Lost Disk Drive

  croydon 13:03 15 Jul 2003

This morning I installed Windows ME on a P3.

Later, whilst installing some software, the message appeared: "DISK BOOT FAILURE. INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER".

I did this and ran ScanDisk. There were no errors. I then ran FDISK to check the partitions and received the message "No fixed disks present".

When booting the PC the IDE Primary Master and Slave both report "None". I do not believe there can be any loose connections as the back of the PC has not been removed for some time.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  Megatyte 13:15 15 Jul 2003

Boot into BIOS and check that drives are set to Auto.


  xania 13:30 15 Jul 2003

Are you saying that you have both a master and a slave on your first IDE cable? Assuming for the moment that you do, read on.

Double check that your cable is firmly in place at both ends (both master and slave as any problem could knock out both) and make sure that both power suplies are properly connected. You could also try with a spare power connector. I'll presume that the cable is round the right way as it was working. If all is well, try attaching the seond (CD) cable to your master HDD and see if it now recognised (it won't boot, of course). If so, suspect your cable if faulty - try the second cable on the first IDE connection. If it still works, and now boots, your cable is faulty - if not there's something wrong on your mobo and it will need replacing. I don't recommend buying a IDE expansion card. It probably won't boot (I can't be sure about this) and, in any case, once a mobo starts giving up, its time to replace it.

However, if you've only got a master HHD, it could be that that's gone (more likely). Try connecting the CD via the HHD cable to the 1st IDE connection and see if its recognised. If it is, you have a problem with the HHD and its time to replace that.

  croydon 13:52 15 Jul 2003

This is weird. I powered down the PC for about 30 minutes and started it up again after your responses above. The PC has booted successfully.

It is possible that the HDD could have overheated?

I'll check the cable connections anyway.

  xania 16:57 15 Jul 2003

Is your HHD making any unusual noises - if so, it could be on the blink. Take this opportunity to backup all your important files. Otherwise, double check your connections. I very much doubt that a HHD temperature problem is the cause, but make sure that all your fans are working and that there is space all around the machine for heating to be dispersed.

  Gaz 25 22:25 15 Jul 2003

Dont Run FDISK yet, it sounds like a failed drive?

You could try the IDE cables to make sure they are well in.

Or try another drive, they are quite cheao these days.

  Gaz 25 22:27 15 Jul 2003

Mind you, re read.

It could be a power setting in the BIOS,

Or it could be one of the above,

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