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New 2nd SATA2 HDD causing old 1st SATA1 HDD to fail?

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September 30, 2010 4:34:58 PM

Specs:
Dell Dimension 4700, purchased in 2006
Motherboard M3918 DH682: has 2 SATA(1?) ports
Pentium 4, 3.00GHZ
2.5GB RAM
Windows XP Home SP3
Old/original HDD: Maxtor 7L250S0, 250GB (SATA 1.5)
New/2nd HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12, 250GB, ST3250218AS, 8MB cache, SATA-300 (3.0)

History:
Maxtor HDD began showing signs of imminent failure, so I purchased the Seagate.
Physically installed the Seagate, with power and SATA cables connected.
Both drives, when connected, are recognized and enabled in BIOS correctly, BUT...boot sequence shows no HDD.
With only 1st HDD connected, it will boot up, albeit very slowly. Once booted up, runs fine with no lockups or slowdowns.
With only 2nd HDD connected, can boot into it and partitioned it with my Windows XP recovery disk.
Have tried both SATA cables with both drives, no difference, so I'm ruling out a cable problem. Same with power cables.
With both drives connected, when I boot up, I get an error message very like (sorry, didn't write down exact message): "SATA 1 hard disk drive failure, press F1 to continue, press F2 to enter Setup."

Thoughts:
Not a SATA cable or power cable problem.
Don't think the new HDD needs to be jumpered in any way, but I could be wrong.
Old HDD still retains functionality; it's how I'm able to get online.
My original intent was to use Seagate Discwizard to clone the old HDD onto the new HDD.

I can clarify or provide new information as needed, but these are my questions:

BIOS will recognize both drives when they're both connected, but will not then show any HDD in the boot sequence. Why might this be, and how can I correct this?

I went so far as to allow my factory Windows XP recovery CD to partition the new HDD and even install Windows XP on it. This seems to have made no difference, but could this be contributing to the problem somehow? (Unlikely, since the same conditions have been happening both before and after this, but I ask anyway)

With only the original HDD connected, I can boot into Windows, get online, etc. With only the 2nd HDD drive connected, I can boot into it and get into the OS installed on it. With both drives connected, I simply cannot boot in the old HDD. I get the error message as described above. If the old drive connected by itself is functional, why do I get this error message about failure when both drives are connected?

I have been trying to research this problem for about 20 of the past 24 hours, with no helpful results. Thank you in advance for any assistance you might be able to offer.
a c 362 G Storage
September 30, 2010 6:17:01 PM

I don't know quite why this might cause your problem, but you can try this fix - it can't hurt, and might help. Add a jumper on a pin pair of the NEW drive to force it to the original 1.5 Gb/s communication speed of SATA. Diagram for Seagate at

http://www.seagate.com/images/support/en/us/cuda_sata_b...

says place a jumper on the pair of pins furthest away from the data and power connectors.

I'm thinking (obscure, maybe) that the SATA controller system and the hard drives together may not be able to figure things out when HDD's of different speeds are connected.
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a c 104 G Storage
September 30, 2010 8:50:18 PM

Hello,

I wonder if it may be how Dell has the BIOS configured? Your 4700 has 1 IDE port used for a DVD and/or CD.
There are 2 SATA ports for you HDD's, of which 1 is the Dell system boot disk with OS and data on it. I'm sure they expect the 2nd SATA port to be for data or backup, not as a system disk.

If you directly installed Win XP on the new disk as a system drive also, the BIOS may be still looking at the SATA_0 for it's system info, MBR, Boot sector, Boot info.

As you mentioned, with your SeaTools Clone utility, clone your old Dell drive to the new Seatage, which will put all the system needed files on it and also your data, to use as a primary boot drive. Then take off the Dell drive and plug the new Seagate into the SATA_0 port. That might get it going.

Dell doesn't show their BIOS displays in the manual, to know exactly how they set it up, so it may not be so configurable. Check in the BIOS to see if the SATA ports can be ordered, of if they are always SATA_0 then SATA_1.
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September 30, 2010 11:51:41 PM

Update:
I actually have 4 HDDs I am working with. 2 of them came with the 2 Dimension 4700s I bought years ago (1 in each, of course). I purchased 2 Seagate Barracudas, as described in my original post., to replace these old drives. I figured if one was going, maybe the second wouldn't be too far behind, and I might as well do them both now and get it over with.

We'll call the failing hard drive I first posted about HDD A, and the second, unproblematic hard drive HDD B. The 2 new drives I'll label HDD 1 and HDD 2.

I physically added HDD 1 into the 4700 with failing drive HDD A. In the BIOS, SATA-0 is indeed the port for the boot drive, with SATA-2 being the port for a second HDD. There appears to be no way to change this, as the boot sequence only lists one HDD device (I'm assuming the one attached to SATA-0). As stated before, experimentation showed that there wasn't a problem with either power or SATA cables.

Having HDD A and HDD 1 both attached to ports allowed the BIOS to recognize them as drives, and show the correct information for each. With HDD 1 hooked up, however, the boot sequence didn't list any HDD attached at all. When trying to boot up with both drives attached, I would hear a double beep, then onscreen would appear this error message: "SATA Primary hard disk drive 1 failure, Strike the F1 key to continue, F2 to run the setup utility." Striking F1 did nothing. Powering down and unhooking HDD 1, then booting back up, HDD A would boot into Windows XP as always, it would just take longer (one of the signs I'd seen that the drive was failing; another major sign was shown multiple times, directing me to run CHKDSK /r, which would take several hours to complete).

The new Seagate Barracuda likely runs at the 3.0Gb/s transfer rate. No jumper came with the drive to limit it to 1.5 (to work with this older motherboard, if that's necessary), but I did have one, and applied it as research directed me to. It made no difference with HDD A and HDD 1.

Knowing HDD A was very likely faulty, I reasoned that it may well be the entire problem. I don't understand why that might block the motherboard from recognizing a second HDD, but okay (maybe corrupted files?). I took out HDD A and installed HDD B, which had shown no problems to this point. Went into the BIOS, both drives recognized properly, boot sequence showed a HDD in the queue. Booted into Windows as per normal. Both HDD B and HDD 1 were recognized by the OS, and the information shown was correct (size, etc.). Using Seagate Discwizard, I successfully cloned HDD B onto HDD 1. After hooking HDD 1 into the boot port, I powered up and the drive came up as normal, showing HDD B's information. I checked all personal data and settings, all intact, the clone was successful. Yay!

NOW. I installed HDD B (no longer needed, really, except maybe as backup storage) as a secondary drive, with HDD A as primary. My thought (hope, really) was that the two older drives would play nice together, I could clone HDD A onto HDD B, then clone HDD B (with A's stuff) onto HDD 2.

No go. Encountering the same problems. With both drives hooked up, I get the error message about Primary hard disk failure. With only HDD A hooked up, I'm able to boot up and get online (I'm using HDD A as I type this). My conclusion, unless one of you folks has any other idea, is that I will simply have to use my old OEM system recovery CD to install Windows XP onto HDD 2 and put everything back the hard way. This will be slightly easier since I backed up much personal data from HDD A onto HDD B (which is now HDD 1) days ago.

While I'm still here, let me mention that I did install Windows XP from the recovery disk on HDD 1 earlier (a moot point now, as that drive was wiped in the cloning process), but my onboard NIC's drivers weren't installed. I do have another disk, stating it contains drivers, so I will fiddle with that. Getting online to get updates will be rather crucial, since my disks are well over 4 years old.

But that I can wrestle with. I thank both of you gentlemen for your advice, and I'll post how this all shakes out.
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a c 362 G Storage
October 1, 2010 1:55:23 AM

You did not say whether you already have tried this, so I'll ask a dumb question. So far you've talked as if HDD A (troublesome) is on SATA_0, and HDD B (or HDD 1) is on the second SATA port (is it really SATA_2, not SATA_1?). Have you tried switching those? Would it boot with two SATA drives if HDD A were on the other SATA port? No reason why it should, but I don't understand why it won't boot now, so who knows?
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a c 104 G Storage
October 1, 2010 2:29:30 AM

Hi again,

You've checked in the BIOS and when both HDD's are connected, they are recognized as Drive 1 and Drive 2. Then when you load the OS, you have a problem with the OS IDing both drives. So it must be a problem with a low level system file in the OS or in disk management.

With just the one HDD and XP booted up, go to the root directory, open Boot.ini and copy then paste into your post here the listing. It should look very similar to this:

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]

That will tell you if the bootloader is just seeing Disk 0, 1 system drive with 1 partition.

Also go to Device Manager, and make sure there is no alert related to the HDD controller or the HDD. That is it all working properly.

Finally, go to Disk Management, and in the lower section, make sure it lists your HDD as Disk 0, Basic (not Dynamic), Online, NTFS, and Healthy.

Might also boot into Safe Mode, and see if the OS, with only the necessary drivers, recognize both drives. If you can boot up in safe mode, then go to disk management and delete all the partitions on Drive 1 (second HDD). Then see if it will boot up and you could then partition, choose NTFS, and format the second HDD. You've tried several HDD's as Drive 2, and you get the same result, so it's not the HDD, it's the controller sorting them out.

Other thing to do if that is not helpful, with the single drive, run SFC /scannow. That checks all the system files on HDD_0 and replaces any corrupt or missing ones.

Maybe that will find a clue as to the problem.

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