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Getting a second hard drive to work

mastakillah asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-12
I have one western digital 2.5 gig hard drive. I went to add the identical drive, but only bios will recognize it. My first drive is Fat32. I have tried putting it on my secondary ide, primary ide, etc. I can't get windows or fdisk to recognize it HELP!!!
Watch Question

1) do you have both drives jumpered appropriately?  2) what exactly DOES fdisk tell you?  Does it even give you the option to select the current drive?  If so, can you display partitions (or lack thereof) on that drive?  More info, please...

is this a new drive?  It is a possibility that the drive is bad even if the Bios see it.  just make sure your jumpers are right.  also try putting the drive in by itself and booting with a floppy (floppy must have fdisk on it)  if fdisk does not see it then the drive is faulty


It shows only my boot drive. I had the master jumpered to master and slave to slave when both on primary IDE. Then I put the new drive on the secondary IDE, and set it to slave (after my CD-ROM).

That's all the info I can give!
mikecrIT Architect/Technology Delivery Manager

You SHOULD NOT set a hard drive to slave if cdrom is master! This is not a good idea. Unplug the cdrom and without installing the hard drive completely, set it to master, hook it to the secondary ide by itself (nothing as slave) and set it to single or master (single preferably) by following the jumper settings on the drive. Set up the parameters in CMOS (preferably auto detect if you have it) and then boot up the computer. Run Fdisk and see if it gives you option 5 on the menu to switch to a different drive. If not, your hard drive is probably bad. Let me know how you make out.

Mike is right, ATAPI (cdrom, tape, LS120) devices are designed to be single or slave devices only. I've just read the ATAPI specs (130 pages!). However to comply with the underlying ATA standard they will support being a master, but not a very fast one.

Install the second drive by itself as the only drive in the system and see if the BIOS and the PC will recognize it. Boot to it with a bootable diskette and see if you can see it with FDISK. That will verify if it is good. If it is than your jumper settings are probably wrong. There are usually multiple jumper configurations that you can set; one set that works with most drives and then a set for the larger ones (2 gig +) which usually requires two jumpers per drive.

I agree with coffinjoe. Installing the hard drive by itself will remove any doubt if FDISK can see it. I have had an episode with a quantum bigfoot 6.4 Gb drve that was found by the Bios and not FDISK. I solved the problem by going to the supplier and exchanging the drive.
mikecrIT Architect/Technology Delivery Manager

If he can't find it as the primary drive on the secondary ide, then he's not going to be able to find it as the primary drive on the primary ide. The ide port he's connected to shouldn't make a difference, it's how the drive is jumpered and is setup in the system, i.e., slave, single, master.

you are correct but two drives that are setup to both be master or a slave set incorrect will cause one of the drives to not be detected which will also happen with a drive that is just plain bad. Putting that second drive in place as a single just tests that its fine. No point in wasting your time playing with jumpers on a drive that was bad out of the box.

I agree, the drive IS BAD. and you should exchange it for another drive. If bios recongises it, it only means that bios is reading the drive's identity and notactually trying to use the hdd... If you say you have the jumpers setup properly and have tried all the settings above, then the drive is most probably bad. The only other cause could be a dud IDE cable or a faulty MB...

I would suggest getting a new drive...


you say BIOS is able to detect the drive. I would have cmos autodetect this drive set up as LBA, then have cmos do a low
level format on the drive. and then see if fdisk is able to partition.
Possible corrupted data on drive.

I may have missed it - have you removed all other ide, jumpered the new drive as master, plugged it in alone, booted from floppy, and run fdisk?

If bios recognizes it, and that doesn't work, I don't see how the drive couldn't be bad.  Bad drives are common.  6 out of a batch of 12 Western Digitals were bad....
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