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hard disk detection problem while installing new os

Posted on 2008-10-16
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-05

we had some software issue and tried to run recovery disk but it stuck in half in the acer pc -
we tried bootable xp pro cd install but unable to detect hard disk
then after can boot from the hdd with errors
one FAT system partition is there of 4 GB
i connected to other pc - deleted old parttion but cant delete that FAT partition -

i created one primary partition and tried with same pc but no luck
message from installation is unable to detect any hard disk in the system

SATA HDD is there - what can be the problem

i think all hardware including HDD is fine soemthing with that primary FAt parttion

if someone can help me out
Question by:techsysnet
  • 2
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 22733619
Check your BIOS settings for sata "enhanced mode" or "compatibility mode" or "AHCI mode" and confirm that your setting is set to compatible, IDE, or AHCI-off. If this setting is enabled, the system needs a AHCI SATA driver to install windows, which will need to be introduced using a USB floppy drive. The easiest workaround is to disable this "advanced" mode.

If it's not that, the partition structure of the whole disk is probably messed up. In that case, you want to get the "Ultimate Boot CD" (linux version) or the "Ultimate Boot CD 4 Windows", boot off the cd, and use one of the partition utilites to wipe out all partition structure. Then you should be able to get Windows to install.
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 22733628
>> tried to run recovery disk but it stuck in half

but this makes me think that the hard drive may have gone bad. Once you get that bootable utility disk in there, I'd run full memory and hard drive tests.

Expert Comment

ID: 22733883
Hi techsysnet,
The fat partition you got on that hard drive is a recovery partition on which you have pre-installed windows that came with the pc. You should be able to delete this partition when you manage to enter the windows setup from the intall cd/dvd but i recommend you keep it as it's got the legitimate windows on it (unless you want to install another windows version).

Windows installation that you are trying to install doesn't have a sata controller driver in it therefor it can't see you hard drive.
There are couple of solutions like
1.slipstreaming windows installation CD/DVD and inserting that particular SATA driver in it with software like N-lite
2.if there is a option in BIOS to use the hard disk controller as a IDE one
3.downloading SATA driver for you PC model from acer's site and making a floppy with it and when the installation starts and you notice PRESS F6 .... on the bottom you press F6 to load the driver...

However it would be best to access the recovery within the fat partition, i can't find that particular model you stated on acer's site but i found that you can access the recovery partition pressing ALT+F10 in windows (if you can boot) or you could look at the bottom of the screen when the pc is starting up, it might say somewhere what key combination you should use to access the recovery.
If you have a manual with the PC you can look in it to find how to activate the recovery.

Hope this helps a bit,
LVL 26

Accepted Solution

PCBONEZ earned 2000 total points
ID: 22753714
I think the experts are guiding you on the right path to solve the most likely problem but there is another possibile problem.

If the drives are getting 'dirty' power (EMI, noise, static) they aren't going to work properly and that situation 'looks' like a hard drive problem. The usual cause of dirty power is bad capacitors in the power supply or on the motherboards. I brought this up because Acer has been known to use cheap and/or faulty capacitors on some of their boards. [There were some 'good brand' motherboard grade capacitors that were defective produced between mid 2001 and mid 2004. Because they were a 'good brand' almost every motherboard manufacturer was using them at the time even on high-end motherboards. These would be Nichicon brand HN and HM series caps. Also Chemicon KZG series caps have problems if right next to a heat source such as a CPU heatsink. (KZG's don't always bloat when they go bad.)]

The quick easy check for that is to simply inspect the motherboard and PSU for bloated or leaking capacitors. Not all bad caps bloat or leak but most that fail young on motherboards do.


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