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'CAN'T FIND HARD DRIVE' error message - Machine won't boot

Posted on 2003-03-24
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
Hi,

I picked up a gateway PIII from a family member, they said it never worked.  It is model FLEXATXSTC.  When it is booted up I get two error messages:

1) Can't find HArd Drive
2) Can't Find CD-ROM Drive

This machine is in a VERY compact case, so much so that the hard drive is jammed under the casing that holds floppy and CD drive. One thing I noticed is that the ribbon cable is creased in three spots, I don't mean bent I mean creased to the point where it will never be able to be straightened out.

Could that be a problem? If not how would you go about diagnosing this problem and getting past it.  I have no reason to suspect that the parts themselves are broken.  The machine is in 'like new' condition.

Thanks

John

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Question by:jnri
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10 Comments
 
LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:CrazyOne
ID: 8195943
Yes I have had extremely creased cables cause problems and just replaced them and that fixed it for me.
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:CrazyOne
ID: 8195963
The cable could have worked loose from the mother board as well.

Also if could be defective mother board and the IDE channels just don't work. I would suggest getting into the BIOS and see if maybe something is disabled. And see how it is setup to detect the hard drive. If isn't set to Auto then set it to Auto.
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LVL 44

Accepted Solution

by:
CrazyOne earned 500 total points
ID: 8195988
Do you know if it is still under warranty? If so then give Gateway a call.
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Author Comment

by:jnri
ID: 8196220
Thanks for your replies:

1) It is not under warranty
2) Are the ribbon cables for the hard drive/cd drive industry standards? Can I take one off of an older PII I have (not gateway) and just use that to test?
3) Does the hard drive need to be screwed into the metal casing for grounding or can I just sit it on the table to test this?  The case is really hard to fold everything back into
4) If I insert a boot disk into the floppy could I get tot he BIOS that way? Currently I can't get it to do ANYTHING because of those errors

Thanks Again


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LVL 7

Assisted Solution

by:waffleironhead
waffleironhead earned 500 total points
ID: 8196305
all of the cables are standard....cept you might need newer ones to use faster ata standards...
i would try to use a new cable...if that doest work maybe put the hd into another machine...
hd should work outside the case...prob not recommended  but should be ok for the test

you should be able to enter the bios before the errors show up...maybe see gateway screen ao boot....press del/f1 or such to enter bios...
0
 

Author Comment

by:jnri
ID: 8196355
Thanks for your replies:

1) It is not under warranty
2) Are the ribbon cables for the hard drive/cd drive industry standards? Can I take one off of an older PII I have (not gateway) and just use that to test?
3) Does the hard drive need to be screwed into the metal casing for grounding or can I just sit it on the table to test this?  The case is really hard to fold everything back into
4) If I insert a boot disk into the floppy could I get tot he BIOS that way? Currently I can't get it to do ANYTHING because of those errors

Thanks Again


0
 

Author Comment

by:jnri
ID: 8198042
Ok, I have eliminated the drive and the cable from the potential problems.  I put the hard drive and cable into my other computer and it booted up fine.

When I put the problem PC back together again it now says:

CMOS setting wrong

Press F1 to Run SETUP
PRess F9 to load default values and continue.

It locks up here.  No matter what I press or when I press it nothing happens.

Any ideas?
0
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:waffleironhead
ID: 8198433
try reboot and start pressing f1 right away and continue pressing it.... ive seen it work...(sometimes)...go in and check the bios values for the hard drive...set to auto


0
 
LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 8204884
Try starting the machine without the HD connected and see if you can get into the BIOS setup program (F1 or whatever during POST). If this works, check out what the settings are for hard drive, if it is autodetect or user values or something. Set to autodetect, save and exit. Then try again with HD connected.

If no go, see if you can find the Clear CMOS jumper and reset the CMOS memory.

Regards
/RID
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