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Windows cannot find any drives to install Windows

Posted on 2013-01-11
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Experts!

I was brought in a laptop today by a co-worker, and asked if I could fix it.  I was given this Dell Ultrabook 5423.  It was originally built with Windows 7 64BIT.  The user ten proceeded to buy an upgrade for Windows 8, and after a couple weeks decided they did not like it, so they tried to reinstall Windows 7.  Once the Windows installer for Windows 7 started, the rest is history.  Windows will not see the drive.  They brought it to me hoping I could get Windows 7 to install to it.  I have to say, I'm blown away by the fact I have to post this, maybe it's something simple, maybe not, but I cannot for the life of me, find a Windows driver to load to the laptop, assuming that's what I need.  I'm baffled by this, and don't know where else to turn.

I took the laptop apart, and popped the drive into another good machine as a slave, just to make sure that it was working, and could be read, so that's tested and confirmed working.

The drive is a Hitachi Drive, the model is   T5K500

Is there anything I can do within Windows that can maybe wipe and format the drive to make it pick it up?  Did the Windows 8 Install do something to it?  How do I make this drive bootable and writable again to Windows 7?

Any suggestions would be great!  Thank you!!
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Question by:paylessoffice
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 38769333
Did you try feeding W7 this driver using the Load Driver link on the page that says no drives can be found?

http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/19/DriverDetails/Product/inspiron-14z-5423?driverId=9JG1W&osCode=W764&fileId=2967214172
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Author Comment

by:paylessoffice
ID: 38769345
Yes, I tried all 4 of the Rapid Store drivers, and none of them worked.  I even tried the Seagate firmware update, and that didn't work either...
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Accepted Solution

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PowerEdgeTech earned 500 total points
ID: 38769359
Four?

You might try DBAN to nuke the drive ... or you might choose Repair Your Computer, Command Prompt, type in diskpart, select disk 0 (assuming it is disk '0' - type list disk to check), clean.
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 38769362
did you try the dell repair/reinstall option to reinstall the older o/s?
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Author Comment

by:paylessoffice
ID: 38769366
When the user brought me the ultrabook, I looked for that too, when they installed windows 8, they deleted the recovery partition..  I was bummed..

PwerEdgeTech:  DBAN, where do I locate that?  Is that something you can tell me on here?  If you can, where do I go to get it, and how does it work, in a nutshell, I'm sure i can figure it out, but just in case...
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Author Comment

by:paylessoffice
ID: 38769377
I found the DBAN site, sounds self explanatory, Let me try this...  Be back to you shortly...
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Expert Comment

by:Haslerct
ID: 38769385
Use the dell recovery cd that come with the laptop. Else go the dell website, an download it. Usually able to solve ur issue
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Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 38769386
Is the disk seen in the BIOS?
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Author Comment

by:paylessoffice
ID: 38769390
Yes, the drive is in BIOS.  I am running DBAN now, it found the drive, and is in the process of clearing it.  Once its done, I'll let you know if it worked or not.... If it does, I'm totally labeling this DBAN disk and I will use it for life!

I will jump to Dells site and order the media, just for sake of having it.  I'd really like to see if we can get it running without it though....  

Honestly, if push comes to shove, I'll just go get a new drive for it and start over if I have too...
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Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 38769392
"Use the dell recovery cd that come with the laptop."

I would assume that is what he is using to install with (or a 'retail' disk, which wouldn't make any difference with his issue).  You can request a Dell installation/recovery disc, but you can't download it.
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Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 38769396
What disc are you using to install with?  Retail?  If so, that's fine (like I said, it should make no difference at this point), but you will have to activate over the phone using the Product Key on the COA sticker.
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Author Comment

by:paylessoffice
ID: 38769398
Right, I'm working with a Dell Windows 7 64BIT Restore DVD that came with another system, and the user still has the retail Windows 8 DVD.  They didn't give it to me, because they don't want it on there, they want Windows 7 back :)
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Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 38769403
Unless your Dell W7 DVD is corrupt, it won't do you any good to order/request a new one then ... they are all the same.

I don't know why you'd need the W8 disc if you are trying to install W7 :)
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Author Comment

by:paylessoffice
ID: 38769404
OK, DBAN is gonna take a while, so I'm gonna let this run overnight, and I'll check back with you in the morning and let you know where the laptop stands.  Thanks for your help guys!  I'll post back in the morning!
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Expert Comment

by:eXpeLLeD_4RM_heLL
ID: 38769518
Have you tried setting the hard drive settings in the bios from ahci to IDE. However, I feel it may be a corrupt cd, I have a similar case where I have two duplicate win7 CDs and one will not read the hard drive while the other will
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Expert Comment

by:ded9
ID: 38769870
I hope u extracted the exe for  ahci drivers first and then try to point it during windows 7 installation..



Ded9
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Expert Comment

by:Smighty
ID: 38770010
You need to give the Windows Setup the SYS/INF/CAB files. The Windows Setup will not handle EXE-Files.

Be sure that in BIOS the drive is not set to RAID but to AHCI. otherwise you'd have to feed the RAID driver to the Windows Setup, not the AHCI ones...
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Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 38770214
Good point ded9 ... I didn't mention that, but yes, run the EXE to extract the files before putting it on CD/USB, then browse to the driver folder/location using the Load Driver link.
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Author Closing Comment

by:paylessoffice
ID: 38772810
Hi!  DBAN worked like a charm!  I was able to get Windows to pickup the drive, and install without loading any outside drivers.  Thanks PwerEdgeTech!
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Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 38772845
No problem ... glad to hear it.
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