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Since September, my computer has been having problems. After numerous failed repair attempts, my friend fixed it for me. It worked for about a week, and then two days ago, I decided to try and get the whole thing working. When I got the computer up and running again, I switched to another hard drive I had (I have three). I wanted to switch back to my original (larger) hard drive. I reformatted, and for the first time in months, it worked!

Unfortunately, I got greedy, and I tried to get my other hard drive hooked up, too. I managed to get that particular hard drive working, but they wouldn't work together. After trying different things, I decided to try and install Windows again. However, when I try to install it now, it says I don't even have a hard drive installed! I know that I've hooked everything up right (I even took the entire computer apart, and put it back together to make sure), but it won't detect my hard drive at all...any of them! When I boot up the computer, it tells me there's a disk error, and I need to insert the system disk. When I do, it sends me to the installation setup, then tells me I have nothing installed, etc.

Glaring at it with murder in my eyes isn't helping any.

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Last Post by DMR
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Sounds like a jumper setting on the back of the hardrives ,I they are on the dame ribbon cable ,the main drove may need to now be set to master with slave ,and the 2nd drive set to slave to work gether. If one is on the primary IDE channel and one on the Secondary IDE then they need to both be set to master .Or they both could be set to Cable Select

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>>I they are on the dame ribbon cable ,the main drove may need to now be set to master with slave ,and the 2nd drive set to slave to work together
That's right.

>>If one is on the primary IDE channel and one on the Secondary IDE then they need to both be set to master .Or they both could be set to Cable Select
Not right...I mean is not mandatory - my HDD are set both slave, on different cables, and they are working perfectly. But it's recommended:)

Try a BIOS update; if you're lucky, it will solve the problem.

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Right now I'm just trying to get it work with one hard drive, just to simplify.

How does one do a BIOS update?

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It would help if you gave us specific details about your hardware setup; as it stands right now, we don't even really know if you're dealing with IDE drives or SATA drives.

In general though (and assuming IDE drives):

- If the computer won't work with a single drive now, but did work before you started changing drives, I'd hold off on flashing the BIOS until you've triple-checked your connection scheme. A BIOS update can alleviate certain problems, but if done incorrectly it can also render your system useless.

- As others have mentioned, it really does sound like an issue with connectors, jumpers, etc.:

1. Open the computer back up and very carefully re-examine your cabling again to make sure that there are no mis-seated connectors or bent connector pins.

2. Install only one of the previously-bootable drives on the Primary IDE channel.

3. Set the drive's Master/Slave/Cable Select jumpers to the Master position.

4. If the drive uses an ultra ata cable (80-wire/40-pin), make sure that cable is oriented correctly. Although both ends of that types of cable may look the same from the outside, there's a certain end (often marked or color-coded) which needs to be plugged into the motherboard in order for things to function properly and reliably.

5. Disconnect any other IDE devices (CD, DVD, etc.) from the motherboard temporarilly, boot the machine, and see if the single drive is recognized.

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Can you tell us what you did? Posting that info could help others in the future.

(Unless, of course, the answer is something like: "I hummed the whole blasted thing out of a second-story window".)

:mrgreen:

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