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New build, installed OS before running Bios, HDD not recognized

Last response: in Storage
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March 5, 2012 7:13:55 AM

Hello all, I'm a semi noob, but I did do my research. In fact I read and read and read and finally got my new PC together and I'm very proud!!

Here's the build:

Corsair 600t case
GIGABYTE GA-990XA-UD3
AMD Phenom II X4 960T
G.SKILL Ripjaws 8GB (2 x 4GB)
ASUS ENGTX550 TI (SLI later)
ASUS Xonar Essence sxt
OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W psu
Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB
LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer

Here is where I believe I made a mistake. I put the thing together and then powered it up. The first thing it did was ask for the OS boot disk, so I put it in. I had Both of the drives connected at this time. As of right now, windows 7 is on the SSD, but I have not done the bios yet, so I'm pretty sure I'm backasswards on this. I've been reading that windows likes to put some files on the HDD and I don't want that. Right now windows is not recognizing the hdd, but when I go into manage devices it is there with 100mb already having been allocated (to what I do not know) and the rest is unallocated.

I am not against redoing the whole process. I just want all of windows on the SSD and most everything else on the HDD. I understand that the footprint on the SSD will continue to grow so I'll monitor that, but first things first. Before I run the SSD optimization guide from The SSD review, what do I need to do to fix my issues, being that the hdd is not recognized and I think windows may have put some files onto it. This PC is brand new so I hate to get off on the wrong foot. I read many posts, but I did not come across one that had the same exact circumstances as myself. If I must be chastised so be it, I would obviously prefer constructive criticism though, after all, we all want the same thing, for our computers to run the best they can :) 
Thank you all in advance -----J
March 5, 2012 7:35:43 AM

I believe you have to set the BIOS for AHCI on the drives before even installing Windows.
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March 5, 2012 7:37:04 AM

DelroyMonjo said:
I believe you have to set the BIOS for AHCI on the drives before even installing Windows.


I believe that as well, but I didn't do that (I missed the bios screen because I hadn't turned on my monitor yet), so where do I go from here? I'm not opposed to wiping the disks and starting over. I'm just looking for validation as to what is the best course of action. -----J
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March 5, 2012 4:53:18 PM

I had higher hopes for this forum :( 
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March 5, 2012 5:57:29 PM

Possibly this? originally quoted from inzone:

RetiredChief wrote :

1. Startup "Regedit
2. Open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SYSTEM / CurrentControlset / Services
3. Open msahci
4. In the right field left click on "start" and go to Modify
5. In the value Data field enter "0" and click "ok"
6. exit "Regedit"
7. Reboot Rig and enter BIOS (hold "Delete" key while Booting

In your BIOS select "Integrated Peripherals" and OnChip PATA/SATA Devices. Now change SATA Mode to AHCI from IDE.

You now boot into windows 7, the OS will recognize AHCI and install the devices. Now the system needs one more reboot and voilla .. enjoy the improved SSD performance.

I cheated, Quote from: http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=313676
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March 6, 2012 4:34:07 AM

that did not work either.... please help :( 

matbe this from twoboxer:

Some notes:
- You disconnect your old HD's data cable so the system forgets its there, and neither you nor Windows Installer will get confused.

- You install your new SSD and install Windows as if it wer a new build. Once that's done, you (power down and) reconnect your old HD. The system may see the two partitions on your HD (yeah, it probably has two, Windows install created a second).
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March 6, 2012 7:03:02 AM

unplugged the HDD and interestingly enough, the computer would not boot... Why is that?
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a b G Storage
March 6, 2012 8:50:44 AM

Here is something you can try:
Enter your BIOS, goto "Advanced BIOS Features" then enter the "Hard Disk Priority" option. In that option, you should have your SSD at the yop of the list. So when the system boots up BIOS will know that the "Hard Disk" you have selected as "First Boot Device" (or Second etc.) is your SSD and not the other HDD.

That may seem stupid but probably has happened to all of us at least once!

The 100MB partition created by Windows 7 is there for a reason. You shouldn't remove it unless you have a reason and you know 100% what you are doing.
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March 6, 2012 1:33:44 PM

do your hard drives show connected in the bios ?,
there isnt really a wrong order. u should check the list of IDE/SATA devices it recognises,

if the harddrives are installed and the boot sequence is set proparly , the poblem must lie with eather the

(bootfile on the harddrive itself /
the boot priority in the bios/
a conflict with ur current IDE/SATA port that ur using ( had that before )
/ a faulty IDE/SATA cable (had that before aswel))

To confirm is it is any of the above you should download and burn to a disc (obviously on another computer)

Knoppix , it is a linux based os that runs from a CD/DVD its also freeware.

The latest version supports the latest drivers etc. from the u can browse ur HDD to search for the boot file or simply see if the hdd's are connected or function properly.

Good luck!
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Best solution

a c 342 G Storage
March 7, 2012 1:46:48 AM

I see a bunch of misinformation here.

First, you do NOT have to install a BIOS. That is already in a chip on the mobo. And generally you would not need to update the BIOS before doing any other work either, unless you want to, or know that a newer BIOS is desirable.

I'm not surprised the new machine asked you to insert a valid bootable disk when it finished its POST - that is normal. BUT here is what must have happened. I see you were installing Win 7. Vista and Win 7 both have a "trick" during the Install designed to solve a problem for you in the future. The Install process will look for MORE than one HDD to use. IF it finds one (in your case, it did), it will install on that second HDD a small set of backup files, as well as installing the complete Windows OS on the first (C: ) drive. The plan is that, at some time in the future if the boot from the C: drive fails for some reason, it will go automatically to the second HDD, find the backup files, and restore them to the first HDD to repair it, then finish booting. Saves you a big headache! Nice of Microsoft to be so considerate. However, it also is set up so that the system checks on EVERY boot-up to be sure the second drive is there with those files, and it will NOT boot if it does not find them! That is why your machine now will not boot if you disconnect the WD 1TB unit.

To semi-defeat this precaution, you can re-do your first Install of the OS with ONLY ONE drive unit attached. In your case, you could re-do the Install with only the SSD attached, and you may have to tell it to wipe out all the old stuff on that drive to re-do the Install. When you force the Install to use only one drive, it still puts a set of backup files in place, but they are on the only drive in the system. That is not as safe as having them on a separate drive, but at least you are not trapped into keeping the second drive always there. AFTER the OS is installed and working, you shut down and connect the second (your WD 1 TB unit) drive. See below for how to prepare it for use.

By the way, your BIOS's SATA Port Mode settings should be AHCI (or SATA), and NOT IDE Emulation.

Now, it appears that the Windows Install process created on your WD unit a small (100 MB) Partition in which to place the backup files, and did not do any more preparation of the HDD. But you see, any new empty HDD needs to have two steps done on it before any OS can use it - Create a Partition, and then Format it. Actually, Win 7 has a good tool for this that combines both operations into one step to make it easy. It is in a utility called disk Management. Until that is done, Windows cannot "see" or use all that space on the 1 TB unit.

Since I think you will be re-doing the Install on the SSD and do NOT need the stuff on the WD HDD, you would be safe to re-do the Partition / Format operation on the HDD. You'd do this after reconnecting it after the OS is installed on the SSD. You would first Delete the existing small Partition on it, then do the other prep steps to use the entire 1 TB as one big Partition or "drive". For details on all this, read WyomingKnott's sticky at the top of the Storage ... General Discussion forum, here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/265764-32-guide-insta...

Pay special attention to his Step 5.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
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March 7, 2012 2:33:51 AM

My faith in forums is renewed!! Hallelujah! First let me say that I do know that I do not need to install a bios. The title is misleading in that it should read "installed the OS before I ran BIOS setup" , I was just trying to be concise in the title.

What I ended up doing was running the bios and switching to AHCI, confirming the boot order and then running the windows disk manager and formatting the WD HDD. I left the little 100mb spot on there, as it seems after reading your response Paperdoc, it would be a good idea to have the HDD be able to back up the possible failure of the SSD, which is still a fairly new and unproven technology as far as I can tell. I then named the drive and everything. Anyhow, everything seems to be running fine now. It took a lot of trial and error, but I have a to say, you definitely learn from mistakes! Out of curiosity, how would I do the reisntall of windows after it is already installed? Taking a look at the sticky now.

Thank you all for your help and sorry if I seemed impatient. I was lol, it sucks having a computer sitting there that cannot be used. Tom's hardware rocks, and here is a shameless product plug the Logitech M570 Laser Wireless Trackball mouse is amazing!!! -----J
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a c 342 G Storage
March 7, 2012 1:24:22 PM

Hurray! You got it fixed. As far as re-installing Win 7, there is no need to do that now. You've done everything you need. But if you have problem in future, you might be able to fix it with a simpler process than completely re-installing. But if a re-install is necessary, it's very much the same as the first Install. The only two things you might need to do additionally at the very beginning is to use the options in the Install routines to Delete the Partition already on your C: drive (the SSD), and the small Partition on the 1TB WD unit that holds the backup files. Then each storage unit would have empty space to allow Install to Create its own new Partitions and work with them.
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March 8, 2012 4:12:40 AM

Best answer selected by wut2dew.
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