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Thread: Hard Drive Recognition Issue

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Hard Drive Recognition Issue

    I have an Dell XPS 400 which ceased functioning. I put a new 160 GB WD Hard Drive in it today, placed Windows XP in and it started to go through installation process.

    After loading a number of items it said unable to detech hard drive, no hard drive present. Said use disk provided by manufacturer, no disk provided. Any ideas as to what could be happening.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Re: Hard Drive Recognition Issue

    Is this an intermittent problem or does it happen all the time? If it is intermittent, it could be a number of things, including bad sectors on the drive itself, a faulty controller or cables.

    Your first port of call is to check the power and data cables, replacing them with new or known-working ones if possible. Next, try loading a set of disk utilities to scan the drive for errors.

    Another possibility is that the hard drive isn't spinning up quickly enough during boot - you can increase the delay before the drive is accessed in the BIOS.

    These will all cause intermittent problems that may or may not be solved by a slight movement of the cables as you have noticed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Re: Hard Drive Recognition Issue

    If the harddrive isn't partitioned or formatted it won't show up in My Computer. I personnally don't like using cable select. I recommend master and slave settings. An advantage to this is that you can place a drive jumpered as Master on either connector on the cable. Same goes for the slave. That said, if you want both Win98 and WinXP to have access to the new drive you will need to use FAT32 for the format because Win98 can't read NTFS. WinXP can't format that drive as FAT32 because it is larger than 32GB. The best way to partition and format the drive is to use the utility from the manufacturer of the drive. Fdisk that came with Win98 will also have problems with this drive because it is larger than 64GB. There is a newer version of Fdisk available. As I said, use the disk utility. If you don't have it, download it from the drive manufacturer. If you partition this drive by creating a primary partition, you will affect the drive letter assignments in both versions of windows. If you only intend to use for programs and storage (no OS) then I recommend you partition the drive as one or more Logical drives. That way the drive letters in windows will be assigned as the next HD letter available. I hope this isn't too confusing for you. The point of the logical drives is so any programs you have installed on the D: will still work under Win98.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Re: Hard Drive Recognition Issue

    It sounds like you have a hard drive controller that Windows has no drivers for. These days, it's usually a SATA controller, but it might also be a RAID setup or an obscure product. You will need the drivers for it on a floppy disk. Also, make sure you press F6 when prompted during the Windows XP setup.

    If you're not sure what to do, then please post your system's specifications so we can point you in the right direction.

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