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SATA Drive is not recognized...but it may not be the drive?

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August 5, 2008 9:51:14 PM

Hello all. I've run into a problem that has me worried, and I can't locate the actual source of the problem.
So it was a few weeks ago that I was using my main PC when it starts to really chug along very slowly. It starts over the day slowing down in any respect to reading from the HDD. Finally I shut it down so it can cool off, clear it's cache and all that jazz. When I go to turn it back on later however it gives me a warning that the HDD is about to suffer physical damage and needs to be backed up immediately. Then it can't recognize it as existing at all. I hook it up to my girlfriend's PC and it doesn't recognize the drive at all either. So I assume it's dead in every which way.
Well, that irritates me, so I fork out the $$$ for a new drive, hook it up, and to my dismay my PC can't find a drive hooked up at all.
I can't find it in the boot menu, it's not recognized by BIOS, and I can't run a Windows install from my CD as there's no HDD to install it to.
My girlfriend's power supply died so I gave her mine, and have since installed a new one, I've switched out the SATA connector cable, and even tried wiring it to the SATA2 port, but it's still just a brick in an unhappy PC. I'm beginning to think the drive isn't the problem. Any thoughts, diagnostics? I'd really appreciate some help here. Thank you.

A little extra information:
New HDD: WD Caviar SE16 (WD3200AAKS)

Computer is an HP Media Center PC (m7330n)

The specs state the motherboard supports SATA-150 drives, so I assume I need to set the jumpers on the WD drive to support 150mb/s data transfer speed. Tried that, and still the same problem.
I even loaded up with the install disc that came with the drive, and even it cannot find the drive.
August 6, 2008 2:16:17 AM

It looks like this PC comes with Windows XP Media Center Edition. I could be wrong, but Windows XP install discs do not have SATA drivers. I had this very problem myself recently.

You'll have to figure out a way to get SATA drivers on the machine before Windows XP recognizes the drive. There should be an F6 option during the early Setup when you boot to the XP disc that will allow you to load a floppy with RAID/SCSI drivers - use this with the SATA drivers. This is the most straight-ahead option; there are other options with making bootable ISOs and slipstreaming the drivers in with a program called nLite.

Good Luck!

August 6, 2008 2:46:10 AM

I don't think the drivers are the problem. Neither the BIOS nor the HDD's own installation disk can even find the drive. I'm wondering if the connector's died on the motherboard, if there's been a short somewhere, something has broken down...not sure.
The previous drive was SATA and worked fine for years, then just died one day.
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August 6, 2008 3:38:45 AM

You're saying even the BIOS cannot find the new drive on any SATA port? Well it's VERY unlikely the wiring for ALL your SATA ports would go wonky at once. More likely that the SATA controller itself went bad, or the drive or cables you are using are bad. Try again to use this new drive in another computer that you know handles SATA drives well. You've already got this one tied down to SATA 150 with a jumper, so it should work anywhere. Also try new data and power cables if you can. If it doesn't work then maybe RMA it as a bad drive.
August 6, 2008 3:49:44 AM

I hadn't considered the controller went bad. It's on board, so would it be possible just to slap a new one into a PCI port? Or would that mean a new motherboard?
August 6, 2008 4:07:45 AM

Your hard drive is dead, RMA it, WD will send you a new one, and they may even cross ship it.

1. Your computer told you it was going to die.
2. Your computer is no longer able to read it.
3. You hooked it up to another computer and it was also unable to read it.

You got a lemon. Chances are that you and your girls' SATA controller didn't both go bad. Test out a drive of your girl friends' in your PC, I bet it will read and see it.

August 6, 2008 4:14:50 PM

The old one is dead, yes. But I bought a new drive and it also is not seen by the computer at all. Two different drives unseen.
!