Slave drive showing in BIOS but not in Windows

  favemuppet 21:51 31 Aug 2014

Hi all.

Dell Dimension 4400 running XP (yes, I know it's ancient!). Two hard drives a) Maxtor (running the OS) and b) Seagate used for storage only. Both jumpers set to cable select. No problems until yesterday when PC would not boot.

On entering BIOS, neither drive (nor CD & CDRW drives) were showing - only the floppy showing as the only hardware. Changed jumpers to master/slave in the thought that it may be a 'cable select' problem - all now appearing except for Maxtor. Assumed drive dead so swapped drives round (and jumpers accordingly, changed boot priority to CD and installed XP using the Windows disc on the Seagate, which is now master. No problems thus far.

Two service packs and 136 windows updates later, went back into BIOS to ensure boot priority given back to HDD. Fine. Seagate is now showing as Primary IDE Master, Maxtor is now showing as Primary IDE slave. So maybe Maxtor not dead after all...? Great - perhaps I can recover the data, I thought.

Then noticed that Maxtor is not appearing in My Computer. Not showing in Device Manager either. Checked Disk Management, and again, not there. Checked Properties on Primary IDE Channel in Device Manager - both Device 0 and Device 1 showing as Auto Detect - though latter shows Current Transfer Mode as 'not applicable' (does that mean anything?)

But the Maxtor is definitely there in the BIOS.

Is the Maxtor dead? If it was, would it still appear in the BIOS? And would that have resulted in the initial 'disappearing' of all the hardware from the BIOS? Or is there something I haven't done?

  lotvic 22:13 31 Aug 2014

When did you last put a new CMOS battery in? Motherboard battery might be dead and causing peculiar problems. Try that first. They are only about a couple of quid at Supermarket or half that from Poundland.

Re-seat all the cables and the RAM sticks to make sure they are all okay.

In the BIOS check if hard drives have reverted to PIO mode instead of DMA.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 22:18 31 Aug 2014

Put the drives on the two sepearte IDE channels (disconnect DVD if you have to)

see if they both show then.

  lotvic 22:29 31 Aug 2014

If you find you have the PIO problem - Some info and a VBS (script) you can copy and paste into notepad for a quick fix: DMA reverts to PIO click here

  TimBurden 15:17 06 Sep 2014

Had already changed the CMOS battery.

I have re-seated the drives and the RAM sticks and now the Maxtor appears in Device Manager - but still not in My Computer nor Disk Management.

What to do?

  Jollyjohn 18:48 06 Sep 2014

Double check the jumpers for Master and Slave settings

Do as Fruit Bat suggested - connect to separate IDE channels

Can you "update driver" in device manager?

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