Hard drive recognition

  Pathologist 14:39 31 Mar 2005

I had a new computer given to me by my son. It came with XP as the OS. Sadly, after 5 days it 'died'. Clearly things will have to be put right under guarantee but my son is in the US for the next few weeks before he can sort things out.
It seems that the master hard drive - there are two HDs, one master and one slave - has packed up. I say this because, when I tried to reinstall the OS the computer came up with a message like 'can't communicate with the hard drive. Please check your documentation', which I don't have. I tried putting on my current computer's OS, Windows 98SE, to be greeted by a similar message. The same with Windows 95. It thus seems that the computer can't read or write to the HD.
Any help would be more than welcome.
However, if I go into the BIOS, and do a check for the HD, it is detected; the size etc is given.
My question is: does the BIOS detect the actual drive or merely its record in the computer set up. If it does detect the actual drive then why won't the OS do the same?
Any help would be more than welcome.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:48 31 Mar 2005

Do you have a XP CD?

If so into BIOS set first boot to CDrom 2nd to HDD (your master).

Try and boot from the CD and follow te repair from click here

  BurrWalnut 14:49 31 Mar 2005

Don't mess around with it. If it's only a few days old take it back and demand a replacement or a refund.

  pj123 16:52 31 Mar 2005

Agree with BurrWalnut. Don't even try to fix yourself (even if you could).

Get it back and get it fixed.

  Jak_1 17:26 31 Mar 2005

as it's under guarantee let them hour the guarantee and fix it. If you try then that will invalidate the guarantee.

  Pathologist 18:08 31 Mar 2005

Thanks for the advice. Two points:
1.I can't take the machine back because I don't know where it came from. I could find out from my son in the US, but he has all the paperwork and receipts needed to claim under guarantee. This will have to await his return in a few weeks.
2. I've booted from my XP CD and tried all the repair/reinstall tricks. The problem is that the machine, after extracting the files, etc from the CD cannot access the HDD. It gets to the reboot stage, at which point the error message comes up.
As I said, I get the same sort of message when I try to install Win98SE. Thus, I firmly believe that there has been a head crash or similar on the HDD.
However, why can the BIOS apparently access the HDD? I suspect that the 'disk' seen by the BIOS is only the disk controller, or similar. This is what I'd like to know, just out of curiosity/education. I'm clearly going to have to await my son in order to get the machine up and reunning again, but my curiosity needs sating before then!!
Thankfully, I still have my 'old faithful', a 1999 Dell, which has never given any trouble - will this statement somehow bring computer wrath down on me/it?!!

  bluesbrother 20:09 31 Mar 2005

You could run a diagnostic test to satisfy your curiosity click here

  Pathologist 11:12 02 Apr 2005

Thanks for all your help. My curiosity is now satisfied! I went to bluesbrother's web site and downloaded Maxblast 3.6. When I ran this from a floppy it came up with a 'fatal error' message which flashed on the sceen for less than a second; thus, I couldn't read all the details. Never-the-less, it confirmed my thoughts that the HD had ceased to function and that the BIOS 'recognition' of the HD was nothing more than that - a bit like seeing a parked car and recognising the make and model, but not being able to tell whether the engine would start!
I now await the return of my son from the US to get in contact with his friend who apparently built the computer.

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