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New Hard Drive not Recognized

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October 6, 2008 4:34:57 PM

I have an older Dell which i tried installing a second hard drive in. When I started the computer up it senses the hard drive but can't access it. I have used Windows trouble shooter but nothing helped, any suggestions? And I'm pretty sure its an IDE hard drive.

More about : hard drive recognized

a b G Storage
October 6, 2008 4:49:36 PM

What do you mean by "senses" it? Do you mean it shows up in the BIOS?

You need to get to the component management menu (start, run, compmgmt.msc). Go to disk management. Make sure to format and partition the drive. It's there, the OS just hasn't made it usable yet.

Let me know if that works.
a b G Storage
October 6, 2008 5:23:43 PM

Did you buy the HDD from Dell? If not you probably will have to in order to get it to work. Every store bought computer I've ever seen has had their BIOS and HDD boot sector altered to only recognize components bought from the manufacturer, in this case Dell. That's one reason I build my own.
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a b G Storage
October 6, 2008 5:50:21 PM

Come on, that's too pessimistic. I have added a WD disk to an HP computer from Best Buy last year and it worked just fine. I changed the PSU and added a tuner too. Those PCs can be upgraded, it's just not as easy as it should be.

haye123, follow the steps in huron's post first. If that doesn't solve it you may have an incompatibility between MB and the new HDD.
October 6, 2008 6:05:12 PM

The drive has information on it that I need to move off first, that is my goal. Then I'm going to format it, should I put it in an external enclosure first?
a b G Storage
October 6, 2008 6:31:27 PM

Did you connect the disk properly? That is, are both power and data cables inserted securely? If it's IDE, you probably need to adjust some jumpers on the HDD too.
October 6, 2008 6:38:33 PM

This is my first time installing an IDE drive, so please excuse my ignorance, but what are jumpers? And the power and data cables were securely connected, that was the first thing I checked.
October 6, 2008 6:46:36 PM

There's flat black plastic piece on the back just a little more than 1/8" across next to where the power supply plugs in. Looking at the top/bottom of the drive you'll see where they have a set of pins labeled 'Master', 'Slave' and 'CS' (cable select).

Move the jumper on this disk to 'slave' and try again....if it fails, make sure the other drive is set to 'master' and reboot...

Cable select works well, but if it tries to boot to the 'new to this system' drive you won't get where you want - so use the master (drive in the system now) slave (drive you're adding) settings.
October 6, 2008 6:56:30 PM

+1 to mford66215.

How old is this dell?
I installed a standard hd into my old dell, it worked just fine. I would have no idea why someone would even think you MUST buy the hd from dell in order for it to work in a dell system! You must be on crack ram1009...
Manufacturers like Dell use specific drives! It is usually the motherboard ONLY that is custom built for that manufacturer.

I agree with the jumper settings, that is waht I had to do with my IDE drives. Once you have that, the hd needs to be formated by something like WD diagnostics...
October 6, 2008 7:03:04 PM

ram1009 said:
Did you buy the HDD from Dell? If not you probably will have to in order to get it to work. Every store bought computer I've ever seen has had their BIOS and HDD boot sector altered to only recognize components bought from the manufacturer, in this case Dell.


I've never seen this issue. The only "restriction" I've ever seen is that the Windows install disk checks the BIOS. I've installed off the shelf memory,hard drives, optical drives, and video cards into 100+ OEM systems (desktops,laptops,servers) at work and never had a single issue. I've even replaced the primary drive with a OTS drive with no issue re-installing.

To be honest if you look across a single OEM mdoel you're likely to find tons of brand differences in the RAM, HDD and video card based on what was cheapest at the time, the replacements (if under warranty) usually don't match the original....

October 6, 2008 10:09:16 PM

Thanks, I'm going to try the jumper settings, but do I still need to format the drive?
October 7, 2008 1:09:11 AM

Its most likely the jumper is wrong. You still need to fomat it to use it. The moron that said you need a Dell hardrive should never even look inside a computer ever again.
October 7, 2008 2:51:19 AM

My last question then is what is the best way to get the data off the hard drive before formatting it?
a b G Storage
October 7, 2008 1:42:02 PM

Well, since the drive is already formatted, you may be able to skip that step. You should just see your files there once the jumper is in the right place. I'm assuming here that you didn't use encryption or some UNIX-specific formatting, of course.

You could also buy a USB enclosure (the cheapest are around $10) and transfer the data that way. That's acceptable IMO if we're talking about a couple of GB. I wouldn't recommend it for 100GB or more because it would take days.
October 7, 2008 1:48:28 PM

100GB transfer via USB dont take days. I just done 286GB and it took 60 minutes, via usb 1 standards.
October 7, 2008 2:52:43 PM

Ok thanks, I'm going to try the jumper settings later today and I'll report back how it went.
a b G Storage
October 7, 2008 3:45:21 PM

roadrunner197069 said:
100GB transfer via USB dont take days. I just done 286GB and it took 60 minutes, via usb 1 standards.


Well, my mp3 player took about 5 hours to fill last time, and it's about 15 GB. OK, maybe that's just because Flash drives are slower.
July 4, 2009 3:53:46 PM

huron said:
What do you mean by "senses" it? Do you mean it shows up in the BIOS?

You need to get to the component management menu (start, run, compmgmt.msc). Go to disk management. Make sure to format and partition the drive. It's there, the OS just hasn't made it usable yet.

Let me know if that works.

Yes my bios recognizes it but my computer doesnt show it in the start up screen . My hardware and drivers show it to me but its not where i can format it.
!