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BIOS sees drives, but no XP booting, MBR=OK

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Hi all!

I REALLY really hope someone can help me.
Ok, I am not a PC dummy :tazz: , but this one baffles me, and my friends/colleagues.

Ok, here's the deal:

System config (short version)
1 Gb memory
2 x 160 Gb harddisk, SATA - Raid 0 (Striping)
XP pro - SP2

At one point in time while checking my emails, the pc just went to blank (black) not the typical blue screen.
Ok, it still is a Windows platform, so what do you do? Reboot!

After rebooting, all the BIOS checking is done, and after that, one normally should see the darn windows logo.
Well....it doesn't even come to that.

After the BIOS check, btw, without any BEEPS, the screen just goes to blank/black.

It does that forever.

My first thought was: ok, can't be that bad, just put in the XP install CD and do a re-install.
Well...I can do that, but after hitting R (for reinstall) or even after hitting the button for a fresh install, the following message appears:
"Setup can't find any harddrives in your system" or better still the dutch equivalent of that.

First thing I did after that was check the cables, perhaps one of the cables wasn't ok.
Well....they are fine, in fact, if I pull one of the cables out of one of the HDs, the BIOS sees that it is missing, and the RAID will see it as an error too.
So...that couldn't be it.

After that I tried about every single MBR restore program you can find on google ;) and aparently the MBR is fine, also the bla-table is ok too.
Even partition magic can see the drives. And some other diagnostic program I tried does let me see the data on both disks.

Still it leaves me with the same problem: the system just won't boot XP.

As I am working as much at home as I am working at the office, there's a s-load of information on those disks.
Btw: I do have a Ghost-backup of my data drive, but not my system drive.

Now, one way or the other, this needs to be fixed, I mean: I almost am at peace with loosing my system drive, and am willing to format the drives, they still need to be seen before I can actually do that.

Oh, another thing I found? Even DOS doesn't see the drives.

I hopefully ruled out the fact that MBR is the problem.
Hardware can't be the problem, unless it is something that does allow all other DOS programs and BIOS to see the disks.
Driver problems? I don't really know anymore, therefore I turn to you.

I hope you can help, or send me in the right direction, because after spending more than 12 hours searching the net, downloading programs, running diagnostic software and the works, I really don't know anymore.


Edited by lala_angela, 27 May 2005 - 11:39 AM.

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Hi Angela, welcome to Geeks to Go. When you tried windows re-install, did you get to the point where you are prompted to load 3rd party drivers? (F6). You need to have the SATA driver on a floppy in drive A and press F6 to load them.

I understand from your post this system was working fine and just died? You could try a repair install, but I think you will still need the SATA driver so I am not sure it will work. There is a guide for a repair install at the top of this forum, link is here
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Hi Austin!

Yes, I got the idea to give Windows the drivers for the SATA disk(s). I already tried, but my guess is, those were still the wrong drivers.
Got my laptop to do all this now, so at least I still have some sort of working machine. :tazz:

I just need to get the drivers now, and somehow get Windows to understand I need to use them (yes, the F6).

I tried and tried and tried to do a reinstall as described by you guys in the topic you mentioned, but the thing is:
I do still get the "cant find any harddrives" message, and then windows setup just reboots the machine.

The machine was working fine, and just died on me. I have assessed that the data is still on the drives and they are still working....just getting windows to see them, or DOS even, is the trick.

Every single diagnostic program does see the drives, except the programs I need to see them are blind to them. <sigh>

I'll get there, just a matter of stamina! I bet I can beat the machine ;)
I appreciate all help though, I learn something new every day!

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