View Full Version : Computer hardware question - nerdy
06-02-2003, 01:08 PM
I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas on why my computer won't recognize hard drives, but will recognize my CD-drives.
We have a power spike and outage for a few hours on Tuesday. I didn't think anything about it, but on Friday the PC (an older Compaq Deskpro, 266 MHz) insisted on rebooting, and then couldn't find the hard drive. I opened it up, tried swapping cables and devices around all over, but the blasted thing sees my ATAPI CD drives just fine, but cannot autodetect or even see any hard drives I try, though they're known to be good.
Any ideas out there?
06-02-2003, 01:25 PM
From your post I'm assuming you've got 2 hard drives and 2 CD-ROM drives. Do you have the hard drives on the same IDE channel? If they are on the same channel, try swapping one hard drive to the other channel and see if it works.
Your hard drives could be toasted. Do you have an extra hard drive that you can swap in to test?
Your motherboard may also be shot. Can you visually inspect the motherboard and see if anything is awry?
06-02-2003, 02:03 PM
I've tried with the HDs on their own cable, both at the same time, one at a time, CS, MA and SL on each, other HDs (known good), different cable. Also switched between the primary and secondary IDE port. The CD ROM and CD-R work okay on either cable, so the cables seem fine.
I'll be dipped here - I really don't know what caused this!
06-02-2003, 02:25 PM
Don't know much about that mobo, but is there any kind of jumper on the board that's labelled "Clear NVRAM" or something similar? If so, I would try setting that jumper, starting the system up, then once the BIOS has loaded, shut the computer down and reset the jumper back to its original position. It's a stretch, but I've fixed more than one computer's lack of device recognition with that.
The other thing you could try is to check the hard drive specs on the label of the drive and manually entering that info into the BIOS (usually there's some kind of "manual IDE configuration" available - although we are talking about a Compaq, and I know the older ones had a funky "softbios" that resided on a hidden partition on the primary hard drive - if it went you were screwed.)
Can you give us a little more info about the Compaq - what model Deskpro is it?
06-02-2003, 02:37 PM
Well, if everything was fine and then, after the spike, it does not recognise the hard drive at all, there's a good chance the problem is with the hard drive. Does the BIOS detect it?
Spikes do not change jumpers around so that's not where you need to be looking.
06-02-2003, 02:48 PM
I've tried with several HDs, some known good (tested fine on other systems), so it's not the HD. I'm considering re-flashing the BIOS. I like the idea of trying to clear NV BIOS.
It worked for a few days after the power bump, but then an error required a reboot 3 or 4 days later, and it wouldn't find the OS (I thought there was a floppy in the drive or something, initially).
Back to the drawing and quartering board . . .
06-02-2003, 04:36 PM
Have you thought that perhaps that strike did something to the board?
El Cid Viscoso
06-02-2003, 05:06 PM
Several things to look at:
1. The spike may have scrapped your MB battery. Pretty simple to replace, just make sure you get the correct one.
2. The spike may have corrupted your BIOS. Compaq may not have been circumspect and included a jumper to clear the BIOS. (No offense, Sailor, but no one thinks it's the jumper that got messed up in the spike.)
* If they were and they did include the jumper, please follow the instructions on their Web site to clear the BIOS -- it's usually power off PC, reverse the the jumper, unplug the power, let it sit for 30 seconds, reverse jumper again, plug in power and switch it on.
** If you don't have a BIOS jumper, switch off the power, unplug, remove system battery, let sit 30 secs, install new battery, plug in, reboot.
3. If these steps do not work, you may require a BIOS flash. Compaq is actually very good with their flashing methods, so just follow the support from their web site.
4. If this doesn't work, your BIOS itself may be crapped out. This is fairly common in my experience. You may send away for a new chip, but it should cost you about the same as a new 266 motherboard.
Please proceed with caution. This should in no way be construed as professional advice. Should you have doubts, please contact a doctor.
06-02-2003, 10:17 PM
Flashing the BIOS did the trick. Thanks to all who contributed, especially Mr. B.
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