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OldPossum Tech: My hard disk is out of reach... (51* d) RE: Tech: My hard disk is out of reach... 15 Aug 03

McGrath of Harlow wrote (at 14 Aug 03 - 06:43 PM):

I pulled out the connection with the coloured wires before reinstalling windows, and pushed it back in after. Didn't touch the ribbon connector. (I have a horrible suspecion maybe I should have disconnected both...)

Yes I think you should have disconnected both. I seem to remember having trouble myself with hard disks if I only disconnected the power connector. (NB: Only connect and disconnect the connectors when your PC is shut down and powered off).

McGrath again (at 14 Aug 03 - 08:12 PM):

Hard disks type size cyls head precomp lands sector mode
Primary master user 10200 1240 255 0 19772 63 LBA
Primary slave 0 0 0 0 0 0 ----
Secondary Master user 40018 4865 255 0 1957 63 LBA
secondary slave - 0 (etc) Auto

and below there are ihe instructions for navigating this screen, and changing the bits in italics. Looking at it, it measn very little to me - I wondered whether there is some problem about it being Primary Master and Secondary Master, and one of them should be a slave? And did I put the right connection back - there are two identical ones (and I've tried both to no effect)

About the master/slave question: Having both hard disks as master is perfectly normal. Many PCs are equipped with two hard disk controllers, each of which can handle a master hard disk and also a slave hard disk, giving the possibility of a total of four hard disks (CD-drives etc. also count as hard disks in this context). Anyway the main thing is that, since it worked before, there is no need to change from master to slave or vice-versa. In fact, doing so will only add to the confusion, since on some disks you may have to fiddle with jumpers to change between master/slave mode. NicoleC is clearly writing from experience :-)

But before we continue it is perhaps a good idea to settle once and for all whether your second hard disk is in fact a master or a slave. The text you copied above says that it is a (secondary) master - secondary simply means that it is connected to controller number 2 - but you wrote somewhere else that, at one point during startup it reported that the slave drive was gone. So we need to know what is going on. But since you still haven't (I presume) removed the ribbon connector, we can answer this question simply by looking at the ribbon connector for your second hard disk. Follow it from the hard disk and see where it goes. If it goes to the motherboard and nothing else is connected to the same ribbon connector, it is a master (there will probably be an extra empty plug on the same ribbon - that is as it should be). On the other hand, if the ribbon leads to the first hard disk (or a CD drive or whatever) before it continues to the motherboard, in that case it is a slave (and in that case both plugs on the ribbon will be in use). Please let us know what you find. Also: do you have a CD-drive (or DVD-drive or whatever)? If you do, is it still working?

GUEST (Jon Freeman I think) at 15 Aug 03 - 09:04 AM:
Try deleting all your hard disks in Control Panel and rebooting. Windows should find them again.

Good advice (and will probably also get you out of Safe Mode). Don't worry about deleting the hard disks. They are plug-and-play and will simply be re-installed when you re-boot your PC. Also, see if you can delete whatever you added with the Add New Hardware feature. It was worth a try, but obviously didn't do the trick, so might as well clean it out again. The Add New Hardware is really only needed for old bits of hardware, from before plug-and-play. Hard disks of 10Gb and 40 Gb are sure to be plug-and-play! :-)

Before I forget: During re-install you might be prompted for the location of the driver files. If so, just choose the C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM folder, which is where the existing driver files are stored. I they can't be found there, you may have to let your PC search the installation disk for them. Hope this helps.

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