From: Troy Schlueter
Do the normal ritual of making sure power and IDE cables are tight, and changing the IDE
Is the drive spinning? If not, then:
• Remove the drive and connect it back up outside the case.
• Power up the box and give the drive a quick twist to see if it will spin up.
• Try the drive on a known good working machine as a slave, if you can get it up in the cmos.
• If you still have no response, find a functioning drive that is identical (same make/model)
and swap the circuit boards.
This usually does the trick, unless the original drive has a physical error. (i.e. bad motor or
platters) Last resort—send out to a data recovery business.
Depends on why it's dead. On older drives, it was quite common for the heads to stick to the
platter. It would not have the torque to start, so it couldn't work.
• Best method in that case was to put a long extension on the power cable, leave the data line
off ,and with the drive between your palms, quickly rotate the drive and at the same time
power on. Try both clockwise and counter clockwise. One should work if it's a "stiction" issue.
• If the drive spins and has a problem with the logic board, it's sometimes possible to swap the
electronics without opening up the disk cavity, but that's a last resort.
From: Michael Wagoner
Tough question and in some aspects it depends on what operating system the machine was
Obvious checks are:
• Make sure all the cables are properly and firmly attached.
• You might want to swap out the ribbon cable and/or change it to the secondary controller
• Pull the power plug off it and plug in a different plug. Can you hear the hard drive spin up?
• If you (were smart enough and) brought along a different hard drive, does the machine
recognize THAT hard drive? Does it spin it up? Does it start it? Assuming all of the above is
intact and you've narrowed the problem down to that ONE particular hard drive as having the
problem (and that ONE hard drive DOES spin up), I'll tackle it from the perspective that the
machine was running either Win95 or Win98 (the steps for both are similar).
• I would bring a startup disk from a Win98 machine to start with (make sure you have the
correct startup disk type FAT 16 for machines fdisked that way FAT 32 for machines fdisked
that way If the 'owner doesn't know which it was, chances are high it was FAT 16, especially
on older machines).
• The reason for this is simple—it allows you to start up the machine with CD-ROM support
(this is assuming that the machine has a CD-ROM). At bootup, I would access the CMOS
settings and set the machine to try to recognize the hard drive automatically—once again, the
next steps would depend on whether the CMOS was able to identify the hard drive or not.
• Assuming it did recognize the hard drive, I would boot the machine (without the boot disk)
and check what error messages I got (if any).