 0 IDE devices.
3. All SATA but no IDE devices.
4. All IDE but no SATA.

This means that no one can guess what you've done or what your board supports. I find this one to be something I can only sort out when I have the machine on the bench.

OK, about USB. These do not need BIOS support (yes I'm taking a small liberty here) so why not get a drive case and try that?

-> Bottom line. It's either the same old SATA/IDE/XP issue or it's PM. There is no need for PM use according to the story so far.

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I have notice this also, where...

the HDD. cannot be seen by window (I think it's with sata only). PM is not good in finding Hdd. I suggest try using other utilities. Try using the one that came with the drive first. Personally I have 3 hanging in my computer.

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It was a bare drive...

So nothing came with them.

I have Paragon Part. Mgnr. installed now and will have to try that out. I guess I am going to get another drive as soon as I get the refund from Newegg which shouldn't take long. And if that doesn't work, I'll buy an enclosure for it and try that out instead, although speed is not as good that way, I doubt I will notice it.

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Try there website...

for the utilities and driver next time if you have the same problem (should be able to get it there). Hope for a smooth sailing next time. Good luck.

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