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New SATA Hard Drive- No BIOS?

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November 13, 2009 7:08:28 PM

Just installed a brand new SATA drive and computer won't go beyond the Intel Pentium 4 screen. No bios or anything. How do i get beyond this screen?

More about : sata hard drive bios

a c 357 G Storage
November 13, 2009 7:21:28 PM

We'll need more info to help. What is you mobo - both maker and exact model number? Does the mobo manual say anything specific about its HDD ports - IDE, SATA or SATA II? Same for the drive - exact model, etc. Is the drive SATA, SATA II, or IDE (PATA). What port is the drive plugged into? What other drives (HDD and optical) are in the system already, and where are they connected? These items will help us guide you how to troubleshoot.

Oh yeah, if you disconnect the drive and the machine starts running normally again, go the the website of the maker of this new disk and download / install their free Disk Diagnostic tools so you can check the disk itself for hardware trouble. A version that lets you create a bootable floppy or CD disk is really good so the tests can be loaded and run without Windows.
November 13, 2009 7:31:38 PM

The PC is a HP DC 7100, Pentium 4, 3.0 GHz, Seagate Barracuda LP ST31000520AS 1TB 5900 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Bare Drive, 3 GB RAM, drive is plugged into SATA port, Samsung DVD writer hooked up in IDE port. I also have a NVidia GeForce 8400 video card. When I hook up monitor to NVidia port, I get Intel Pentium 4 screen, but when I hook up in integrated display adapter, nothing shows up on screen. Either way, can't get beyond this screen. Help!!!

Paperdoc said:
We'll need more info to help. What is you mobo - both maker and exact model number? Does the mobo manual say anything specific about its HDD ports - IDE, SATA or SATA II? Same for the drive - exact model, etc. Is the drive SATA, SATA II, or IDE (PATA). What port is the drive plugged into? What other drives (HDD and optical) are in the system already, and where are they connected? These items will help us guide you how to troubleshoot.

Oh yeah, if you disconnect the drive and the machine starts running normally again, go the the website of the maker of this new disk and download / install their free Disk Diagnostic tools so you can check the disk itself for hardware trouble. A version that lets you create a bootable floppy or CD disk is really good so the tests can be loaded and run without Windows.

a c 357 G Storage
November 16, 2009 2:01:52 PM

I suspect you are caught in a minor incompatibility problem that has an easy solution. That computer appears to have the first-generation SATA system for HDD's, but your new drive is capable of faster communications with its mobo controller as a SATA II device. New SATA II units are supposed to be able to detect this and adapt by themselves, but it does not always work. For this reason Seagate (and others) have provided a way to force the new drive to slow down to original SATA specs, usually by setting a jumper. Look carefully at the info with your drive or at the Seagate website for details on how to force the unit to use the slower SATA communication speed of 1.5 Gb/s (rather than 3.0).

What catches my attention as a little odd is that, at one time, Seagate shipped all their drives with a jumper in place already that forced the original SATA spec. If you KNOW you have a SATA II faster controller you are supposed to remove the jumper to speed it up. You did not mention anything about this.

Once that is done, check some items in the BIOS Setup screens. To get there, hold down the "Del" key (usually) which first booting up. Look in Integrated Peripherals first to check the various drive ports. You may have IDE ports and devices, and I expect they are already set properly, or your machine would not have been working before. Then look at the SATA port settings. Make sure at least the port you've connected your new drive to is Enabled. Then look at its mode. On newer mobos (maybe yours, maybe not) there could be up to 4 options: IDE (or PATA) Emulation, native SATA, AHCI, or RAID. I expect you do not want RAID at all. If you have the IDE Emulation mode available, pick that if you're using Win XP. Vista and Win 7 are supposed to know how to handle SATA devices, but XP did not without a little help. Letting the mobo intervene and make a true SATA device look (to Win XP) like a plain old IDE device it understands is really simple and it all works with no further intervention. If you don't have that option, use the port as a native SATA port and you can install a device driver later.

Now, look for where you set the Boot Priority Sequence. It should have been set up before this to use your existing boot hard drive (IDE or SATA), maybe as a second choice after trying the optical drive. Make sure it is still set this way and that it does NOT try to boot from the new drive.

Save and Exit from this Setup to finish booting, and your machine ought to boot from its original C: drive as always. If it does, this is the time for SATA driver installation. Remember I said if you can use IDE Emulation mode on the SATA port you will NOT need to do this. Also, if you already have been using a SATA drive before, this step has been done and you do NOT need to do it over. But if you are using native SATA mode (or AHCI) under Win XP for the first time, you need to install into Win XP the driver for that type of device. Doing so will completely allow use of this new device with one exception - you won't be able to BOOT from it, which should suit you fine, anyway.

Hopefully this will get you to the point that the machine will boot smoothly from your existing old C: drive. However, you still will NOT see the new drive in My Computer until you do a 2-step process to prepare the drive for use by Windows. Some call this Initializing, some know it as Partitioning and Formatting. It can be done in Windows Disk Manager, or you can download from Seagate their free Disk Wizard utility set and use that to make it easy to set up a new disk.
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