Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people, just like you, are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions

Unrecognized Hard Drive after removing Linux

Posted on 1998-12-02
Last Modified: 2010-04-20
I am having a hard time with a IDE hard drive not being recognized during boot.  I
installed Linux Slackware on the drive and then removed it and installed it on another
computer.  The drive is recognized by the BIOS, but when I try to boot from a Win95
boot disk, I get a Primary Hard Drive Failure.  DOS Fdisk can not find the drive, but
when I tried the Linux Fdisk, it recognized it.  I tried to setup a Bootable DOS Parttion
using the Linux Fdisk, but had no luck there either.  Any suggestions?

Thank you all for your help.

Question by:bwf
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • +4

Expert Comment

ID: 1638695
if there is no more data aon that disk which you will need, just remove ALL partitions on that drive with linux fdisk and try again... or try 'remove non-dos-partition' from dos-fdisk.

Author Comment

ID: 1638696
I have tried the above before and it did not work.  DOS Fdisk will not even recognize a hard drive.  It gives me an error - no fixed disks attached.  However, I know the hard drive is good and I know that it is installed correctly.  Thank you for your quick response Mhomann, but I have already tried your suggestion.  

Expert Comment

ID: 1638697
You can't remove Linux ext2 partition(s) with DOS fdisk.  Use Linux fdisk to remove the partitions.

In order to do this, boot with a Linux rescue floppy or with the slackware boot/root combo and get to a shell prompt.  Then use fdisk.

Master Your Team's Linux and Cloud Stack

Come see why top tech companies like Mailchimp and Media Temple use Linux Academy to build their employee training programs.


Author Comment

ID: 1638698
I have tried this also.  I removed all partitions with Linux Fdisk, This did not accomplish anything.  DOS Fdisk still did not recognized the hard drive.  I also tried to create a bootable DOS Partition using Linux Fdisk and this failed also.  Thank you for your quick response, but I am still were I started.

Expert Comment

ID: 1638699
how big is the disk? what about PIO modes etc in bios settings, LBA mode and all that stuff????


Author Comment

ID: 1638700
It is a 119 MB IDE Drive.  BIOS is AMI - there is no option to set LBA.  With this small of a drive, i should not have any problmes.  Cyl -872 HD -8 Sec -35 Size -119

Expert Comment

ID: 1638701
I solved this problem on the machine of a friend a few days ago. What you got to do is make a bootable floppy disk containing fdisk, botting the machine with this disk and in the DOS prompt type:


This will restore the Master Boot Record of your machine and then after another reboot, FDISK should recognize the device correctly allowing you to create a new partition. Good luck!

Author Comment

ID: 1638702
This option does not work either.  DOS Fdisk will not recognize the Drive.  When I tried your suggestion, I still got the no fixed disks present error.  

Accepted Solution

schneider1978 earned 210 total points
ID: 1638703
Which brand is your hard drive? You can get the tools from the disks that come together or download them from the brand's website. Most brands of HDs provide some tools that can make a physical format on your HD. I tried this once and worked. You can also make a physical format by plugging the HD in an old machine, such as a 386, that came with such tool on their BIOS setup.

Expert Comment

ID: 1638704
are all jumpers on the drive correct? is it connected to the right controller (first or second ide) and the right connectors on the cable?

Expert Comment

ID: 1638705
The following will solve your problem. Assuming there are no physical problems with your hard drive.  Since it appears that you don't care about the data on the drive.  Go to the hard drive's manufacturer web site and download their low level format utility.  Most of the time you can just extract it to a bootable floppy and run it from there.  After you low level format the drive any traces of any partitions will be gone and your drive will be as good as new.  Try this, it never fails.
Some motherboards also have Low level format utilities in their BIOS.  Try this, if it doesn't work let me know.

hpesoJ a.k.a Joseph

Expert Comment

ID: 1638706
Boot Linux, figure out which disk is your hard drive (probably /dev/hda; I assume that you know which one it really is because you've fdisked it).  Then execute:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda bs=512 count=1

This will completely erase the MBR, after which DOS fdisk should be happy.  This takes a lot less time than a low-level format.

Expert Comment

ID: 1638707
When you check out this message,  please check the suggestion that schneider1978 has for you and if it doesnt work let me know... I think I got the fix for your problem.



Featured Post

Free Tool: IP Lookup

Get more info about an IP address or domain name, such as organization, abuse contacts and geolocation.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

Title # Comments Views Activity
(Open)LDAP V2.44  search proxy to AD (W2012R2) 37 171
Ubuntu Apache Webserver - File Permissions 5 58
Run Secure WMI query from CentOS 5 81
SSL/TLS - openssl troubleshooting 3 39
Linux users are sometimes dumbfounded by the severe lack of documentation on a topic. Sometimes, the documentation is copious, but other times, you end up with some obscure "it varies depending on your distribution" over and over when searching for …
The purpose of this article is to show how we can create Linux Mint virtual machine using Oracle Virtual Box. To install Linux Mint we have to download the ISO file from its website i.e. http://www.linuxmint.com. Once you open the link you will see …
Learn several ways to interact with files and get file information from the bash shell. ls lists the contents of a directory: Using the -a flag displays hidden files: Using the -l flag formats the output in a long list: The file command gives us mor…
Get a first impression of how PRTG looks and learn how it works.   This video is a short introduction to PRTG, as an initial overview or as a quick start for new PRTG users.

808 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question