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Troubleshooting Hard Disk Drives

  1. Basic Troubleshooting Tips after Installing a New Hard Drive: Based on Seagate IDE hard drives.

    If you have installed your drive and it does not function properly, perform the following basic checks:

    Warning: Always turn off your computer before changing jumpers or unplugging cables and cards. Wear a ground strap or use other antistatic precautions while working on your computer or handling your drive.

    • Verify compatibility. Verify that the host adapter and drive are appropriately matched to each other and to your computer. Refer to the relevant documentation for details.
    • Check all cards. Verify that all the cards are seated in their slots on the motherboard and secured with mounting screws.
    • Check all connectors and cables. Make sure all ribbon and power cables are securely connected. Ribbon cables are easily damaged, especially at the connector. Try a new cable that you know is good. Make sure no connector pins are bent. Verify that pin 1 on the interface cable is aligned with pin 1 on the drive and host adapter.
    • Verify jumper settings. Review the instructions in this guide and in your host adapter installation guide. Make sure all appropriate jumpers are installed or removed as necessary.
    • Check your power supply specifications. Each time you add a new device to your computer, make sure your computer’s internal power supply can support the total power demand. If necessary, consult your dealer for a new power supply.
    • Verify the drive-type settings in the system setup program. The drive-type settings in the system BIOS must not exceed the physical specifications of your drive. Also, the settings must not exceed the limitations set by the operating system and BIOS.
    • Check for viruses. Before you use someone else’s diskette in your system for the first time, scan the diskette for viruses.

    Additional Troubleshooting Tips

    If you have performed the preceding basic checks but the problem persists, follow these guidelines for troubleshooting specific cases:
    • After you install your new drive, your computer will not boot, and no error message appears on the screen.
    • The screen remains blank when you power up the system.
    • The system does not recognize the drive.
    • The dealer partitioned and formatted the drive for you in the store, but the drive does not respond when you install it.
    • The system hangs in FDISK or fails to create or save the partition record.
    • The system error message, “Drive not Ready,” appears.
    • The FDISK error message, “No Fixed Disk Present,” appears.
    • The drive does not format to full capacity.
    • The DOS message, “Disk Boot Failure,” “Non-System Disk” or “No ROM Basic-SYSTEM HALTED” appears.
    • The system error message, “HDD controller failure” appears.

  2. After you install your new drive, your computer will not boot, and no error message appears on the screen.

    Check your computer manual or BIOS manufacturer to determine whether your BIOS support drive that have more than 4,092 cylinders. If your system has this limitation, use the following procedure to configure your computer:

    1. Turn off your computer, open the case, and remove your new drive.

      CAUTION: To avoid electrostatic discharge damage to your computer or hard drive, make sure you are well grounded before touching the drive, cable, connector or jumpers.

    2. Move the jumper on the alternate-capacity jumper. This causes the drive to appear to your BIOS as having a 2.1-Gbyte capacity (4,092cylinders, 16heads, 63sectors per track). You may need third party partitioning software, such as Disk Manager, to achieve full capacity of the drive.
    3. Remount your drive in the computer and replace the computer drive.
    4. Insert a bootable system diskette into drive A and turn on the computer. It should boot from drive A and automatically detect the new drive as a 2.1-Gbyte drive.
    5. Insert your Disc Wizard diskette into drive A and type A: XDM. Then press ENTER. This runs the Disk Manager program.
    6. Follow the Disk Manager instructions to install the dynamic drive overlay and to partition and format your new drive to its full capacity.
    7. After Disk Manager is done, reboot your system. You should see the Disk Manager banner and be able to access the full capacity of your new drive.

  3. The screen remains blank when you power up the system.

    If the steps listed above do not remedy this problem, try the following:
    • Make sure the monitor is plugged in and turned on.
    • Check all cards.
    • Make sure the video card is seated in its slot and secured with mounting screws.
    • Turn off the computer and remove the drive host adapter. If the screen turns on after you reboot, the host adapter may be incompatible or defective. If so, see your dealer.

  4. The system does not recognize the drive.

    • Check all cables.
    • Make sure the power supply is adequate for system needs.
    • Reboot the computer and listen to make sure the drive motor starts up. If the drive is very quiet, it may be difficult to hear its disc reach operating speed. If the drive motor does not start up, recheck all drives cables.
    • Verify that for each drive, a drive-type is listed in the system setup program.
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