New (o0ld) Disk Test Computer not Working with Windows

I have a useful computer (HP Pavilion m9250f) that I originally set up with Windows 7 and recently upgraded to Windows 10.
It boots normally from a SATA HD.  

This is to be used as a replacement for a much older computer that I used for testing hard drives and other "tool" type needs.

This one doesn't seem to recognize SATA hard drives when they're added at least when boot to Windows.  I've had two cases now where Windows doesn't handle the added drives nicely.  But Knoppix will handle them OK.

I really want this machine to do the job running Windows but am rather puzzled where to turn.
The hard drive interface mode is AHCI.
LVL 27
Fred MarshallPrincipalAsked:
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

x
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You would have to see if the manufacturer provides drivers. If not, you may be out of luck. I upgraded an older Windows 7 laptop and the results were poor. Video has no driver upgrade and the wireless cards are too old.
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
nobusCommented:
what is your setup - how are the drives to be tested added to a laptop ?
The 7 Worst Nightmares of a Sysadmin

Fear not! To defend your business’ IT systems we’re going to shine a light on the seven most sinister terrors that haunt sysadmins. That way you can be sure there’s nothing in your stack waiting to go bump in the night.

noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Go to BIOS and set the HDD mode to IDE Compatible. For an old machine you do not need AHCI mode. It will work with IDE Mode perfectly.
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
OK.  
(I describe the computer above).  
If I switch this "tool" computer to IDE in the BIOS, will the OS still work?
Then, if I image other HDs on the test computer (now in IDE mode presumably) then will a cloned HD work in its target computer OK (re: AHCI / IDE)?

Any other questions I should ask about doing the switch to IDE?

Other concerns / disadvantages?
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
If you switch it to IDE then it will work. If you clone another drive and use again IDE mode it will work. But Windows installed on a machine with IDE enabled will not work if you move it to AHCI enabled machine. IDE controller generic driver is present in Windows distibutives by default. AHCI must be ebabled manually after installation in IDE mode. There are titorials (google search) how to do it.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
nobusCommented:
are you connecting the test drives while windows is running?  then you need AHCI enabled
if not, it does not matter

btw  -how are the drives connected?  in an usb bridge, as external drive, ?
that is NOT the best way to test disk drives (usb does not handle errors well)
better have a desktop, and connect directly to the sata cable

and HP laptops in most cases do not have many configurable options in the BIOS
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
My most typical operation would be this:

Put a "foreign" drive in the tools computer using an internal SATA cable.
Turn on the computer booting to Clonezilla (or other) live CD.
Image the "foreign" drive using Clonezilla r other) onto a USB hard drive.
Turn off the computer.
Remove the "foreign" drive and install a new hard drive using an internal SATA cable.
Turn on the computer booting to Clonezilla (or other) live CD.
Restore the image from the USB hard drive onto the new hard drive.
Turn off the tools computer.
Install the new hard drive with old image in the target computer.

So the new hard drive never has any installation done on it.  It's simply a clone of the "foreign" hard drive.  I make the image just as part of the process to be conservative and because it's often easier than doing a direct clone.

So, if the tools computer is IDE does it matter that the target computer for the new hard drive is either IDE or AHCI?
nobusCommented:
was the booting from knoppix done on this PC?
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
So, if the tools computer is IDE does it matter that the target computer for the new hard drive is either IDE or AHCI?
No. It does not.
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
nobus:  The boot into Knoppix was done on the tools computer.  So, I think that's a Yes.  (There'd not be much point in booting into Knoppix on the target computer).  It seems to suggest that Knoppix and other Linux variants have capabilities (e.g. drivers?) that can see the drive while the computer is set in AHCI mode.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
It is looking like the computer is not able to support Windows 10. If that is the case there is not a lot you can do
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
John Hurst:  Well, the computer seems to be supporting Windows 10 OK.  I haven't seen any strangenesses.  The main thing is that some of the tools I use, like HDDRegenerator need to have the computer in IDE mode.  So, I'm planning to make that switch unless someone tells me that danger lurks in doing so.  At least I want to be informed as I can always rebuild the tools computer.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
That phrases it a bit differently than your opening question.

Some older computers need BIOS  AHCI to be set to compatibility mode to install Windows 7 (set back after).

But you say "It boots normally from a SATA HD"  

Then you say "This one doesn't seem to recognize SATA hard drives when they're added at least when boot to Windows"

So do you say then  "Boots from SATA but won't boot a SATA drive"?  Strange/

Largely (not exclusively), Windows 10 uses UEFI BIOS and GPT disk management, so we left the world of IDE.

I suggest you back up the computer, turn off, go to BIOS and change to IDE. See if it boots.
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
John Hurst:  I'll try to answer your questions:

The tools computer is running Windows 10.
The tools computer BIOS is set to AHCI.
The tools computer HD with Windows is SATA.

When I add a SATA hard drive to work on using the tools computer system, the added drive can't be seen in Windows.
It can't be seen in most Windows-based live CD boots.
It can be seen with a Knoppix live CD boot and the data can be extracted.
HDDRegenerator wants to see an IDE mode so won't run.
nobusCommented:
Fred, i posted some suggestions and asked some questions too
how about some comments on them?  i find it rude to be neglected
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Fred - I cannot see why an arbitrary hard drive cannot been seen on the "Tools" computer.

Can you see the same arbitrary hard drive on a different Windows 10 machine?

And, yes, if you have answers for nobus, please post.
nobusCommented:
ha -i saw your answer
well i use HDDReg also, and it depends on the version imo - what version do you use?
the fact that you can t see other disks in windows is starnge - where did you look?
try disk management - maybe there's no drive letter assigned

btw - i never had any trouble when switching AHCI to ide or compatible
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
Disk Management will sometimes show the drive and will sometimes allow assigning a drive letter.  But it's not possible to "see" anything in that drive.

Some of this experience may be with a bad HD, so I can't vouch for it assuredly with a new HD but even new HDs don't work it seems.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Are you able to try one of these drives on another Windows 10 machine?
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
OK.  So I ventured to change the BIOS from AHCI to IDE.  
After doing that, it would not boot to Windows 10 on the HD.
So, not remembering, I then tried to Upgrade/Repair from a Windows 10 DVD but that mode doesn't work booting from the DVD.  One must start the DVD from within Windows.
So then I switched back to AHCI and now can boot again.
But, of course, I can't do the apparent needed Upgrade/Repair from here because it's in AHCI mode.

I don't imagine that I will find any drivers missing in this state and it seems I need some IDE drivers??

I'm a bit stuck.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Try DISM because it is an on-board repair process.

Open cmd.exe with Run as Administrator.
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /Scanhealth (takes 15 - 20 minutes).
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /Restorehealth (takes 15 - 20 minutes).

Restart the computer and test.

The base machine may not have been the best candidate for upgrade. I am not certain but that may play into it.
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
John Hurst:  OK.  And if I do that while in AHCI mode, what should I expect when switched to IDE mode?  That is, if we assume that the current installation is "good" then what will this process accomplish?  We should end up with a "good" installation that might still fail when switched to IDE mode.  If not then what have we done to make a difference?

I'm thinking that a new clean install of Windows 7 while in IDE mode may be necessary and then do the upgrade to Windows 10....  I'd sure like to avoid all that.
nobusCommented:
well i use HDDReg also, and it depends on the version imo - what version do you use?
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
nobus:  I had an older version so I'm upgrading to the latest.  We'll see what happens.
nobusCommented:
ok - awaiting results
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
OK, well it may actually take some time to divert to HDD Regenerator because I have converted the tools system to IDE.  I'm afraid that my log of the steps taken is a bit shaky but here it is:
- I created an image in AHCI mode using  Paragon Backup & Recovery (I think that was it) from a live CD.  In the end I didn't use this image.
- I switched the computer to IDE mode.
- I booted to a live CD of a Paragon OS transfer program and used some of the tools it provided.  I couldn't tell if any of these steps did anything.
- I booted the computer into Windows and (I believe) used a process called RESET.
The Reset got the OS running like a "repair" which got rid of 3rd party apps that had been installed.

Now the tools computer boots to Windows 10 in IDE mode.  And, it can see added hard drives and their contents as I need and am used to.
I'm sorry I didn't write down all the steps taken - just FYI.
I wish I knew if Paragon had helped or not....
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
In reviewing all the responses, it appears that I should have followed noxcho's advice and Googled for switching from IDE to AHCI.

It appears that the simplest steps go like this:

1) Boot to Windows
2) Change in the Registry to turn on/off AHCI
3) Reboot
4) Set the BIOS to the corresponding mode.

Is that about it?  It seems that going in either direction would be possible.  Agree??
Might I have done this instead I wonder.....
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Hi Fred, yes, exactly. And if you own a copy ofParagon Backup & Recovery then its P2P Adjust OS feature does the whole task for you. No need to switch  or install drivers. Restore from backup and run p2P adjust OS. It will install the default Windows drivers where it is needed.
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
I didn't mean to mislead anyone.  The "tools" computer normally boots to Windows and is used to test, erase, data extract from, etc. *added* hard drives which may boot in their own systems (if their own systems still work) but are not needed to boot in the "tools" computer.
It's about *seeing* these drives in the "tools" computer.

When not able to "see" these added hard drives reliably, I tried booting the "tools" computer from variations of Linux / Linux-based tools and was able to get somewhere with that.  But HDD Regenerator wouldn't work (amongst others).

noxcho was consistently on topic as I was not trying to somehow "fix" booting the "tools" computer.
The one thing that didn't work (by itself) was switching to IDE from AHCI in the BIOS.  Doing this alone, the "tools" computer Windows wouldn't boot.
This led to a sequence of steps to make the switch to IDE actually work.

Once switched to IDE, it appears that everything works now.  
Thanks for the help!!

I haven't tested the latest version of HDD Regenerator yet....
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows 10

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.