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BIOS does not recognize good hard drive.

Posted on 2001-07-10
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Last Modified: 2007-11-27
I have a ASUS TXP4 motherboard with Award 4.51PG.

I install a perfectly good IBM IDE hard drive as primary master,
and the boot sequence does not recognize it. The boot startup displays
"Not Found" for the primary master.

Two different disk drives do not work.  I installed one of the
disk drives in another computer, and it worked.  In the other
computer, the boot startup displayed the accurate serial number
for the drive.

Even though the drive is not found, it still can boot MS-DOS and
run DOS perfectly.  FDISK and FORMAT can find the drive.  DOS
runs well enough to start the install sequence for Windows 2000.  
But eventually the Win2000 install crashes.

The CMOS is set to auto recognize the drive.  The auto recognize
works for the same disk on the good computer.

I have looked for other CMOS and jumper settings that might affect
this, but found nothing.  Any ideas how I might get the BIOS to
see the drive?
I have a ASUS TXP4 motherboard with Award 4.51PG.

I install a perfectly good IBM IDE hard drive as primary master,
and the boot sequence does not recognize it. The boot startup displays
"Not Found" for the primary master.

Two different disk drives do not work.  I installed one of the
disk drives in another computer, and it worked.  In the other
computer, the boot startup displayed the accurate serial number
for the drive.

Even though the drive is not found, it still can boot MS-DOS and
run DOS perfectly.  FDISK and FORMAT can find the drive.  DOS
runs well enough to start the install sequence for Windows 2000.  
But eventually the Win2000 install crashes.

The CMOS is set to auto recognize the drive.  The auto recognize
works for the same disk on the good computer.

I have looked for other CMOS and jumper settings that might affect
this, but found nothing.  Any ideas how I might get the BIOS to
see the drive?
0
Comment
Question by:Jim_S
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21 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

by:
Otta earned 100 total points
ID: 6271543
Move the ribbon-cable for this hard-drive
to the "secondary" connector on the motherboard.
Check that the hard-drive is jumpered as "master",
and that no "slave" device is attached to this ribbon-cable.
Then, see if the BIOS will detect it. Post the results.

Take the hard-drive to another computer, and see if it can be detected on that computer.
0
 
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Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 6271627
As mentioned previously, Apparently the older BIOS will not work with your new Drive due to size limitations.
You need to find a new BIOS to flash.

BIOS
http://www.ping.be/bios/numbersami.shtml
http://www.motherboards.org/ubb/Forum2/HTML/
or check the motherboard manufacturers website.
To ID it go to http://www.sysopt.com/mboard.html

I hope this helps !
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 6271757
The Asus technical site is www.asus.com

You should be able to download the bios update for your board there and get a manual in PDF format for it there as well.  It is quite possible as stated by others that the bios does not recognise the drive if it exceeds the bios limit.
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Expert Comment

by:Otta
ID: 6272057
> http://www.ping.be/bios/ ...

This is the "old" URL for Wim's web-site; it recently "moved" -- please update your bookmarks.
0
 

Expert Comment

by:Blogg
ID: 6273500
You can move the jumper on the drive to "cs" cable select, also make sure pin1 on the ide cable is connected to pin1 on the drive. Also, play around with the cmos settings, instead of AUTO detect HDD's, try USER or similar.
Good Luck
Blogg
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Author Comment

by:Jim_S
ID: 6274615
Otta

Otta>Move the ribbon-cable for this hard-drive
Otta>to the "secondary" connector on the motherboard.

Excellant suggestion!  Actually, I could not swap cables at the
motherboard end; a missing-pin interlock prevents the primary
cable from goint in the secondary socket.  So I swapped cables at
the device end.

With this swap, the hard disk is recognized as secondary master.  
And the DVD is no longer recognized as the primary master.  So
nothing primary is recognized, and everything secondary is
recognized (including ZIP secondary slave).

Otta>Take the hard-drive to another computer, and see if it can be
Otta>detected on that computer.

I mentioned in my original question that I had done this.  The same
drive with the same partitioning in a different computer works well.
A different drive in the same computer also is not recognized by the
BIOS.  The BIOS that sees all drives is an Award 4.51PG with a 1995
copyright date.  The BIOS that is faulty is an Award 4.51PG with
a 1999 copyright date.



SysExpert>You need to find a new BIOS to flash.
dbrunton>You should be able to download the bios update for your board

I downloaded the file.  The motherboard came with a floppy
program called PFLASH2.EXE.  Tried to run it.  The error message
says:  

          ERROR! Can't find system BIOS' hook.

So I am without a working program that can download the new BIOS.
(I get the same message running under two different versions of
MS-DOS.)



Blogg>You can move the jumper on the drive to "cs" cable select,
Blogg>also make sure pin1 on the ide cable is connected
Blogg>to pin1 on the drive.
SysExpert>Apparently the older BIOS will not work with your new Drive due
SysExpert>to size limitations.

Remember, this drives works in a different computer with its
current jumpers.  And even though the BIOS does not see it at
boot up, I can still FDISK, FORMAT, boot MS-DOS, and generally
use the disk.  Nothing fails until I try to install Windows 2000.



Blogg>Also, play around with the cmos settings, instead of AUTO detect
Blogg>HDD's, try USER or similar.

I almost considered doing this.  But there are settings I do not know
how to answer.  Here are all the USER settings needed.


Size:

    The disk label says 20.5 Gig.  I need to answer in terms of Meg.  Is one
    Meg 1,000,000 or is it 1,048,576?  Formatted or Unformatted?  And how
    do I find out?

Cyls:  16383
Head:  16

Precomp:  ???

Landz:  ???

Sector: 63

Mode:  {Large|Auto|Normal|LBA}?

All I know from is CHS, I do not know Size, Precomp, Landz, and Mode.

0
 
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Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 6274834
1) The fact that it works in a different computer means that the hardware is OK.  I would check the cables and IDE controller - primary - since secondary is working.

Asus.com will have newer BIOS and the correct flash program for your board !
You may need to change a jumper to enable flashing.

I hope this helps !
0
 

Expert Comment

by:bdmartin116
ID: 6275102
This happened to me once.  This sounds to simple to be true, but try it. Remove the CMOS battery for 30 sec, then re-insert it to reset your BIOS.  It worked for me.
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Expert Comment

by:Hunty
ID: 6275309
Sorry to butt in but...I see no mention of you using any of the detection utilities?  Can't think of the exact phrasing right now but it's in the BIOS setup.  Simply put, setting the HDD to Auto-detect is not enough.  You have to make it look for it and varify that it has been found.  It's usually found on the first screen in setup or if this is a very recent mobo then it is in one of the hardware setup screens.

Another Q.  You said that the mobo came with a floppy with the FLASH utility on it?  Did you use this floppy to boot with?  If not, that would be the reason for your error message.

Sometimes it's the little things we forget that causes so much frustration.  :-)
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 6275510
I like SysExpert's comment.

<<1) The fact that it works in a different computer means that the hardware is OK.  I would check the
cables and IDE controller - primary - since secondary is working.

Try another cable for the primary IDE interface.
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Expert Comment

by:BigFitz
ID: 6275598
I think a little research (I would do it for you but I don't have time right now) will reveal that the TXP4 simply won't support a hard drive over (if I remember correctly, I have a TXP4 in my daughter's hand-me-down 233)8GB.  I don't think a BIOS flash is gonna work either--if you need to run this drive, you will most likely need to buy an inexpensive ATA controller card to bypass the BIOS limitations.  And by the way, fellow "experts" CABLE SELECT is not a matter of choice, it is a function of the system board, and requires a "cable select" IDE cable as well--if the board isn't a "cable select" board, (the TXP4 ISN'T) the CS jumper will cause all sorts of goofy symptoms, especially if used with a standard cable.  Most "clone" system boards are not cable select capable; some Compaq boards support EITHER format with the correct cabling and jumper settings; usually cable select is a feature used on "proprietary" boards by manufacturers such as Dell and HP.
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Expert Comment

by:Otta
ID: 6275674
> the DVD is no longer recognized as the primary master.
> So nothing primary is recognized

Possibilities:
 - the "primary" IDE-cable is broken -- replace it
 - the "primary" IDE interface on the motherboard is broken;
(either disable it, and use an add-in IDE-interface card,
or replace the motherboard).

So, first, do the "easy" thing -- change that ribbon-cable.
0
 

Author Comment

by:Jim_S
ID: 6275910
SysExpert> I would check the cables and IDE controller
dbrunton>  I like SysExpert's comment.
Otta>      So, first, do the "easy" thing -- change that ribbon-cable.


Good suggestion.  I swapped in a different cable.  The problem
persists.  The original cable has one wire that is deliberately
and neatly cut.  The new cable has no such visible cut.  Problem
persists anyway.

How does one check the IDE controller?  It is built into the
motherboard.  So I cannot just install a new IO card.


SysExpert> Asus.com will have newer BIOS and the correct flash program for
SysExpert> your board ! You may need to change a jumper to enable flashing.

I have an email in to ASUS about this error that has not yet
been answered.  Where do I get a new flash program; their web
site is impossible to navigate.

According to the motherboard manual, I should save the old
bios first, and then change a jumper to download the new
bios.  I get this error when trying to save the old bios.


bdmartin116> Remove the CMOS battery for 30 sec, then re-insert it

Interesting suggestion.  Would have appreciated a warning to
write down all my current settings first.  I did this and
it did not solve the problem.

(BTW I once owned a Dodge Lemon.  The only way to keep it running
was disconnect the car battery for a few minutes every 50 miles.
This caused the bug-ridden onboard computer to lose its memory.  
It finally went back to Chrysler Corp under the state's lemon law.
But it was really difficult dealing with Chrysler.)


Huntress58> Sorry to butt in but

No need to apologize.  All well-intentioned comments are welcome.


Huntress58> I see no mention of you using any of the detection
Huntress58> utilities?

All along I have been hoping someone would tell something
simple about the CMOS settings I can fix.  No such luck yet.

There is one CMOS setup screen called "IDE HDD Auto Detection."  
One would think that this might be the answer.  I played with it
a little bit and could not fix the problem.  I am not sure that I
am using it correctly or what I should expect?


Huntress58> You said that the mobo came with a floppy with the
Huntress58> FLASH utility on it?  Did you use this floppy to boot with?

The ASUS manual gives very explicit instructions to create a
boot floppy, copy the flash utility to the floppy and then
boot the floppy.  I did this using two different versions of
MS-DOS and got the same error message both times.


BigFitz> will reveal that the TXP4 simply won't support a
BigFitz> hard drive over ... 8GB

This drive works well in another computer with an older
motherboard.  An 8.4 GB drive has a similar problem in
this computer.

BigFitz> CABLE SELECT is not a matter of choice ...

Thank you for clearing this up.


BigFitz> you will most likely need to buy an inexpensive ATA controller
BigFitz> card to bypass the BIOS limitations.

If I buy a new board, it will most likely be to bypass a
motherboard defect rather than to bypass a BIOS limitation.  I
know the boards are cheap, but I am putting this one off for
last.  I anticipate a new laundry list of setup problems. E.g.
are the cables long enough, conflicts with existing motherboard,
whatever else.


------

In summary, the only suggestion I have not yet tried is the
BIOS update.  Anybody know where I can get a working version
of PFLASH2.EXE?
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 6276001
>>Good suggestion.  I swapped in a different cable.  The problem persists.  The original cable has one wire that is deliberately and neatly cut.  The new cable has no such visible cut.  Problem persists anyway.

Can you obtain a cable that is known to be working and try that?
0
 
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Expert Comment

by:Hunty
ID: 6276367
This is where to get the FLASH utilities:  http://www.asus.com/products/motherboard/bios_tools.html
And this is where you get the updates:  http://www.asus.com/products/motherboard/bios.html
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Expert Comment

by:tskelly082598
ID: 6276911
What model and manufacturer of hard drive is it?

Specifications, manual in Adobe PDF format, for a similar Asus motherboard.

http://www.asus.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/pentium/txp4-x/txp4x-spec.html


FAQ for Asus motherboard:

http://www.asus.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/pentium/430txqa/txqa.html#lane100b

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Expert Comment

by:tskelly082598
ID: 6276919
May be specifications, and manual for your particular Asus motherboard:


http://www.asus.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/pentium/txp4/txp4-spec.html
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Expert Comment

by:tskelly082598
ID: 6277103
Known problem with one particular IBM hard drive.

http://www.asus.com.tw/Products/Techref/Ide/ibm-38450.html

Also, known problems with a number of Seagate drives.

http://www.asus.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/pentium/430txqa/txqa.html#seagatehd
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Author Comment

by:Jim_S
ID: 6291714
Sorry I have not responded to your most-recent comments in a
while.  I have sent several emails to ASUS tech support since my
last posting here.  I have been waiting for their reply so that I
could pass on any new information from them.

I finally got a reply from ASUS.  It contained nothing new at
all.  It just repeated their answer to my first email.  Their
first response said, "Since TXP4 have been fased out for a long
time,it may not support WINDOWS 2000 and a huge HDD."  This
response ignores all the evidence to the contrary.  All the
evidence is that the motherboard DOES support large drives and
that auto-recognition is broken on the primary only.  Not a word
from ASUS addressed the question of why their flash program does
not work.

Needless to say, I will never buy another ASUS motherboard.  Not
only is my motherboard broken, their tech support is broken as
well.  I would return the board, but the (short) 180-day warranty
expired long ago.

I am convinced that the motherboard is defective.  A computer
repairman advised me to buy a separate IO controller, as did
someone on Experts Exchange.  I feel that this would be throwing
good money after bad.  Temporarily, I am abandoning the hope of
installing Win2000 on this computer.  (Winnt4 works fine.)  I
may, someday, replace the motherboard.

I am awarding the points to Otta, because I so much liked his
suggestion to swap primary and secondary cables.  This sort of
diagnostic really helped to narrow the problem.  I had asked a
prior version of this question under Win2000, before I had
narrowed the problem from software to hardware.  SysExpert was
helpful there as well.  SysExpert, I have given you fifty points
via a question in the Community Support section of Experts
Exchange.

To everyone else, thank you for your help.  I feel each of you
deserves some points.  But Experts Exchange does not have an
easy way to allocate points among a lot of experts.  Sorry that
not everybody can win.

****************************************************************

dbrunton> Can you obtain a cable that is known to be working and try that?

In response to this suggestion, I took the original cable from the bad
computer and tested it in a good computer.  The cable is good.  The
motherboard is bad.


Huntress58> This is where to get the FLASH utilities:  
Huntress58>      http://www.asus.com/products/motherboard/bios_tools.html
Huntress58> And this is where you get the updates:  
Huntress58>      http://www.asus.com/products/motherboard/bios.html

Thank you.  This page had a number of flash utilities.  None of them
are PFLASH2.EXE, which is the one that came with my motherboard.  
Somewhere on the ASUS website I have found a recent version PFLASH2.EXE.
It gave me the same error message as the old version.  So the one major
thing that I have not tried is a BIOS reflash.



tskelly> FAQ for Asus motherboard:
tskelly> http://www.asus.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/pentium/430txqa/txqa.html#lane100b

Thank you for locating this for me.  I read through it.  None of the issues
addressed solve my problem.  The one question of ASUS I need solved is, "How
can I reflash the BIOS when the latest version of PFLASH2.EXE fails?"

tskelly> May be specifications, and manual for your particular Asus motherboard:
tskelly> http://www.asus.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/pentium/txp4/txp4-spec.html

By now I am fairly sure that the motherboard is broken regardless of the specs.

tskelly> Known problem with one particular IBM hard drive.
tskelly> http://www.asus.com.tw/Products/Techref/Ide/ibm-38450.html

Thank you for finding this.  This is a similar problem to the one I am having.
The advice is to reflash the BIOS.  I have not been able to reflash the BIOS.
All I get is an error message from PFLASH2.EXE.  Here is the message.

     ERROR! Can't Find System BIOS' Hook.
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Expert Comment

by:Hunty
ID: 6291997
If it's under warrantee you should have no trouble returning it.  Sorry we couldn't have been more help but broke is broke.  :-)  Good luck!
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Expert Comment

by:tskelly082598
ID: 6294277
If you haven't thrown out the motherboard yet, you might want to try aflash.exe

http://www.abios.com/asus/asus-utility.html

Also on the right side of the menu at the URL above, 430TX BIOS.

Tips on flashing the bios:

http://www.motherboards.org/biosup.html
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