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Slave drive not visible in Windows Explorer (XP)

Posted on 2007-03-30
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I have a  Windows XP Pro (SP2) on a 2.8 GHz dual core machine with 512 MB RAM (new as of 3 months ago).

I have an extra hard drive (from my previous PC) set up as a slave that I use for: 1) back up of critical files from my C: drive (this is partitioned as F:); and 2)  the bulk of my Virtual Memory PageFile.sys  (this is partitioned as G:). All drives are set up as Basic NTFS. For some reason, this slave drive is not visible in Windows Explorer unless I do a cold boot – if the system is just restarted, it does not see this drive (and my PageFile is not properly set up either).

I appreciate any insights.

Jeff

Jeff
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Question by:jeffreywsmith
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27 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:jannepm
ID: 18826271
Can you see the second added harddrive always in the BIOS? Or is it also visible after cold boot?

Can you view the drive in the Windows Disk Management?
Start, right-click on My Computer => Manage => Disk Management

If you have "Quick Boot" enabled in BIOS, please try disabling this: that will get your HDD little time to wake up before booting to OS:
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Expert Comment

by:KCTS
ID: 18827198
Is this 'salve drive' a usb disk or a hot swapable device?
When is it disappearing? Presumably as it is recognesed on a cold boot it is there when you switch the PC on?
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Author Comment

by:jeffreywsmith
ID: 18827399
Hi jannepm & KCTS & thanks for logging in on this.

> Can you see the second added harddrive always in the BIOS? Or is it also visible after cold boot?

If I do a restart, the slave drive (F: & G: partitions) is not visible in the BIOS - This is what I see:

Channel 0 - Master - This is the  DVD-RW
                 - Slave - None
Channel 1 - Master - None
                 - Slave - None
Channel 2 - Master - This is my main 160 GB drive, partitions C: & D:
                 - Slave - None

The slave drive is also not visible in Windows Explorer.

> Can you view the drive in the Windows Disk Management?

The slave drive is also not visible in Disk Management on a restart.

> If you have "Quick Boot" enabled in BIOS, please try disabling this: that will get your HDD little time to wake up before booting to OS:

I didn't see anything called "Quick Boot" but I did see something called "Gate A20 Option" which was set to "Fast" - I changed it to "Normal" but it did not change the above results.

If I do a Shut Down, though, and leave the PC off for a minute and power back on, the slave drive is now visible.

Jeff
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Author Comment

by:jeffreywsmith
ID: 18827403
> Is this 'salve drive' a usb disk or a hot swapable device?

This is a 40 GB hard drive I had in my previous PC.

> When is it disappearing? Presumably as it is recognesed on a cold boot it is there when you switch the PC on?

It is there if I do a cold boot, but if I just do a restart, it then disappears.

Jeff
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 18828121
i know there are some boards with 3 ide channels - is this one of them?
on what channel should it appear ?
maybe updating the bios can help
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Author Comment

by:jeffreywsmith
ID: 18828870
Hi Nobus - thanks for your thoughts here.  I am not sure how to tell if this is one of them ... can you clarify what you mean by 3 idle channels?

I'll see what I can find out about updating the BIOS - some other things are making me suspicious about the BIOS anyway ...

I'll report back.

Jeff
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Expert Comment

by:usacadena
ID: 18830858
right click "my computer"
select manage
select disk management
Either reactivate disk or assign it a drive letter or format.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 18831263
Channel 0 - Master - This is the  DVD-RW
                 - Slave - None
Channel 1 - Master - None
                 - Slave - None
Channel 2 - Master - This is my main 160 GB drive, partitions C: & D:
                 - Slave - None
that is what you posted - maybe YOU should clarify what yopu mean with this ?
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by:jeffreywsmith
ID: 18834237
usacadena:

> right click "my computer"
> select manage
> select disk management
> Either reactivate disk or assign it a drive letter or format.

When I can see the drive in Disk Management, the 2 partitions are already assigned Drive letters F: & G: (but the drive is only visible there if I do a power down, leave the PC off for a minute, and then do a cold boot; if I do a restart, the drive is not visible in the BIOS, in Disk Manager or in Windows Explorer).

nobus:

> that is what you posted - maybe YOU should clarify what yopu mean with this ?

Clarifying:

On a Restart, the slave drive (F: & G: partitions) is not visible in the BIOS - This is what I see in the BIOS:

IDE Channel 0 - Master - [HL-DT-ST DVD-RW_GSA-]              (This is my DVD-RW drive)
IDE Channel 0 - Slave - None  **
IDE Channel 1 - Master - None
IDE Channel 1 - Slave - None
IDE Channel 2 - Master - Hitachi      (I didn't write down all of the description here, but this is my main 160 GB drive, partitions C: & D:
IDE Channel 2 - Slave - None

The slave drive is also not visible in Windows Explorer or in Disk Management on a restart.

** = On a cold boot, the BIOS reports the specs for my Slave Drive on the line for "IDE Channel 0 - Slave"
(instead of "None" as shown above)

Also, on a cold boot, the Slave Drive is now visible in Disk Management and in Windows Explorer as Drives F: & G:.

Jeff


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Accepted Solution

by:
usacadena earned 250 total points
ID: 18834309
Sounds like that slave drive is on its way out.  

Why not just try hooking up 1 drive, just the drive with the F/G partitions, and see if the biose detects it then after every reboot. You can also download free from the manufacturel;s website a hard drive confidence test to test the drive for bad sectors and things like that.

Also try switching out the IDE cable it might be bad....then

Have both drives set to 'auto-detect' in BIOS. Have the primary drive on the end connector of the drive cable and its 'jumper' set to the 'master' position. Have the secondary drive on the middle connector of the drive cable, and its jumper set to 'slave'. If that's any different to the configuration you already had, does it improve the drive detection? (I don't like 'cable select' settings, and don't use them.)


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Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 250 total points
ID: 18834708
so you do have a 3 IDE channel system
you can try to hook the problem drive to another channel, to be sure; or test it with the manufacturers test :
http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/support/download.htm                  Drive Fitness Test
http://www.maxtor.com/en/support/products/index.htm                  Maxtor & Quantum
http://www.fcpa.fujitsu.com/support/hard-drives/software_utilities.html#diagnostic Fujitsu
http://www.samsung.com/Products/HardDiskDrive/utilities/shdiag.htm      Samsung
http://www.seagate.com/support/seatools/index.html                  Seagate
http://support.wdc.com/download/#diagutils                        Western Digital
http://www.hgst.com/hdd/support/download.htm#DFT                  IBM & Hitachi             
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Author Comment

by:jeffreywsmith
ID: 18840846
Ok, I downloaded the Windows Diagnostic tools from the Western Digital link nobus provided and ran both the Quick Pass and Extended Tests on the Slave drive - Reported a "Pass" on both tests.

usacadena:
> Have both drives set to 'auto-detect' in BIOS.

This is the current setting for both drives.

I'll open the box tomorrow and try switching channels as both of you suggested (and/or try a different IDE cable but this one is less than 3 months old).

I'll report back with results.

Jeff
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 18841597
did you try connecting it to another channel ?
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Author Comment

by:jeffreywsmith
ID: 18848434
Ok - I was a little confused by the BIOS reporting all of the hard drive info under headings of:

IDE Channel 0,
IDE Channel 1 or
IDE Channel 2

... which led me to think they were all IDE drives but the drive that came with the new PC is a SATA (whereas the old [Slave] drive is on an IDE cable). Anyway, came to find out that the Master drive was connected to an intermediate connection on the SATA cable instead of the end connection.  I switched it to the end position ... and now the slave drive is visible as it should be (yea!).

Thanks for everyone's help. I'm splitting points between usacadena and nobus as both of you were barking up the same tree, I think and both helped me understand what I needed to do here.

Jeff
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 18848885
>>   Anyway, came to find out that the Master drive was connected to an intermediate connection on the SATA cable instead of the end connection.  I switched it to the end position ... and now the slave drive is visible as it should be (yea!).    <<   seems you are mixing up things : SATA cables do NOT have intermediate connectors, they are made for 1 drive
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by:jeffreywsmith
ID: 18860909
Well, I'd be the first to admit I could be mixing things up, nobus.  What I assume is an IDE cable is the approximately 2 inch wide grey ribbon cable extending from a motherboard connection to the CD-ROM and to my old 40 GB hard drive.  This cable is not connected to the 160 GB hard drive (I assumed this was a SATA drive because that's what appears on my invoice); instead, it has a black two-wire connection and a 4 wire (red, yellow & two black) connection. I was a little confused by the fact that the male power connection on the lower right rear of the drive was not connected to anything so I concluded that one of the other connections I described was providing the power and when I saw that the 4 wire connection was not on the end of the cable, I swapped it around and that seemed to do the trick (I didn't really take the time to see where it led - I just swapped it around).  On closer examination, the 4 wire connection runs to the power supply (even though it connects in a different place on the drive and with a different connector than I'm used to seeing) so that is the cable I swapped around that seemed to provide the cure (and not the SATA cable which you correctly described as a single connection).

Jeff
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by:nobus
ID: 18862762
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by:jeffreywsmith
ID: 18866454
Those illustrations confirm what I indicated in my last post. I still don't understand what the white male connector on the lower right rear of the drive is for (it's not connected to anything in my system and that's where I'm used to seeing the power supply connection).

Does it make sense that the SATA drive had to be connected to the last connection on the cable in order for it to be reliably recognized?  Or was it just likely that the original (intermediate) connection was loose, and it would have worked if I had ensured it was a tight connection?

Jeff
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 18868824
>>  SATA drive had to be connected to the last connection on the cable   <<   again, there is only 1 connector on a sata cable !
>>  I still don't understand what the white male connector on the lower right rear of the drive is    <<   if you post a pic of the drive and connector, or the disk model, then i have a peep at it
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by:jeffreywsmith
ID: 18869829
nobus:

I'm sorry - I'm not doing a very good job of explaining here:

RE: "Does it make sense that the SATA drive had to be connected to the last connection on the cable in order for it to be reliably recognized?  Or was it just likely that the original (intermediate) connection was loose, and it would have worked if I had ensured it was a tight connection?" - I meant this comment in relation to the power adapter cable, not the SATA cable.

RE: " I still don't understand what the white male connector on the lower right rear of the drive is" - my mistake here (again) - this should read:

"I still don't understand what the male connector on the lower right rear of the drive is (it's not connected to anything in my system and that's where I'm used to seeing the white female power supply cable connect)."  Further in this regard, these are the specs on my hard drives:

HITACHI_HDS721616PLA380 (this is the 160 GB SATA drive)

WDC_WD400EB-00CPF0 (this is the 40 GB IDE drive that has been having the problems.

I also spoke too soon, thinking my problem had been solved because the IDE drive had been through a few restart cycles and was visible each time.  However, yesterday, the problem surfaced again with the drive not visible on a restart ... yet it showed up on a cold boot.  This morning, I replaced the IDE cable as usacaden had suggested, and so far, it's recognized the drive on a restart, but it's only been through one cycle.

Have to see if the fix sticks this time.

Jeff
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 18871719
regarding the power cable connection, you can connect the drive anywhere; if not, look for a faulty connector
>>  what the male connector on the lower right rear of the drive is   <<  on which drive ?
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Author Comment

by:jeffreywsmith
ID: 18874083
>> >>  what the male connector on the lower right rear of the drive is   <<  on which drive ?

This is on the HITACHI_HDS721616PLA380 (the 160 GB SATA drive).

Jeff
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by:nobus
ID: 18874552
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by:jeffreywsmith
ID: 18892362
Yes, nobus - that is exactly what I am seeing - thanks for clarifiying that.

BTW,  I have several other ongoing issues I'm researching (mostly STOP messages or Outlook closing unexpectedly) - anyway, in my travels concerning same, I came across this post at:

http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic44306.html

"You want to check how many volts your PSU is putting out on the various “rails”. There is the 3.3v, the 5v and the 12v and the readings shouldn't deviate more than 5 or 6%. Note, this 5-6% rule only applies to the +3.3v, +5v and +12v rails (not the negative rails)."

Using SpeedFan (http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php), I am consistently getting a reading of 4.86V on the 12 volt rail (a deviation of nearly 60% from spec). I don't know everything that runs off the 12 volt rail, but I am wondering whether this could affect any of the issues I am seeing here or is otherwise a cause for concern. Again, the PC is less than 3 months old so I wouldn't expect to find problems with the PSU - but still, could this issue be responsible for some of these things I'm seeing?

Jeff
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 18896065
if your 12 V goes down under 5 V, it would not run anymore.  (cpu, disk, cd)
So possibilities are :
 - bad reading or sensor
 - unused 12 V rail
If you have so much problems, it is worth checking your power needs here :
http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculator.jsp      
or just try another power supply

alternatively, with many problems, i would ask for a warranty replacement / repair
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Author Comment

by:jeffreywsmith
ID: 18902344
I am beginning to think checking on a warranty replacement / repair may be in order (although I'm kind of dreading starting all over again).

In the meantime, the only "extra" devices I am running on the 300W PSU that weren't "in the box" is the slave drive which is rated at a maximum of 20 watts and a USB modem which can't draw much. That said, would you think there is still a need to run through the psucalculator exercise?

Jeff
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 18903785
it is always a good thing to do - you will be astonished as to what power a cpu, mobo and ram can take . . .then you do not have to guess if it is enough.
NOTE : the power supply can be bad also, from the start . .
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