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No fixed disks found when installing Windows 98SE

Posted on 2006-11-14
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Last Modified: 2011-10-03
Hello,
I am trying to replace a failing hard drive on an older Gateway 466c (S/N 0014623798). Replaced it today with a 40gb Seagate drive (same jumper config, which was Master). I replaced it then powered on, pressing F1 to enter BIOS, "Entering Setup..." was then displayed. After 30 seconds I get two short beeps and receive this error:   "B: Drive error.  Press F1 to resume". If I press F1, the next screen flashes two drives detected (A and B, both are 2.88MB 3.5"). I tried disconnecting the floppy drive (A) from the motherboard and power source. When I do this and boot up, I get the same beeps but two errors (A and B both).

I tried using FDISK on a bootable floppy to partition and format the drive. I receive a an error that "No fixed disks detected". I tried launching the Windows 98SE setup from command line, but after a few prompts it errors stating to the same effect (no drive detected).

I've tried the following:

- Using the motherboard jumpers, tried Normal, Config and Recovery (CMOS)
- Rechecked jumpers on disk
- Removed CMOS battery for 10 minutes

To sum it up, the system seems to be trying to detect a "B" drive and there is no secondary 2.88MB 3.5" drive, only the 3.5" 1.44MB floppy. I cannot seem to gain access to BIOS due to the errors above and I cannot reset BIOS using the above steps. When I tried installing Windows or running FDISK, neither can detect the hard drive.

Any ideas or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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Question by:lukepb
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:phototropic
ID: 17945006
Check the IDE cable connection between the drive and the mobo. Is it the only device on the Primary header - i.e. Primary Master? Are you sure the drive is good? Can you test it in another pc?
If it is "... older Gateway 466c ...",  the PSU should also be suspect. Try to replace it with a known good unit.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 17945123
probably a bad disk, DOA.
As said : try another ide cable, connect it to the other ide port for testing.
Or test the drive in another PC
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Expert Comment

by:burrcm
ID: 17945675
You need to jump into the bios and run the HDD detect. The problem is, the BIOS thinks the old disk is still there, but can't find it. Once the bios sees the new drive, you should have no problem.

Chris B
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Author Comment

by:lukepb
ID: 17951735
Thanks for the replies. I have tried the new drive along with two other working drives. The IDE cables are firmly connected and it is the primary header/master.

As for BIOS, it is not allowing me access to change any settings. When I try pressing the F1 key to enter setup, it shows "Entering Setup....", then the next screen I get the two beeps and the B: Drive not detected error. I have also tried using the motherboard jumpers to clear, config and recover CMOS and also removed the CMOS battery for 10 minutes. No dice yet.

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Expert Comment

by:burrcm
ID: 17953715
Try booting with no drives connected. Sometimes this will take you to BIOS. If it does, set it the drives to auto, shut down and reconnect.

Chris B
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Expert Comment

by:burrcm
ID: 17953726
p.s. You did have it unplugged from the power while the battery was out? Do it again, but leave it overnight. Sometimes the caps can take a few hours to run down.

Chris B
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 17953996
did you try it on the other ide cable, as i asked?
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Expert Comment

by:phototropic
ID: 17954087
Take a look at this:

http://www.hitachigst.com/tech/techlib.nsf/techdocs/85256AB8006A31E587256A7800700048/$file/dtla_com2.pdf

Note 1 on page 3 refers to older Award BIOS releases having problems such as you describe with HDD larger than 33.8Gb.  Do you have an Award BIOS ?
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Author Comment

by:lukepb
ID: 17957277
Thanks for the replies. I have tried different IDE cables and also tried a PCI IDE card. I removed the battery for over 24 hours with the power cable disconnected. Yes, I believe this is the old award bios. I have also tried the failing hard drive to see if that would work and tried using a 10Gb drive - still nothing.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 17957980
it should recognise the drive, maybe not the correct size, but should show in the bios.
the fact that it does not show in the bios, indicates :
1-bad drive
2-bad cable, connector, or controller.
3-bad bios
-4-bad ram.
>>  I have tried different IDE cables <<  not what i meant : "connect it to the other ide port for testing." see previous post - you may have to disconnect the cd drives
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Author Comment

by:lukepb
ID: 17961773
Thanks for the reply. I have tried the different ide port just now (miss that ealier sorry), but still nothing. I will check the RAM in a few minutes, I think I have a compatible stick hopefully.
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Author Comment

by:lukepb
ID: 17962721
Ok. To update this I have tried the following

1. Different hard drives (replacing for known working drives, one under 10GB)
2. Replaced cable, connected to secondary controller and also tried a PCI controller card (Rosewill w/ onboard chipset)
3. ?
4. Tried a different stick of known working memory. Same results.

For #3, I am not sure what to do if it's a bad BIOS?

Thanks!
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Accepted Solution

by:
nobus earned 1500 total points
ID: 17963381
you can contact Gateway for it, or try one ofthese :
http://www.recoverybios.com/                              replace bios
http://www.badflash.com/                                        "          "
http://bioschips.nlan.org/                                    bad bios chip
http://www.unicore.com/                                    Bios upgrade
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