"NTLDR is missing" ONLY when new HDD is plugged in

Hello all, and thanks for checking my thread. I have checked around for a bit and there's quite a few other threads going on with similar problems but none quite the situation I'm in.

I have a Dell Dimension 4600. Obviously several years old, so along the way I added a secondary HDD, filled it, and have now bought a new one to replace my slave drive. The mobo uses IDE and the HDD I got, the Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black, is SATA.

In a previous thread I sought the best way to connect it (as well as a new DVD optical drive) and went with an adapter found here:

I've connected it, left the jumper on the adapter(unless I'm stupid, there is only 1 set of jumper prongs) and booted up the pc, it runs, but in My Computer I can't find the HDD.
In Device manager, I can see it but don't have options to really do anything except disable or uninstall.
During boot if I F12, it says not installed.
I DL'd a tool called TweakUI which was recommended in one of the other forums I checked using google, and it shows all drives checked off so I'm confident it's not just hidden.. but of course not positive.

After that I shut down, took off the jumper, booted up and it wouldn't go to my log-in screen or desktop, but straight to the F12 boot menu (bios?).

The wait for the adapters in the mail was enough, I just want to get this running haha.. Thank you guys!
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  1. I don't understand the "left the jumper on the adapter(unless I'm stupid, there is only 1 set of jumper prongs)" part. The link you provided does not mention any jumpers on the adapter, nor are any visible in the pictures. It specifically says under the heading Parallel ATA": "Mater Device Only, Only one adapter per IDE Cable". To me that says this device is ONLY capable of making your SATA drive appear to be a Master device on an ATA port, and hence you MUST use this adapter / SATA drive as the ONLY device on that ATA port. I must admit, just because this adapter insists it must be the Master device, I see no reason why it cannot have a properly-jumpered Slave device also on the port.

    On the other hand, the linked page also contains mention of Master or Salve SATA devices, and there is NO such thing! So some of its info is wrong. Maybe your adapter DOES have a way to set the connected SATA drive for use as either a Master or a Slave.

    Does your mobo have TWO PATA ports? If so, try to set it up so the SATA HDD with your adapter attached is the ONLY unit on ONE of the ports. Hopefully since the adapter claims it will behave as a Master, this will work. If you do that using 80-conductor ribbon cable with connectors for two HDD's, plug the End one (Black) into your adapter / drive.

    Failing that, can you try connecting it as the ONLY device on one (maybe your only) ATA port and see whether your mobo can detect it properly as the Master there? If that works, try next to connect a second device as Slave on the same port / cable and see if it still works. If you can get the device(s) detected by BIOS properly, then you can proceed to either Partitioning and Formatting the new HDD or, closer to what you really want, cloning the old unit to the new one so that EVERYTHING get copied.
  2. This is really discouraging. I should've noticed those adapters are master only.. You are correct in saying the pics don't show a jumper and that's peculiar, in the short video ad it has for it he points it out, and in my hands, i'm looking at it. There are 2 prongs making one jumper set.

    I do not have two PATA ports, well, the one for HDD and the one for the optical drive, which I'm having trouble with too, I got a DVD drive and hooked that up using this connector as well and that's not being recognized either, and I do actually have it hooked up as the master.

    On the adapter it says 0: OFF 1: Default

    If I'm to understand, as not to suffer a complete loss of time and more importantly funds, it's mandatory I setup the new HDD, the Caviar Black, as my master? The best I've done is add a slave, is this something that's going to kill another hellish set of hours for success?

    If I try your last paragraph option there, is there any risk in losing my info on my current secondary while attaching it to the new HDD set as a master? As well as will my current master be fine just disconnecting and reconnecting after playing around a bit with this?

    A quick note in trying to get the devices recognized in BIOS, previously it saw it, but in parenthesis said not installed, the drive came with no disks for installation.

    I do truly appreciate your assistance, thank you for your time.

    claims your system HAS two SATA ports. Does it really? You could use them for your new HDD and DVD drive. see my next post for more details.

    OK, the website page does not have all the info and you DO have a jumper and one pin pair. It just is not clear from the web page what those do. If you have no further information, set it up as it arrived. (I think you imply it came with the jumper on the pins.)

    Help me clarify the "ports". You say you do not have two, and then say you do have two devices somehow. Two ways that can happen. Some mobos have two IDE ports (pinouts) on the mobo, some have only one. Each port can have an 80-conductor ribbon cable from it to the drives. MOST such cables have three connectors - a Blue one at one end for the mobo connector, a Black one at the other end for the Master device on that port, and a Gray one in the middle for the Slave device of that port. BUT some systems come with cable that are missing the middle connector.

    So, do you have ONE mobo port with a cable that has connectors at both the ends AND the middle? That could accommodate two existing IDE devices.

    OR, do you have a mobo with two IDE ports, and each has a cable that ONLY connects to ONE device? That also gives you two existing devices and the appearance that there is no more space. But the truth is that using the 3-connector cable type will allow you to add another IDE device to one of those ports.

    I guess what I'm struggling with is: if you have only ONE IDE port and a cable with TWO device on it, how did you plan to connect a third IDE device? OHH! I just finally looked at the specs for your Dimension 4600. iIt says the mobo has TWO IDE ports. So my guess is the second of the options above - it came with ribbon cables that are missing the middle connectors for Slave devices! Thus you have one IDE HDD on one port / cable, and second drive on a separate port and cable. You have been calling the second HDD your "slave", but that is not quite accurate. It would be better to label the two original drives as your Boot Drive and a Data Drive.

    In that case, what you need is simply a different IDE cable that is the more common type, one with THREE connectors on it in total. Or more precisely, two of those. Here is how to set up, and you'll see why I questioned the use of "Slave".

    On any IDE port you may have up to TWO devices that share the port and data cable (provided the cable has enough connectors). To do this you must uniquely identify each of the devices, and the system in use is to use jumpers on pins on the device to set each to be either the Master or the Slave on the port / cable. Each port MUST have a Master to operate. IF a second device is added to it, that one MUST be the Slave. If there is a seconds IDE port, it is subject to the same rules - it MUST have its own Master and MAY have a Slave, too. Net result is the two IDE ports can accommodate up to FOUR devices in total.

    There are two methods by which these roles can be set. The first is to set one device to Master (consult the label on the device for jumper setting), and the second one to Slave. In this system it is preferred that the Master device be connected to the END (Black) connector, and the Slave to the MIDDLE (Gray) connector. You do this for EACH IDE port. Note that a Slave is optional on each port, but a Master is necessary.

    The second method is to set the jumpers on BOTH devices to "CS" for "Cable Select". Then whichever device is plugged into the END (Black) connector WILL be the Master.

    General rule: if you have both an HDD and an optical drive on one port / cable, it is preferred that the HDD be the Master. However, that is NOT always necessary.

    I am not clear which connection system your new optical drive uses - IDE or SATA? for now I will assume SATA, since you say you used the new adapter with it.

    So, how can we connect this all up, assuming you do have two IDE ports? First, you need two IDE ribbon cable that have the middle connectors in them, too - available at any computer shop. And we must adapt to the fact that your adapter MUST take the Master role. (I'm not clear whether you have two of these adapters, but I'm supposing yes.)

    Connect the new 1TB HDD with its adapter to the END of the cable from the FIRST IDE port. Take your old HDD that has the OS on it (your Boot Drive from the first IDE port) and change its jumpers (probably necessary) so it is the Slave. Connect this to the MIDDLE connector of the first IDE port.

    Likewise on the second IDE port and cable, connect the optical drive with its adapter to the ENDS connector - it will be the Master, even if that's not quite "ideal". Set the jumpers on your old Data Drive to the Slave position and plug it into the MIDDLE connector of its cable. Now you have four IDE devices on two IDE ports, and each port has a Master and a Slave device. In each case, the Master is the one with the adapter that insists it MUST be a Master.

    Now, when you boot up, you must go immediately into BIOS Setup. On many machines that means holding down the "Del" key while you turn on, and keep holding it down through the POST sequence on screen until it pops up the opening menu of BIOS setup. However, on some machine the special key is NOT "Del", and you will see a message on the screen during POSY that ells you which key to hold down to enter Setup. If that happens, just note which key and push the Reset button to re-start the boot-up, and hold down the correct key.

    From the opening menu, the first screen usually available show you the dis device present, etc. See whether all four of your devices are detected there. Assuming they are, you need to go to another menu screen where your Boot Priority Sequence is set. Usually the best choice is to set the optical unit as the first choice, and then the old HDD that DOES have your OS installed on it. There need be NO other choices for now. Save and Exit from here and your system should boot up looking almost normal. You will NOT "see" the new HDD in My Computer yet because it needs some preparation. But if you can boot this way and see both of your old drives plus the new optical unit, things are working fine.

    There is more to do after this and one significant issue to figure out about the ability to even use an HDD over 137 GB, but I have to leave right now. will come back later to add to the thread. If you proceed with any of this, let us know what happens.
  4. It's baaaack!
    Significant issue: can your system use a HDD over 137 GB?
    I found a user manual for your machine here:

    Is that one right? I'm looking particularly at the mobo layout drawing on p. 58. I see it shows ONE "Hard Drive Connector" and ONE "CD Drive Connector". In fact I'm pretty sure each of these is really a standard IDE connector as I described above, even if that is not how they are being used in the original machine. Now note that, between the right edge on the diagram and the large RAM sockets, there are two "Serial ATA connectors". THOSE are the SATA connectors you need for all this! If we can get them working, you will not need the adapters to connect two new SATA devices - your 1 TB HDD and your DVD drive.

    I also note on p. 65 in the instructions for installing or replacing a HDD, it says specifically you must set its jumpers to "CS". So they are using the "Cable Select" system and that means BOTH devices (IF you have two) on one cable / port MUST be set that way. HOWEVER, your adapters cannot do that - they insist they are only Master. So if we end up doing everything through IDE ports, we'll take that into account. But IF you can use the SATA ports this becomes a non-issue because there are NO settings for Master or Slave on SATA devices.

    IMPORTANT: on p. 83 it appears to say that the special key you need to hold down so you can enter BIOS Setup is F2, not "Del". Then see p. 85 for the process of changing the setting.

    Check also this System Setup Manual:

    Under System Setup Options about ¼ of the way down it details the drive units it can handle. It appears to indicate that it CAN handle 2 SATA units and four IDE units.

    If you can get the SATA ports to work with your two new SATA units and NOT using the adapters to connect to IDE cables, that will go a long way to solving concerns over large HDD's (that is, ones over 137 GB capacity). About year 2000 a change was made in how HDD's work, and the new way is called "48-bit LBA Support". (The old way was usually called just "LBA Support" and it used 28 bit, not 48.) This feature is required in three places: the drive itself (obviously will be there in large drives), its controller on the mobo, and the Operating system. In IDE controllers of that time there may be doubt about it. BUT ALL SATA systems do have this feature - it was always included in any SATA. So using the SATA ports on your mobo with SATA drive units guarantees that is OK. Now for the OS, if you have Windows XP ORIGINAL version with NO Service Packs installed, you do NOT have this feature and need to fix that. But if you have at least SP1 installed in your Win XP, you are OK. If you don't I really recommend you update to SP3 now, BEFORE you do any installing and connecting. If you already have moved on to Vista or Win 7 you do NOT need to do any more on this.

    One last thing to check. Go into BIOS Setup and look for a place where options are set for the SATA ports. By default they may be DISabled. If so, you will need to change to Enabled so you can use them. THEN if it shows you anything like a SATA Port Mode, I suggest you set it to IDE (or PATA) Emulation. Other settings are possible, but probably not necessary for you. Do NOT set it to RAID!

    OK, so check up on these things and let's see if using the SATA ports is likely to work. Let us know how it goes.
  5. Alrighty then, to start: I found my SATA ports, I almost wanted to cry having just spent like 45 bucks on ordering those stupid adapters. The setup was looking to improve upon, my original HDD (master) 30 GB or so, and slave was 250 GB (so I know it can handle over 137 GB) on one IDE port, so the cable had two connecters. My second IDE port has 2 optical devices, a regular CD drive, and a CD-RW (ribbon of course had 2 connectors also).

    My goal was originally to replace my 250 GB slave with the 1TB, making it the new slave, keeping me with only 2 HDDs. Also, replacing the CD-RW drive with the DVD-RW, leaving me with 2 optical drives, not for any reason; I'd be just fine with the one DVD-RW drive if it were easier or recommended, or whatever.

    On a quick note, I have only one SATA cable, so being the more important aspect, I used it on the 1TB HDD, having my original 30 GB HDD set the same as it has been, with the 1TB HDD connected to SATA. In conjunction, I have the DVD-RW drive set up on the optical IDE (using the adapter of course) by itself on that ribbon (the end connector).

    Upon boot in this setup, I went into Bios, and in Hard Drives it says something about a USB device (not installed) and in opticals: DVD drive (not installed). So I don't know if the "USB" is the SATA somehow? Side note: in My Computer, to be expected I can only see the C: Drive, except there is also a G: saying DVD but there is nothing like that hooked up, just weird.

    I'm unsure how to guarantee my SATA is enabled, or setup IDE Emulation. I do have XP SP3. The manual you'd shown is definitely my pc. Anything I neglected to cover or include of course just let me know and I can't express enough gratitude for taking the time, thank you again.

    p.s. any options I have so I didn't waste my money on those adapters? :P
  6. Is the issue you are having is that you don't see the 250gig or the new 1tb drives in Windows and only see the 30 gig one?

    Would is cause you pain to do a fresh setup of Windows with re-installing applications?

    What I would do here is to take out all of the hard drives, or at least diconnect them. Install only the 1tb drive in the system, install a clean Windows copy on it, use your restore disks, whatever you have there.

    When that's running, install the 250gig drive. SATA does not play with master/slave settings, they only have channels 1,2,3,4 etc... It will normally look for a first boot device on the lowest channel, so don't worry about making your drives slave/master.

    Make sure you get the latest BIOS and drivers for your system before-hand and put them on a CD or flash drives if you re-install Windows.
  7. Best answer
    So your original plan was to change from 2 HDD's on the Primary IDE Port plus two opticals on the Secondary IDE, to two HDD's again on the Primary IDE (but a 1 TB SATA via adapter replacing the old 250 GB IDE), and one or two (depending on what works) opticals. One optical = new SATA DVD-RW unit via adapter, and possible second being the old IDE CD-RW unit.

    Now, however, we have a couple more alternatives. Regarding HDD's, you can choose NOT to remove the old 250 GB IDE unit and simply add the new 1TB unit via a real SATA port and cables. On the optical front, you can proceed as planned above, OR you could leave your two old units in place and add the third one on the second SATA port, but you are missing a SATA cable.

    You have not mentioned it, but a SATA unit needs TWO connections - one 7-conductor ribbon cable for data (to mobo) plus one 15-conductor power supply line from the PSU. If you do not have power supply SATA connectors coming from the PSU, you can get adapters to power them from 4-pin Molex outputs.

    Now, your plan was to keep the old 30 GB unit as the boot drive with Win XP SP3 installed on it, and merely upgrade the 250 GB data drive to a 1 TB unit. Is that still your plan? hang-the-9 was advising a wholesale change involving a complete re-install to a single 1 TB HDD. If that appeals to you, let us know. Or, if you find the 30 GB unit is getting crowded as your C: drive and want something bigger, you also could shuffle things so that the 250 GB unit takes over as your C: drive you boot from. Does that appeal?

    I'm going to advise assuming you want:
    (a) keep both old HDD's and add the 1 TB as a SATA device for data only;
    (b) replace the old CD unit with the new DVD-RW unit (a SATA device plus an adapter). Note I said replace the CD, not the CD-RW. Don't know why you said you wanted to keep the CD, but if you do that makes little difference for what I recommend.

    1. Disconnect power, open case, leave your two old HDD's connected as they were. Disconnect the new DVD-RW and re-connect both the older optical drives as they were.

    2. You MIGHT have a problem getting your mobo's SATA controller (VERY likely to be original 1.5 Gb/s SATA) to work with a newer SATA 3.0 Gb/s (aka SATA II) HDD. The way to force that new drive to slow down to older settings is shown in this WD web page:!!&p_li=&p_topview=1#satadesktopjump

    NOTE the first diagram of jumper settings for SATA 3.0 Gb/s units. Place one jumper on pins 5&6 to force to 1.5 Gb/s. You may NOT need this - the drive is supposed to figure it all out and automatically set itself. BUT sometimes that fails and you have to install the jumper.

    3. Now connect the new SATA HDD to the first SATA port on the mobo (and its power). Close up, reconnect power cord, turn on power and use the F2 key to enter BIOS Setup. On the first screen with drives you should see all your old units - 2 HDD's and 2 opticals - normally. Tab to other screens and find the one where SATA ports are configured. Find the line for SATA ports and make sure they are Enabled. Nearby you should find a place to set SATA Port Mode. Set that to IDE (or PATA) Emulation, and NOT to RAID. Save and Exit, and it will finish booting up. Everything will look like it did before. You will NOT see the new HDD in My Computer.

    4. Click on Start ... Control Panel ... System and choose the Hardware Tab, then the Device Manager button. Expand the optical device line to see your two drives there. For each of them, RIGHT-click and choose to Uninstall. When done, back out of this and shut down. Open up and disconnect both old optical units. This will remove all optical drive units so you can start fresh.

    5. With no optical drives connected, reboot into Windows. Now we'll set up the new HDD using Disk Manager. Click on Start, RIGHT-click on My Computer and choose Manage from the mini-menu. Expand Storage if necessary and click on Disk Manager. On the right you will see two panes. Each of them scrolls so you can see all they contain. The upper one will show you the drives Windows can use now - only your two old ones. The LOWER RIGHT pane will show you these a little differently, plus the new 1TB unit. RIGHT-click on that and choose from the menu to Create a new Primary Partition. That starts a Wizard where you set several options. Size: you want it to be as large as it allows (all of the capacity in one drive) I presume. You do NOT need this to be bootable - it is a data storage unit only. It should be Active. IF you see parameters for Formatting, set File System to be NTFS. You can do a Quick Format that will take 10 to 15 minutes. OR you can choose a Full Format which will do the same job and then take MANY HOURS to test absolutely all of the HDD for Bad Sectors (not common on a new HDD, but it happens!) if you have the time. Run the task. Now, IF you were using an earlier version of the Wizard you will NOT have seen Format options. In that case the task done first will only have Created the Partition. Then you would have to RIGHT-click again on that new Partition and choose to Format it, with options as above. Then run that as a second task. When done, back out of Disk Management and reboot. You should find your HDD in My Computer now, ready to use.

    6. Now back to the optical units. If you are going to use one of your adapters to connect the new SATA DVD-RW unit to the Secondary IDE port, do that now. Connect only this drive for now - we'll get it running cleanly and then add the older optical drive after. Remember that this adapter insists it is the port Master, so connect it to the END of the data cable. Close up and boot up, and hopefully Win XP will detect a new device and find / install the driver it needs. If it has any trouble, do you have a driver for this new device on a CD or from its maker's website? Once that's done you should see the unit in My Computer, and be able to put a disk in it and read its files. Shut down and open case.

    7. OK, now the second optical drive (one of your older ones). CHANGE its jumper - it probably is set to CS, and it MUST be set to Slave (the other unit is Master). Then reconnect, close up and boot up. Again, Windows should detect it and install the required driver. You should be able to see it and use it in My Computer.

    8. Now, odds are the letter names for all these drives are not what you want. You can set that back in Disk Management's LOWER RIGHT pane again. I expect that the boot drive C:, and your old 250 GB HDD as D:, is OK. You probably have several applications and icons that depend on having a particular letter associated with one of the optical drives and will want to re-establish that name. You may also want to adjust the letter names for the other optical and for the new 1 TB unit. For each one you can RIGHT-click on the drive in the LOWER RIGHT pane and choose to Change its Name. BUT you cannot use a letter already used by something else. So you will need a two-step process. Rename one with a letter you want to re-assign (E: for example) as something out of the way, like "P:". Now, with E: freed up, assign that to the drive that you want to be E:. Similarly, set F:. Lastly, rename P: to G:. Or whatever - you get the idea. When you have them all the right way, back out and reboot again so Windows can update its Registry. My Computer should have five drives now - three HDD's including your new one, plus two opticals including the DVD-RW, all ready to use.

    9. You intended to migrate ALL of the files on your 250 GB IDE unit to the new 1 TB unit and then to remove the older 250 GB unit. You nay have re-thought that plan now that you can have all three drives in use. BUT if you still want to migrate the data, the best tool is a free cloning tool from your 1 TB unit's manufacturer, WD. Go to their website and download a utility called Acronis True Image WD Edition. It is a VERY good and powerful utility that does a lot more than cloning, so be sure you get the manual and read it. Install it on your C: drive. Run it, go to the menus for cloning, and be VERY careful to set up the first two options. Set the SOURCE to your 250 GB older unit, and make SURE to set the DESTINATION to the new 1 TB unit. If necessary, tell it to delete any Partition on the DESTINATION drive. By default it will plan to make the clone copy the same size as the source (250 GB), but that it not what you want. Find the menu choice to set your own size on the DESTINATION drive, and make it what you really want - probably the entire 1 TB disk. The cloned disk does NOT need to be bootable, and it will need the NTFS File System. You may have the Quick vs. Full Format option to choose, too. Run the job and it will copy absolutely everything from the old 250 to the new 1 TB unit, including all hidden files, etc. It will leave all those files on the old HDD, too. But after you are confident that the new one is working fine, you can re-assign the 250 GB unit for something else. In fact, what I suggest is that you use Disk Management to rename the units so the 1 TB becomes your D: drive, and the 350 GB unit becomes G: or whatever.

    10. AFTER you have done the migration above you have a 250 GB IDE unit available for use. You could use Disk Management to Delete its Partition and then Create a new Partition and Format that, giving you an empty storage HDD. Or, you could clone your old 30 GB drive to the 250 GB unit, remove the 30 GB unit, and plug the 250 GB unit in as the boot drive on the Primary IDE Port. However, that Acronis utility you got for free from WD's website will make a clone TO a WD disk unit only. So if your 250 GB unit is made by somebody else, you'll need to find another cloning utility to do this.
  8. Quote:
    So your original plan was to change from 2 HDD's on the Primary IDE Port plus two opticals on the secondary IDE, to two HDD's again on the Primary IDE (but a 1 TB SATA via adapter replacing the old 250 GB IDE), and one or two (depending on what works) opticals. One optical = new SATA DVD-RW unit via adapter, and possible second being the old IDE CD-RW unit.

    Exactly, I'm planning on eventually building my own PC when I've saved up enough, but the HDD was an immediate need since the 250 GB was full, and the DVD-RW was just something I knew I could easily switch to the future built PC anyway.

    I figured this would be the easiest solution, a simple swap for both (look how that worked out lol).

    If I could just add the 1TB to the 2 already existing HDDs that would be convenient but I didn't think that was an option. I wouldn't have another HDD slot for the third either.

    If eliminating the 30GB and reinstalling windows on either the 250 GB or the 1TB is more recommended I'd prefer to set it up however is faster, I have no preference aside from that. Whatever I do I'll carry the same setup over to my custom PC later on.

    I'm going to advise assuming you want:
    (a) keep both old HDD's and add the 1 TB as a SATA device for data only;
    (b) replace the old CD unit with the new DVD_RW unit (a SATA device plus an adapter).

    this sounds great, again the only thing I would have to work around is a third HDD slot, although probably not recommended could I leave it loose...?

    I assume something came up and you were unable to finish lol, no problem though I'll check back in as often as I can.
  9. You're right - my laptop warned me it was running low on the battery. So I shut down, plugged int, and got back to editing (above),

    Hmm! part of the problem is physical space for mounting a third HDD, because that case only allows two in the drive cages at the bottom front. Well, loose in the case is a poor option. But a less-obvious one is to mount a third HDD in an upper slot near the optical drives, if there is one. The standard 3½" device slot used for floppy drives is the same size as for hard drives. So if you have an empty slot for a floppy drive, mount the third HDD there - just needs some correct screws, and don't bother to remove the front panel cover plate. Alternatively, do you have an empty 5¼" device slot at the top - same as the ones you have your optical drive units in? From a computer shop (especially a used equipment shop) you should be able to get a small set of adapter rails used to fit new 3½" devices into the wider 5¼" slot. Then you can mount it there. Needs a few more screws.
  10. I'm having trouble on step 5, in the following picture you can see that the 1TB drive does not appear in Disk Manager.

    My frist guess would be I didn't properly enable SATA as you'd said in step 3. Of course this is a guess, here are pics of my BIOS screen to hopefully fill you in if i had done it right, or if you could tell me where I need to go in my BIOS to correctly do it.

    Sorry it took me a couple days to reply I work two jobs throughout the day and just haven't had time. Every opportunity I get though I'm trying to get this accomplished.

    Another quick note is in the Disk Manager it shows a drive G: DVD drive, I believe I mentioned its presence in My Computer in a previous post but anyway, having uninstalled and disconnected both optical drives as you directed I don't know what this drive is.. It's not a problem I don't think, just peculiar.

    hopefully the pics help
  11. Seems to me you're in the right part of the BIOS Setup. One quick question: did you try setting a jumper on your new HDD to force it to slow speed, per my Item 2?

    I find it interesting that both the new 1TB unit on the "SATA Primary" port and the older 250 GB unit on the Primary (IDE) Slave position are shown as "Unknown Device". And yet your 250 GB older drive works fine, and does show properly in both the upper and lower right panel of Disk Management. It's also interesting to see that the BIOS claims that it does see CD-ROM units on both of the Secondary (IDE) positions, even though you say you have uninstalled and disconnected both of those devices! I make me wonder if the last screen is not showing you what it has detected, but rather is showing you a setting that has been entered previously. What happens if you place the cursor highlight line on, say the Primary Slave line that shows "Unknown Device", and then try changing it. Look at the prompt at the bottom of the screen. You are supposed to use space bar or the "+" or "-" keys to change the choice on the highlighted line. If you do that it may let you set something like "CD_ROM Drive" or "Hard Drive". If you can do that for the Primary Slave line, try doing it also on the line for SATA Primary Drive.

    When in Disk Management, don't forget that the list in the lower right pane SCROLLS. The screen shot you show displays the two older hard drives and one CD-ROM drive but does not show the other CD-ROM unit that the BIOS claims to have, nor the new hard drive that the BIOS acknowledges exists but is an "Unknown Device". Maybe they are lower down if you scroll.
  12. I do have the jumper on, it's on the middle left jumper set when the metal HDD case with the sticker is on top.

    I rebooted and went back into BIOS and found this, (more pics)

    so some things have changed.

    In answer to your question, going into "Unknown Device" for the optical is the second picture. Going into the Primary Slave Drive, which is now no longer "Unknown Device" but actually "Hard Drive" is pic 3. Changing "Auto" when going into either the optical or HDD option only gives you the alternate choice of "Off". While Capacity is not something you can change.

    Still after the reboot, when going into Manage>Disk Manager, I cannot see the 1TB drive and if you look carefully in the first post I put pics in, the picture of the Disk Manager open does show there is no scroll left I stretched the window size enough to eliminate it, there a decent chunk of emptiness under the unexplained G: drive to the bottom of the window. It is simply not there.
  13. Also I get this screen when I boot up:

  14. So the BIOS IS detecting correctly both your old HDD's now - the Primary Master and Slave. On the Secondary IDE port set to AUTO it says "Unknown Device", and the POST message says there actually is no device found there. Now, you say you already Uninstalled both your optical drives in Windows AND then disconnected both from the mobo. So those messages from the Secondary IDE port actually make sense - there is no detectable device there.

    Now, the SATA Primary port is set to AUTO and yet it says the device type is unknown, and the POST message says no drive detected - exactly the same as you Secondary IDE port says with no drive connected. In other words, the BIOS messages indicate the 1 TB unit is NOT functioning at all. Assuming you have connected both its data and power supply cables, that does not sound good. Can you take that drive to another machine and connect it there to see if it works? When you do that, try out the data ribbon cable you are using on it now, and one or two spares just in case the data cable is the problem. The other thing you can try in your machine is a different power supply cable. Those tests can indicate where the flaw is - new 1TB HDD unit, data cable, power supply, or mobo.

    As for the mysterious CD-ROM drive unit G:, it almost looks like a driver for that is still installed in Windows. Try going back into Control Panel ... System ... Hardware ... Device Manager and look for any optical drives. If there are any showing, delete them, back out and reboot. Later when you get all your HDD's working and then re-connect the two optical drives you are keeping, Windows should re-install the necessary drivers.
  15. So as I was re-reading my own post and looking at the pics I noticed the SATA Primary said 0 instead of one, so I shut down and took a look inside and low and behold I'm pretty silly. Because the top SATA port said one, and was above the other, I just naturally figured it was the first input, like 1 and 2, not 0 and 1.... haha. So I switched it and my BIOS recognizes it, I can see it in Disk Manager, but I have a few extra options than you put, I just want to make sure.

    Although you can't see the print in the white boxes, File System you've clearly said should be NTFS, and Volume label I assume can be whatever I want to name it.

    Allocation Unit Size start off as default, if clicked you have the option for 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16k, 32k, 64k. I'm guessing Default but what do I know.

    Next I wanted to make sure that if I don't click the quick format, that it will actually do the Full Format, secondly if the hours it takes are worth a Full Format anyway. Any recommendation you make I will accept.

    Finally, Enable File and Folder Compression, yes or no?

    And another note: with that optical G: Drive, I went back into Device Manager and it was still there, I uninstalled again, then went into Disk Manager and refreshed the drives and it came back, double checked Device Manager and it also came back. So I don't know, haha.
  16. HOORAY! It's working!

    Now, as to the formatting screen, I have a question. Format is the second operation in setting up an HDD. Before that one must establish a Partition of some specified size that will be treated as one "drive" by the OS. THEN that "drive" is Formatted. You can make one Partition large enough to consume the entire available space on your new 1TB HDD, or you can make it smaller and use the Unallocated Space to create another Partition. I don't know which way you want to do that - personally I do the one huge Partition option - but do you know what size Partition it has created to Format? MAYBE whatever software is giving you this screen assumes that it will make only one Partition that uses all the drive.

    If you want to use the screen you show here, here's what I suggest. You are right, the Volume Label is anything you like (max 11 characters, I think). Allocation Unit is probably 512, BUT if you choose the NTFS File System it will probably do the right thing if you choose Default here. There are only 2 types of Format, Quick and Full, so you are right. A Full Format just gives you an extra feeling of security because Windows does a check on the HDD, and on rare occasions there ARE bad sectors to mark off on a brand new HDD. I usually do the Full route, and I know I have to allow a very long time. (Last ones we did on a new fast machine took about 5 hours to Full Format a 1.5 TB WD Green HDD.) File and Folder Compression I would not do. That was very useful back when HDD's were much smaller, but it slows the machine a bit by making the CPU do extra work on every disk access and it MAY make file recovery difficult if it is ever necessary, because you have to decode the compressed file. With today's big HDD's (you just installed 1,000 GB!) I figure why bother with compression?

    If you would rather do this Partition and Format process by using Windows' built-in Disk Management utility, see my post above from 9-20-2010, item 5 and onwards.

    Here's another thought about G: - maybe it is not an optical drive. Maybe it is some other device, like a USB memory stick or a memory card reader in your system, or even a card reader slot in an attached printer.

    Anyway, once you get this new HDD working, have fun re-installing the optical drives you are keeping. Enjoy your updated machine, and congratulate yourself on mastering the technology. I (and many) often have said computers are really fast, but they are also really stupid - they do what you tell them to, and not what you want them to do! And their vocabulary is so limited they just cannot seem to understand at all!
  17. I had the option to decided the partition size on a previous screen in the wizard, and of course chose the maximum.

    So I'll go ahead and use the NTFS and Default Allocation Unit as you said. I'll check back soon, and as always, I can't thank you enough.
  18. I'm having some trouble with Acronis. It won't clone. I've got a pic of my settings in manual clone and two different errors, the first time around it said reboot, I did but got no results. From then on now it just said operation failed. In the first pic where it shows partition letter, if I switch it to E:, like the 1TB is currently set, it just sets it back to D: which is what the 250GB currently is.

    hope these pictures have been an accepted source to more quickly asses my situation. I don't know why they'd be bothersome but, well who knows..

    any ideas on the Acronis sitch?
  19. Acronis may be trying to assign an unused drive name (letter) and cannot use E: if that's already a Partition on the 1TB. However, that does not explain why it would try to use the letter D: that also is already assigned!

    When it makes a clone it has to (or may prefer to) create a Partition, rather than placing the clone copy in an existing Partition. I sometimes think it is happier if there is Unallocated Space to use on the Destination drive. So I would suggest you try using Acronis first to Delete the Partition (E:) that you created on the 1 TB unit. THEN try setting up the cloning to go onto that empty unit. Of course, since you've already done the Full Format once, do not bother doing it again. Well, that is assuming that the first time around it did not find any bad sectors that need to be marked off.
  20. Ok then, managed to get everything set ran Acronis and it kept failing. I've just gone into Disk Manager, (and earlier it was a little weird, C: was missing, it looked fine in My Computer so I said nevermind) and C: was back as well as the 1TB (with no drive letter of course), however, I could tell there was data, so I gave it a letter, swited the 250GB from U: (a random one I gave it) back to D:, and when I went into My Computer it looks like although the clone said it had failed each time, it seems I now have one complete copy on the 1TB...? Is it very likely some data is corrupted and it wasn't a full clone?

    What should I do to verify it's all set short of sifting through every single video and song and picture and seeing if they play right or not? At least I have a little more to go on now...
  21. Hello again, it's been a little bit and things were going alright, as I'd said in my last post even though the acronis copy said it failed it seemed like all my stuff was there, so that still remains question number one: is there anyway I can verify all my stuff is ok without playing every file and seeing if it works?

    But more importantly now, and the reason I've returned is unfortunately today I came home to a blue screen of death, upon reboot I got a message saying "NTLDR is missing, press ctrl+alt+del to restart" doing so results in the same screen refreshing moments later. The drive was working fine for almost a week, and i'd added things to it with no problems.

    I thought about it and tried unplugging the 1TB and booted up and everything's fine, plugged the 1TB back in and got the NTLDR screen again. So question two is what can I do to get my 1TB running again.

    I looked up the NTLDR message on google and saw some things about boot up disks and said well I might as well get my optical set up finally, because I haven't done it yet. I hooked it up using the adapter and upon boot it's not found (along with the 1TB because I unplugged it to get rid of the NTLDR screen). I checked the plugs and everything and they're fine, I just don't get it. It opens up, and has a power light. Question three: why is my optical drive not found?

    Please help!
  22. no ideas? :(
  23. colin_b88 said:
    Hello again, it's been a little bit and things were going alright, as I'd said in my last post even though the acronis copy said it failed it seemed like all my stuff was there, so that still remains question number one: is there anyway I can verify all my stuff is ok without playing every file and seeing if it works?

    But more importantly now, and the reason I've returned is unfortunately today I came home to a blue screen of death, upon reboot I got a message saying "NTLDR is missing, press ctrl+alt+del to restart" doing so results in the same screen refreshing moments later. The drive was working fine for almost a week, and i'd added things to it with no problems.

    I thought about it and tried unplugging the 1TB and booted up and everything's fine, plugged the 1TB back in and got the NTLDR screen again. So question two is what can I do to get my 1TB running again.

    I looked up the NTLDR message on google and saw some things about boot up disks and said well I might as well get my optical set up finally, because I haven't done it yet. I hooked it up using the adapter and upon boot it's not found (along with the 1TB because I unplugged it to get rid of the NTLDR screen). I checked the plugs and everything and they're fine, I just don't get it. It opens up, and has a power light. Question three: why is my optical drive not found?

    Please help!

    NTLDR means NT Loader the part that loads your OS this is sometimes considered the BOOT sector this usually appears on hardrives that, and follow me here carefully, have no OS installed or have the bootsector corrupter or Master Boot Record (MBR) dead.

    Now its pretty simple, the last 2 are permanent unless fixed so unplugging your drive would make no difference. This leaves the first option it tries to boot off a in-existing OS. Check your boot up drives sequence after you plug the drive back in and make sure it boots up off the proper drive that has the OS on it.
  24. Thank you for your reply!

    In the boot sequence, when the 1TB is plugged in and I go into F2(setup utility), I don't even have the option to use the 1TB as a boot drive, only "1. System BIOS boot devices" and "2. USB Device (not installed)". I can move either of these options up or down using +/-
  25. It looks like you BIOS uses a 2-stage system for specifying the boot device. The first level is to choose between wither a USB device or an internal device under control of the system BIOS (that last is your choice, of course). AFTER that choice is made there ought to be another place nearby where you specify exactly which internal device is to be used (or a sequence of more than one).
  26. You are correct. In the pics of my BIOS I put in previous posts you can see all my options available. "Boot Sequence" gives me the options listed in my previous post.

    "Hard-Disk Drive Sequence" gives me the option for floppy, cd, and C: in whichever order I desire. Yet C: is the only drive I have the option to use. There is no choice for the 250GB or 1TB to boot from. C: is without a doubt chosen in my BIOS, which is why I'm confused, and here, ha.
  27. Odd, all right. In most BIOS' today there is NO label like C: or D: or whatever for a HDD unit. Those letter names actually are assigned by Windows, and it always assigns C: to the HDD device it just booted from. So no surprise you can boot from the C: drive! All that line in BIOS is really offering is the priority order among floppy, CD and HDD. BUT it does not, as you point out, allow for selecting one specific HDD device among the several that are connected.

    As a "shot in the dark" move, can you arrange it so that ONLY the 1 TB drive is a bootable drive, and no other bootable hard drives are connected? I mean, it would be OK to leave connected anywhere a HDD that does NOT have Windows installed on it, but connect ONLY one HDD - the 1 TB unit - that does have Windows installed. I wonder if the BIOS is smart enough to search through all the connected HDD devices looking for one that is marked bootable in its Partition Table?
  28. This pic shows my options in boot sequence:

    The 1TB has no OS, it's purely storage so I didn't expect it to really do anything anyway but I did what you said and hooked up only the 1TB and booted up. Tell me if I misunderstood..
    This pic is when I disconnected the OS HDD and the 250GB HDD leaving only the 1TB connected, after the first message I press F1 and get the NTLDR message as per usual now when the 1TB is connected.

    Again, my PC runs normally if the 1TB is disconnected, it's only when I plug it in that I get the NTLDR message..
  29. So the 1 TB has no OS and is not bootable. If it is the ONLY drive connected, you get the error messages in your second photo, including the missing NTLDR message. Makes sense so far. BUT when you reconnect the other HDD's and boot, you STILL get this message, and the only way to get rid of it is to disconnect the 1 TB unit.

    That makes it appear that, for whatever reason, the BIOS gives preference to the SATA port that the 1 TB unit is connected to and ignores the other HDD's on the IDE port, unless there is nothing on the SATA port. Since you have two SATA ports, does it make any difference which one the 1 TB unit is on?

    I notice in the first shot above that your boot sequence will try to use the DVD drive that is not installed. I presume this is the temporary situation that arose because you disconnected the DVD drive in doing your diagnostic work.

    Maybe Dell Tech Support can suggest how to get the machine to boot from the IDE ports and NOT try booting from the SATA.
  30. Your options should be in the Hard Disk Drive Sequence, i've see that option in your picture and its the only menu you have not scree shotted.

    in that menu you should see both of you drives and i assume your 1TB drive will allway be higher in the order there unless you change that. After you select boot of Hard Disk C: it will go trough that Hard Disk Sequence list.

    Take a screen shot fo that menu lets see what you have there.
  31. Here's the pic, doesn't give much to go on..

    That makes it appear that, for whatever reason, the BIOS gives preference to the SATA port that the 1 TB unit is connected to and ignores the other HDD's on the IDE port, unless there is nothing on the SATA port. Since you have two SATA ports, does it make any difference which one the 1 TB unit is on?

    I notice in the first shot above that your boot sequence will try to use the DVD drive that is not installed. I presume this is the temporary situation that arose because you disconnected the DVD drive in doing your diagnostic work.

    I tried the 1TB on SATA port 1 instead of port 0 which I originally had it on, and got the same results. NTLDR missing.

    And in regards to the DVD drive that would be incorrect. With it plugged into the SATA to IDE adapter I could not get my BIOS to recognize it, upon boot I always saw "Secondary Drive 0 Not Found" next to it. I'd mentioned it's lack of success somewhere in a previous post. Just to try though I used the SATA cable I had in the 1TB (because I only have one) and it worked right away.. I think those adapters are just total b.s. and it really gets me I wasted 50 bucks on two pieces of junk I can't even put to use.

    Whatever, I'll get another set of SATA cables. More Importantly I'm still stuck on this NTLDR. I just don't get why the 1TB worked fine for a week and then came across this problem, there's got to be something I can do..
  32. I contacted Dell tech support and first of all, was on the phone for 20 mins, no biggie, the guy hung up on me after 1 minute for no reason. I called back and was then on hold for 1 HOUR AND 37 MINUTES.

    But the second guy was a big help, so I figured I'd share it with you guys for your knowledge. He said that it can sometimes take up to a week for hardware to start affecting each other, which is why everything was fine for me for a while. Basically my computer is old. The RAM is dismal and my CPU is ancient. My stock parts can't handle all this amazing new high tech stuff I'm putting in, ie. 1TB HDD and DVD-RW optical on SATA ports. He said if it's not the RAM and stuff there's no other options other than the drive being dead(which I know is not true),

    So it definitely wasn't the answer I wanted but just means I have to get a move on and build that new PC. Just makes me all the more excited and motivated though I guess.

    Well anyway although we never quite nailed everything down here, to Paperdoc and the others I know I said it a hundred times throughout but thank you. Thank you for all your time and effort, I couldn't have gotten half as far sifting through outdated forums using google. If I ever need help with this stuff I know where to come.
  33. Best answer selected by colin_b88.
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