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Installing 2 SATA2 drives

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December 21, 2009 12:07:11 AM

I recently had a problem that caused my power supply on my desktop to quit. I replaced my power supply with one on my shelf, but it would only run one sata2 hard drive. When my new power supply came, I installed it and after installing both hard drives, I used my Bios to make sure both hard drives were identified and the correct drive was selected as the boot drive. Both hard drives are Western Digital SATS2. Once I had the BIOS set I hit F10 to save and boot. My computer just sat there, never booted. So I unplugged the back up drive and the computer booted normally. For some reason now I can not get my computer to boot with both drives installed even though my BIOS indicates both are installed and funtional. Is there a trick to installing 2 SATA2 drives that I might have forgotten? They both worked fine before my power supply went on the fritz.
a b ) Power supply
a b G Storage
December 21, 2009 12:13:15 AM

Boot with just the OS HDD plugged in. Once Windows is up and running, plug in the second HDD.

Now reboot.

If it won't boot, what exactly happens after POST?
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a b ) Power supply
a c 342 G Storage
December 21, 2009 3:04:31 PM

For your two SATA II drives, are both SATA port modes set the same? Depending on other factors, they should both be set to IDE (or PATA) Emulation, or to native SATA, or to AHCI.

Does your mobo have SATA (150 GB/s original version) controllers, or SATA II (300 GB/s)? The one time you can have compatibility issues here is trying to use newer SATA II drives with older SATA controllers. There is a way to deal with that, but first question is: do you have this problem to handle?
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December 23, 2009 12:05:50 AM

the SATa II drives are both plugged into dedicated SATAII drive slots. They use to work just fine together. Now they do not. I tried the hot boot and have been able to get Windows to boot with drives hooked up. However, when I click on "my computer" it does not see the harddrive in question. When I do a hardware diagnostic, windows tells me that the drive is functioning normally. When I try to do a reinstall it tells me that it is just fine. But my computer still can not see it.
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a b ) Power supply
a c 342 G Storage
December 23, 2009 2:36:16 PM

OK, if I guess right from your posts, you are sure the mobo supports SATA II, not just older original SATA. You say you booted into BIOS Setup and configured the ports correctly, but the Save and Exit did not work. That part needs more detail. If the Save failed somehow, the BIOS parameters may still be wrong. But if the Save and Exit followed by rebooting went OK until the end of the POST process, then failed somewhere during loading Windows from the boot drive, there may be a Windows software issue, not a hardware problem. However, your last post says somehow you are past that problem and can boot up.

So, let us assume from your last post that the BIOS is set right and you actually can boot successfully into Windows. The problem is simply that you cannot "see" the SECOND hard drive in My Computer, even though the first drive (the boot drive called C: ) is there. We'll look in Disk Management for info, and maybe a fix.

Click on Start and in the menu RIGHT-click on My Computer and choose "Manage". In the resulting window expand "Storage" if necessary and click on "Disk Management". The window will show you two panes on the right side, and each of them scrolls so you can see all their contents. The UPPER RIGHT pane shows you all the drives Windows CAN use now, so you should see your C: drive there and probably your optical drive. The LOWER RIGHT pane has a bunch of horizontal blocks, each representing different hardware drive units in the case. One will be for your boot device, and at its left end will be a small block with a label like "Disk_0", a size, and a couple of other details. To its right will be a large horizontal block representing the major Partition on this unit (it may take up all of the space) that Windows treats as one "Drive". It will have a volume name like "OS" or "Boot Drive" or "Harry's PC" or whatever you named it long ago, the letter name (C: ) that Windows uses for this drive, a size, a Status, and maybe a couple other things. On some HDD units there may be more space to the right of this block to represent either additional Partitions or Unallocated Space, but my guess is that yours does not show stuff like that.

There also will be another big block representing your optical drive, but it won't have separate Partitioning blocks inside it.

Now, there should be a big block representing your second hard drive unit, and its left end will have a small block with a label like "Disk_1", its size, etc. To the right will be a sub-block representing its major Partition, just like the other drive that has the C: Partition on it. Big question here: does the second drive's big Partition block show you its letter name, like E:? If not, Windows does not have a name for it and cannot use it. In that case, RIGHT-click on the Partition block and choose from the menu to Change its Name. Give it any letter name not already in use. Exit out of Disk Management and reboot your machine so Windows can start to use that new name. This may have solved your problem and My Computer may now see the second drive. If not, go back into Disk Management and look again at that second drive block in the lower right pane. Post here what it says about the disk and its Partition, and maybe that info will help us figure out what to do next.
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December 25, 2009 12:28:32 AM

Thanks for the info. I have successfully booted up my computer with the drive connected. I have used Windows device manager to attempt to diagnose my problem. My device manager tells me that my hard drive is working properly and the driver for this device is the latest driver. But when I attempt to diagnose the problem further, my computer will freeze up. Even though windows device manager sees my hard drive, when I try to use my computer to access it. The drive never shows up at all, it just is not there.
I am going to try to use my Western Digital diagnostics disk with only the problem hard drive hooked up to see if
1. it sees the drive and
2. see if it can check for corrupt files structure if it does see it. and
3. try to correct my problem if it finds one.
I will post my results. I simply do not want to loose all my back up files if at all possible. Also I have several folders of family photos that will be lost if I can not recover this drive. Some of my father who has passed. Stupid me did not save those pictures on a disk. Thought my back up drive was secure.
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a b ) Power supply
a c 342 G Storage
January 5, 2010 8:31:51 PM

I applaud your plan to use the WD diagnostics disk to check the drive for hardware trouble. There may be problems that can or cannot be fixed, but I suspect your drive is not really in trouble.

After you get that done and the drive is OK, start back with using Disk Management to investigate the situation. It will show you details that Device Manager will not, because Device Manager can only show you things for drives that windows understands fully. Disk Management, as I said, also has some tools for fixing some of the problems you can identify there.

Let us know about your progress.
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January 5, 2010 8:34:00 PM

Are you refering to disk manager on the Western Digital Diagnostics disk?
Because , so far, nothing had helped me boot that drive and recover all my back ups.
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a b ) Power supply
a c 342 G Storage
January 6, 2010 1:55:27 PM

For the hardware checking, use the WD diagnostics you got - I think the package is called Data Lifegard. But after you are satisfied that there are no unresolved hardware issues with this drive unit, we're back to Windows software issues. For this I am referring to Disk Management, built into Windows. Re-read my post of Dec 23, starting at third paragraph, on how to get into it and use it.
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