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Disappearing IDE hard drive

Last response: in Windows XP
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Anonymous
April 11, 2004 9:23:07 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

I have two physical hard drives installed on my WinXP
computer. On first boot the second IDE drive disappears
occasionally. I use it mostly for backup and little used
applications, so this is not a big problem. I've
replaced the ribbon cable, etc, but the problem
persists. I believe that WinXP is booting so fast that
BIOS has no time to recognize the second HD. Both drives
installed are WD 7200 RPM. The second drive is slaved to
the Primary, no data on the second drive is ever lost, it
just disappears from time to time. Suggestions?
Anonymous
April 11, 2004 11:47:18 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

First, XP can not "boot so fast that the BIOS has no time..." The BIOS
checks sense hardware long before XP even attempts to boot.

You might want to wathc the BIOS checks (aka, power on test, or POST) and
see whether any time that XP fails to see the disk the BIOS also failed to
se it on the same boot. If the BIOS can not see it, XP has no chance of
seeing it. If you observe this sort of correlation, then suspect hardware,
including the controller on the motherboard, the cables, the power supply,
and of course, the disk itself.

However, if you discover that the BIOS always see the disk, but XP sometimes
does not, that would be far more puzzling. However, be aware that the BIOS
checks are hardware checks and will detect an unformatted disk, or a disk
with a bad boot record. XP will not detect such disks in Windows Explorer.
However, XP should be able to see such a disk in its Disk Management tool.
Although, it is hard to imagine a file sturcture or boot record problem that
is only present occassionally.

I recall reading somewhere that XP was touchy about useing 80-pin cables
with ATA/100 and ATA/133 disks, whereas 98/ME will use 40 or 80-pin cables.
Be sure that the IDE cable is 80-pin, if you have fast IDE disks, and you
probably do, unless they are over about 3 years old.

Finally, is this IDE disk attached to a plain old fashioned IDE controller?
Or, it is attached to a "RAID" controller? And, if the latter, is it part
of a multi-disk array, or a single-disk array. I have found RAID some
controllers to be less reliable than plain old fashioned IDE controllers.
Some modern motherboards offer both RAID and non-RAID controllers. If you
do not need RAID, do not use it. However, switching from RAID to non-RAID
would probably require reformating the disk. This is not a big deal, if you
have adequate backup software, and are wiloing o chnace needed to do a
"repair" of XP.
"Willy B" <anonymous@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:1b0af01c41fbf$bf1a1a30$a501280a@phx.gbl...
> I have two physical hard drives installed on my WinXP
> computer. On first boot the second IDE drive disappears
> occasionally. I use it mostly for backup and little used
> applications, so this is not a big problem. I've
> replaced the ribbon cable, etc, but the problem
> persists. I believe that WinXP is booting so fast that
> BIOS has no time to recognize the second HD. Both drives
> installed are WD 7200 RPM. The second drive is slaved to
> the Primary, no data on the second drive is ever lost, it
> just disappears from time to time. Suggestions?
April 12, 2004 1:06:10 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

This is a possible symptom of an undersized or failing power supply. The HDs
may have a jumper that can be used to reduce the current required during
startup. It may also be that the PC is "overclocked" and the IDE buss is
running faster than it should.
If the system has only the two HDs on the IDE buss, I'd put one on buss 0
and the other on buss1. If a CD RW Drive is present, I'd put it on buss 1
also.

"Willy B" <anonymous@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:1b0af01c41fbf$bf1a1a30$a501280a@phx.gbl...
> I have two physical hard drives installed on my WinXP
> computer. On first boot the second IDE drive disappears
> occasionally. I use it mostly for backup and little used
> applications, so this is not a big problem. I've
> replaced the ribbon cable, etc, but the problem
> persists. I believe that WinXP is booting so fast that
> BIOS has no time to recognize the second HD. Both drives
> installed are WD 7200 RPM. The second drive is slaved to
> the Primary, no data on the second drive is ever lost, it
> just disappears from time to time. Suggestions?
!