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Hard drive problem when installing Windows 2000

nuuki
nuuki asked
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Last Modified: 2010-04-13
I'm trying to install Windows 2000 on a PC without success. After loading the 4 boot disks I'm told that:

"Setup did not find any hard drives installed in your computer".

The hard disk has never shown any problems and I've been able to install Windows 98 on it fine. It's a plain old 30Gb IDE drive so I shouldn't think any drivers would be needed. I've been able to install Windows 2000 onto the drive by installing it in another PC but when I move it back, same problem. I therefore suspect the IDE controller. The motherboard is an Asus K7M with a VIA IDE controller. I tried downloading W2K drivers for the controller from the Asus site but these didn't work when I pressed F6 during the W2K install. Any thoughts?
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Commented:
The ASUS K7M should be fine.

Is this IDE drive on the PRIMARY or SECONDARY IDE controller?  Is it MASTER or SLAVE?

Win2000 won't boot or install itself to a drive on the SECONDARY IDE channel.  So that is my first suspicion here.

My second suspicion is that you a system problem that is causing W2K to fail to detect hardware.  ARe you overclocking?  Check your CPU for proper operating speed and also check your RAM for proper speed.  Even systems that work rock-solid under Win98 can fail under NT/2000 due to system timing issues caused by overclocking.  Also check your CPU operating voltage to make sure it's where it's supposed to be.
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Commented:
nuuki, use a Windows 98 Boot Disk and boot to it. Now run Fdisk a partition the drive and make certain that you make that partition active. Next, reboot to the boot disk and format the drive. Now try the installation again.

Dennis

Commented:
W2K doesn't care about this when booting the installer from floppies.  Even an unformatted disk will be detected and the partitioning and formatting is offered there.

A Win98 boot disk is not needed when installing W2K.

Commented:
I have a K7M and it has always worked just fine for me without additional drivers. Note that some other mainboards do have separate UDMA100 channels (or RAID0) which *do* require drivers (usually Promise ones). But that should NOT be the case in your situation.

Author

Commented:
Thanks guys for such a quick response. I'll cover off your points.

Firstly I have already tried repartitioning the disk and formatting it and running the install from the floppies. No luck. I then tried installing Windows 98 and running the setup from there. No joy. Finally I moved the disk to another machine, built 2000 on it and moved it back. It still failed to boot.

Next up, the drive is the only one in the machine and is the Master on the Primary IDE chanel. The CD is the Master on the Secondary.

As for the processor, it's an Athlon 550. I'm not overclocking it and it's never shown signs of being unstable before.

I've tried to upgrade the BIOS but this is falling over. I'll check the Asus site for tips on this but I don't think it's related.

Commented:
>>and it's never shown signs of being unstable before.

That's NOT what I noted.  In fact, I said:

"Even systems that work rock-solid under Win98 can fail under NT/2000 due to system timing issues caused
by overclocking"

Are you 100% sure it's not overclocked?

What about your RAM?  It may be slow, it may be BAD.

Check these things out.

Author

Commented:
OK,

I have 2 x PC100 128Mb DIMMs. I can try with one of these removed. Yes I am sure that it is not overclocked. I have found the motherboard PDF so I'll look through that in case it sheds any light.
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Commented:
jhance, (and nuuki) I'm aware that Windows 2000 doesn't require that the drive be partitioned or formatted, however by doing so normally eliminates a direct hardware issue as we can see whether the drive is available via Fdisk. In any event, the only other option is that Windows 2000 isn't seeing the controller.

Dennis

Commented:
Having the drive available in FDISK is completely irrelevant to the W2K installer.  What's important is whether or not the drive is being detected by the W2K IDE driver. nuuki noted that Win98 has no trouble here and so it's unlikely that FDISK will have any trouble either.

Commented:
What about your BIOS setup for the IDE controller and disks?  Are you using AUTO detect for the MODE or are you forcing a disk operating mode?  W2K's IDE driver may be having trouble with your settings.  Check them and use default if you can.
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Commented:
nuuki, if that doesn't work, then clear the motherboards CMOS and the set the BIOS to its defult settings.

Author

Commented:
Just to clear up the FDISK question, the disk is visible to FDISK. I've repartitioned and reformatted it several times during my attempts to get W2K to install with no problems. The drive is currently set to auto although I think I've tried changing this. I'll check and will also try clearing the BIOS.

Author

Commented:
Just to clear up the FDISK question, the disk is visible to FDISK. I've repartitioned and reformatted it several times during my attempts to get W2K to install with no problems. The drive is currently set to auto although I think I've tried changing this. I'll check and will also try clearing the BIOS.
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Top Expert 2007

Commented:
All theadvice sounds good so far.
I would suspect that you have a slightly flakey IDE controller, or hard drive or combination of both, and win2k is having problems with them for some reason.

I would recommend that you download a diagnostic disk from your harddrive manufacturer's url. This will tell you right off where you are at and if
   you can recover from it. It may be under warranty, the hard drives are usually covered for three years and you can make out the RMA on their site
                     also. Depending on the manufacturer of the hard drive, you can download diagnostic utilities from their sites to check the drives.
 www.seagate.com
  www.maxtor.com 
   www.westerndigital.com
http://www.wdc.com/service/ftp/drives.html
    www.ibm.com 
http://www.storage.ibm.com/techsup/hddtech/welcome.htm
    www.fujitsu.com 

I hope this helps !

Commented:
Apparently, there are issues with 30GB hard disks and Windows 2000 Setup.
http://support.microsoft.com/directory/article.asp?ID=KB;EN-US;Q277546
Even though this article does not say the drive would not be recognized, it may well be something related to this problem.

You said that you tried installing it on another computer first. Why not try to install it on another hard disk? If this works, install SP2 (which I assume would fix the problem since this is apparently known since Nov. 20 2000 - date of Q277546 last revision) and than add the 30GB drive and look if it is recognized properly and formattable. If yes, you can use PartitioMagic or so to move the system onto the 30GB disk if wanted.

Author

Commented:

I'm intrigued by the formatting problem. It doesn't seem to match my symptoms though and I have formatted the drive using a Win98 startup disk as it suggests. Still I like the idea of installing Windows 2000 onto a different hard disk and then trying to move the partition over. I may instead move the 30Gb hard disk to the second PC, install W2K and then apply SP2 as this achieves basically the same thing. I may not get a chance to do this until Friday although I can try another hard disk in the troublesome PC tomorrow. Let you know how I get on. I'll also try running a diagnostics util for the drive as suggested.

Commented:
No, don't do it the other way around, it's NOT the same thing. All devices, starting with the mainboard chipset up to the graphics card, are to be recognized by setup. If you move the disk from another PC to this one, most or all of these will change, leading to potential problems; if you do it with another hard disk you will have none which changes except for one disk which is quite harmless.

Author

Commented:
OK. I'll track down another disk and try it that way.

Author

Commented:
Well good news and bad. I fitted a 4Gb drive and Windows 2000 recognised it fine, installing without a hitch. After building it I then fitted the 30Gb and again it appeared with no problems. I then Ghosted the 4Gb onto the 30Gb and removed the 4. It started to boot but once again failed part way. Interestingly it came up with the splash screen indicating that it could read *something* off the drive.

Sadly at this point the PC stopped powering up at all which has limited further experimentation. I checked the voltages on the PSU and they looked good. I also checked the power switch. I therefore suspect a motherboard blow out. If this is the case and I need a new motherboard the hard drive problem will go away, although it's not the method I'd have preferred to fix it :-) I'll try a few more things before writing off the motherboard completely.
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Commented:
Okay nuuki, we're here when you're ready.

Dennis

Commented:
Hi nuuki

- This question is still open and needs to be closed. If any of the comments above helped you, please accept that comment as an answer. If not please send an update about your issue so that the question can be finalised. Thank you

- Experts, please feel free to add any comments in here, if you keep silent points of question can be removed

- *** PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER ***

Pasha

Cleanup Volunteer
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Commented:
jhance first suggested a system level issue, hence without a response from the questioner, I would suggest that the question be awarded to jhance.

Commented:
nuuki,
No comment has been added lately (3 days), so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area for this question:

RECOMMENDATION: Award points to jhance

Please leave any comments here within 7 days.

PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER!

Thanks,

cempasha
EE Cleanup Volunteer
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