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XP won't Install, hard drive ok but not in bios


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#1
obewan3

obewan3

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I have a new 160GB hard drive on my Dell Inspiron 1100. The bios won't recognize it or activate it. It says: "Hard drive - None". The drive will format correctly, and it passes all diagnostic tests in the Dell utility.

Here is the second problem. The op sys won't install right. The first time it copied all the files to the hard drive and said: "Windows is installling, 34 mins remain." 15 hours later, it was still hung at the same place. I tried installing it again, and it said: "Overwrite existing op sys?" I attempted to overwrite the ops sys, and it copied all XP files to the drive and said: "Rebooting". It never went beyond that. It is now stuck in the file copy and reboot loop over and over when I try to install the op sys.

Do I need to flash the bios to get it to recognize the hard drive? I don't think so and hope not.
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#2
Neil Jones

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Posts on other forums suggest this laptop seems to have a lot of hard drive issues, but then the laptop is six years old now. Many of them tend to come down to an IDE problem which is a board problem which means the laptop is scrap.
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#3
obewan3

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I don't see how it can be an IDE card. The Dell utility disc has 7 or 8 heavy duty tests for IDE drives, and my drive and controller pass all tests. They include seek, read, write, random, verify, etc ect for every block on the disc. I read that it is possible for a virus to attack the bios cmos chip. If it is bad enough, it can destroy the mother board. So, you may be rignt in that my computer is scrap now. With equivalent new systems available for $350 it does not make sense to invest the same amount in a repair of a 4 year old computer.
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#4
obewan3

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Update: My problems are solved. It was a bad drive. I spun my wheels for 25-30 hours on this one. In the end, I was shipped two bad drives in a row from Memory America. They were Seagate 160GB. The problem was they passed all the Dell utility diagnostic tests. I gave up and took it to the shop. They swapped in a new known good drive, and violla - the bios recognized it, and XP loaded. So, now we will see if Memory America will honor their return policy. I blame Seagate though. I can't believe how fussy these small drives are. I think in the future I will stick to Western Digital. Who knows though, it is all a gamble.
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#5
obewan3

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Memory America kept their word and gave me a full refund with no hassles. I suppose I might still use them in the future. I don't know about Seagate though - I mean two bad drives in a row! I spent 25-30 hours trying to solve a non-existent problem apart from their bad drives that were "brand new". I paid $119 for the shop to diagnose and repair my laptop and it was a job I could have done myself had I only had a good drive. Then I am out $5 for return postage. At least I tried though, and I did learn a lot.
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