Drives wont open when IDE cable attached

I posted before about this same computer b ut I am working on an emachine for someone at work and it is having big problems. When the power cables are attached the drives open fine. When the ide cables are attached along with them they will not open. When I put the disk in, hook everything up it will boot to XP setup but it comes up saying there is no hard drive a little while later.

It will not detect the hard drive, but it is definately seeing the optical drive...just wont eject it.

EDIT: We have tried 4 optical drives by the way

Motherboard for sure?
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  1. I just repaired (actually rebuilt) an old HP Pavillion machine for someone and wound up using parts from about 3 different machines. I was getting problems detecting the hard drive, or showing hard disk fail errors -- but was also not being very careful about remembering what parts I plugged into specific cables. I finally figured out that something weird was happening when I tried Master/Slave configurations with the IDE cable with the hard drive and CD drive. I can't remember which worked in the end -- I tried various combinations of "cable select" jumpers while having the hard drive and CD drive on one cable, "master/slave" jumpers with both drives on a single cable, and then either "cable select" or "master" with each drive on a single ribbon cable. One of these worked (for the life of me I can't remember which one). I'd give those configurations a try and see if it works. Good luck. mcaren
  2. I think Ive tried every combination of that stuff! Ive tried both on one cable, different cables, and every jumper position.

    It is just crazy, if I plug the drive in to power it will open. If I hook up an IDE cable it wont.
  3. master goes at the end of the cable / slave goes on the middle connector.

    Cable select doesn't matter provided both drives are set to cable select.

    Some older cables you could plug in wrong, if it has a notch on it that prevents it from being plugged in the wrong way then don't worry about that. Most likely the above.

    It's also possible the ide controller may be failing... you won't know until you check everything else out... also check those cables for any tears. Might be best bet to just replace data cables just to eliminate them altogether.
  4. how many drives are you going to have installed- 1 dvd drive and 1 hardrive or more of either? is your hard drive eide or sata? if sata you may need a driver installation floppy before you can see the hard drive to install xp. are you using onboard video or a card ? if card which card. what are the brand and specs of your power supply?
  5. It is an emachine, it had all this stuff working previously. He said somebody put their hard drive in, then took it out and it hasnt worked since. I have tried every ide cable/jumper combination I can possibly think of. I have tried one drive. It wont see anything :(
  6. sounds like you've covered your bases and the only thing left would be to try the drives in another computer. if they work there you probably have a bad motherboard although i've seen this exact problem with a failing power supply. good luck and let us know how it turns out
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