(3) If the drive isn't recognized, then check for loose connections and check the drive's
configuration in CMOS. Is the drive too hot or cold? Is it spinning at all? Remove and reseat
the controller. A controller swap might possibly make the drive respond where it wouldn't
(4) If drive C is recognized, then examine the partition table located in the MBR with Fdisk or
Norton Utilities, to see if the partitions are well-defined (they should be for a drive that worked
(5) If the partitions don't exist on the MBR, then the response is to rebuild or restore the data
to the disk. You may have to rebuild the MBR from a previously backed up copy of it or, if you
haven't backed up the MBR, steal an identical MBR from another PC by backing up the MBR
from a working machine onto a floppy diskette and restore the MBR of the troubled PC.
(6) Reformat the first track of the disk with an autoconfigure controller. If you can low-level
format the disk, then use HDTEST or some other selective low-level formatter to reformat the
first track. If this doesn't work, then there is probably a physical problem with the drive at
cylinder 0 head 0. Take another hard drive with identical characteristics and partition layout
and boot from it. Then park the good drive, disconnect the power leads from it before
disconnecting the data cables, connect the bad drive up to the system via power and data
cables and unpark it.
(7) Next finish up by examining the DBR or DOS boot record. This is the first sector in the DOS
partition. It contains a small program that loads the hidden files and boots the operating
system. You can repair the DBR by further examining the data structure inside the DBR called
the BIOS Parameter Block or DPB. It describes the disk, how many FATs are on the disk, how
large the clusters are, what the total number of sectors on the disk are, and so on. You can
reconstruct the DPB from a program called DISKLOOK or Norton Disk Doctor. You can write the
good data from a working disk to the non-working disk using these utilities to revive the drive.
(8) Once the data has been extracted from the drive, throw the bad hard drive away.
From: Frank Luna
Upon reading the error, this appears not to be an issue with the drive but the controller or the
logic in the auto drive setup. If so, this should work. Place the drive in a different machine and
check all jumpers. Boot from a floppy disk and pray that a drive overlay (disk manager,
Ontrack , EZdrive ) was not used to setup the drive.
From: Steven Troester
A lot of time a drive failure is not the physical drive, but the drive's circuit board. I've
successfully revived dead drives by finding (sometimes purchasing) an identical drive and
carefully swapping the circuit boards.
The situation you suggest best describes inability of BIOS to determine the type of your
primary hard drive. Its parameters can be determined from the h/d manufacturer's sticker and
entered manually in SETUP under USER or MANUAL entry, depending on your BIOS. The
parameters can also be downloaded from Technical Support site of the manufacturer as pdf file
and read using Acrobat.