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BIOS not seeing HDD!

Posted on 2004-04-07
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
This is a brand-new maxtor 5400 RPM, 40 GB hdd.
I know that jumpers are correct, and the cables should be.

I'm worried that HDD drive may be to large for this bios to recognize.
The BIOS version is Award Modular V4.51PG.
If I have to update the bios, how does one do that?

The strange thing is, the hdd drive is recognized after bios is run.
But when I try and install winXP, it does not detect a hard disk in the installation screen.

All help is greatly appreciated!

-scot
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Question by:scotMcalpine
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by:Beachdude67
ID: 10780299
Scot,

It sounds like the hardware installation went right, especially if the new drive is listed during POST (power on start test). If you have doubts about the cable installation, the rule of thumb is that the red stripe on the IDE cable goes to pin 2, but most IDE cables have notches on them to make them Beachdude67 proof.

Since this is an installation for a brand new drive, you will have to partition the drive and then format it. In Windows XP Pro this is a snap: go to start and locate the "my computer" shortcut (alternately if you are using the classic windows taskbar, you can just right click on the my computer icon on the desktop). Select manage and then select "disk management" in the left-hand pane. Assuming the drive is listed you can then partition it and then format it (Microsoft recommends NTFS in XP and unless you have some legacy app that requires FAT or FAT32 there isn't any reason not to use NTFS).

If you happen to have XP Home let me know and I will post the instructions for that, too.

To answer the second part of your question, all the BIOS updates I've ever done required me to visit the BIOS manufacturer's website and obtain the update. Generally speaking, the update is a program that writes itself to a 3.5 inch floppy. You usually have to turn off the computer, insert the disk, and then power the computer back on.

Having said that, I don't like to do BIOS updates unless I really need to because I have heard horror stories from others in the field in which computers had to be reprogrammed by the manufacturer for a costly sum because a BIOS update went bad. Granted, it's low risk by why take the chance unless you absolutely have to?
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by:Beachdude67
ID: 10780325
PS

I believe v4.51PG is the last update to your particular BIOS, so you're home free there!
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by:scotMcalpine
ID: 10780366
my hdd is not formatted and has no os on it. What I'm trying to do is boot to the winxp home CD, and format and install from there.

But since BIOS is not seeing the hdd, than the installation is not either.

Even if the hdd is not formatted or partitioned, BIOS should recognize it.
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by:asmodeusnz
ID: 10780374
The BIOS will mostly ALWAYS recognise the HDD as Something.
It may not be correct, but it will generally recognise it as something.

On post enter your BIOS (Press DEL or F10) and see what size your HDD is being detected as. eg 8GB etc.
This is always the First step.
If its not detected as 40GB, but is detected as something else (eg 8GB, a lot of those old award BIOS only detect up to 8GB)
then you will need to upgrade your BIOS, and for that you need AWDFLASH.exe which can be a mission to get right at times.

Its important that if you do need to flash your BIOS, and you probably do, that you note down all the numbers on Post.
Motherboard numbers, BIOS Version number etc, so you can be sure you get a match with your BIOS.
Follow the Flash instructions carefully, double, even triple check you have the right BIOS version because if your wrong and you flash the BIOS with the wrong version you will turn your PC to Custard.




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by:asmodeusnz
ID: 10780382
I posted at the same time as you did Scot and didn't see your last comment, but have a look into the BIOS under HDD's and see what your new HDD is detected as.

Cheers
Rodger
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by:scotMcalpine
ID: 10780398
After going into the bios settings, it does not see the hdd at all, even autodetect.
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by:asmodeusnz
ID: 10780435
OK, Well that solves that. You'll definitely need to find a newer version of your BIOS to use that 40GB HDD.
Beachdude67 is NOT correct by saying that BIOS version you have is the latest.
Mostly ALL the old manufacturers released an update to their BIOS's up to approx 80GB.

When your looking for the BIOS upgrade There is a site called esupport.com or something and they try and charge you for it.
There are heaps of links to this paysite.......Ignore them and keep searching................
You'll find one eventually, in fact try
http://www.driversguide.com
username: drivers
password: all

I remember upgrading my V4.51PG BIOS with a later version to detect a larger HDD.

But be careful as I mentioned in my post above that your get the RIGHT update flash for your BIOS

Cheers
Rodger
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by:Beachdude67
ID: 10780481
Another thing to check is the master/slave jumper setting on the drive, especially if it is connected to another device on the same IDE cable. I can't count the number of times I installed a new drive, only to have it conflict with another device like a CD ROM or Zip Drive that was set to master. You'll want the hard drive set to master (the jumper setting will be either on the drive, in the manual, or both) and any other device (if applicable) set to slave.

Hope it's as easy as this!
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by:aindelicato
ID: 10780577
It's rare that a BIOS can't see a 40Gb drive unless this machine is older than 4 years.... ?

You say that the HDD  IS  detected after the PB boots (POST) .. well don't worry about it not being detected when you're in the CMOS setup.

As for XP Install not seeing it, thats different. when you boot from the XP CD look at the status bar, it shoudl prompt you to press F6 to load additonal drivers (though none should be needed) At this point you can insert the floppy that was provided with your HDD.  If none was provided, go to plan B.

Plan B. -- Get yourself a newer motherboard, because this is just a sign of the troubles you have ahead of you later on.

Good Luck

--D
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by:asmodeusnz
ID: 10780816
Beachdude,

Good point, but scotMcalpine has already said he checked the cables, which should have been the first thing to check.
>I can't count the number of times I installed a new drive, only to have it conflict with another device like a CD ROM
This is fair enough too and easy to do. Also Maxtor HDD's sometimes like CS to be set and others like Master.
Both jumper settings should be tried and tested scotMcalpine. (If you haven't done so already).

Aindelicato,

>It's rare that a BIOS can't see a 40Gb drive unless this machine is older than 4 years.... ?
These Award BIOS's first came out with 486dx4/100's approx 8 years ago...

>well don't worry about it not being detected when you're in the CMOS setup.
What?? The HDD must be detected in the BIOS first BEFORE the operating system is loaded..... or the PC won't go.
Simple as that.

>As for XP Install not seeing it, thats different. when you boot from the XP CD look at the status bar, it shoudl prompt you to >press F6 to load additonal drivers (though none should be needed) At this point you can insert the floppy that was provided >with your HDD.  If none was provided, go to plan B.
>Plan B. -- Get yourself a newer motherboard, because this is just a sign of the troubles you have ahead of you later on.
What are you going on about??
In 10 years as a Computer Technician, I've NEVER seen a Floppy disk provided with a Hard Drive!!!!
These comments are useless. Why don't you just say "Throw your PC in the ocean because its old"? Thats just as helpful.
This can be solved by a simple BIOS update. Don't comment if you have nothing useful to say.
scotMcalpine wants useful advice of which you have provided NONE......



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by:Callandor
ID: 10782658
If you can't find an update to the BIOS, you can buy a PCI IDE card that will recognize all the new drives, and it won't cost that much: http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=16-102-002&depa=1
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by:aindelicato
ID: 10783507
asmodeusnz,

Your job here is to provide suggestions to the user, not to tear down our suggestions.

In 10 years, you've never seen a floppy be provided with a HDD? Maxtor never included HDD Utilities on a floppy called MaxBlast?  I'm sure SEAGATE and WesternDigital have all had similar floppies.  Give me your number, I'll make sure NOT to refer people to you.

Secondly, Yes if the machine is 8 years old, what real sense does it make to install a 40gb drive in it ? Throw it in the ocean.

The user said it was showing up in POST.  That means the BIOS has detected it.  The fact that it doesn't show up in BIOS when he runs through the menu maybe beacuse he is using the wrong settings.  Just leave the BIOS set to AUTO.  Make sure your jumpers are set correctly and for god sakes, make sure your cable is plugged in right.  Sometimes the IDE cable DOES actually detect SLAVE & MASTER and CABLE SELECT settings.  If you have no other IDE devices on the same channel, just get a single IDE cable.
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by:scotMcalpine
ID: 10784733
I'm going to attempt to update the bios.

Like I said i'm confident that the connections are all correct.

Thanks for all help!

-scot
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by:scotMcalpine
ID: 10784845
I'm searching driverguide.com for an update, but i can't decide which to download.

do i want to download Award Modular BIOS v6.00PG ?

or should i download Award Modular BIOS v4.51PG ?

I have 4.51, but am I looking for an update for 4.51, or should I download the 6.00?

-scot
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by:scotMcalpine
ID: 10784864
The extension is a .bin on the files I downloaded.
What next?

Do i simply put it on a floppy and boot with it?

-scot
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by:buckeyes33
ID: 10785248
along with the bin file that you downloaded you need to download the AWDFLASH program.  This program should be avalable where you got your bios update.  

You will then have to create a boot able floppy drive.   If you have windows xp you can put a floppy in, go to My Computer, right click on the floppy and say Create bootable floppy, or something of such.   With that floppy you need to put the AWDFLASH program on the disk along with the bin file.  You need to WRITE down the name of the bin file as you will need this later.  After this you need to print the directions off of the website where you got the bios update from and follow those directions.  

If you don't have windows XP you can go here to get a bootable floppy.  Download the windows 98 one.

www.bootdisk.com


Are you sure you know how to do a update?    One false step and your motherboard is done.  
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by:buckeyes33
ID: 10785253
You should download the newest bios, which I would assume would be the 6.0 one.
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by:scotMcalpine
ID: 10785988
Thanks buckeyes, I'll giv'er a try.

And no, i don't know how to do an update.
Motherboards are cheap these days, right!?

-scot
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by:Callandor
ID: 10786112
Well, if you're looking for an excuse to upgrade, yes they are.

Albatron KX400-8XV PRO V2.0 $49
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=13-170-009&depa=0
Duron 1.6GHz $37
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=19-104-159&depa=1
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by:buckeyes33
ID: 10786174
>>Motherboards are cheap these days, right!?
some what, but you would also have to get a new processor and RAM along with the motherboard.



Here is some pictures of the AWDFLASH program.  


http://www.soyousa.com/kb/kbdesc.php?id=35


you should be able to follow those directions.  
I can help you through it a little bit, but mostly you are on your own.

1. Have you created a bootdisk?
2.  have you download the AWDFLASH program and the correct bios .bin file?
3.  Have you placed the AWDFLASH program and the .bin file on the bootdisk?

if you can say yes to all those, then you are ready to follow the directions in the link.  
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by:getajob20
ID: 10798574
Be careful! Make sure the BIOS you have downloaded is suitable for your motherboard (ie. you downloaded it from the motherboard manufacturer's website) otherwise you'll end up with a dead system. It's all very well it being an Award BIOS file, but the motherboard manufacturer changes it to suit the hardware on the board.

Matt
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by:scotMcalpine
ID: 10807698
Allright, I've now tried three different HDD's (10Gb, 14Gb, 40Gb) and none of them are seen by the bios.

All of them are found after bios (POST).

Is there another way to do the installation without booting from the CD?

-scot
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by:Callandor
ID: 10807765
I am very puzzled by that - those are not very large hard disks, and should be well within the capabilities of v4.51.  Are you going into the BIOS and trying to autodetect them?
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by:asmodeusnz
ID: 10809153
Aindelicato,

>Your job here is to provide suggestions to the user, not to tear down our suggestions.
I'd be interested to know what your job is?, or are you just another "Hobbyist/Cowboy"?
This isn't the Wild West, there are enough Cowboys on this site as it is.
Your job is to provide USEFUL advice, not suggest a NEW MOTHERBOARD when a simple BIOS upgrade is all that is needed.

>In 10 years, you've never seen a floppy be provided with a HDD?
Nope never, maybe its only a USA requirement??? They NEVER provide floppy disks with HDD's here in NZ.
>Maxtor never included HDD Utilities on a floppy called MaxBlast?
Nope Never. See above comment.

>Secondly, Yes if the machine is 8 years old, what real sense does it make to install a 40gb drive in it ? Throw it in the ocean.
That decision is up to Scotmcalpine not you. I've known quite a few people put larger HDD's in their old machines.
Once again your advise is questionable......
Just because the machine is old, is no reason to throw it away, it can be upgraded,
which is what scotmcalpine is trying to do but your advise isn't helping.


ScotmcAlpine,

How did you go with upgrading your BIOS?
I noticed you said you were going to try....
Did you find the right upgrade? Did it work?

Cheers
Rodger
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by:scotMcalpine
ID: 10809212
I didn't upgrade the bios. I downloaded the bios Award Modular 6.00, and when i ran awdflash.exe, it said there wasn't a file match with the .bin file.

I'm now question whether or not the bios does need to be uprades. If the smaller HDD's (10Gb, 14Gb) are not recognized, maybe the problem is elsewere.

Even autodetect in bios setup does not see the HDD's.

Could there be some kind of setting where bios is set not to look at the primary master, but POST is set to see it?

I'm going to try the HDD as a secondary master, and see if bios recognizies it then.
Ill post my results shortly.
 
Thanks for your help everyone!

-scot
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by:Callandor
ID: 10809981
Also try the hard disk as the single device on the cable, on a different IDE channel, and with a different IDE cable.
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by:asmodeusnz
ID: 10810008
Hi Scot,

>If the smaller HDD's (10Gb, 14Gb) are not recognized, maybe the problem is elsewere.
As I mentioned before these old BIOS's only detected up to 8.4GB.......anything bigger than that needs an upgraded BIOS.
I know its a mission to find the right BIOS upgrade for these, but you'll have to if you want your 10GB, 14GB or your 40GB to be recognised.
Keep hunting for that BIOS upgrade and Good luck!!

Cheers
Rodger
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by:scotMcalpine
ID: 10814094
The BIOS was succefull in seeing the HDD as a secondary master. For what reason though?

I'll continue searching for the right bios update

-scot
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by:getajob20
ID: 10815230
It could be a dodgy cable or broken connector on the motherboard.

Matt
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asmodeusnz earned 200 total points
ID: 10817674
>>The BIOS was succefull in seeing the HDD as a secondary master. For what reason though?

>It could be a dodgy cable or broken connector on the motherboard.
Yes, quite possible but more likely a broken/damaged pin/connector on the motherboard rather than the cable.............
(assuming Scot is using the same cable and the HDD is detected fine on IDE2)

Scot, if the HDD is detected fine as Secondary Master then you can boot of that.
You do NOT need the drive to be on IDE1 (Primary Master).

You can load your choice of operating system on IDE2 now that your drive is detected.....
It will boot the same as if it was on IDE1........

Make sure you fdisk, delete the partition, recreate the partition, (Make sure the partition is active) and format.
Then install your operating system.....

Cheers
Rodger
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by:scotMcalpine
ID: 10863757
This problem is getting out of control.

I set the HDD as secondary master, and thank-god windows setup seen it.

I also tried moving the CD-RW drive to the primary master, but windows will not pick it up at all. And I know what you're thinking, bad connection somewhere, but I don't think it is. Simply because whatever is on the IDE-1, is seen after the bios, on POST, but still does not function at all.

Something is really off on this computer, and I'm not sure what it is.

Thank-you everyone!
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by:asmodeusnz
ID: 10864029
>Simply because whatever is on the IDE-1, is seen after the bios, on POST, but still does not function at all.
Definitely sounds like a faulty IDE1 on the motherboard.
Just keep using IDE2, otherwise the only fix is to replace the motherboard.
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