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Computer Problem ( Secondary (Slave) (IDE) Hard Drive) Keeps deactivat

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July 27, 2011 3:21:38 AM

Computer Problem ( Secondary (Slave) (IDE) Hard Drive) Keeps deactivating by Windows XP Professional.

Okay I have a secondary hard drive that I used now for a while now. Storing data on it and such. It's a 250 GB Maxtor Hard drive. It's already been formated for a long time ago. Ok the problem is that one time it didn't show up on "My Computer", so what I did then was restart the computer. And it showed up. Okay, that was a while back. I don't know why it did that. But I wasn't worrying about the problem for a while.

But recently it happened again. I restarted the computer 3 times, and it still doesn't show up. So now I kind of paniked. Finally what I did was go into Device Manager, clicked disk drives and "Scan for Hardware changes" And once I did that it actually showed up. Then I went to "Administrative tools" > "Computer Management" > "Disk Management" and it's now there, but it's decatived. So I reactivated. And now it shows up, all my data is there etc.

So now I decide to run a utility tool (thinking the hard drive maybe getting defective, but I'm not hearing scratching noises or anything) but I just want to check, I run a little test, from Seagate, the "SafeTest" and it passes. The other test requires me to lose data, and I can't do that one, because I havent backed up. So I shut down the computer for now.


And now the same problem happens today. The hard drive doesn't show up, so I re-enable it by going into device manager and checking for hardware changes , then reactivating it again through computer mangament. And it shows up.

I just have no idea what is going on. Or why it's doing this. I ran some google searches on the problem. (It started talking about Slave and jumpers and changing that, but if the problem was that, then why can I enable it through hardware changes) Anyways, I think my problem maybe unique. Both my hard drives do show up in Bios actually.

Also, I did check my "Event Viewer" stuff. It did say for last night "The device, \Device\Ide\IdePort0, did not respond within the timeout period". I'm not sure the device is referring to the same device as my hard drive though, so I don't know what it means, and I googled it and havent gotten much far on this information"


Today there were errors read "Timeout (30000 milliseconds) waiting for the IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service service to connect."
"The IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service service failed to start due to the following error:
The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion. "


So it's not talking about a hard drive. So is this a hardware problem or software problem? Why do I have to keep re-enabling this?

Computer Specs

Motherboard: D865VHZ
CPU: Intel Celeron 335 (2.8 GHZ)
Memory: (256 MBytes DDR) (Getting more Ram, I know)
Graphics: Intel(R) 82865G Graphics Controller
Operating System: Windows XP Professional (Service Pack 3)
Hard Drives: (Maxtor 6L250R0) Location 1 (1) Secondary Slave
Hard Drives: (ST380011A) Location 0 (0) Primary

More about : computer problem secondary slave ide hard drive deactivat

a b G Storage
July 27, 2011 11:56:17 AM

Could be that some services are turned off by default. Check into Administrative Tools> services .
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a c 362 G Storage
July 27, 2011 5:56:19 PM

If you're slightly handy with hardware connections, etc, you can try this easy POSSIBLE fix. Sometimes this sort of intermittent problem is caused by dirty connections that are a result of slow oxidation of metal contacts over a long time. Simply disconnecting a connector and re-connecting it a few times can scrub the metal surfaces clean and fix the problem for a while.

Shut down and disconnect the power cord to your computer. Open the case. For each hard drive, carefully disconnect its data cable connection at the drive end, then plug it back in. Repeat a few times. Now do the same for the mobo end of that same cable. Now do the same for the power supply connector at the drive that comes from the PSU. Finally, check that you did not knock something else loose while doing this. Close up, reconnect power and see if the machine works better.

You should NOT need to force anything, so if you find anything taking a lot of force, stop and examine carefully what is causing the trouble - don't just push harder!
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Related resources
July 27, 2011 8:42:46 PM

Yeah, I was talking to someone on irc last night. He suggested to put a different IDE cable in there. So that is what I did today, I took a different IDE cable from my older computer. And I unplugged the current one, and put the different one in. Guess what, when I started up my computer today. My secondary hard drive now shows up in My Computer.
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July 29, 2011 2:16:19 AM

Update: It did it again. I'm not sure if it's the IDE cable anymore. It could be something else.

"Could be that some services are turned off by default. Check into Administrative Tools> services ."

What specific services are you talking about?
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a b G Storage
July 29, 2011 12:10:01 PM

Plug and Play service; from it's description it enables just that. I could be wrong, though.
It could be that the logic board of the HDD is failing. I would say make a backup of the important data from that drive at the first sign of trouble. Try replacing the drive temporarily with another one (for troubleshooting purposes) and see if it happens again.
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July 29, 2011 9:55:19 PM

Yeah, Plug and Play seems to be started as the status and the start up type is automatic.

Before I started my computer today, I changed IDE cables, I changed the IDE cable that goes to my DVD drives to the ones that go to my Hard drives. And now when I started up. My secondary drive showed up in My Computer.

It's like every time I take the IDE cables out of the motherboard and Hard Drives and re-connect them or change them. That it increases the chances 100% that my secondary Drive will show up in My Computer.

I don't know what this means. But I'm thinking maybe if it was the logic board of the HDD then it wouldn't matter what if I removed or changed the IDE cable. Then again, dealing with computers that would still not rule out anything. Maybe I don't know?

I will still back up as much as I can. And maybe try your method. Except I don't know if I have an extra Hard drive, except the one in my PS2 Which I use for games.
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a b G Storage
July 30, 2011 11:23:36 PM

I forgot to mention one thing that might be useful:
If the PSU's line that supplies that HDD is failing, that could give you the same problem. Ensure that the power cable is properly connected. If you have some Y-connectors on that cable, try to make do without them and connect the power plug directly to the HDD. I do not know what setup exactly do you have inside that case, so this is just assumption.
If you can, try another HDD and see if it still happens. The reason for this would be that plugging and unplugging the IDE cable repeatedly increases your chances of bending some pins. If one pin is bent 90 degrees, the IDE cable will still plug in and you will never know it unless you checked with a flashlight or something.
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July 31, 2011 3:13:57 AM

house70 said:
I forgot to mention one thing that might be useful:
If the PSU's line that supplies that HDD is failing, that could give you the same problem. Ensure that the power cable is properly connected. If you have some Y-connectors on that cable, try to make do without them and connect the power plug directly to the HDD. I do not know what setup exactly do you have inside that case, so this is just assumption.
If you can, try another HDD and see if it still happens. The reason for this would be that plugging and unplugging the IDE cable repeatedly increases your chances of bending some pins. If one pin is bent 90 degrees, the IDE cable will still plug in and you will never know it unless you checked with a flashlight or something.


So, I checked the pins, there is no bent pins. I put a different hard drive in. A 10 GB one. I loaded up the computer. The Hard drive didn't appear in "My Computer", so I went to computer management > Disk management. It didn't show up. So I went to device manager, and selected search for Hardware changes. Then it popped up and found the hard drive. I didnt have to go to disk management to activate it like I had to do with my 200GB hard drive.

Now, I turned off the PC. Left it off for an hour, to go eat supper. Turn it back on, the 10 GB Slave Hard drive didn't appear in "My Computer". So I go to computer management > Disk management. It's not in there. Then I go to device manager and Scan for Hardware changes it shows up. The Hard drive shows up in My Computer and I didn't have to activate.

So I'm under the conclusion that it's not my hard drive that is dying or anything. Since it's doing the samething for my 10 GB Hard drive that I havent used in a long while. Not showing up in "My Computer" except for having to re-activate it.

So I think it might be an operating system issue. I don't know how it would be though. Or when I think about when I changed those IDE cables around and everytime I did that, the secondary hard drive showed up. But I forget that everytime I did that, I unplugged the power cable to the power supply. So it Could be a power supply issue.

So I unplugged the Power Cord to the Power Supply. Replugged it in. And turned on the Computer. Nope, it doesn't show up in "My Computer" again.

So now I turn off the computer, unplug the power cord to the power supply. Take out the primary ide cable out of the hard drives and mother board. Replug them in. Replug the power cord. Turn on the computer. No, the secondary hard drive didn't show up in "My Computer".

Now, I decided to try one more thing. I turned off the PC. Unplugged the power cord. Unplugged the two 4 pin power connectors to the hard drives. Replugged them in. Replugged the power cord. Turned on the computer. Guess what, my Second hard drive shows up in "My Computer" It wasn't the IDE changes, It wasnt that I unplugged the power supply. It was everytime I took out the IDE cables, I also unplugged and replugged those 4 pins also.


What does this mean? It's my Power Supply, or the 4 pin connectors acting up? What is my next step, replace power supply? I suppose I better have it tested or looked into it. There is no extra 4 pin, I have 2 that go to two DVD drives, and I have 2 others that go to the Hard Drives. Either way, I'm a little less nervous about the hard drive failing. But any other suggestions for me? I think you are right about the Power Supply , because I didn't think about that, until you mentioned it.

It could be the 4 pin connectors are dirty, or it could be the power supply that is failing.
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a b G Storage
July 31, 2011 2:45:01 PM

If you can reproduce those findings every time, we have it nailed down. Alternatively, if you can borrow a PSU to test this and it is solved, we got it nailed down.
Either way, PSUs can fail, like any other component. If yours is old and limited in terms of power output, that can speed up it's demise. I don't know the power output of yours, but as a rule of thumb, I always pick PSUs that have about 50% more power than I need for my system. It does not mean it's going to burn more power, but I know that even under full load it can handle it without pushing it's components to their spec limit.
One easy way to test this would be to use a y-connector 4 pin to insert between the cable that comes from the PSU and the HDD. You would only have to make a good connection once with the PSU's cable, the connection that gets plugged and unplugged repeatedly would be the one between the y-connector and the HDD. Of course, that still leaves the plug on the HDD itself exposed to repeated stress, but this would be only for testing purposes. Or you could try to switch the 4pin connector from the other HDD or one CDROM with the one from this HDD. Remember though, if it is the PSU, the component that gets powered by the faulty cable will also be likely to give the error. That is because it could be the cable itself, the connector on it, or some components inside the PSU that power up that particular cable/line.
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a b G Storage
July 31, 2011 2:49:42 PM

As far as the OS goes, I am not sure about it, but it could be that some registry line got corrupted or deleted in time. That would require a repair of the Windows installation.
If I were in your place, and I knew that my PSU is old, I would go ahead and replace the PSU first. If it fixes my problem, that's even better, if not, I know that I can do the Win repair and still end up with an upgraded PC at the end of all this. That would be my rationale for doing this. But that's me; as they say, your mileage may vary.
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July 31, 2011 7:42:20 PM

house70 said:
If you can reproduce those findings every time, we have it nailed down. Alternatively, if you can borrow a PSU to test this and it is solved, we got it nailed down.


Yeah, before I turned on my computer today again, I unplugged those 4 pin connectors. Turned on computer, and what do you know, my secondary hard drive shows up.
I think I can try what you suggested, I can buy a Power Supply from Officedepot. To see if it works, if not, I can return it. The thing to keep in mind is this is an obsolete computer. I don't want to waste too much money. Also, since I just bought new ram.


house70 said:

One easy way to test this would be to use a y-connector 4 pin to insert between the cable that comes from the PSU and the HDD. You would only have to make a good connection once with the PSU's cable, the connection that gets plugged and unplugged repeatedly would be the one between the y-connector and the HDD. Of course, that still leaves the plug on the HDD itself exposed to repeated stress, but this would be only for testing purposes. Or you could try to switch the 4pin connector from the other HDD or one CDROM with the one from this HDD. Remember though, if it is the PSU, the component that gets powered by the faulty cable will also be likely to give the error. That is because it could be the cable itself, the connector on it, or some components inside the PSU that power up that particular cable/line.



So what I'm gathering from this, is you want me to test the 4 pin connectors? If I replug them in, it's guaranteed to work. I would have to replug them in. Shut down computer and not replug them in. If I switch the two, technically, I'm guessing the hard drive wont boot up the operating system? Or I'm even guessing, Either way, power still gets to both hard drives technically all the time. Because I can always reactivate them. So I wonder how that relates to the Operating System. I'm kind of confused on what you want me to test here.

And those other two 4 pin connectors to my DVD drives pretty much can't reach my hard drives.

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a b G Storage
August 1, 2011 12:29:39 PM

If you switch the HDD power connectors and the OS HDD doesn't boot, then you will know it's that line/connector/cable that's at fault. As I said, this is for diagnostic purposes.
Or you could just get that PSU from the store and see if it fixes your problem.
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August 1, 2011 9:32:14 PM

house70 said:
If you switch the HDD power connectors and the OS HDD doesn't boot, then you will know it's that line/connector/cable that's at fault. As I said, this is for diagnostic purposes.
Or you could just get that PSU from the store and see if it fixes your problem.



You aren't going to believe this. Guess what happened to me today. I got new ram upgrade memory in the mail today. I installed 2 GB of ram, 1 GB per slot. But guess what?


The secondary hard drive didn't even appear in the BIOS. So I messed around with certain things, changing 4 pin connectors, etc, etc. Nothing would work, I thought that there was too much power, so I disconnected my DVD-R drives and stuff.

Anyways, what I learned is this, I unplugged 1 of the 1gb sticks, and then my secondary hard drive appears in the BIOS. The computer wont let me have a secondary hard drive if I have 2 GB of memory in my computer. I threw the other stick 256 in the secondary slot, right now I have 1.2 GB. Works way better, but I think this proves that there is definitely a power failure.

Here is the statistics on the Power Supply that I read on the sticker:

Bestec Model ATX 300-12 E Rev D
Input 100 - 127V-6A 200-240V-3A 60/50 HZ
300W Max

+5V & +3.3 V 180W Max
+5V & +12.V & 3.3V 268 W Max

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a b G Storage
August 1, 2011 10:30:27 PM

OK, now you need to get that PSU. You can get a 450W or 500W for a low price nowadays. Until then, you can run on 1GB of RAM, for WinXP it should be enough.
Good luck with this project. You can revive this old PC, after all.
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December 20, 2011 12:05:31 AM

house70 said:
OK, now you need to get that PSU. You can get a 450W or 500W for a low price nowadays. Until then, you can run on 1GB of RAM, for WinXP it should be enough.
Good luck with this project. You can revive this old PC, after all.


Dec 19, 2011 *Update

Believe it or not it was my primary hard drive that was failing. Not my secondary hard drive. I believe my primary hard drive failing caused my secondary hard drive not to show up. But there was nothing wrong with it.

It got so bad, that it literally halted my system(I heard a beep sound) right before it did it, and my event viewer reported a "driver detected a controller error" and it failed the SMART test. So something is definitely wrong with the hard drive. It's a 80 GB Barracuda 7200.7. Right after it froze up my computer, my bios reported a no system disk error. I reset my pc, and it loaded to XP, so the hard drive is failing, but works on and off, enough to back data onto my secondary drive.

No scratching noises or anything.

I replaced it with a 10 GB hard drive temporary as primary and everything is working so far. Even the Memory, 2 GB works now.

I'm not sure if I can fix this hard drive.
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a b G Storage
December 20, 2011 4:24:38 PM

Possible fix for it: download Killdisk, install it, then connect the HDD via an enclosure/dock, or even internally (beware, you need to positively ID the drive before running this on it). Then see if killdisk sees it; if it doesn't, the drive is toast. If it does, run the program to erase all data on it. This will zero the HDD completely, like a factory-form reset. After that, you can partition/format to your liking. Even so, I would not use this as a primary HDD again, because it's bound to do that again.
I managed to revive one old PC doing that, then used same HDD; it ran for about 1 year, then quit completely.
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