Win98 wont recognize 2nd HDD

Posted on 2004-08-09
Last Modified: 2010-04-25
We have a secondary drive that contains data (Western Digital) that win98 wont recognize.  Windows 98 Sees the drive in devince manager, but will not assign it a drive letter.

I cannot format over the data on this drive as it is needed.   The drive cam out of a 98 box.  When we try to select it in the device manager, it is greyed out.
Question by:jmdat
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

ID: 11756478
What size is this drive?  Perhaps it's too big for your BIOS to see it all?

Author Comment

ID: 11756520
No. Both the bios and WIN 98 device manageer sees it.  We just cannot assign it a drive letter. Oh and it is 20g to answer your question

Expert Comment

ID: 11756713
What format is it in?  NTFS or FAT?
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Author Comment

ID: 11756854
LVL 69

Expert Comment

ID: 11756965
Have you tried detecting it after booting into DOS?  If it's ok, then it's a Windows driver issue.

Author Comment

ID: 11757015
How would I detect it in DOS?   If then that is okay... do you think I can just dl the driver from western digital?  Again the main goal here is to install the disk and preserve the data intact.

Author Comment

ID: 11757042
A little more info.  This was a secondary drive that worked in a win98 box.  The primary drive with the OS kicked the bucket, and it was then put into a win2k box which recongized it fine.  We raninto an issue with session/user limits on 2k, disconnected the drive, reinstalled 98, and reconnected the drive.  Since then even partition magic will not allow us to label the drive.
LVL 69

Expert Comment

ID: 11758068
If you go into the BIOS and position the cursor over the IDE controller connected to the drive and hit Enter, that will usually autodetect the drive.  It has to be properly recognized by the BIOS before Windows will do anything with it.
LVL 31

Accepted Solution

rid earned 250 total points
ID: 11761401
After getting it defined correctly in BIOS, boot from a 98 boot floppy, or to a DOS prompt only. Run fdisk. See if fdisk can find the drive and check partition info (that is non-destructive).

In worst case the drive was used with a software overlay in the older machine and if so I guess you're in for some hair-tearing.

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