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Alienware D900T Won't recognize any hdd

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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November 21, 2012 6:26:49 AM

Hi, I recently got an alienware d900t and it didn't come with any hdd's. I had some spare hdd's and tried installing windows xp and then tried windows 7 as well but when i get to the part where it asks me to choose a partition and/or to create one it wont let me and says there is no drive. I pulled the drive right out of a perfect running laptop and it doesn't work on the alienware. I then found a few more drives from working laptops and it did the same thing! Im at a loss on what to do. I tried checking the hard drive cable on the motherboard but nothing was wrong with it. I realy need some help with this!!! Any help is appreciated and feel free to ask me any question you might have for me!




-Thanks
a b D Laptop
November 21, 2012 7:33:21 PM

if the controller is enabled in the bios, sounds like someone fried the SB chipset on the board and pawned it off on you as your problem now. That's why I'm always leary of buying something used like that, you don't know why there is no HD in the system.

Obviously your HD is good, so check the BIOS. Some alienwares have dual HD's for a RAID setup. If you only have 1 drive in, and it's set in RAID mode, that might cause it not to see the drive, so check the BIOS.

Otherwise, you got hornswaggled. lol.
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November 21, 2012 8:47:36 PM

I checked the bios and i can choose either ata mode or raid mode. The laptop when new is suposed to have 2 hdd's but i tried running two it in as well as trying one hdd. But to my luck it wouldnt work. I would go and have it checked out but i dont know which computer stores are trustworthy and honest.
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a b D Laptop
November 21, 2012 9:35:58 PM

Did you switch to ATA mode and try with 1 HD? Just putting 2 HD's in with RAID mode won't do much until you actually build the RAID array, probably supporting RAID 0 and 1.
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November 22, 2012 12:34:41 AM

getochkn said:
Did you switch to ATA mode and try with 1 HD? Just putting 2 HD's in with RAID mode won't do much until you actually build the RAID array, probably supporting RAID 0 and 1.

Yeah i tried but nothing worked. When i start it up it shows the alienware bios boot screen or whatever itscalled. On the next screen in the top left corner it says "scannin IDE drives". After that screen goes away yet another screen comes up with the following. -ps Im going to write it word for word for your convenience :) 

FastTrack 378 (tm) BIOS Version 1.00.1.35
(c) 2002-2005 Promise Technology, Inc. All rights reserved.


ID_______MODE________________________SIZE__________TRACK-MAPPING____________STATUS
=====================================================================
1______1+0 Stripe_____________________40007m_________4863/255/63 _____________Functional



Press <Ctrl-F> to enter FastBuild (tm) Utillity..._
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November 22, 2012 12:57:16 AM

Is the drive you put in IDE or SATA? What is the BIOS set for? I think it gives an option for either type of drive if the mobo has those connections.
Have you tried an external flash drive to boot off of? Or even an external HD?
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November 22, 2012 1:04:01 AM

xaephod said:
Is the drive you put in IDE or SATA? What is the BIOS set for? I think it gives an option for either type of drive if the mobo has those connections.
Have you tried an external flash drive to boot off of? Or even an external HD?

Its an IDE drive but the hard drive cable that connects to the motherboard is for ide drives. And i have tried a flash drive but it didn't work. I don't have an external hard disk to use so i don't know.
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November 22, 2012 1:15:53 AM

You sure the drive is good? Then you sure the cable is good? Then, you sure the laptop is good? :)  You need to eliminate all the possibilities.
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November 22, 2012 1:29:46 AM

xaephod said:
You sure the drive is good? Then you sure the cable is good? Then, you sure the laptop is good? :)  You need to eliminate all the possibilities.

As far as i know everything is good. I disasembled the laptop and checked for anything out of the ordinary but i didn't see anything wrong.
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November 22, 2012 5:37:13 AM

-bump
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November 22, 2012 8:22:12 AM

I realy need help with this!
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February 4, 2013 6:24:41 AM

I have an Alienware Area-51 M7700 / Clevo D900T. This was the most powerful desktop replacement on the market when it came out. If all the hardware is maxed out, it's still decent, and better than a lot of laptops out today...but it won't compete with the newer Clevo's. The hardware is simply too antiquated. But currently, it still serves a lot of purposes. It's a solid laptop.

The common assumption from people not familiar with this specific hardware is that the motherboard is damaged. Although this can sometimes be true, it is often NOT the case with the Clevo D900T.

Your problem is actually a common one. When installing a Windows operating system such as WINXP+, you MUST either slipstream SATA378 drivers into your Windows installation, OR have the drivers on a floppy disc (so you must also have a floppy drive). Otherwise the Windows installation WILL NOT recognize the hard drives. I've done this countless times now, and the SATA378 drivers must be installed for the Windows installation to recognize the hard drives. For some reason these drivers were never included in the Windows OEM installation discs.

If you don't slipstream the drivers, you must use a floppy drive, CD/DVD won't work for the drivers installation other than slipstreaming into the installation. Then when you are installing the O/S, it will ask you if you want to install Third Party hard drive drivers...hit the appropriate key for yes, then it will take you to a screen to choose the SATA378 drivers.

Be aware that you can't leave the machine unattended, as it only flashes the request for the Third Party hard drive drivers for a few seconds. If you miss it, or don't hit the "Yes" key in time, you have to reboot and start over.

Also, prior to installation, boot into your BIOS, and ensure the drives are set to "ATA" and not RAID, if you are not installing dual drives in a raid configuration...otherwise you WILL get hard drive errors when trying to boot.

You can find the SATA378 drivers by googling for D900T SATA378 drivers. Good luck.
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February 4, 2013 6:27:48 AM

Should probably also add, that if you're using the older IDE drives, you will need those drivers and the IDE hard drive cable for the motherboard...the newer SATA drives require the SATA378 drivers, and of course the sata hard drive cable for the motherboard.
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March 4, 2013 11:25:17 PM

Best answer selected by gamer4evz.
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a c 244 D Laptop
March 5, 2013 4:16:37 PM

This topic has been closed by Maziar
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