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Home >> Resources | Support >> Troubleshooting Tips >> 

Trouble Shooting Tips after Installing a New Hard Drive

Trouble Shooting Tips after Installing a New Hard Drive


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The following article is based on years of experience. It is provided as a free service to our customers and visitors. However, Directron.com is not responsible for any damage as a result of following any of this advice.

Copying the contents for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited without Directron.com's written consent. However, you are welcome to distribute these computer support tips free to your friends and associates as long as it's not for commercial purposes and you acknowledge the source. You are permitted and encouraged to create links to this page from your own web site.


  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 the 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 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 (see Figure 2 on page 6).
    • 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 cornputer'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:
  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 supports drives 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, as shown in Figure 6. This causes the drive to appear to your BIOS as having a 2.1-Gbyte capacity (4,092 cylinders, 16 heads, 63 sectors 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 cover.
    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 DiscWizard 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 discs reach operating speed. If the drive motor does not start up, recheck all drive cables.
    • Verify that for each drive, a drive-type is listed in the system setup program.
    • Try rebooting your computer by pressing the CTRL, ALT and DELETE keys simultaneously. If the drive is recognized after you reboot the system, the computer BIOS test may be completing before the drive is ready.
      One solution is to slow the processor speed during startup. If your computer has a turbo switch, set it to slow speed before turning the computer on. If there is no turbo switch, you may be able to use keyboard commands; see your computer manual for details. After the computer is up and running, return the processor to the fast speed.
      Another solution is to warm-boot your computer after every power-on.
    • Check for I/O address conflicts. To isolate the conflict, verify that the drive and host adapter are compatible with your computer. Turn off the computer and remove all the peripheral adapter cards except for the video card and host adapter. If the computer recognizes the drive when you reboot the computer, turn off the computer. Reinstall the other peripheral cards, one at a time, until the conflict reoccurs. After you have isolated the source of the address conflict, you can resolve the conflict by changing the 1/0 address of the peripheral that appears to cause the conflict.
    • If Disk Manager has installed the DDO on your hard drive and you have booted directly from a diskette, the information in the boot record for the drive may not have been loaded. Make sure there is no diskette in drive A and reboot. If you want to boot from the diskette, follow the "Booting with a Diskette" instructions under "Advanced Disk Manager Options" on page 20.

  5. The dealer partitioned and formatted the drive for you in the store, but the drive does not respond when you install it.
    • Reboot the computer and make sure the drive spins up.
    • Check all cables.
    • Make sure the power supply is adequate for system needs.
    • Make sure the DOS or Windows version the dealer used to partition and format the drive is the same version you have installed in your computer. If it isn't, see your dealer.
    • Verify the drive-type values in the system setup program. You must install the drive using the same drive-type values your dealer used to partition the drive.
    • Check for 1/0 address conflicts between peripheral cards.
    • Check for viruses.

  6. The system hangs in FDISK or fails to create or save the partition record.
    • Check all cables.
    • Your setup system diskette may be corrupted. Try using a backup diskette.
    • Make the partitions smaller.
    • Change the interrupt jumper setting on the host adapter.
    • Some BIOS have a Track 0 protection feature that protects Track 0 from viruses. This may cause FDISK to hang the system. You must disable this feature in the system setup program before you can use FDISK. See your computer reference guide for assistance. Be sure to re-enable this important feature when FDISK is done.

  7. The system error message, "Drive not Ready," appears.
    • Check all cable connections. Make sure pin 1 of the drive is connected to pin 1 of the hard-disc controller or host adapter.
    • Make sure the power supply is adequate for system needs.
    • Reboot the computer and make sure the drive spins up.

  8. The FDISK error message, "No Fixed Disk Present," appears.
    • Make sure the power supply is adequate for system needs.
    • Verify the drive-type values in the system setup program.
    • Check for 1/0 address conflicts.

  9. The drive does not format to full capacity.
    • Verify the drive-type values in the system setup program. One of the following problems may have occurred:
    • The values may be set with an incorrect translation characteristic.
    • You may have entered a parameter value that exceeds the physical capacity of the drive.
    • You entered a translation characteristic that does not take full advantage of the drive's capacity.
    • The drive's physical specifications exceed the translation limits imposed by the BIOS.

      CAUTION: If you change the drive-type values in the system setup program, you must partition and format the drive again. This erases data on the drive.

    • If you have partitioned the drive into individual logical drives, you may need to make the partitions smaller to access the full drive capacity.
    • If your computer supports LBA mode, you may need to enable LBA mode in the system setup program to access the full capacity of the drive. Refer to your computer's reference guide to find out how to enable LBA.
    • Your computer may not support drives that have more than 4,092 cylinders. Follow the instructions on page 25 for After you install your new drive, your computer will not boot, and no error message appears on the screen.

  10. The DOS message "Disk Boot Failure," "Non-System Disk" or "No ROM Basic - SYSTEM HALTED" appears.
    • Reinstall the DOS system files using the DOS SYS utility.
    • Check all cables.
    • Use FDISK to verify that the primary partition is active.
    • Check for viruses.

  11. The system error message, "HDD controller failure" appears.
    • Confirm the jumper settings on the drive.
    • Verify the drive-type settings in the system setup program.
If a problem persists, please search for a solution or post a question in our tech support forum in our Help Desk.

If you find this article useful, please create a link to it from your website or tell a friend about it. If you have any comments or suggestions about this article, please email information@directron.us

Copyright ?1997-2001 Directron.com. All rights reserved


Related Items: | Troubleshooting Tips | Steps to Assemble a System | Troubleshooting Tips | Troubleshooting Tips | Troubleshooting Tips | Troubleshooting Tips | How to Maintain a System? | Resources | Support |


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