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Second Hard drive no longer recognized

Last response: in Storage
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December 19, 2009 11:58:38 PM

Awhile back I bought a second hard drive from Seagate. Everything worked fine, and then back of the hard drive port where the sata cable connects was broken into the sata cable. The hard drive pins where all in place but the plastic holder was stuck into the sata cable. I was able to still use the drive by using the same sata cable. One night I helped a friend clear their Virus infected computer by hooking into mine. The hard drive I added was using IDE ribbon, but Window would not load. I thought that the virus off the one hard drive affected my hard drive. I found out that somehow the second sata hard drive was not allowing XP to load. Now hard drive is no longer recognized in my BIOS. Any Ideas on how to get my hard drive to be recognize in the bios? At one point if the hard drive was connected I was unable to load XP, then If I connected the hard drive after XP loaded and scanned for plug and play hardware I would get blue screened with kernel_stack_inpage_error. I would just like to get the old data off the hard drive if possible.
a c 361 G Storage
December 20, 2009 1:30:40 AM

Reading between the lines, I am guessing that you have TWO SATA drives in your machine and NO IDE drives, right? And the second SATA drive has a broken connector that you were still able to use before the work on your friend's IDE drive.

The first thing to check is how the SATA cable is connected to your drive. Although it was working before despite the broken connector, you may have jiggled that connection loose while working on the other drive. So try moving it a little. Maybe, since its shell is broken off, you will need to rig a bit of string or something to support the SATA cable and put zero strain on the connector.

Next is to look closely in your BIOS Setup screens in three places. First check where your SATA ports are set up. Make sure both ports you are using are Enabled, and check that their modes are set right (no reason they should have changed, but just maybe) - they probably should be set to the same mode. Then look where your IDE ports are set up. If you have NO IDE devices, just Disable the IDE ports. Finally, look for where you set the Boot Priority Sequence. Make sure it is not trying to boot from the IDE port and only tries to boot from your first SATA unit and maybe from your optical drive. By the way, where is your optical drive connected?
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December 20, 2009 2:08:32 AM

The only IDE drive is my CD drive, I have tried jiggling the connector. On top of that I have put the drive into two different computer and neither of them have recoginzed the hard drive.
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December 20, 2009 2:29:46 AM

I have been putting the broken shell piece off the hard drive into different sata cables. Right now I am using express sata cable since the hard drive is outside of my case. To relieve pressure from the off the prongs, I have set up the hard drive in a position that allows the sata cable to sit straight. I have gone into my bios to disable any IDE devices, but did not fix the problem. I have custom build my computer using gigabyte motherboard MA790X-UD4P with an AMD Processor phenom II X4 955 AM3 socket type. The hard drive currently experiencing problems is a Seagate barracuda 500 GB. Currently I am no longer finding problems using XP and Blue screening since it isnt even partially detecting the hard drive.
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a c 361 G Storage
December 20, 2009 2:40:53 AM

Sadly, this sounds even more like the broken connector is the root of the problem. Oh, before going any further, have you already tried using a different SATA data cable? I expect you have.

It is possible that strain and flexing have broken a connection between the connector itself and the circuit board of the drive unit. This will take at least someone with good soldering skills and equipment to find and fix. No doubt the board will have to be removed from the drive to inspect and work on. If such a flaw can be found but a simple solder job is not enough, you might need to have the connector itself replaced. Where to get that can be a problem. Maybe from an old drive that is junk but happens to have the same type of SATA connector. Odd as it may sound, it would be very hard to simply replace the entire printed circuit board on the drive, because the manufacturers keep changing little details on them and getting an exact match is VERY difficult. Replacing the SATA connector on the board may be much easier for a skilled tech, IF it appears that really is the problem.
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December 20, 2009 3:11:01 AM

Thank you for your answer, I was also thinking that was the problem. All the pins are still connected, and I know that the computer is still trying to read the hard drive because it has a harder time loaded when the broken hard drive is connected compared to when it is not connected. Either way thank you again.
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December 20, 2009 3:31:19 AM

I have just removed the circuit board, all the pins on the hard drive are still connected, and the board has no scratches, cracks, or burns.
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December 20, 2009 2:24:37 PM

can you post a pic of the broken/damaged/wierd sata connector and the cable u use with it.
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December 20, 2009 4:24:20 PM

i just got a second harddrive
and it is pluged in alright but it does not show it in my computer what is the problem how do i access the harddrive
(i have to post on this post because something weird is happening on my profile)
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a c 361 G Storage
December 21, 2009 2:01:33 PM

An empty new HDD will NOT show up in My Computer until you prepare it properly. So let's go through the steps.
1.Disconnect power, open up and mount the unit physically in the case. Attach power and data cables to it. I'm assuming this is all DONE.
2. I see you are using Win XP. IF you have only the original version of XP with NO Service Packs installed, you cannot use a drive over 128 GB. So you must update your XP to the latest version (SP3) before doing the rest of the install. But as long as you have at least SP1 or later. forget this - you're OK.
3. I assume you have a new SATA drive, and that you are using it as a data storage device, and not as a boot drive. Win XP does not know how to use SATA drives in their native mode unless you have a driver loaded for that. You MIGHT have done that already - if so, do not re-install it. BUT the other alternative which you may already be using is to have your mobo take care of this little issue. That's the next step.
4. As soon as you turn on power, hold down the "Del" key so it boots into your BIOS Setup screens. There you need to make two settings in the place where SATA drives are managed. First is to Enable the SATA port you hooked up to, if it's not already. Then set its mode to IDE (or PATA) Emulation for the easiest way in Win XP. This has the mobo make the actual SATA drive appear to Windows to be a plain old IDE drive it understands, and it all works with no extra drivers. This may well be what you already have set on your C: boot drive. Save and Exit to store these new settings and boot up into Windows.
5. You must do two things to the new HDD before Windows can use it: Create a Partition on the disk that will be used as a drive, and then Format that new drive. These steps both can be done using the tools in Disk Management. Click on Start, then in the menu RIGHT-click on My computer and choose Manage. In the resulting window expand Storage if necessary and click on Disk Management. Disk Management shows you TWO panes on the right, each of them scrolling so you can see their full contents. A new disk will NOT be in the upper pane - it only has drives Windows already can use. It will be only in the LOWER RIGHT pane. It will have nothing but Unallocated Space. You RIGHT-click on that and choose to Create a Primary Partition, set its size, and decide whether it is bootable or not - in your case, I'm assuming not. If you only plan to use it to store and retrieve data, don't make it bootable. From here there are two routes depending on what the screen shows you. If there really are no other choices, you complete the Partition Creation step. When it's done you RIGHT-click on that new Partition and choose this time to Format it. Choose the NTFS File System unless you really know you need FAT32. Choose Quick Format (10 to 15 minutes) unless you want to let it do a thorough disk test that takes many hours! The other "route" I mentioned is that some systems will have given you a Wizard that combines setting Partition and Format options into one step instead of two. Anyway, when the Format is finished you exit out of Disk Manager, reboot, and start to use the drive.

The Partition and Format operations, alternatively, can be made even simpler if you download from the website of your disk maker their free utility that "prepares" or "initializes" a new HDD for Windows' use.
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December 22, 2009 1:45:19 AM

I desided since most likely the problem with my broken hard drive connector was that the pins may have touched frying my hard drive. So I took it upon myself to disamable the hard drive, and try to move the dics to another hard drive. No success so I throw the hard drive away. I just wanted to thank PaperDoc for the quick responses and time.
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