Solved

dell 820 laptop hard drive not recognized

Posted on 2010-09-14
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
Hi,

friend of mine spilled water on his keyboard of dell latitude D820.  Now when attempting to boot up to windows xp, is says no bootable device.  I tried to check bios and said no hard drive detected.  Is there a way to test if drive is still salvagable?  Maybe he didnt connect it back properly since he said he had removed it few days ago to let it dry off.  Thanks
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Question by:dankyle67
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19 Comments
 
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by:
John Hurst earned 300 total points
ID: 33678264
I certainly would check the connections and the way it was put together. Spilling water on the keyboard should not wreck a hard drive (they are sealed). So while I guess it is possible, I would check how it was put back together first. Try the drive in another like machine if you can (even as a secondary drive to see if it spins and you can read it). ... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:Azhrei1
ID: 33678271
if the device is not visible in the  bios, it is most likely either not connected or not working anymore. Check if the cables are properly connected inside the laptop, and check if you hear the harddisk spinning up when it is powered on (you can have the laptop open while doing this if you keep the essential components connected.

if it's connected properly and does not power on: broken
if it's connected properly and powers on, but is not detected: use harddisk tools to diagnose, like [Admin Edit].
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Expert Comment

by:ken2421
ID: 33678274
The drive can be tested several ways. Using an adapter or a usb adapter you can browse the drive with another PC.

I keep these in my tool kit and office they are great and come with a Apricorn version of Acronis Image.

http://apricorn.com/product_detail.php?type=family&id=39

Ken
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Author Comment

by:dankyle67
ID: 33678291
what is name of adapter exactly so i can ask for it at the pc store?  Is usb adapter easy to get?
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by:John Hurst
ID: 33678292
[Admin Edit] is an inappropriate post for this forum.    ... Thinkpads_User
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by:John Hurst
ID: 33678300
Any reasonable electronics store will carry a USB drive carrier. Newer ones handle SATA and PATA drives. ... Thinkpads_User
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Assisted Solution

by:DarkLordofIT
DarkLordofIT earned 100 total points
ID: 33678301
Sometimes simply pulling the drive and re-inserting it will clean the connectors and it will re-appear in the BIOS.  In our shop, we start here:
1. Plug the drive into an external connector, usually USB based and separately powered.  When the drive is powered you should feel the drive spin up.
2. If the drive will spin but is not readable, try sticking it in the freezer overnight (in something material, such as a sock).  Pull it out and quickly plug it in to the external connector.  This super cools the capacitors and resisters on the drive's mainboard and tests if it is a heat issue.
3. We often have luck replacing the mainboard with one from an identical harddrive.  When I say identical, I do mean identical.  You'll have to check eBay for a drive with an identical model number (sometimes even reivision number).
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by:Azhrei1
ID: 33678315
well, there are plenty of freeware tools on it for diagnosing...you could always take a look at the list of software on it and choose one to download from the vendor itself. I'd consider it a grey area...but if a mod disagrees I don't mind if it's removed :)
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Author Comment

by:dankyle67
ID: 33678322
Also, when i took drive out and put it back in i didnt see any connectors such as wires or anything but just slid it in the slot to match the gold pin connections in back of drive which sits flush against back of compartment.  Is there supposed to be a cable similar to the ide or sata cable on pc hard drives?
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by:ken2421
ID: 33678356
Based upon what you are saying about the connectors I would say that their is still moisture or some damage was done to the main board. It is still worth having the USB connector.

Ken
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by:DarkLordofIT
ID: 33678393
No, you should not see any wires.  If it is a newer laptop it will use a SATA connector which slidss into place.  If it is a little older it will use a 60 pin ATA style but will still more or less slide into place.

If it won't show in the BIOS than none of the diagnostic tools will be able to see it.  You could reset the BIOS to Defaults; just in case something like RAID has been enabled.  But unless someone was messing with BIOS settings before, you probably need to look into a hardware solution, and testing outside the laptop, as ken2421 has suggested.
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by:ajb2222
ID: 33678507
If you have the 60 pin ata connector.  make sure you didn't bend any of the pins.  
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by:DarkLordofIT
ID: 33678519
The ATA connector should have a little adapter piece on the end that allows it to pull both power and the data and slide into place.  That adapter is fairly difficult to remove, so, if all you did was pull the drive, the pins shouldn't be exposed.  That being said; some manufacturers don't use the adapter and it's always a good idea to check pins on any kind of IDE connector as bent pins is a fairly common problem.
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by:nobus
nobus earned 100 total points
ID: 33679777
strange posts - i never saw an 60 pin ata connector. only 40 pins, and 80 wire cable.
you can test with an usb adapter - but personally i connect the disk directly to a sata port of a PC, or an ide cable; in this case you do need an adaptor like : http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=HD-108&cat=HDD
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by:DarkLordofIT
ID: 33683332
Sorry, I was typing in two places and crossed myi lines, here.  Yes, a DESKTOP drive has 40 pins for the PATA cable.  The laptop ATA-6 standard uses 50 pings, not 60 as I stated above, to provision for power (the desktop 3.5" drives have a separate power connector).  The end result is the same; either the drive is bad or not.  Here is a page that shows the difference between SATA and ATA-6
http://www.laptopparts101.com/hard-drive/
nobus; I have a connector very similar to the one you're looking at and it can be useful, assuming he has a desktop and wants to crack it open.  I personaly prefer this one for most things:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812156102&cm_re=usb_ide_sata_adapter-_-12-156-102-_-Product
It can handle IDE or SATA, provides power, and allows it to be plugged in and tested from a laptop as well.
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Author Comment

by:dankyle67
ID: 33691222
Confirmed the drive was no good after i put in a new drive and it installed xp no problem and got recognized by bios as well right away.  Thanks for all the help.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 33691244
Thank you, and thanks for the update. ... Thinkpads_User
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by:nobus
ID: 33692456
tx for the feedback !
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by:Vee_Mod
ID: 33868745
All -
I deleted a reference to a certain well-known CD
It contains pirated (stolen) applications and we do not allow any reference to it on our forum.

 
Vee_Mod
Experts Exchange Moderator
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