Safe to investigate 'failed' hard drive in its original home?

Posted on 2006-04-13
Last Modified: 2010-04-25

  No expert here, but I know I am among them.

I took out my HP desktop's secondary hard drive, a Western Digital 400B, and put it into an older computer whose hard drive and floppy I had just destroyed - or so I believe. Again got the message 'Primary hard drive fail' for the Western Digital as booting. Whether this is my fumbling of a cable or I've really fried things I do not know.  But am wondering if it is safe for my HP to reattach the 400B into my HP and try to examine it, and possibly work on it, from there? (Or could I  be asking for trouble just by trying this?)

Question by:BobFilak
    LVL 28

    Expert Comment

    If you pulled a slave drive and placed it into the other pc without changing the jumper to master, then the system would correctly advise Primary hard drive fail - as it wouldn't exist. Why do you think you have damaged the original drives?

    Chris B
    LVL 69

    Accepted Solution

    If the drive was originally a second hard drive and you installed it as a primary drive in another machine, it is no wonder that you got the "Primary hard drive fail" message.  First of all, it's a different machine, and if you are running WinXP or Win2K, the hardware abstraction layer will complain about the change and probably not boot.  Secondly, the drive was probably not set up as an OS drive to be booted from, so installing it in that position will fail.  You should be able to install it back as a secondary drive and use it.
    LVL 26

    Expert Comment

    As to the actual question you asked: Yes it's safe to put it back.
    LVL 26

    Expert Comment

    You have several things going on in the other system.

    First, some older systems can't handle 40 Gig drives.
    Next you have to jumper the drive correctly.
    Next, if you want to boot from it:
    - You need to set the primary partition as active.
    - You need to have an operating system 'installed' on the drive. (Not just the files, it needs to be installed.)

    Write Comment

    Please enter a first name

    Please enter a last name

    We will never share this with anyone.

    Featured Post

    Find Ransomware Secrets With All-Source Analysis

    Ransomware has become a major concern for organizations; its prevalence has grown due to past successes achieved by threat actors. While each ransomware variant is different, we’ve seen some common tactics and trends used among the authors of the malware.

    Suggested Solutions

    Article by: SHIELD1
    The 5 R's 1. Repair 2. Restore 3. Reinstall 4. Remote admin 5. Run away OK so I'm not the most skilled engineer around but I definitely have an abundance of experience: electronic repairs since I was 13 and PC and computer hardware repair…
    How can this article save you time AND money?  In just a few minutes you may discover something you didn't know existed that is easy enough for you to fix yourself!
    In this sixth video of the Xpdf series, we discuss and demonstrate the PDFtoPNG utility, which converts a multi-page PDF file to separate color, grayscale, or monochrome PNG files, creating one PNG file for each page in the PDF. It does this via a c…
    Illustrator's Shape Builder tool will let you combine shapes visually and interactively. This video shows the Mac version, but the tool works the same way in Windows. To follow along with this video, you can draw your own shapes or download the file…

    759 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    10 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now