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Hdd and bios

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June 5, 2009 6:57:58 PM

Okay, this is my 1st post concerning computers so please bare with me. I recently decided to teach myself how to put together computers, so I purchases the necessary components to do so. I did lots of research and believe everything (hardware) to be compatible. This build is for my parents and is sort of a "guinea pig" project. Here's the list of hardware:

motherboard: ECS GF82000A Black Series retail
cpu: AMD brisbane 5600+ 2.9ghz retail
ram: A-Data 2x2gb (4gb) DDR2 @ 800mhz retail
psu: 450 watt Rosewill retail
HDD: 320GB WD caviar blue SATA interface OEM
optical: lite-on 18x CD/DVD IDE interface (read, no write) retail
OS: Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit OEM

So everything is new. I plan on installing Vista on the clean HDD. If I'm not mistaken the term is "clean install" which is why I went with OEM rather than retail. I figured this is the best way to get a brand new computer without bloatware, etc. But my problem is in the BIOS. I'm 99.9% sure I have all of the hardware correctly connected to the mobo. In POST the CPU, RAM, and OPTICAL are all recognized. My hard disk is no where to be found. The mobo has 5 SATA ports, 4/5 are labeled AHCI/RAID only. So initially I placed the HDD sata cable in SATA 1 and to the HDD's sata port. I usually get this message during post "3rd Master Disk Error" or something of that sort. Then when prompted to enter setup, I do so. Note that the optical is set to Master as I was prompted in the manual to set it there if it were the ONLY optical installed, which it is. The HDD is the only HDD as well. The optical = IDE, the HDD = SATA. It even recommends in the manual this the best configuration for system performance. In setup I have Integrated peripherals configured:

On-Board IDE controller(Enabled) On-Board SATA controller(Enabled) SATA Mode Select (SATA mode)
Restart-Still no SATA detected. Default settings were set to Enabled, Enabled, AHCI Mode... but I was not using AHCI was I? 4/5 mobo SATA ports weren't in use. So I changed it to SATA Mode. I've tried a couple different configurations, even AHCI mode with SATA plugged into 4 ,5. Neither SATA or AHCI detect the HDD. The HDD doesn't require a jumper. The MOBO is set for SATAII(3.0gb/s) and the HDD is capable up to 3.0gb/s too.

The bottom line is I have zero clue where the issue is coming from and how to resolve it. Since this is my first time build, and I'm a serious BIOS/CMOS virgin, I can't point my finger on just one thing. I suspect the MOBO SATA controller is faulty? OR hard disk is faulty? I suspect too that something needs to be updated. Either BIOS or drivers. I want to stay away from updating BIOS as much as I can however, unless it's necessary. And I am a little unclear about how drivers work on a system with out an OS. Can drivers get installed into the CMOS or BIOS or something?, I'm clueless how that works I've loaded the Support CD provided with the MOBO onto my laptap and explored it for anything regarding a SATA/HDD driver and can't find anything. One last thing, since the optical IS detected, yet the HDD is NOT in the BIOS, when I load Vista into the drive, I am prompted for install, I'm assuming it's running of the disc like a boot disc. When asked where I would like to install, naturally no storage is found. So, I'm stuck there. My question would be what I should try next? New HDD? The mobo shouldn't be dead, but the SATA controller could be right? Any help as to fixing this hardware issue will be so very appreciated. Sorry for the long winded lecture, but I want to make my issues as clear as possible. THANK YOU!

More about : hdd bios

a b G Storage
June 5, 2009 11:09:44 PM

It shouldn't matter what SATA mode you set (use AHCI for Vista btw) as that only matters during OS installation.
The HDD should be detected during POST.

Is there an option similar to 'HDD detection delay' under the BIOS menu?

[EDITED]Update the BIOS to the latest from ECS website before you do anything else tho.
June 6, 2009 12:48:15 AM

Immediately after the forum post, the HDD was detected... don't ask me how I did it, I swear I did nothing different than previous attempts. All hardware is shown during POST and in BIOS. But now the new problem arises of course.

I set boot sequence to
1:CD/DVD
2:HDD
3:FDD

With Windows Vista in the optical, after POST it goes to straight to Windows loading page, I follow all on screen directions up to choosing the storage/save location (the NOW detected HDD shows with 298.2gb available) I'm assuming the other 20gb of used space is WD's extra firmware they provide with this particular disc. When I select the HDD and next, I see a window with a check list and a windows % complete bar. It hangs for quite a bit then error occurs. Format error code 0x80070057. I've tried having the device formatted from the previous menu, but I get the same error. New help? Thank you for reply.
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a b G Storage
June 6, 2009 4:45:01 AM

Nope, 298.2GB is the actual size. it's to do with 1024byte vs. 1000byte = 1Mbyte and filesystem overhead..

Which "SATA Mode Select" did you use? If you used 'AHCI Mode' then there shouldn't be any problem.
Besides that I can't see any other options in your BIOS that would prevent Windows installation from formatting it.
June 6, 2009 7:06:40 AM

When you do a fresh install, the system will never give you 100% of storage as far as what your HDD's specs. For exampe, on my install of a 320 gb HDD, Windows says I have about 300 gb of storage space.

You will have to delete the partion, create one partition, and do a whole full format (should take over an hour just for formatting the new drive). Everyobe should do on a new drive so that surface errors on the platter itself can be checked.

June 6, 2009 7:58:01 AM

hundredislandsboy said:
When you do a fresh install, the system will never give you 100% of storage as far as what your HDD's specs. For exampe, on my install of a 320 gb HDD, Windows says I have about 300 gb of storage space.

You will have to delete the partion, create one partition, and do a whole full format (should take over an hour just for formatting the new drive). Everyobe should do on a new drive so that surface errors on the platter itself can be checked.


I deleted the partition and created a new one. The whole hard drive then is labeled "Unallocated' all 298.1gb of it. When I click next I still received that unable to format msg. So I tried to partition enough space for just the OS and left the rest unallocated and that worked. It then formats the partition (80gb) and continues to install windows. After some more trial and error I have windows home premium installed in that partition and it shows up in the desktop menu as "C" drive. Google searched how to format the 'unallocated' partition and did it through windows. Set to "E" drive. But during format, about 75% of the way in, I get a fatal error message, prompting me to back up files. It also claimed my hard drive may fail. I have no files to back up so I continue to format and receive same message at 95%. Formatting completes and all 298 is recognized.

Does this mean that the hard drive is straight up done, faulty, gonna die on me pretty much? I'm fine with leaving the OS in it's own partition at the moment, but is the newly formatted "E" partition defected and thus the whole drive defected with it?
June 6, 2009 8:09:31 AM

I'd like to add that if I had another SATA HDD laying around, I'd test that one in a heart beat. But I can't go around spending money so frivolously.
a b G Storage
June 6, 2009 8:07:34 PM

Sounds to me like you have a bad drive.
a c 167 G Storage
June 6, 2009 8:17:47 PM

Western digital has some diagnostics for their hard drives that you can download and run. I believe that they are called "data lifeguard" If your hard drive has some defective parts, you might want to return it before you fill it with data.

The difference between "retail" and "oem" is that oem is supported by the pc builder(you) and not microsoft. That is one reason why it costs less. The oem license is good for the pc(motherboard) that it was initially installed on only. With retail, you can transfer the license. This limitation is routinely waived.
a b G Storage
June 6, 2009 8:18:28 PM

I would try another HDD as well just to eliminate/confirm your current HDD being faulty.
!