2. Open the box and check all power and data cables.
(I have seen Molex type power connectors lose a connection intermittently even if they
are plugged in tightly) you need to wiggle them around. (I have also seen one case
where the data cable came loose when the computer was moved).
If cables were the problem, then you should be okay now.
If you still have a problem, go to step 3.
3. Other Drives are bad and interfering with the boot disk
In case anything else is sharing the IDE bus with the drive, e.g., a CD-ROM, then disconnect
anything that is also connected to the IDE bus and recheck the Master/Slave settings if
necessary and try again.
4. Possibly a faster way to check if the problem is the drive or something else Remove the
drive and plug it into another computer and see if the other computer can detect the drive.
If yes, then the problem is a cable, motherboard, etc. on the computer, so go to step 5.
5. CMOS or Flash problem
Put the drive or at least a drive back on the computer with the problem. Go to setup and
reload the bios from defaults and then redo the settings and save. Then try the IDE auto
detect. If this does not work and your system has flash upgrades, then reload the flash. Might
as well check for upgrades before refreshing. After refreshing, then again reload the defaults
and save settings. Reboot into setup and try the auto detects again. If the BIOS can now see
the drive but the drive still does not boot, then you may need to reload the OS or at least
replace the necessary drivers. If the thing still is not working, then it is most likely a defective
drive and you will need to decide how badly you need the data on the drive. If you need the
data, then I would send the drive to a data recovery lab that can extract the data from a dead
drive and save the data to a tape, CD, HD, etc. This can be expensive but may be worth it.
From: Ron Charity
A trick I was told that sometimes works is to remove the drive from the PC (leave power and
data connected), lean it on its side and attempt reboots.
From: Phil Murphy
First thing I would do is to check the BIOS to make the sure the disk is set to Auto and doesn't
have any settings in it. Then I would reboot the computer using the Win95/98 Setup disk and
run fdisk to check to make sure that there are partitions visible. If there are no partitions
visible, then I would have to assume that the data on the drive has departed. Next, if I do see
a partition, then I will exit fdisk and go right the C drive. I would run a directory on it to see if
all of the files are intact. If they have strange names and numbers, then the drive has suffered
a serious malfunction and the data is not retrievable. If the directory appears to be in good
shape, then I would use Drive Image to make a image file of the hard drive and move it to
either a zip disk or a CD-ROM, for the next time this happens.
From: Shawn Cole
• Get a second Hard Drive larger than the current broke or fairly non-functioning one.
• Make Disk #1 OLD Drive Slave and the new one Master because you want the new one to
become your Primary Boot Drive.
• Format and FDISK the New Drive into one or two partitions. I do two for personal reasons,
Format c: so it's bootable.