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New hard drive in Toshiba notebook PROBLEM

I have a notebook Toshiba Portege M400-S933 Tablet PC. It comes with a SATA drive and the BIOS can handle RAID. The original drive crashed so I bought a bigger and faster one: Hitachi 200GB 7,200rpms.

After physically installing the drive, I booted the notebook to install the OEM Toshiba recovery DVD. Within seconds I get this message telling me "HDD not initialized... restart and initiliaze HDD". I click on Yes and now I'm in a loop. Same message over and over. So I got inside the BIOS, and went to the last page (page #3). This page is for the RAID configuration on this notebook. The drive is reported, with correct size, model and brand. Status says OFFLINE. Above this it says drive is UNKNOWN. This is because the BIOS needs to know what RAID config it needs to use: JBOD, RAID0 or RAID1. I am trying to use the JBOD config obviously as it was before with the old drive. In order to do that I need to execute that command. This is where the fun begins: the BIOS warns me that the data will be destroyed, bla bla bla, etc. Then it asks: "Are you sure you want to do this? If Yes, press the key string written in manual". I looked in the manual everywhere. There is no such thing. I called Toshiba tech support, they told me I need to take it to a repair center. I asked them what the key string is, and they said they don't have that information. I called the third party authorized repair center. They never ran into this issue.

PLEASE HELP!! THis is nuts. Would I run into the same problem with an HP laptop? No. Toshiba is useless. The authorized repair center is doing its research as well. They have been nice and helpful. But the guy who wrote the BIOS for Toshiba should have the answer... right? :)

I tested the drive on a PC since it's a SATA drive. It is fine and no problem with the drive. Can be formatted, can be written to, etc. Toshiba authorized repair center said the size of the drive should not be a problem.

Model: Toshiba M400-S933
Part number: PPM40U-01000E
ACPI BIOS version: 3.40 (most recent BIOS version)

I checked Toshiba's website over and over. Nothing there either.
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fresnotek
Asked:
fresnotek
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1 Solution
 
PUNKYCommented:
You will need sata controller driver install using F6 at very begin of installation. Go Toshiba website download that driver for your laptop model, then copy to floppy disk.
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PUNKYCommented:
You might also need to reset bios to default.
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fresnotekAuthor Commented:
Maybe my post wasn't clear enough. This is not an OS issue. This problem lies before any OS is being booted. The problem is at the BIOS level and its configuration. That warning message I am getting is to prevent a user from erasing his data by accident (switching from JBOD to RAID). If I was going to try linux or whatever else, I wouldn't be able to because the drive is not "activiated" within the BIOS.

To confirm this, I tried the delpart application on a boot CD and sure enough it tells no drive found. The drive needs to be activated/initialized or however you want to call it within the BIOS first. That key string is some kind of code or password that I need to complete the initialization step.

By the way, I was wrong with the BIOS version. The most recent one is 3.60. It's updated to that version now. Still same problem, still same key string issue in the BIOS.

How would I reset the BIOS? I am asking because good luck to open those laptop nowadays. I would like to get some pointers on where the BIOS reset switch would be located or where I could find the RTC battery and manually remove in order to clear the BIOS.

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PUNKYCommented:
For Toshiba to access bios:
1. Turn on computer by Holding down power button while pressing the Esc key.
The machine will beep, then display:
Check System, then press [F1] key.
2. Release Esc key
3. Press F1 key
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MarkCommented:
The key string may be
[1][2][3][4] and then [Enter].
according to this Toshiba forum post
http://forums.computers.toshiba-europe.com/jive3/thread.jspa?threadID=16698
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fresnotekAuthor Commented:
Sparkmaker, you da man!! It works. THanks.
Now I have another problem... I can either switch to JBOD or 1RAID-0. The JBOD level doesn't let me recover the laptop with the recovery DVD. It still tells me that the HDD needs to be initialized. If I tried to go to 1RAID-0, it doesn't stick, it goes back to UNKNOWN status for the drive. I put the old drive in it and got back in the BIOS just to see and funny thing, it shows the drive ONLINE and udner the 1RAID-0 level. How is that possible?? So I'm stuck again.
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MarkCommented:
Check the jumpers on the hard drives are they set properly.
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fresnotekAuthor Commented:
Err..... jumpers on a SATA drive? Don't they exist only for power management or performance issues? I can't find any on that drive. It's for a notebook. Model number is HTS722020K9SA00 made by Hitachi. http://www.hitachigst.com/tech/techlib.nsf/products/Travelstar_7K200
It's a SATA 1.5Gbps drive.
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fresnotekAuthor Commented:
Sparkmaker,

I went to the Toshiba link you gave me and read more stuff there. Now it seems my problem is that I can't seem to set it to RAID-0 level which it needs to be according to this post there (even though like that guy said it doesn't make sense):
http://forums.computers.toshiba-europe.com/jive3/thread.jspa?threadID=22993&messageID=84609
(read towards bottom)

Anyways, it will take JBOD level but the RAID setting won't stick. It goes back to UNKNOWN. Now I'm wondering if the drive size is the problem.......
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MarkCommented:
Sorry missed the SATA section of your Q.
I was perusing the Hitiachi site and came across something called "HiTest Tool" which mentions initializing drives. You have to register for a copy of the tool but it maybe what you are looking for.
http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/support/download.htm#HITEST
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fresnotekAuthor Commented:
Yeah I got this tool already. Command line  stuff with no documentation or manual. I am waiting on a smaller drive (half) and see if that would work. I really think the drive size is the problem. I will keep you guys posted. Thanks again ALL for all your help.
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fresnotekAuthor Commented:
Ok, I just installed a 100GB SATA drive, Seagate, 7,200rpms with 8MB of cache. The BIOS took it and accepted it (ONLINE status). I rebooted, inserted the Toshiba recovery DVD to get it back to factory default and everything went well. No problem.

The 200GB size is the problem on that Hitachi drive. It is not documented anywhere on what maximum size that Toshiba laptop was going to take. And Toshiba USA customer service has always the greatest answer to any questions: "Go take it to a repair center".

I also ran an extensive scandisk on that 200GB Hitachi drive just to be sure and it came back clean and in good shape.
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MrPete_Commented:
I am going through a similar situation with a Seagate 7200.2 200GB drive. Some things recognize it, some do not.

First lesson: yes you CAN set it to 1RAID-0 -- but must use the 1234-enter code to get it to stick.
Second lesson: so far, copying partitions to the drive are NOT helpful in getting it to boot.
Third lesson: I was successful in using the recovery DVD to reinitialize the 200G drive, and yes it boots. Hooray!

I'm now going to attempt loading an existing partition on the drive (with Partition Expert / Disk Director) and see if it will now boot. If it does, then I will conclude the toshiba recovery process sets some bits somewhere to make the drive "more compatible" so to speak.
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