The Hard Drive is Not detected in the BIOS

The  computer for my wife's sister came with the error message: (a) "No Operating System." Booting from floppy says:(b) "Windows 98 has detected that Drive C does not contain a valid FAT or FAT32 partition";  (c) "Some virus also cause drive C not to register (d) "the diagnostic tools were successfully loaded to drive C".
Formating C says (e) "Format not supported on drive C. Format terminated". Running Setup from CD-Rom says (f) "Can not create a temporary directory. If you have HPFS or NTFS on your drive you need to create MS-DOS boot partition",and that (g) "Setup cannot install Win 98 on your computer: Your computer does not have a hard drive, your harddrive is not functioning properly, or requires a special device driver. FDISK says (h) "No fixed disks present". Scandisk says (i) "Did not find any problems on drive C". Finally, (j) Drive C is detected as NONE in the Bios.
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fmsikaboAuthor Commented:
Additionally, drive C is not warm and does not run or make a small hissing sound when conneted to the Power. Other drives that I tested with make a hissing sound when connected to the power cable.
If the hard drive cannot be detected in the BIOS, you cannot boot an OS from it.  Your first priority is to find out why the drive is not detected - did you try going into the BIOS and trying to autodetect it?  Did you try installing it as a slave drive in another system and trying to access it?  If it can't be detected in the BIOS, it either failed or is close to failing.  You might be able to get data off it by connecting it as a slave drive and using GetDataBack from to try to read it.  It costs nothing to detect the data; you will have to pay for it to save the data.  Otherwise, a data recovery service is in order if the data is really important.
f-kingIT support technicianCommented:
Looks like hardware to me change the cable and use a different power connector
If that doesn´t work and Callandor´s suggestion does not work then you will have to change that drive
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Likely one of 3 problems (assuming you are hooking this up correctly):

1) Bad power supply or power connector.
2) Bad IDE controller or cable.
3) Failed hard drive.

I'd vote for #3.  Sounds like this drive has simply failed.  Recovery is very unlikely.  If it has valuable data on it, please plan on sending it to a professional data recovery company.  If not, just replace it with a new drive and re-install Windows.

But I would check the other possibilities also.  Did you try a different drive hooked to the PC also or just to the power cable?
If the drive doesn't even get warm and you don't hear it, it is definately possible the drive has failed.  If the drive is spinning up and you can't get into it, try using FDISK off your win98 boot disk instead of format.  If there is any partition that isn't a fat partition, ex NTFS, HPFS then your computer will not be able to format it anyway without using fdisk.

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Another thing to check before going and getting a new drive is to A) Check the BIOS for Autodetect as Callandor said. Another thing to check is B) Check the jumper settings.  I've had too many drives not detect because the jumper said slave, but the cable said master.  Finally, a third option to do is C) if you have another IDE cable available to you, try replacing the IDE cable to test for a faulty cable.  Perhaps the cable was just too old and one of the pins in the cable was degraded from age or perhaps it got twisted or jerked too hard when working inside the system at some point.

Another option, if you have access to high speed Internet, is to download a Live Linux cd.  If Linux detects your hdd then you can use the disk partitioning tool included with most distributions of Live Linux (I use Knoppix and know that it includes that).

Based on the information provided, my only conclusion is that the drive is (and, this is a very technical term..) "toast".   :-(
Is it are SATA hard-disk? If it is then it won't appear in the Standard CMOS Features along with the IDE drives. It should be located somewhere else in the BIOS.

If you are using a SATA, make sure to take the jumpers out as SATA drives don't need them.

I've had a similar problem in the past, could'nt re-format to re-install windows because of bad sectors. The only way I could think of to fix the problem was to erase the hard-drive, erasing all of the bad sectors. This allowed me to re-format then re-install windows without a problem.

Download HardDisk Erase here>>>

Give it a try, you might be surprised!

the hard drive is either not formatted or it is formatted with Linux or NTFS...etc  
just reformat the hd
DL a bootdisk onto another pc and create the bootdisk, you need to set the other PC's bios to boot from the floppy drive

unfortunately you can not use the win98 cd to format the drive like you can with the other MS OS's
fmsikaboAuthor Commented:
Dear Friends. I also suspect the drive to be somehow dead. But in technology we need to try all the possibilities. When I set it to AUTO in the BIOS, it records "Primary IDE.....". This is fine. But immideately after SAVING and Exiting BIOS, the configuration goes back to NONE. I am still at work. I will try all the proposals and will come back tommorow with some results - Thank you.
One thing to try if changing signal cable and power connector do not help.

Place drive in a zip lock bag, remove excess air, and place drive in freezer for several hours.  At times thermal contraction will allow a drive to run until it heats up.  If it does work when cold, retrieve your data as quickly as possible.
fmsikaboAuthor Commented:
Hello NEP1,

I Downloaded killdisk last Sunday. It has two KEY files. BUT How does it work? How do I access drive C on It. What I did was to start with the normal StartUP boot disk. In the process I reached at A:\> . From here I removed the STARTUP boot disk and re Inserted the KiLLDISK floppy. Next, I had to RUN KILLDISK. It ran well. BUT finally it only showed the contents or sectors of Drive A. I expected to see both Drive A and C to enable me to navigate from the A drive to C.  
I'll try KillDisk on my system now, will get back to you asap!

Just wondering, are you using a 40 or 80-pin IDE cable?
I once had a hdd running through a 40-pin with no problems then all of a sudden the hdd ceased to work! I changed the 40 with an 80 and everything was OK!
Do you have another drive? If so, plug it into the exact same IDE cable, with the exact same jumper settings, using the exact same power connector as your dead drive. If it has the same problems, it's probably either the IDE cable or the power supply.

Dushan De SilvaTechnology ArchitectCommented:
try to tied your hard drive.
You're correct, you should have seen both A and C. This is a positive sign that it's a hardware issue!

Have you tried changing the drives around to see if that helps? plugging the DVD/CD drive into the hdd IDE cable and vice-versa!

Set the hdd jumpers to Slave, the DVD/CD jumper to Master. Next goto Standard CMOS features to auto-detect, then to Advanced BIOS features. Set first-boot-device as DVD/CD, floppy as second boot, or vice-versa. Set hdd-0 to third boot and Enable Boot-Other-Device. The steps may vary according to your OS. Click F10 to save settings and restart the PC.

Are you using both DVD/CD drive and the hdd on the same IDE? Try putting the hdd on a separate cable, the IDE with the Blue-Connector preferably.

If that does'nt work, un-attach the DVD/CD drive and boot the killdisk to see if C drive appears now!

You can download a bootable version from here>>

Just run the file and follow the instructions!

Try re-configuring the cables and hardware somewhat, checking for any change during each boot.

Do you think a bad MB battery could cause this sort of problem?

Have you tried the hdd on another IDE cable? Maybe the cable your using now is bad. Try a new one, you can pick one up for about 50p.

Please let the experts know all your attempts and what you've tried so far to fix it. Make a list and post below.

If all else fails, willcomp's suggestion to freeze it could well work! it seemed to work when I tried it and I'd only cooled the hdd for 30mins or so.

Best of Luck - Don't give up!
Here's something that may give the Experts an idea as to what your problem is>>>

I have a friend who's BIOS would recognise the CD-RW, but after a reboot, then going back into Standard CMOS features the IDE that held the CD-RW had changed back to none. I would re-auto-detect for it and it would re-appear as the Primary-Master. Saving the settings then rebooting the PC would take me round in Loops.

Anyway, after Looping round in circles for a while, the settings would temporarily be saved. A week later my friend would ring telling me his computer would'nt boot, he'd noticed that the system had failed during a CD-burn.

There were 2 CD-drives installed, a CD-ROM and a CD-RW. So I un-attached the CD-Rom, went back into BIOS to correct it's settings, repaired windows and again all was OK for a couple of week untill it crashed again and would no longer boot back into windows.
This time while attempting to recover windows, I would hear a Click-Cluck sort of noise indicating that the hdd was bad, so I attached an old hdd which I had spare, re-attached his CD-ROM and took his hdd home to recover the data.

He has burnt hunders of CD's since and the system still seems to be running smoothly!

The problem He had sounds very similar to yours regarding the BIOS issue!
Does any of this mumbo-jumbo open-up any new idea's? Maybe not!

What's the make and model of your motherboard? I'll try to find if there're any driver updates for your BIOS, etc!
>>   When I set it to AUTO in the BIOS, it records "Primary IDE.....". This is fine. But immideately after SAVING and Exiting BIOS, the configuration goes back to NONE.   <<<  this can point to a dead bios battery, check it it should read 3 V - or replace it.
fmsikaboAuthor Commented:
Dear Expert friends, here are the outcomes of your proposals:
1. The IDE cable is Fine. I tried a band new one but it did not work.
2. I tried a different Drive hooked only to the power cable and it was spinning. I expect this drive also to spin even without BIOS configs.
3. FDISK registered an error message saying "No fixed disks present.
4. Reformating is not "supported by drive C".
5. I have NOT yet tried to freeze it. Will try to night.
6. NO DVD attached. But will try to set it to slave and the CDROM to master or hook it to another computer as slave and see what happens.
7. Will check motherboard model to night.
8. The time and date are perfect. If it was a battery problem I would need to reset the date. What do you think NOBUS and NEP1?? But I will try a new battery tonight and see.

So far, the problem continues.....
Just a note:  Freezing is sort of a last resort but works often enough (about 20% of the time in my experience) to be worth a shot.
>>  What do you think NOBUS   <<   i do not think, i measure and test...
Oh, regarding CMOS battery.  A weak battery can cause problems while still maintaing date and time.  I doubt that it's your problem but doesn't hurt to check.
Nobus, sorry about the duplication.  Not intentional (check times).
freezing the HD will not work in this case. Freezing only works on HDs that mechanically have changed,  The HD is not being detected so it is electronic. THE HARD DRIVE IS DEAD,,, GOOD GRIEF,,, GO OUT AND BUY A NEW ONE,,,AND BE DONE WITH IT.
..IF you are still inclinded to freeze the HD.
1. You get one chance, the hd will be ruined when it thaws
2. wrap it tightly in a plastic bag, to keep ice from forming
3. BEFORE putting in the freezer do a dry run, make sure the jumpers are  set , you have a copy of ghost ready to clone to another hd. ...etc
4. If it does fix it you have about 3 minutes or less from the time you take it out of the freezer
5. this procedure has only worked twice for me AND only worked on drives that could be detected, but could not read
6. once they start to thaw they slowly slip back to not readinf, onec the droplets of water form's over.
<<<Title: The Hard Drive is Not detected in the BIOS>>>

If you are using a Maxtor or Fujitsu hdd, then it may be worth your time to read on, if not then please skip past this post!

I've Google'd for this and come across>>>

From Expert:
Are you sure the jumpers are correct?
I've had some Hdd where the jumbers where the oppersite of the what the sticker appearently indicated. One of these was a Fujitsu.

From Author:
I tried to hook up the hard drive to my friend's PC and still no response. Also, there is no sound coming from the hard drive.

Try giving it a short,sharp tap with your knukles.
Did this to an hdd that was sitting for a couple of years and WHAMMO it workded!!
No problems with it in 6 months so far.

If you hear no startup, then you got the IDE cable reverse... make sure they line up for both of them, sometimes they need to be "flipped".

What does this mean Experts?
I know that some IDE cables can be plugged into the hdd upside down, aswell as the correct way. I always make sure that the red strip on the IDE is pointing towards me while connecting. Don't know if this has anything to do with the above though!

The MPF3204AH and MPG3204AH are known to be very broken in the electronics department. We had 100 drives replaced by our supplier. Once they break, they're permanently broken. I was Googling for HD firmware patches, but all I got was a huge list of pages describing the fault. Get your money back - your supplier should have been notified by Fujitsu. It's your *supplier's* job to sort this out with Fujitsu - not *yours*.
The 10G version of the drive has the same firmware. MPF- MPG3102 or something similar.

nep1 (me):
I would'nt recommend the above comment unless all else fails and before you decide to throw the hdd away. Not that I want you to throw it away! I'd like to carry on givng possible solutions, or to jog one of EE's memories or thought's into providing you a solution! At the end of the day, I'm gaining more knowlegde from the Experts by trying to assist you! Anyway, if you have'nt already skipped passed my this section due to bordom, please read on>>>

I don't know if you have the same model or not, it would be a big coincidence if you do!

We now have over 20 PCs with this problem and are waiting for a probable 70 to fail. There is a confirmed problem with these drives (confirmed to our PC manufacturer). They have arranged replacements for all of ours. Hope this helps.
Sometimes if you are lucky it will restart for short periods after being left over night as the problem may be associated with heat!! You may be able to get some of the data off if it does start up.

There seems to be some interesting comments made at the website what I'd found and I'd lke to read through them all. Fortunatly my mate's girlfriend has just given birth to a baby girl and we're all going to celebrate (Wet the baby's head)

If these comments apply to you, then please check the following link! "BIOS can not detect my hard drive">>>
If you read through my last comment. The line "I would'nt recommend the above comment" was relating to the knuckling your hdd!
Actually, refrigerating or freezing the drive will work with electronic failures in some cases.  Especially in cases such as his where drive is not spinning up.

I agree it is much more likely to work when drive is recognized.

Freezing drive does not necessarily render it inoperable after "thawing out."
I've rescued the data off one drive by using the freezer trick. It usually fails, at least for me, so don't get your hopes up. As far as rendering it inoperable when it's thawed out, since the freezing is a last resort, the drive's already inoperable.

Tapping the hard drive may help. I have seen it help. If the platters are stuck and won't spin, it might give it enough of a jolt to get them spinning again. Again, this is a last resort option, when you figure you have nothing to lose.

As far as this being mechanical or electronic, just because it doesn't show up in the BIOS doesn't mean it's not a mechanical problem. Some drives run a self-test on power up and will not report themselves if they fail the test.

The absolute last resort, though, would be this:

There's one other thing I thought of that might be worth trying. I didn't see this mentioned, though with all these comments, it's quite possible it's up there somewhere and I missed it. Anyway, with the case open, plug the drive into the power from the computer. While still holding the drive in your hand, turn the power on. Hold it up to your ear. If you feel nothing when you turn it on and hear nothing when you hold it to your ear, then it's probably not a stuck platter, since you should hear or feel *something.* It's quite possible that it's the circuit board.

What brand and model of drive is this? I've actually seen a Maxtor drive that had the ribbon cable that runs from the circuit board to the motor disconnected. So, check all the connectors between the board and the rest of the drive to make sure nothing's loose.

Obtain a suitable floppy boot disk from
Be certain that it contains both Fdisk and Format.
Insert and type Fdisk at the prompt.
Examine your C: partitions. Be certain that your primary partition is ACTIVE
Exit Fdisk.
Type sys C:  from the A: prompt.
Type mbr /f   from the A: prompt.
Remove the floppy disk and reboot and see what happens.

If no joy, do this:
Remove the computer case, pull out the hard drive and write down the specifications related to C/H/S and (possibly) the precomp zone.
Connect the HD back up, close the case, and boot into BIOS setup.
Navigate to the HD in BIOS and select manual configuration and place the C/H/S values as prompted.
SAVE changes and EXIT to Windows.
If this works, then your CMOS battery needs replacement.
fmsikaboAuthor Commented:
I choose to CLOSE this question for comments. I have tried all proposals and my conclusion is that this drive is DEAD. Thank you for your kind efforts. I will divide the points according to closeness to the answer. Those who mentioned that the drive is dead, as well as those who provided clues to verify and confirm this, will get a share tomorrow. Thank you once again.
fmsikaboAuthor Commented:
I tried to be as fair as possible. Your comments were very helpful in my diagnotic process of the problem. I felt that Jimsz's argument need to be accepted because that was also my primary hypothesis to the problem. If the hard drive is not detected and is also not spinning when connected to the power then it is indeed dead. Yes, there are other reasons but Jimsz's argument is basic and simple to start with.
I do not understand the "C" grade given here, especially given the large amount of participation by multiple individuals trying to help you out?

Please read this withregards to EE grading:

Although we use an A-D scale here at Experts Exchange, it works differently than, say, school grades. If one or more Experts' proposals are accepted as answers, they should usually be given an A or B grade, since they have taken the time to provide you with a working solution. If a possible solution is incomplete - ask for clarification or details before accepting the answer and grading it. People should not be given lower grades because of incorrect grammar or because you just accepted their answer or comment to close the question. Keep in mind, your question and any follow-up comments should be focused so that there can be a specific answer. The following is a good guideline to follow when grading:

A: The Expert(s) either provided you with a thorough answer or they provided you with a link to information that thoroughly answered your question. An "A" can also be given to any answer that you found informative or enlightening beyond the direct question that you asked.

B: The Expert(s) provided an acceptable solution, or a link to an acceptable solution, that you were able to use, although you may have needed a bit more information to complete the task.

C: Because Experts' reliability are often judged by their grading records, many Experts would like the opportunity to clarify if you have questions about their solutions. If you have given the Expert(s) ample time to respond to your clarification posts and you have responded to each of their posts providing requested information; or if the answers, after clarification, lack finality or do not completely address the issue presented, then a "C" grade is an option. You also have the option here of just asking Community Support to delete the question.

Remember, the Expert(s) helping you today is probably going to be helping you next time you post a question. Give them a fair chance to earn an 'Excellent!' grade and they'll provide you with some amazing support. It's also true that a "C" is the lowest grade you can give, and the Experts know that -- so use it judiciously.

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