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Missing or corrupt IDE controller

Posted on 2005-04-13
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Last Modified: 2010-08-05
Hi folks, My son has done it again.  
His system,
motherboard asus p4p800-e
hard drive samsung 120g
256m ati graphics card
3.2g cpu
1gig ram, xp pro
He installed a cabinet program which I have on my computer running well.  Then copied some files from a friends cd-rom in his dvd drive to the cabinet program folder as they are used with the same program.
He started to notice that the system was starting to slow down so he rebooted and realised he had forgotten to take out the cdrom out in his dvd drive.  It would then not load up and tried various things but to no avail.  I have tried to use the repair console but no go, I have also tried to reinstall over xp but it gets so far and stops everytime.  I have tried to install the bios update from the asus site on the net, even though the floppy is first boot device it isn't working.  I am getting the message that there is no drive attached to the fastTrak controller, no bios installed.
I am starting to think my son has killed another motherboard.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Am am also wondering if is a virus as he has asked me to copy everything from the other partitions before I do anything with the drive, but if it is a virus then I don't want it.
Regards Ned
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Question by:Ned_Kelly
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21 Comments
 
LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 13771317
Test out the drive on another machine to see if it works.  If the drive is fine, then there's something wrong with the motherboard.  Try resetting the CMOS to restore it to a default state.  If it's just the IDE controller, you can get a replacement PCI IDE card that should work: http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=16-102-027&depa=1
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Expert Comment

by:tmj883
ID: 13771538
Your mainboard has a Promise SATA controller(fastrac)...it seems your son has changed the boot order to the Promise controller and since no SATA present the system halts. In the system BIOS, defeat the Promise controller and set the BOOT priority to IDE. Refer to the mainboard manual. If your Samsung is an IDE and not SATA drive, this is most likely the case and restoring the BOOT order will solve the problem.
T
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:seb_gibbs
ID: 13771574
You can reset the CMOS (its part of the BIOS) by pulling out the battery from the motherboard and leaving it out for a few minutes.

By taking out the harddrive and installing as a second slave drive on another machine, you can test the drive and also check it for viruses without them being activated.

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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 13775343
Given your description, I suspect that several glitches may have occurred.

Little junior may have hosed Windows to start with and that could explain failure to complete repair install.  Assume that recovery console does run and that you can access C drive.

As tmj883 recommended, check boot order.  That may also explain failure to boot from floppy.  Or floppy drive may be having problems which happens frequently since they aren't used much these days and accumulate dust and other debris.  Try cleaning heads or blowing out with canned air.

If you don't have a SATA drive connected, message regarding Fastrac controller is normal when it is enabled.  If it doesn't have a drive connected to it, controller BIOS is not loaded.

A BIOS update is probably not necessary and likely won't help.

When PC boots, how far into Windows do you get?  Any error messages?  Does PC reboot or lock up?

Dalton
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:MrBillisMe
ID: 13776099
I have that same MOBO and what willcomp says is true, that no fast track controller is the message you get when the SATA drive is NOT enabled. You didn't say if you tried the F8 start in safe mode. Recheck all the peripherals to and make they are plugged in right, like keyboard and mouse not switched, floppy plugged in, etc.
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Accepted Solution

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mysticaldan earned 1088 total points
ID: 13779149
Considering that your son would not have changed any BIOS settings I am inclined to think that this might be a motherboard problem and either he bent some pins while removing the drives or something like that.

Try and do a clean install. Its possible that drive order was changed leading to a corruption of the boot sector or something like that if the mobo is not bad that is. Try and delete all partitions and then go ant reloading windows again. Also make sur ethat inside the BIOS no extra componenets still exist like cdrom or floppy drive etc which u currently do not have. Reseat all cables firmly checkig for any damage. Also check that by chance he did not enable the jumper for failsafe BIOS on the board. Check the manual to see that. Try and reset the BIOS by removing the battery for abt 10 mins and then check.

Dan
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Author Comment

by:Ned_Kelly
ID: 13779444
The story so far, connecting as slave to my box I can see all partitions and data in d and e using partition magic.  I have changed the floppy drive and it now works,  I can load xp onto another drive ok but when I try with my son's drive it hangs at the point where setup is starting windows.
Using fdisk from the 98 startup disk, I can see part of the drive but not all of it.  I am still getting the original message ( no drive attached to the fastTrak controller, no bios installed.) that my son  now says has been there from when the computer was first new, even though the shop where it came from
said it did not matter as it was booting ok. I also reset the cmos.
Thankyou for your help.
REgards Ned
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Author Comment

by:Ned_Kelly
ID: 13779459
In the bios it still reads the drive ok when changing between drives.
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Expert Comment

by:mysticaldan
ID: 13780262
Looks like the partitiion Table/Boot sector is toast. The easiest way i can see to resolve this is to backup ur data and then delete and recreate all partitions again. After that it shud be easy and shudnt have this problem.

You can try and use Partition Magic to resolve if there is a problem but in any case if u are going to backup ur data then its better to start from scratch and redo the entire thing.

Dan
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Author Comment

by:Ned_Kelly
ID: 13781023
I seem to have lost the cd-rom and dvd drivers now and cannot get it to boot to cd.
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Author Comment

by:Ned_Kelly
ID: 13781052
is there a file I can copy from the disk that works to the one that doesn't to get it to boot up
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Author Comment

by:Ned_Kelly
ID: 13781564
Using a boot floppy I'm getting the message that ntldr is missing now
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Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 13783630
What is your boot order?

What kind of boot disk is providing ntldr missing error?  e.g. Win98 (real strange if so), WinXP boot floppy, XP CD

Are any drives connected via SATA and if so what drives to which SATA controller?

Appears XP installs OK on another hard disk.  Is that correct?

Need answers before going any further.

Dalton
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Author Comment

by:Ned_Kelly
ID: 13785858
downloaded a recue disk called BootMaster Plus, xp and 2000 rescue floppy, the first two options you get with that is the numbers 1 (dos) and 2 (nt), when you first press 2 it then tells you that ntldr is missing.
When I connect another hard drive to my son's system I can install xp to that system. When I put my son's drive into my own system it will install xp.
I then went and installed the standard generic ide drivers, so maybe I should do it for the cd-rom and then try putting it back in teh system.
Regards Ned
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 13786009
What I would recommend for problem drive is to connect it to another PC and backup data files.  Then diagnose and wipe hard disk using manufacturer's utility.  Samsung has one and it is available on their web site.  I don't recall what Samsung calls the disk reset utility, but what it does is write all 1's or 0's to the entire hard disk.  This procedure resets drive to factory state and removes all partitions.

Then re-install XP on the drive.  After XP install is finished, install drivers starting with chipset drivers and then video (if needed).  Install remaining drivers and then software.  Install one and only one CD/DVD burning program.

Wish I had more time, but literally have a ham to check on.

Dalton
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Expert Comment

by:mysticaldan
ID: 13788201
A CDROm/DVDROM does NOT need any drivers. Not to boot and not to work. Unless its one of those with independent IDE cards etc which is most likely impossible. What I would reccomend is to rest ur BIOS by removing the battery and leaving it for abt 1o mins. Resinsert the battery and then enter the BIOS. Set the date and time and other features like Boot sequence. Make sure ur primary bootup device is set to CDROm. With that insert ur XP CD and let the boot sequence proceed. AFter that the setup menu shud come up and u will need to do a clean installa nd not a repair install or an upgrade install.

Delete the listed partitions by pressing D till ur drive shows unpartitioned space. Then create at least one partition. Make it a FAT32 partition of say 30 GB and then proceed to format it and install windows.

Make sure that u have backed up the data on ur the hard disk prior to this. This would also be the safest way to eliminate any partition prblems etc. DO not try to take shorcuts of trying to restore this since the partition table or boot sector seems corrupt to me and is having incorrect pointers.

Dan
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Author Comment

by:Ned_Kelly
ID: 13833730
Hi Folks, I brought a new drive and copied my son's 65gb to the new drive on my system.  Now I cannot get my cdrom to work, even the win98 floppy wont read the cdrom.  All connections have been checked, the cmos has been reset, I have written 00 to the harddrive, the cdrom is found when the the system is booted but wont load the xp cd.  I have changed the boot sequence but nothing is working.
Thankyou for any help.
Regards Nedkelly
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 13835184
Try a different drive.  Good likelihood that drive has bitten the dust and that is only way to tell for sure.

Dalton
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:mysticaldan
ID: 13840352
Try a different XP CD as well just in case thois one has suffered some damamge. Sometimes the CD looks ok from the surface but is actually corrupted. If this is a recorded CD then i suggest that u make sure that its bootable and is a true 1:1 copy of the original CD else it wont work. Of course change the drive too and see as suggested above. It cud be a drive/cd mismatch.

Dan
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Expert Comment

by:MrBillisMe
ID: 13842595
If I understand this right, you have tested the hard drive, the cd-rom and the CD on your PC and they work as intended but they do not work on the ASUS800e MOBO.
Sure sounds like you are narrowing it down to a bad board.
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Author Comment

by:Ned_Kelly
ID: 13866010
Hi Folks, sorry for the lateness in replying.  I have finally reinstalled xp and partitioned the drive again, though it wont read the old cdrom but I am using one of mine.  My trouble is who to give the points to.
I have have decided to give the points to Dan, and would like to thank every body for your great help.  As always, everytime I have ever asked a question on Experts-Exchange I have always come away with complete satisfaction.
Cheers everybody,
Nedkelly
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