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My computer has 2 hard drives, 1 is faulty, and I want it back to norm


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#1
VanWilder

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Hello, my name is Don.

It has been 4 years since I purchased my computer and it contains 2 hard drives.

About a month ago I purchased a DVD To iPod Converter, and it required me to download some sort of ASPI Driver. So, whenever I did, it asked for me to restart my computer, and that was the last I saw of EVERYTHING I had.

The problem was, It would go through its usual Boot Loading Process, from the startup screen, to the black page with the white words, and then lastly the computer would make its "BEEP BOP BEEP" loading noises, but it would never go to the "Windows XP" loading screen. Once I selected to open "Windows XP Home Edition", it would restart from the beginning, and continue to restart over and over again and never would go to the page where I could type in my password.

So, I went in my computer and manually disconnected the drive that I used, and used my other hard drive that I had, installed Windows XP all over again. I was wondering, can my damaged hard drive still be fixed?

Not long ago I loaded into Safe Mode with the newly installed Windows XP, and while I was on that I connected my old hard drive in and it showed up in My Computer. Some old files were there, but whenever I tried to restart with having that hard drive still connected, it did the same thing as before: restarted over and over again and never would go to the password screen.

Should I just delete everything that I see on that hard drive? Or is there something there that I need to uninstall? What do I need to do to fix this situation?

Thank you!

In Regards,
Don

Edited by VanWilder, 17 February 2006 - 09:47 PM.

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#2
Samm

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Hi Don

What do you mean 'you connected the old drive while in safe mode'? You didn't physically connect the drive while the system was powered up did you?

If you have both drives connected so that you load windows from the drive that works & have the old drive connected as a slave, can you boot up to windows in safe mode then?
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#3
VanWilder

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Yes, I know that it was a dangerous move, but yeah, while I was powered up in Safe Mode with the hard drive that was working, I physically connected the other "bad" hard drive.

A bubble popped up at the bottom of the screen recognizing that a "new" hardware was connected, and it showed up under My Computer. So I went to My Computer, clicked on the "D:" drive and it showed all that was in it... some old files and such.

So I tried restarting with both hard drives connected again, and it did the same thing as before: restarted over and over again and would never go to the "Enter Password" Screen, and just do its beep's and bop's all over again.

I really want this hard drive back, but I can only access it when I connect it AFTER I power it up with my other hard drive. WHAT TO DO?

Don
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#4
Samm

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Will the system boot up fully in safe mode though while the second drive is connected?
I.E power off, connect up second drive as slave, power on & boot straight into safe mode.
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#5
VanWilder

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Samm,

I have done that before, and it allows me to go on the screen where you can select Safe Mode and such with both drives connected, but whenever I click to open it in Safe Mode, it does the same thing, restart over and over again.

Sorry for my lack of knowledge, but what do you mean by a "slave drive"?

Don

Edited by VanWilder, 18 February 2006 - 12:11 AM.

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#6
Samm

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Sorry for my lack of knowledge, but what do you mean by a "slave drive"?

Don


When you a single IDE hard drive connected, it should be connected to the ribbon cable on the primary IDE controller & configured as the 'master' - this means its the only drive or the primary drive in the system.
When you connect a second hard drive, it should be connected to the same ribbon cable as the primary drive but configured as a 'slave'.

The only configuration for the second drive, is to connect it to the other ribbon cable on the secondry IDE controller, as a master or a slave. This is not recommended though because the secondary controller (cable) should have the optical drive(s) connected to it & an optical drive (eg CDROM drive) on the same cable as a hard drive will slow the hard drive down.

Have you tried booting the system from a floppy disk instead? You can download one from this link :

http://www.pcworld.c...id,25181,00.asp

Once downloaded, insert a new floppy disk & run the .exe file you have downloaded. This will automatically create a bootable floppy for you.

If you have both drives connected & boot from the ntfs boot disk, see if you can access the files on the second drive. If you can, then you should be able to copy the files across from the second drive to the first drive. You'll need a basic knowledge of DOS commands in order to do this, so if you need help with this, let me know.

Be aware also that if you have the floppy disk inserted, power the system on & it still attempts to boot from the hard drive instead of the floppy, you will need to go into the bios & change the boot sequence.
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#7
VanWilder

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Samm,

The program worked! I was able to view all of my old files and such on the "faulty" drive. For some reason, though, it recognized the faulty drive as "C: drive" and the good drive as "D: drive".

Is there some way that I can just erase everything on that faulty drive?


Another thing... I tried booting up with both drives connected again. The final message that comes up on the black screen w/ the white letters is "NTLDR is Missing". Can you tell me what that means?

Thanks!

Don
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#8
Samm

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Hi Don

I'm glad you managed to recover your files from the dodgy drive.

I am a bit concerned however about the drive configuration. You said that the second drive was recognised as the C drive, & the good drive as the D drive. This is not normal.

Can you try something for me please?
With both drives connected as before, power on the system. As soon as the power light on the monitor changes from amber to green, press the DEL key repeatedly (at 2 -3 sec intervals). This should get you into the bios.

Depending on which bios you have, you should either see a menu system or it will open straight on the first page. If you have the menu based system, then select the first option in the menu (Standard CMOS setup or similar). Either way, you are looking for the section that lists your drives. What you should see is something like :

PRIMARY MASTER
PRIMARY SLAVE
SECONDARY MASTER
SECONDARY SLAVE

Next to each of the entries above, you should see listed either 'AUTO', 'NONE/NOT INSTALLED' or the drive parameters (eg drive capacity, transfer mode, etc'
Hopefully, the parameters for the two hard drives will be listed. If so, let me know the position (ie primary master etc) that each of the 2 drives is in.

If the parameters are set to AUTO or if you have trouble accessing the bios, let me know & we'll do this another way.

NTLDR is the system file that loads XP. When NTLDR is missing, there can be one of several reasons for it. These include : bad ram, incorrect drive configuration, incorrect boot.ini configuration, non-bootable disk, corrupt or damaged hard drive/file system, loose IDE cable

In your case, I suspect it might be to do with the second drive being detected as the primary drive instead of the slave.

There is a simple way for you to wipe the dodgy drive completely but I'll come to that after we have sorted out the drive configuration.
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#9
VanWilder

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Samm,

Well, I was able to get on BIOS and the Standard CMOS setup.

With both drives connected, it lists the product number of the drives. Since both of the drives are just two of the same thing, they have the same product number under Primary Master and Primary Slave. I'm assuming that the dodgy drive is under 'Master' and the good one is under 'Slave', but I'm not sure.

Is there something that could distinguish the two drives apart to know for sure?

Thanks!

Don
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#10
Samm

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Are the two drives different sizes? If so, then this will allow you to distinguish them.
If they are identical size, then let me have the product numbers & I'll tell you which is which (hopefully)!
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#11
VanWilder

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Samm,

The two drives are the same size and have the same product number.

The product number that is listed on the Standard CMOS setup on both Primary and Slave is WDC WD800JB-00RA1. I physically checked on both of them and they both have the same P/N.

what to do??

Don

Edited by VanWilder, 21 February 2006 - 05:42 PM.

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#12
Samm

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No problem.

Power off the system, open up the case & remove the dodgy drive & put it to one side. You may want to write something on the label so you dont get the two drives mixed up!

Remove the good drive (or at least make sure you can access the back of it easily enough).
Good drive : You will see 2 rows of pins between the power connector & the ribbon cable connector on the back of the drive. Make sure that the plastic jumper cap is positioned over the middle pair of pins (pins 5 & 6) like this :
Make sure you are looking at the drive the right way up i.e with the power connector on the right & the ribbon cable connector on the left
o o |o| o o
o o |o| o o

Next, make sure the drive is connected to the end of the ribbon cable (not in the middle).


Get the dodgy drive & repeat the check on the jumper pins but this time make sure the jumper cap is over pins 3 & 4 like this :

o o o |o| o
o o o |o| o

Then reconnect the drive to the connector in the middle of the ribbon cable.
Make sure when connecting the ribbon cable to the drives that you connect it the right way round.

NB If either drive has two plastic caps on it instead of one, remove one of them & make sure the remaining cap is positioned as described above.

When both drives are back in the computer, reconnect the power & make sure that both are detected in the bios - one should be Master & the other one a Slave. You won't be able to tell from this which is which but that doesn't matter because if you've jumpered both correctly, then the good drive will be the master.

Let me know when you've got this far.
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#13
VanWilder

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Samm,

I did it! Everything seems to be right!

Not only will my computer now start with the 2nd drive connected, I went into My Computer and all of my present files are under C: drive and all of my old files from last time are under D: drive!

:tazz:

Now, how can i just wipe out all on this D: Drive completely?

Thank you so much!

Don
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#14
Samm

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You're very welcome.

Probably the easiest way to wipe the drive now that everything is working again, is this :
Go to Start->Run... and type in diskmgmt.msc <OK>
When disk management opens, right click on the second hard drive & select format from the drop down menu list.

Let me know if you have any problems :tazz:
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#15
VanWilder

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:tazz:

It worked beautifully!

The D: Drive is now cleared and ready for reuse!

Thank you so much! Not only have you helped me, you've also taught me a lot.

I'm not experiencing anymore problems, so I think I'm A-Okay! :)

Don
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