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BIOS HDD detection fails...

Trish's Escape from Hardware Hell Help Board » Setup and Configuration » All the Rest » BIOS HDD detection fails... « Previous Next »

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Jan Grabowski
Posted on Tuesday, June 11, 2002 - 9:37 am:   


I was asked by a friend to make some changes to the setup of a machine of his but seem to have made the problem worse - oops!

His machine is a couple of years old (don't know exact details but could find out if necessary) and someone had partitioned his 20GBish drive into 4 pieces - including, for no reason I understand, one of 40MB! Anyway, he had Windows XP installed on "drive" F but wanted to put it onto D, since that partition had more room and things weren't running terribly swiftly.

My attempt to sort this for him was to change the boot order in BIOS to try to get Windows to install itself again (asking for the appropriate drive to install to) then we would uninstall/delete it from F. Not a great solution, probably, but there you go.

Anyway, in changing the BIOS settings, I somewhere stopped it recognising that there was a hard drive anywhere: booting now gives a drive failure error message. The IDE HDD Auto Detection option from BIOS doesn't work!! Having thought some more about it, what I'd like is to persude BIOS to detect the hard drive again as one drive, wipe all the partitioning and get back to the simple situation of one drive, to which we will install XP, from first principles.

Please can someone tell me what I can do to fix my gaffe!! I feel rather stupid - not least because I don't understand why Auto Detection doesn't work for me. Is it possible to just wipe the hard drive and BIOS settings back to factory settings and do it all from the start again? (He has no data he wants to keep on the HD, by the way.)

I'd be really grateful for any help. Many thanks in advance.

Jan Grabowski
Posted on Tuesday, June 11, 2002 - 12:01 pm:   

reset the bios to defaults. writing the current settings down for reference for other devices. make a boot disk, to delete the current partitions. i don't mess with the stuff on the cd to do this. i have delpart to do this. i can send it to you, or you can download it from my site, and it will delete all partitions. you can then use xp's disk to remake a new partition. e-mail me and i'll give you the url i have to download the zipped file containing the utility. you'll need a formatted 1.44mb disk to extract the zipped files to. start up the computer with the floppy disk and follow the directions. then reboot after you're done. then uxe xp's cd to do the setup after you've created your primary partition.
kristoffer wood
Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2002 - 7:09 am:   

I'd recommend you reset the BIOS, as well, then using a DOS boot disk (such as one of window's startup disks that let you do a minimal boot) do the following

Switch the command prompt to say C:\ (default it'll say A:\ cuz it's loading from the diskette)

type "format c:" without quotes, then hit enter.

Follow all the prompts

repeat the process for all the partitions that exist (change C: to D: etc)

once all are formatted, type in "fdisk" (no quotes) and hit enter

in fdisk you can delete ALL the partitions on the hard drive. Start with the secondary/extended partitions, then delete the primary one. Once that's done, create a new primary partition using the whole hard drive, then re-install windows XP. Its the only clean way to fix up what the previous owner did. The guy could have a 60 GB HD and not know it. Feel free to email me if you want further details on this-i do it almost weekly hehe.
Posted on Sunday, June 30, 2002 - 5:38 am:   

was linux installed as a second os then fdisk may or may not.....just some past experience thrown into the mix......

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