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BIOS won't recognize my harddrive :\

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June 14, 2008 4:43:29 PM

Ok sorry if these are dumb questions, first time builder here! Using a Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L motherboard and *trying* to get it to recognize an 80GB Samsung IDE HDD.

This drive was scrapped from an old computer of the family's, but I have run it in a different machine just recently with no problems. The Gigabyte mobo, however, refuses to recognize this drive. It doesn't show up in BIOS, either Windows XP or Vista install discs, and if I try to load past POST I get a disk read error.

Could anyone explain to me the steps I'm supposed to take at this point? Is the problem possibly that I don't have the necessary chipset for my motherboard to recognize this drive? Unfortunately I bought the board "open box" from Newegg and it came with nothing but bubble-wrap. Downloading drivers from the Gigabyte website now, but I would think I need an OS up and running before I could use those anyway.


Thanks a ton guys for reading and responding,

*edit* Meant to also mention that I tried a separate SATA drive in there as well with the exact same result, so that's another reason I don't think the drive is the problem.
June 14, 2008 5:01:25 PM

U r using this drive as a secondary drive right? Make sure you set the drives jump to the slave. There should be an array of pins on the drive around where the IDE ribbon attaches. 2 rows one with 5 pins one with 4 pins. 2 pins should be covered with one plastic cap. On one side of the drive there should be a diagram of where the cap is supposed to go for each mode. Make sure its set to slave. U can pull the cap off with your fingers it doesn't take much force but sometimes I have to use a pair of tweezers or pliyers to get it off cause its small.

If that don't work download a disk diag from samsung burn it to a CD and run it check the disk for errors. http://www.samsung.com/global/business/hdd/support/down...

One error during the scan means the drive is bad.

If that doesn't work could have a bad IDE ribbon cable they cost about 10 bucks.

GL
a b G Storage
June 14, 2008 5:10:21 PM

Yep. Check you jumpers.
If it is the only drive on the cable, set it to master. If it is on a cable with another drive, like your DVD, CD, or another HDD, one must be set to master, the other to slave. It does not matter which one is which, as long as they are not both master or slave at the same time.
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June 14, 2008 7:25:41 PM

Thanks for the responses, I'll give this a shot when I get home (working right now).

To clarify a bit though...

No I am not trying to use it as a secondary drive, it is supposed to be the main drive for this computer. But if the jumper is set to slave and it is the only drive connected, would that explain my motherboard not recognizing it at all? Because what is happening is neither BIOS, or Windows install disc, or anything else is even realizing that there is a harddrive connected whatsoever...

As far as the drive being bad, I might try that too, but like I said I connected it to another computer a few days ago and it booted up without an issue, so I doubt that is the case.

Starting to think it wasn't worth trying to flake on $30 for a new harddrive lol, maybe I'll head by Circuit City after work and just buy a new one at least to see if it works. Could always return it if I get the Samsung going...
June 11, 2010 3:29:40 AM

I am also having the same problem as i speak. but my hard drive is a SATA. I belive the problem is that the hard drive has not been installed to the mobo so it will not recognize it when i start it in windows install like you did it asks for drive installation software either a dvd or cd installation disk un fortunately neither my old one or new one comes with any thing like that so i went to the support page and looked for drive install program and am unable to find one. what i'm trying to do right now is.... when i downloaded the two diff. types of files they had which were a lifegaurd program that checks the drive after being installed and the clone program. the clone program is read by windows as a drive but i copied it to a thumb drive and it would not aloow me to access it from there so i'm going to burn it to a cd like the lifegaurd program we'll see what happens
a c 342 G Storage
June 11, 2010 4:43:05 PM

Rayn88, there is no "install a HDD to a mobo". To install any SATA HDD you physically mount it in the case, then connect two sets of wires. One (the wider one) is its power supply from the PSU; the narrower one is a 7-wire flat ribbon that connects to one of the SATA ports on the mobo. The HDD you plan to use as your boot device (maybe your only HDD) usually should be plugged into the first port (called SATA_0), but that's not absolutely necessary. There are NO jumpers to set on a SATA unit because there is no Master or Slave setting to be made. (Well there is one exception to this. IF you have the specific combination of a SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) drive connecting to an older mobo with only the original SATA I (1.5 Gb/s) controllers, sometimes you have to position a jumper on a pin pair to force the newer drive to communicate at older slower speeds.)

With those connections made the BIOS certainly should "see" that hardware. The only other things you must check are three BIOS Setup settings. Where the SATA ports are configured, make sure they are Enabled. Very near there is a place to set the SATA Port Mode. You will have choices like IDE (or PATA) Emulation, native SATA, AHCI, or RAID. Unless you actually are setting up a RAID array, do NOT choose that. IF you are installing Vista or Win 7, your probably should choose AHCI. BUT if you are installing XP or any earlier windows, your best choice is IDE (or PATA) Emulation. With this setting the BIOS intervenes and makes the actual SATA unit appear to Win XP as a simpler IDE drive that it fully understands and can use immediately. If you do not choose this and try to Install Win XP from a CD, it will tell you there is no HDD to use and you will have to use an option to Install an AHCI driver from a floppy disk before the Install of Windows can happen. There certainly are ways to do this, probably all detailed in your mobo manual. But unless you particularly want to use the AHCI feature of a SATA drive, having it treated as an IDE unit (through the BIOS Emulation setting) is the perfect way. In that mode, the Win XP Install software will find and use that HDD right away. The last thing to do is find the BIOS place where you set the Boot Priority Sequence. Go there and set it this way: the first boot device should be your optical drive; the second should be your SATA HDD unit. For now, do NOT have any other devices in the sequence. Save and Exit from BIOS Setup. Now if you place your Windows Install CD in the optical drive the machine should boot from there and start the Install process.

This Port Mode thing can and should be set to AHCI IF you are installing Vista or Win 7 because those DO have built-in drivers for AHCI devices, unlike XP.

Data Lifeguard is WD's set of diagnostic tools for their hard drives. They also have Acronis True Image WD Edition, a very good set of utilities for all kinds of uses, of which one of the most popular is cloning an older disk to a new one. But if you are just installing Windows from a CD to a brand new HDD in a new machine you do NOT need either of these. Windows Install will do all you need as long as the BIOS can recognize the hardware (disk), and as long as the SATA Port Mode is set correctly for the version of Windows you are installing. The very first stages of an Install by Windows are to Create a Partition on the HDD to be used as one "disk" and to Format it so that files can be written to it. Since Windows Install does these tasks, there is NO reason to pre-do them with Acronis.
June 11, 2010 8:26:59 PM

I understand exactly what you are saying but in the part that you said in the biit priority i can't select my hdd because it is not recognised. also i have set the priority to my cd rom drive with windows vists in it and it does load files but when i go to install it not even windows can recognise it. now i was reading in my manual that NTFS is not supported in DOS inviornment if i were to convert it to FAT32 do you think that it will work? i am about to try what you said though also to set the sata port to AHCI.
June 11, 2010 9:09:58 PM

i tried to switch it to AHCI and it still didn't work when i'm trying to install vista i get this message "To install the device driver needed to acces your hard drive, insert the installation media containing the driver files, and then click ok.
Note: the installtion media can be a floppy disk, CD, DVD, or USB Flash Drive. now to me that is the program that when you plug in any USB or SATA device, on the task bar it pops up and says installing device: searching preconfigured files. i think it has to do with the device manager. the only thing i can't find out is where these preconfigured files are that it uses to install it seeing that there is no software that comes with hard drives. i've even been looking for that program that installs all the devices.
a c 342 G Storage
June 13, 2010 3:28:04 AM

If you connect a brand new SATA HDD to a suitable port and make sure the SATA port is Enabled, the mobo most certainly should recognize that piece of hardware. No matter how you set its Port Mode, the BIOS should "see" it and make it available to choose as one of the items in the BIOS's Boot Priority Sequence settings. Now, IF the BIOS can recognize the HDD unit, when it comes to Windows Install trying to use it, Windows will never see it IF the BIOS cannot see it. Win XP has built-in drivers for IDE and ATAPI devices, but not SATA or AHCI, which is why you either have to use the BIOS Port Mode trick to make a SATA unit appear to be IDE, OR you need to install a drive from external medium. BUT both Vista and Win7 ALSO have SATA and AHCI drivers built into them, so even that Port Mode thing is less critical, as long as you do NOT choose RAID.

The fact that you cannot "see" that SATA unit anywhere - not in Windows Install and ESPECIALLY not in BIOS - says you have a hardware problem. The possibilities are: the SATA port is bad - so try another SATA port; the entire SATA system on the mobo is bad and you need to replace the mobo; the cables you are using for that SATA drive are faulty and need replacement; or, the drive itself is faulty and needs replacement. Try taking the drive AND data cable and mounting it temporarily in another machine. If it does not work, change the data cable to another one, and maybe change again. If it fails in a second machine after all this, the HDD is bad - contact the supplier for a replacement. But if it works in these tests, you now either the cable is OK or not, and you know the drive is OK, so you're back to looking suspiciously at the mobo.
June 17, 2010 7:30:30 PM

Thank you that clears up alot i'm going to try to exchange it for another one and hopefully it works this time.
August 9, 2012 3:23:37 AM

What the Issue I am having is the same as Ryans and others are having, as the original poster said he pulled the primary HDD out of an odler system and wanted to use it as the primary on another system but because this is the primary on the old system the new system wont recognize it, How do you make it recognize this drive and format it, I.E. I have band new mobo SSD sata3 cables the works there is no hardware issues what os ever but I cannot get the SSD to be recognized in the new computer after using it for a couple short days in hte old system. So how do I make the system recognize it?
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