Bios wont find hard drive

5 replies [Last post]
Mike Walters
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Joined: Oct 29 2002

Hi all,
My kids have got my old computer (great way to justify an upgrade!) but it is playing up. Sometimes works ok but then sometimes just freezes mid whatever program in use. Can't soft reboot so have to depower and start again. When starting again it then doesn't recognise the hard drive and even if i go into the bios will not recognise the hard drive. The only solution is to de power again, open the case, short the bios jumpers momentarily, power up, go into the bios and autodetect drives upon which it works fine again for a while.
Have changed the bios battery which seems to be fine.
Any ideas?
The spec is an Athlon 1300, 512 meg 133 ram, 40 gig hard drive running windows XP.
Cheers,
Mike

Nigel Longman
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Joined: Apr 28 1999

Mike

I seem to remember having a problem similar to this which turned out to be an intermittent fault with the C-drive. Maybe you have a similar problem? Perhaps in the time whilst you are clearing the bios the drive cools down and the fault clears, leading you to believe the fault lies elsewhere.

Alternatively, could it be the power supply to the C-drive? I have found the 4-pin power connectors used for peripherals to be a common source of trouble - they often seem to be poorly made. Maybe opening the case disturbs the connector sufficiently to re-establish contact?

Either way I think it may be prudent back-up your C-drive.

Good luck NL

Gavin Gration
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Joined: Jul 29 1999

It could be anything from a duff mouse to a processor going bad!

Prod everything that's in a socket or slot to ensure they're all seated correctly. BIOS chips are held in by ther legs with interference fit - you may feel it sink slightly when you press it.

If all else fails wire up a switch to the bios pins to save taking the lid off when it plays up.

Gavin

Mike Walters
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Joined: Oct 29 2002

Hi Nigel and thanks,
When i get it working again i will backup the C drive as i've just had one fail on my newer machine!
I'll also check the connectors and see if that could be the problem.
Thanks for the ideas Gavin - i will also check other connections and the bios chip. I like the idea of wiring a switch but would it cause any damage if it was inadvertantly pressed when the machine was on?
Mike

John Farrar
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Joined: Sep 13 2000

Try removing the fan from the CPU and clean out the dust from the cooling fan, if there is any. Overheating could be the problem even with the PSU, graphics card etc.
HTH
John

Mike Walters
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Joined: Oct 29 2002

Hi again and thanks for your replies.
Well i had some time yesterday evening so stripped and rebuilt the machine and i think the problem may have been down to a dodgy IDE lead which was badly twisted at the connector. I have replaced it and so far so good.
It was also overrun with adware which spybot removed but was there again on next boot. I have run Norton Internet Security on it and now have a days work removing the problems and editing the registry but it looks like between the 2 problems i may, just may have solved it.
Thanks for your help and i'll let you know if it doesn't work!
Mike