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No drives found

Posted on 2009-06-30
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Last Modified: 2013-12-29
When starting, no beep codes sound.  Then MBR not found.  In CMOS Hard drive not installed, CD not installed.  Hard drives not recognizes.  Is this a failed BIOS?
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Question by:ssharril
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Expert Comment

by:Eirman
ID: 24751175
It's more likely to be cables rather than the bios

Power down and disconnect and reconnect the ide cable(s) and the power cables
That has worked many times for me. If it does work and it happens again, replace the ide cable
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by:John Hurst
ID: 24751202
If the above does not work, then the next most likely cause is a failed hard drive.
... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:ssharril
ID: 24751395
I had already checked all cables and replaced.  There are 2 hard drives and 1 CD that is not recognized.  I thought it was unlikely that all cables would be bad, and their replacement did not change the situation.
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by:SectorX4
ID: 24751436
Disconnect all other devices (USB, DVD/CD readers, etc) and connect the HD to the primary channel with the jumper on primary (sometimes there is no jumper for primary) and then reset the CMOS jumper to reset the bios.

If you have no luck change to the second IDE channel (if you have a newer mobo you might not have one) and try again.

If you still have no luck try another Hard Disk if you have one spare or listening for any audile clicking or a spin up (during post) to a quick power down (after post) as this could indicate a bad drive.

Also if you have another PC then try the Hard Disk in there, otherwise a USB enclosure which can be hooked up to a friend's PC to determine if the drive is dead.
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Accepted Solution

by:
_ earned 1000 total points
ID: 24751816
Sounds more like the IDE controller might have died (assumming this is an older system since you are running ME).
See if you can beg or borrow a PCI IDE addon card, if this bios lets you boot from one.

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by:Goldsim
ID: 24752577
I agree with SectorX4.  If there is 2 hard drives in on IDE it is likely to be a master\slave issue, caused by wrong jumper settings.
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by:Goldsim
ID: 24752584
Just realised everyone has failed to ask the questions;

Is there an OS installed on the HDD?
If so was it installed on the same machine?
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Assisted Solution

by:noxcho
noxcho earned 1000 total points
ID: 24752874
Goldsim, even if there is no OS installed the BIOS must see the drives.

ssharril, do you mean by CMOS the BIOS of the machine? Please press Del when machine starts and enter the BIOS. See there in hardware section if the Hard Drives are detected at all.
If not, and the cables are replaced with new one (still problems?) your IDE\SATA controller is dead.
This means you need to replace the motherboard.
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by:Goldsim
ID: 24752920
It says MBR bot found. Not drive not found.
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by:Goldsim
ID: 24752921
*not found
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by:noxcho
ID: 24752940
quote: "in CMOS Hard drive not installed, CD not installed.  Hard drives not recognizes".
Sure if there is no HDD then no MBR, IMHO.
But still let's wait till ssharril answers my question.
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by:nobus
ID: 24753106
what motherboard are we talking about ?  please post some specs
what happened before?  anything replaced, or updated
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by:nobus
ID: 24753109
what motherboard are we talking about ?  please post some specs
what happened before?  anything replaced, or updated
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Author Comment

by:ssharril
ID: 24753492
Thanks for all th suggestions.  I did virtually every step mentioned before posting the question.  In the olden days (I have been at this 27 years), we said the BIOS held the CMOS settings.  There is an operating system on the hard drive (Windows Millenium)  It worked fine until one day it was turned on and no posting noise, just machine just starts up with the Dell logo and immediately goes to MBR not found.  No changes had been made.  I had already disconnected ever.  Still same result for startup.  BIOS settings still showed drives not installed on all counts.  Only 1 master hard drive was available.  I am inclined to accept the IDE controller is bad instead of the BIOS being bad unless someone convinces me otherwise pretty quickly.  Thanks again.
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by:noxcho
ID: 24753508
If you have another working machine, then connect this drive as slave to this machine and see if Windows Disk Management is able to see the drive. Next step browse its content.
If yes, then we can say that IDE controller is dead.
If not then the problem is in HDD.
I don't believe the problem is in BIOS.
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Author Comment

by:ssharril
ID: 24753591
I have another computer, but to tell the truth it would take more time than I have to put the drive in that machine and try again.  I think repair would mean putting money for hard drive and rebuild with old operating system, or spend money for new motherboard.  I talked to owner and she is ready for a new machine.  Without further testing, I am ready to close the question and assign points for IDE controller is shot.
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Author Closing Comment

by:ssharril
ID: 31598616
Sorry I bailed on this one before getting to the bottom of the problem.   Most of your suggestions were helpful, but I had just already tried them.  I am not sure which motherboard is installed,  and did not think that would have much impact on what the problem was, so I just didn't take time to look.  Thanks again!
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by:_
ID: 24758241
Thank you much.    : )
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