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Bloody computers..

Bloody computers..

Now the PC won’t boot at all. It can’t seem to find my hard drives at all.

Oddly,I can boot straight from the CD-drive into Linux, where at least I can get online. But not even Linux recognises the hard drives.

and I don’t think the hard drives are at fault – they’re both bought new, less than 3 months old. Oddly, I bought a new one because the old hard drive just failed on me for no apparent reason. But it can’t be the motherboard that’s the issue because that’s less than 3 months old too.

I’m just about ready to buy a bloody laptop! But I’d still have the huge problem of retrieving my old data πŸ™


  • It could be the motherboard – I had 4 fail in a row, each after around 2 months…

  • Did you install LILO when you installed Linux?

    A stupid question but you did put the correct jumper configuration for a master/slave on your IDE hard drives, right?

    Are you dual-booting Windows and Linux?

  • I haven't installed Linux at all – I just used one of those KNoppix-esque CD-ROMs that let you boot straight from CD to a Linux interface. When I've used them before it spotted the HDs fine, but not now.

    I'm deducing it's either a fault with the BIOS, the motherboard or *both* hard drives. Which seems a tad unlikely. πŸ™

    Thanks for your interest – and any help you can lend πŸ™‚

  • Hi,

    I found your site through your post on (a friend of mine). Then I noticed the computer post and I am a pretty big geek myself. I has similar problems recently when trying to put slackware linux on my main machine on a spare HD that I had lying around. Windows tried to "detect" and "install" the hard drive after I booted back to Win2k to check that all was till well. When it kept pestering me with the click ok or cancel to continue I mistakenly clicked Yes and the whole computer wouldn't boot until I disconnected the second IDE hard drive. Then windows was happy again. Very strange. In the old windows 98 the OS wouldn't even know the linux drive was present. I guess they are getting smarter, or more paranoid.

    If I were you I would try getting into the BIOS by hitting the DEL key or whatever it is for your machine, maybe TAB at the initial boot sequence and memory count up. The first selection in this menu system is usually the screen to select your IDE devices and the BIOS can auto-detect the size and brand of the hard drives. If BIOS can't detect it here then you probably have a problem. Western Digital has a great one floppy diagnosis and recovery/format disk that can be downloaded from their site. That is if your drive is a western digital.

    that's all I can think of for right now. But if I come up with anything else I'll let you know.


  • It could be the motherboard – I had 4 fail in a row, each after around 2 months…

  • I have looked in the BIOS, and tried an auto-update but that isn't happening. So I'm surmising that for some reason, the motherboard can't see the HD. Whether that means either

    * the mobo's fried (in which case it wouldn't even get to the memory test stage, surely?)

    * the hard drives are fried (what? Both of them? Simultaneously? When both are less than 4 months old?)

    * or the cable's gone.

    Must figure this one out! But thanks very much for your help and thoughts πŸ™‚

  • Have you tried hitting it…?

  • You had any joy with this yet?

  • Actually, the PC's back up and running. News which would no doubt find my friends aghast – if I had any πŸ˜‰

    After all that hassle, I just disconnected and reconnected the IDE cables, and it all seems fine now. It doesn't even overheat!

    *scratches head*

    Thanks for your help and thoughts though! πŸ™‚

  • Bizarre. I'd consider replacing the cable, if I were you. Disconnecting/reconnecting could mean it was a simple loose connection, but you have to ask how that happened. Dodgy connector on one of the drives, or a loose wire in the cable?

    Doubt you want it happening again and for the cost of a cable – assuming you don't have a spare lying around anyway – maybe worth the swapout.

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