I am not really a hardcore PC builder. I have an understanding of the components and what they do, to get me by. I have ran into a problem with a HDD detection issue, and was hoping to get some advice.
The problem started after I had to restart my PC after it froze, and upon reboot it would load up with a blank screen instead of loading windows. It is possible that there was a Windows Vista update that needed to restart properly and my forced restart could have muddled up the basic settings.
Anyway the detail of the problem now is:
Assuming that it was a messed-up update, I went about doing a system recovery, then a system restore and if that failed a format/reinstall of Windows on the system.
When inserting the Vista CD at startup, the computer would take 15-20 minutes to get to the first install screen (first screen,the progress bar would run at a slowish speed(not too slow, a minute or two), then the second screen would be the vista loading bar at the bottom(this would take around 5 minutes), then the screen would go black with a cursor (5-10 minutes), then the blue green gradient background would appear (5-10 minutes). When I try to install windows and it asks me for the specified location for install, there is no HDD showing up (which probably explains why its a slow setup process).
I have opened up the computer and checked that the cables were not loose (havn't checked if its a faulty cable yet, they are SATA cables by the way and my moboard shows Sata2 on it. On startup the HDD spools up and sounds normal, before no more activity.
I have gone into the CMOS setup utility (I think this is my BIOS(pressing del at startup). Under standard CMOS features my harddrive (correct name shown) is in the IDE channel 0 master. If I look at the details shown. IDE channel master is auto and access mode is auto. The capacity shown is 500GB which is correct for the HDD. Under advanced BIOS features the Harddrive comes in as the second boot device with the first one being the CD-Rom. Under intergrated peripherals the Sata raid/ahci mode is disabled (This I think is correct because I only have one HDD), and the Sata Port0-3 Native mode is disabled, onboard SATA/IDE Device is enabled and onboard sata/ide Ctrl mode is IDE.
As there is an idication of my HDD in my BIOS I would imagine that the HDD is working fine, and the cables are functioning. And as the HDD has SATA cables plugged into it, I have been seeing similar forum posts mentioning installing drivers for that before a windows install (unfortunately the instructions explained in thoes examples get me a bit lost and I would be fiddling around with settings I didn't really understand, and if I can see it in my BIOS does that mean that they are already installed? I havn't seen a bios setup screen until I had this problem, so I don't really know exactly what I am doing.)
Anyway I have probably taken this as far as I dare with my own knowledge, I was hoping to get some suggestions as to what I can do to solve this issue, any help would be appreciated as I am stuck using my P's 2 year old laptop running Vista (bad combo).
Thanks in advance,
Intel i7 920
Gigabyte Ga-EX58-UD3R <<< Motherboard
500GB Seagate 3500320AS <<< Hard Disk Drive (SATA)
6GB DDR3 RAM
CD/DVD-RW SATA x20
Windows Vistax64 Premium Edition
no floppy drive
way too many fans
Since Windows Setup isn't finding the hard drive, I would recommend downloading Seagate's SeaTools (the version that requires a CD, since it won't require Windows) and run a quick diagnostic of the hard drive, just to confirm that nothing is wrong with it.
Thanks for the replies Casey & o1die, appreciate the advice.
"Since Windows Setup isn't finding the hard drive, I would recommend downloading Seagate's SeaTools (the version that requires a CD, since it won't require Windows) and run a quick diagnostic of the hard drive, just to confirm that nothing is wrong with it." I have downloaded the Dos SeaTools app, and will try now, and will repost with the results.
"Disconnect the hardrive and see if you can get a normal post screen. Then try each ram stick one at a time in case one is bad. " I'll probably hold off with playing around with the internals until I have tried all the avenues with software. It was showing up with the 6GB of Ram in the BIOS, but I have seen posts about the Ram being the issue, so that is still a possibility.
One of the more obvious (to me) situations is that the Sata2 drivers have become corrupted or havn't been installed at all. So I would imagine that it is just a simple matter of reinstalling thoes drivers at the windows Vista install load drivers screen. I have the system CD's on hand, I have been trying to search for the driver on my Gigabyte motherboard CD, how do I know what driver is the one to install for SATA2 (I can't find any obvious clues in the naming)?