boot problems and HD is now not on the boot list!

  paul 3 09:12 22 Jan 2007


My Dads PC has for the last few weeks occasionally failed to boot and has asked for a boot floppy to be inserted. He has been able to reselect the HD in the boot menu as the boot disk to get around this and assumed the floppy might be faulty - ie the PC thinks there is a disk in the drive when there is not.

Yesterday it would not boot again and when trying to reset the boot disk to the HD we have found there is no option to select the HD. Only the Floppy Disk and CD ROM drives are on the device list - the HD has disappeared!

Anyone know the root of this problem and how to solve it?

I have searched for BOOT problems on here but found nothing similar - apologies if it has been covered before.

Many thanks


  ACOLYTE 10:40 22 Jan 2007

It may be the HD has failed,and this is why it doesnt appear in the Bios list.Try reseating all the cable's ,and if you can another IDE cable and set the bios back to default settings it may well pick it up.If not try if you can another HD if it picks this one up then chances are the other is faulty.

  johndrew 10:47 22 Jan 2007

Or try disconnecting the drive completely and then booting. When my 2nd drive failed the PC did not want to boot until the drive was disconnected.

  Gongoozler 11:31 22 Jan 2007

Hi paul 3. Before looking to change the boot sequence, you need to check whether the hard drive is detected on the first page of the BIOS setup (probably called MAIN, STANDARD CMOS SETUP, or something like that). If it's not there, then your motherboard BIOS doesn't know about it and therefore can't do anything with it. If there is no drive in the Primary Master position on the page, there should at least be "Auto" in that position to tell the BIOS to automatically search for a drive. If neither the correct drive nor Auto is there, use the setup controls to set the drive to Auto.
If The BIOS can't detect the drive, there is a problem with the motherboard, IDE cable, power cable or drive. Try reseating the IDE cable at both ends, reseating the power connector and using a different power connector. If this doesn't work you'll have to try a different hard drive. I recently diagnosed a computer problem using a 2G drive salvaged from an old computer years ago. A 2G drive is useless for modern software, but fine as a diagnosis tool. An 80G hard drive is about £30 to £40 and much easier to replace than a motherboard. It's not at all uncommon for the hard drive to fail.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:49 22 Jan 2007
  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:51 22 Jan 2007

HDD not always detected in BIOS
As drives get older, they can take longer to get up to speed and become ready (available). This can then exceed the time it takes for the booting to look for the drive - so it doesn't find it.
The solution is often to make the initial part of the boot take longer, by disabling "Quick power on self test and/or making the system look for the floppy drive first by enabling "floppy seek".
Some BIOS even have a facility to put in a delay before the hard disk is checked.

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