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Hard Drives Issues with XP


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#1
Azeff1

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I'm trying to access an old ATA 20 gig Maxtor. It was a slave in my old system, and I want it as a slave in my new one. I used to run ME now I run XP. The system sees it in Device Manager, but not when clicking on My Computer. I have change out the cables, reset the jumpers, deleted it out of the device manager had windows find it. I just can't access it. It has about 8 gigs of old music I really want to get my hands on. Help me Obi-Wan!!!
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#2
Samm

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Go to administrative tools->disk management in XP & look for your drive in there.
What info does disk management give about the drive? ie status, drive letter, number of partitions, free space of drive, health etc
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#3
Azeff1

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Thanks for getting back to me. I only have these files listed in my admin tools: Component Services, Computer Management, Data Sources(ODBC), Event Viewer, Preformance, and Services. What is my next move?
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#4
Samm

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OK, select computer management. When that opens you should see disk management listed in there.
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#5
Azeff1

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Yep, all of that worked. However, when checking the properties it all looks good. No drive leters for anything, no number of partitions, etc. I'm going to check my BIOS settings again, but that is another question? How do I update my BIOS? I know another time, another forum. I will update you after that.
A out..
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#6
Azeff1

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Okay so nothing happened with the BIOS. I changed booting options to try and start my system with the old drive. It just bounced over to the primary drive. The only difference between the drives that I can find is the bad one in properties>volumes> the unallocated space is the same as the capacity. On the good drive the capacity is 29314 MB and Unallocated space is 0 MB. I'm burned, any ideas?
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#7
Samm

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The reason who have unallocated space equal to the drive capacity is because the drive is not partitioned (or at least, windows doesn't see it as partitioned). This also explains why theres no drive letter assigned to it.

You will need to create a new partition on the drive, it sounds like the partition tables may have got corrupted.
Use disk management (or partition magic if you have a copy) to create a new partition on the drive. I suggest you create it as a FAT32 partition, not NTFS.

Let me know what happens.
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#8
Azeff1

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You rock! I got my hard drive back. Lost the data but oh well, I go the space I need to use my DVD burner! Thanks a million!
You got any sugestions about updating the system BIOS?
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#9
Samm

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You rock! I got my hard drive back. Lost the data but oh well, I go the space I need to use my DVD burner! Thanks a million! 

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You're welcome.


You got any sugestions about updating the system BIOS?

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Yeah, don't unplug the power half way through!
Sorry, realise thats probably not what you meant.

Firstly, make sure you have identifed your current bios version correcly.
Then go to the motherboard manufacturers website & locate the bios updates for your board. Read what each one fixes & only update if it's going to be worthwhile to do so.
i.e. If it ain't broke - don't fix it. (Unless refering to most PC helpdesks in which case , if it ain't broke - it soon will be)

Bios flashing does seem to have got less risky these days but theres still an outside chance that it could all go t*ts up.

If you decide to do it, get the latest version of the bios, as it will contain all the previous updates. Double check the version numbers & the PCB version of the mobo (if relevant)
Download the flash utility that will be supplied with it
Make sure you use a new or fully formatted floppy disk. If bad sectors are located on the disk during the format, disgard it.
Always create a backup of the bios when prompted.
And, in reference to my original point, hope there's not a power cut.

Oh and check your mobo manual but some boards have a bios protection feature on them which must be disabled first. This will either be done in the bios or by a jumper on the board.

Good luck
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#10
Azeff1

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Maybe I will double check myself about this issue. Shouldn't a BIOS update make all of my systems components work better/ more efficiently?
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#11
Samm

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No. Bios updates are usually released for two reasons :

1. To make the system fully compatible with newer cpus. (eg a lot of boards when first released, will claim to support cpu speeds that haven't even been released yet. When the cpus are released & used in that board, sometimes the bios doesn't fully support them even though the frequency & multiplier settings do)

2. To fix other bugs etc & improve compatibility with certain hardware.

If your bios is already fully compatible & has no major issues, then updating it won't necessarily improve its performance or anything else.
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#12
Azeff1

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Well alrighty then!! Thank you again for your knowledge. I will have to leave my BIOS alone. I like your answers so I have one last question for you:

Do you get better/ faster preformance using the on-board IDE Primary and Secondary slots, rather than a PCI slot IDE contorller card? (Did I phrase that the right way?)
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#13
Samm

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Thats a good question.
To the best of my knowledge, assuming that we're comparing pci card to native IDE of the same spec (eg both ATA133 etc), then it would say the native IDE controller should give slightly better performance.

This may be affected though by the bios settings etc for the controllers, eg whether bus mastering is enabled or not.

Essentially, native IDE controllers are simply an extension of the PCI bus itself, so in theory there shouldn't be much difference in the performance. The only other time that a PCI IDE card may suffer a slight drop in performance, if is the pci bus gets heavily used by other devices or if the card is sharing an IRQ with another device thats being used a lot.

Hope this helps a bit. Anyone who knows more about this subject, please feel free to contribute. As my knowledge on pci ide cards is a little limited!
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