• If all is well connected and receiving power, the I/O controller (onboard or on a separate
card) may be damaged. I would try to connect the ribbon to the other existing port(s). I
sometimes connect the hard drive to another computer too.
• If the I/O controller is fine, the hard disk is receiving power, then I boot from a diskette. I
From: Dan Nicolay
1. Complete hard drive failure (catastrophic hardware failure within drive) (clunking, etc.-)—
send out to a lab if data is critical.
2. Can attempt to manually configure drive in bios-—open case and get heads, cylinders, etc.,
if bios won't auto detect.
If that fails…
3. Place drive in another system, attempt auto detect, etc. If the drive is detectable, but not
bootable, solution will depend on whether it's home system, whether it has network access,
etc. By far the easiest solution is making a Ghost image (Symantec) and use Ghost Explorer to
extract essential files. Gives you a backup and allows you to extract files that frequently aren't
even accessible on a corrupt drive in a DOS or Windows session when attempting data
A Ghost image can either be sent to another drive in a system or using a boot disk or with
network protocols (copied to a network drive). With the "ghost" image, you can check the drive
and start over if the failure is not drive hardware related.
From: C L Gillies
1. Try going into setup cmos and correcting the hard drive settings (primary master) from Auto
to User/LBA, whatever it was supposed to be; exit and save settings.
2. If this does not work, order Symantec's Ghost and make a clone. Hope this works. Of
course, you could try reinstalling the operating system after formatting but you'd lose all data
without a backup.
From: Dave Adams
• The first thing I would do is ask the user what system he/she normally booted to.
• Then I would cold boot the PC, go into CMOS, and autodetect the hard drive.
• If it did not detect, I would open the unit, verify the connections and try again.
• If it still did not autodetect, I would try my spare test hard drive.
• If my spare worked, I would test the user's original hard drive in another computer.
• Assuming I got the hard drive autodetecting in the CMOS, I would then verify boot order in
CMOS, usually A, then CD, then C.
• I would next cold boot to a virus scan diskette and verify the hard drive could be accessed
and free of viruses. The diskette I use automatically removes any viruses detected.
• If I get to this point, I would again try to cold boot to the hard drive. Obviously, there would
be some type of error message or symptom at this point to let me know better where I was in
resolving this issue.
• If I received "missing operating system" on a Windows 95 machine, I would attempt to
transfer the operating system from the appropriate media. If it was a Windows 98 machine, I