this step will result in the total and absolute loss of all data on the hard drive and should only
be used as a last resort. You can use the DOS commands, "FDISK, FORMAT C: /S", to reformat
the HDD and reinstall the operating system. Better yet, using a HDD utility like EZ-Drive
accomplishes this in about one tenth the time. Make sure you have a bootable floppy disk that
includes any special device drivers and programs to access your peripheral equipment (like the
CD- ROM) so you can complete the OS installation. If your computer system came with a
restoration disk, you could reinstall the COMPLETE OPERATING SYSTEM AND ALL SOFTWARE.
Alternatively, once the HDD has been reformatted and
the HDD set up, you should now be able to reinstall the complete operating system, (WIN31,
WIN95, WIN98, MAC, LINUX etc.) and all your application software from the original
distribution CDs or Disks.
From: Brett Edmonson
• First I would make sure all cables are connected and make sure it is getting power.
• Then I would check the setting in the BIOS, and make sure AUTO doesn't work. If not, I
would confirm the settings of the hard drive to the settings in the BIOS.
• Then I would see if FDISK sees the hard drive from a Win98 boot disk (which has FDISK on
• Then I would proceed to use the utility Hard Drive Mechanic, if it does not see it, IT IS DEAD!
From: Chris Karo
• First I would check the HD and write down all the numbers. Name of manufacturer, Model #,
serial#, Hds, Sectors, landing zone, etc
• Second, I would enter into setup mode and check the settings for HD1 and or HD2, if any.
Check advances settings to see if LBA or any other settings have been changed.
• If I have another PC that's the same, I would compare all CMOS settings.
• If not, go online to the manufacturer site support and find the model. Print out all settings for
the CMOS and any jumpers that may be on the drive.
• Check the power supply plug for the 5.5 (+ or -) voltage. Set the CMOS and jumpers
accordingly. Boot the machine.
• If the drive still does not come up, boot to a MS-DOS 6.2 Boot disk. C: dir.
• If I can see the files and directories, I can then either slave a driveor put another master on
a 2 nd controller, and then copy data to the drive or to a formatted a:\disk.
From:Bryan J. Lykins
This solution comes from the "been there, done that—multiple times.”
• First, get physical access to being able to see the disk drive and then use some type of
diagnostic utility (off a boot floppy) to see if the drive is even recognized.
• If there are no lights on the controller and the diagnostics do not identify a valid drive, then
you can usually recover quite easily.
• Get yourself another identical disk (with no important data on it) and swap the controllers. I
have used this method to recover 3 different disks.
• If the controller lights come on and the diagnostic program recognizes your drive, but the
disk is still not accessible, then most likely it is "frozen" internally. There have been several
drives that have had this problem in the past. (Specifically, there were some IBM 2- and 4-GB
drives, Maxtor 760 -MB, and Seagate 2 GB).