We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Hard Drive Can't be Detected

Marina2006 asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I just added a new hard drive to a first generation P4 motherboard I had for my niece. This was put together by a technician but as I have experience installing OS on a clean drive I decided to do the software installation myself.

My installation ran smoothly initially I was able to create a partition do a NTSF format and install Windows XP. It went so far as rebooting the system to the point of the initial Windows XP screen at which point it froze.

I rebooted several times and it got a little further to the next screen where the remainder of the Windows installation begins and again froze.

When I turn the system off then restart it boots from the DVD drive without being prompted by me and goes back into the very first setup screen and when I elect to reinstall Windows I am told that the Hard drive cannot be detected and I should run a diagnostic tool.

Does anyone know what this is happening and what I can do to fix it and where I can download a diagnostic tool.
Watch Question

Irwin SantosComputer Integration Specialist

what kind of hardrive do you have installed?


You may have to update you motherboard BIOS.. can you provide the manufacturer & model number please?
Is the drive a SATA drive or IDE? If it's SATA you may have to install drivers during the Windows install: press F6 and be ready with a diskette. What 's the make & model of your motherboard?

As the installation freezes at different points: implies you may have a Ram problem, try running a memory test: www.memtest.org - you can download a bootable image for CD or diskette

Not the solution you were looking for? Getting a personalized solution is easy.

Ask the Experts


Thank you I will run the memory test, additional details as follows:

1. The Motherboard is Intel D850GB
2. Also added RD Ram (did this myself may have gotten it wrong even though I followed manual).

as your using RDRAM have you filled the remaining memory slots with continuity rimm's? http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=799&page=3

I meant "you're" of course - there should be a spell and grammer check on this forum!
Irwin SantosComputer Integration Specialist
Got the lastest BIOS update?

The specifications on the motherboard state that only ATA IDE is involved

Now if you have an SATA drive..you must have the SATA controller. therefore.. you need to install the SATA drivers.. as described by smiffy13


I'm a little confused by that websites diagram I have four slots. The original had 2 x 64mg I removed the 2 continuity rimms from the remaining slots and inserted 2 x 128mg (Samsung which is compatible).

I also downloaded the memtest.org memory test unzipped it and copied to a floppy. When I rebooted I received a Non System Disc error. As it appears to be booting from the DVD drive I copied it to a DVD and tried the same thing to no avail another error message.

When I used F6 on start up I received a Keyboard error message and it then proceeded to the Windows XP screen.

I'm using a KVN switch is this a problem?

The computer was put together today. New case, DVD Drive, floppy drive, modem, video card, PCI card and USB panel and OLD memory board and processor and old sound card. (seemed like a good idea at the time, clearly a false economy)
Irwin SantosComputer Integration Specialist

remove the kvm till install is complete


I wasn't given any SATA drivers can I download them?
Irwin SantosComputer Integration Specialist

what came package with your SATA Seagate...there was a controller card right?  What is the model number?
OK - I'll try and address each issue sequentially:

try using your 2 x 128 rimms with the continuity rimms (256mb is enough to install W/XP) to rule out incomptable problems between your 64 & 128 mb rimms

I can't explain why you can't boot from the memtest iso's, I've done both from diskette and CDR without any issue: booting from a dvdr is not necessary, a cdr would have been ample for this. Are you burning an image or are just copying the image? What software are you using to create the cd? If Nero, you need to take the option "burn image to disk" rather than the create data cd option.

Keyboard error - huh? are you using one of the MS keyboards that require you to enable F keys? or this could be related to the KVM, try connecting the the KVM directly rather than through the switch. If you still get the problem - have you got another keyboard you can try?

The SATA drivers are usually on the cd that came with your motherboard, look there first.
Irwin SantosComputer Integration Specialist
@smiffy13.. there is no SATA on the 850GB motherboard

ahh - hence your query about the controller card, so the controller card should have come with a disk/diskette.. right?
Irwin SantosComputer Integration Specialist



Tried the motherboard disc and got Drive Not Ready - System Halted message.

Swapped keyboard still getting Keyboard error when I try F6.

No controller card diskette (must have left it at store).

The reason I used DVD was simply because I have only one DVD drive (does both CD and DVD) using Nero.

Is it worth removing the 2 x 64 mg memory to check compatibilty or should I return to the technician on Monday I don't seem to have all that I need and I am clearly out of my depth this is going to be a very long.............. process.


In fact I have decided to send back the memory I was advised that I could and have my very patient technician/ supplier convert my purchase into one of his fantastic deals.

Thankyou all for your assistance.
Irwin SantosComputer Integration Specialist

cool thank you.
Access more of Experts Exchange with a free account
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Create a free account to continue.

Limited access with a free account allows you to:

  • View three pieces of content (articles, solutions, posts, and videos)
  • Ask the experts questions (counted toward content limit)
  • Customize your dashboard and profile

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.