Hard drive Not Detected During Bootup

I have two hard drives, one with Mircosoft XP and the other with misc. storage. When installing a fan controller, I had to turn the computer off and on roughly 20 times in the 20 minutes I spent intstalling it.  I turned on the computer to start it up, and both of the drives were not being detected by the BIOS.  I went into the CMOS to verify that the computer itself was not detecting the drives, then switched ribbon cables.  This didn't work for either.  I then switched the hard drive (with the OS) with a blank hard drive, and it found both drives.  I switched back the old hard drive in, and the computer found neither.  Anyone know what I can do?
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FatherErvinConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Clear the CMOS, depending on your system board, you may have to either remove the battery and hold down the systems power button with it unplugged, OR their may be a jumper that has to be changed temporarily to reset it.

Plug everything in the way you had it originally

In your BIOS look for an option to reset ECSD data.

Reboot and test!

Good luck,

Are you sure you set the disks properly? The XP drive as master and should be located at the end of the cable while the other drive should be in the missle and configured as slave?

andrewwatsongfAuthor Commented:
yes i am sure that the XP drive is master and the other drive is slave
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Did you try using two different IDE cables? each for each drive?

I've had a similar problem before.  Turned out it was a faulty IDE cable, it would detect some of my drives but not others.  Switched the IDE cable and was fine.  It might be worth a shot.

Good luck =)
I've had a similar problems before.  Resolutions have been.

(1) I swapped the order of the Hard Disks on the cable.
(2) Different IDE cable
(3) Cable back to front ( red to pin 1 red to power supply - general rule of thumb )
(4) Bent pin on HD
(5) Bent pin on MB
(6) Start each HD separately using Cable Select for Jumper Settings
(7) Some drives seem to prefer CS over Master ( don't know why )

I'm sure you've tried most of these but (1) and (7) often work

they could both be set to Master or both to slave.  your pc will reject both if they are set the same on one IDE channel..

Hi there,

As above ppl said,..pls do check the ide cabel. I too had the same problem once,.Then It was my friend who tried with another cabel and it worked fine.

Else, Reset the bios,. check manually if the system is detecting the drives,.What I emant was, in the list of drives in Bios, U might have the option auto. But, check using pageup(according to my sys) and verify if ur drive is detected,.else, it should be the problem of cabel.

As some one has earlier pointed out, reset ur bios settings, by removing the cmos batterie for atleast 30-60 secs, and place it back,.if this does not, reset ur settings, then just beside the Batterrie u would have a jumper, that is set for 2 pins, and there wud be another pin, jus swap between the pins(like if it is for last 2 pins, remove it, and place it for first 2, Note there will be only 3 pins,.so the middle one is common for both).

All the best.
What is a Fan Controller? a PCI card for the Fan ? Looks like your POwer Supply is not meeting the Power demands and hence the drives may fail. So , why dont you try one Drive at a time ( the drive that used to fail )  and see if its getting detected. I am not sure how much your additional Fan power Demands are , so have them disconnected if you have added any additional fan. Remove the CD-Drive power as well and check if everything is working alright. If you find this to be PSU , have it replaced with a Higher wattage one.


As suggested, try with the system drive only, first. If not detected properly, review cable seating thoroughly and also drive jumpering (although I have a hard time imagining how the jumpers would move around by themselves...). If your system use Master/Slave jumpering, the drives can be in any position on the IDE cable. If you use Cable Select, the master is always the drive at the end connector and the slave is in the middle and BOTH must be jumpered for CS.
Had a similar problem once.  Cables were OK - Jumpers were correct - Controller worked properly.  Nothing was logical!  After about a week I discovered the real problem.  I know it sounds far fetched, but with me one of the jumpers had a break!  I found about by starting from the beginning - both harddrives were physically removed from the computer; then I disconnected the DVD/Burner; using only the Primary controller with one cable, I attached the end to the "C" drive, the other end to the controller; then I replaced the jumpers with new ones; next I went directly into the BIOS and made sure everything was set to AUTO.  The drive was found immediately and the rest is history.

Sometimes it's the small things that cause the biggest headaches!
You might have one of the drives, or both of them set for Cable Select (CS).
When set as master/slave, the position on the cable does not matter.

When using cable select, the master goes on the end, and the slave in the middle.

What if you have one set to Master or Slave, and the other to CS.

Check you jumbers again carefully.  Perhaps goto the drive manufacturers web site and get another look at the correct way to set the jumbers for these drives.

Also, I have seen incompatabilites with 2 drives on one cable. Especially when using older drives with newer ones.

- PAR1033
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