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In the BIOs, but nowhere else

Tags:
  • Hard Drives
  • BIOS
  • Windows Vista
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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July 27, 2009 6:54:03 AM

Although i am currently running Vista HB on a 1TB internal hard drive, my preveious one was a 250GB internal and it crashed. Obviously, but the problem that i am having, it that i still want to use the old hard drive. When i boot up the 250GB, because Vista is still installed, it starts to boot Vista, but then blue screens. What i cant figure out, is that when i go into the BIOS, it is there as a 250GB hard drive, but when i am running the 1TB and have the 250GB connected, and i go into My Computer, or try to reinstall Vista/reformat the 250GB, it is nowhere to be seen. So my question is, is it possible to revive the 250GB, or is it a lost cause. Thanks for reading.

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a b G Storage
July 27, 2009 8:24:34 AM

Hmmm... go over how you connected both drives to your computer. What setup are you using?
July 27, 2009 7:01:35 PM

standard sata connection and define setup
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a c 363 G Storage
July 27, 2009 8:32:43 PM

There's no clear info here about how the 250 GB old drive "crashed". Apparently it is still partially working, enough to try to boot, but not enough to complete the job.

If I understand correctly, you have given up on whatever is still on the 250 GB drive and re-installed to a new 1TB drive, which you intend to use as your only drive that works. That does leave the question of why you would leave the 250 in the case?

From what you say, it appears to me that your machine still is set to boot from the 250GB drive. That is set in the BIOS. So, let's try to clean this up, assuming you do NOT want to recover anything from the "crashed" 250 GB drive.

1. Remove the 250 GB drive. At very minimum, disconnect both its data and power cords; maybe actually physically remove it from the case. Now, take the data cord from your newer 1TB drive and plug it in to the first SATA port, usually labeled "SATA1_0". Reboot the machine and go into the BIOS Setup screens, usually by holding down the "Del" key during early booting. Check the first screen to verify that it has found one and only one hard drive, and it got the size right.

2. Go into the BIOS screen where you set the Boot Priority or Sequence. You want to be sure it specifies using the only hard drive in the system now. Maybe you want that to be the first and only option, with all other options set to "none" or something like that. Sometimes, however, you want the first option to be the CD_ROM drive, and the hard drive to be second. Save and Exit the Setup to reboot and verify that the machine does boot from the right place and runs smoothly.

3. Now, with all that working well, we can turn attention to whether your old 250 GB drive can be re-used. The first thing to do is go to the website of that disk's manufacturer and download and install their testing utility package. Sometimes these can be run under Windows, and sometimes they have to be burned to a CD_ROM or a floppy drive that you boot from. When you have the testing tools ready, shut down and re-install the old drive in the machine, hooking it to a new port. When you turn on, go directly into the BIOS Setup again and verify that the 250 GB drive is detected in addition to the 1TB. Exit setup and boot. If you're booting to the CD-ROM or Floppy (you would have to specify the Floppy drive as the first boot source), let it boot and use the tools to run all the tests on your old drive. (You can identify it by its size, if nothing else.) If the test suite you have runs under Windows, do it that way. The tests will tell you whether the problems are big and unrecoverable, like damaged tracks needed for the File System, or whether there is something fixable. If it says it can be fixed, do that.

4. Now you reboot again, and this is where it is important to verify that you do NOT want to recover anything from the 250 GB. Because, I'm about to tell you to wipe it all out and start fresh! So you should be in Windows using the 1TB drive, and with a repaired 250 GB drive containing useless data. Use Disk Manager to delete all Partitions on the 250 GB drive - make SURE you do NOT do this to your 1TB Drive!!. Then create on the 250 GB unit a new Primary Partition, probably using up all of the space available, and making it NOT bootable - you are booting already from your 1TB drive. Then you Format that new Partition, using the NTFS file system, and probably asking it to do a Full Format. That last option takes MANY hours, but it will test every drive sector and mark off for non-use any faulty ones. When all that is finished, reboot and you should have a 1TB C: drive you boot from and a 250 GB empty data drive, visible in My Computer and ready to use, with its own letter name.

Of course, it may be that the drive testing utility says the old one is hopeless and there is no point in trying to re-use it. If that's the case, remove it from the computer and give it a place of honor among your sad dust-catchers.
July 27, 2009 11:13:31 PM

To clarify, I normally only have the 1TB installed, and i only have the 250GB in if I'm trying to fix it. As for how is crashed, i don't even know, all i know is that i was playing a game (HL2 to be exact) and the screen froze and then it blue screened. And as i said before, Windows still tries to boot but blue screens if i have it set to boot form the 250GB. Also, if both hard drives are in, they both appear in the BIOS with the appropriate storage sizes.

The 250GB didn't even show up on the hard drive tester. Only the 1TB and my 30GB iPod 5th gen. (i realize the ipod holds no significance)

*edit* I don't know if this helps, but they are both Barracuda Seagate HDDs.
September 4, 2009 4:36:42 AM

Just to let anyone know who may have come across this, I am still open to suggestions.
!