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Vista installation does not find any drives during installation, computer won't boot


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10 replies to this topic

#1 Rei Santino

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 03:41 AM

Okay, so let me first tell you that I am in a state of panic. I have very important data on my HDD and am unable to boot any OS on it now.

I initially had Vista and 7 on it, working, until I decided to uninstall 7 for XP. I deleted the partition 7 was on (C; my primary partition) and installed XP onto it. That went smoothly and all, but after booting it up I noticed it wouldn't let me specify which OS I wanted to start; it would just auto start XP. I went into the bootup settings in XP and changed the time operating systems are displayed from one second, to ten, yet it still just auto-booted XP. I was able to access the data on the other partition in the XP explorer, but seemingly wasn't able to boot from it. So I "backed up" all my data onto a third partition I had created as a failsafe in case something went wrong and I couldn't boot either of my OSes.

It then came to my attention that I had installed Windows XP Professional instead of home edition, so I made a bootable CD with the XP iso and restarted the computer for reinstallation. According to the program, the setup files copied over fine and all, but when it auto-restarted to continue the installation process it would just loop on and off at the BIOS screen. After trying 4 different versions of XP to no avail, I stuck my Vista Home Premium disk in and booted from it. Again, I got to the setup screen and all that jazz, but when prompted to select the location I wanted to install Windows in, I got the message, "No drives were found. Click Load Driver to provide a mass storage driver for installation."

I have no idea why it is not recognizing my HDD. Is my data deleted, and if so, is it recoverable? I am terrified at the thought of losing 5 years of pictures down the drain over this. If anyone knows anything, please help. If it helps, my PC is a Dell OptiPlex GX270 running BIOS revision A07. Anymore information can be provided at request. Also, I don't really have access to a floppy drive. My computer has one, but I disconnected it a bit back to do some cleaning and couldn't get the cable back into the drive.

Thanks for reading.

Edited by Rei Santino, 03 December 2010 - 03:28 PM.


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#2 keny111111

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 05:56 AM

hello,

do you have a way to download and burn a linux live cd, that would get all your pictures back then concentrate on the other..

http://www.livecdlist.com/

someone else may have other ideas..

good luck
Have A Great Day

...........Kenny.............

#3 Rei Santino

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 03:26 PM

hello,

do you have a way to download and burn a linux live cd, that would get all your pictures back then concentrate on the other..

http://www.livecdlist.com/

someone else may have other ideas..

good luck

Thanks for the reply,

I followed this guide to a T and couldn't find any of my partitions with Ubuntu. I also tried Gparted and it didn't recognize any HDDs either.

:(

#4 keny111111

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 04:46 PM

wow , thats hard to beleave , I am so sorry about your luck....we better wait for a more experienced reply.... sounds like the hdd is DEAD but lets wait and see if anyone else has a different view/opinion..

best of luck
kenny
Have A Great Day

...........Kenny.............

#5 hamluis

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 04:47 PM

You say that the hard drive is not recognized...do you mean the partitions on the drive...or the drive itself?

Is the drive properly reflected in the system BIOS?

Louis

#6 Platypus

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 05:39 PM

I second Hamluis' query if the drive is recognised in the BIOS. If it is not, then nothing is going to see the drive.

My suggestion would be connect the drive to another computer, either using a USB HDD adapter or direct to the mainboard, and see if it recognises the drive and lets you copy off your data files. (BTW, a copy of your files on another partition on the same drive can never truly be considered a backup...)

my PC is a Dell OptiPlex GX270

Dells of this era frequently suffer capacitor failures on the mainboard, and this can cause odd behavior. Considering the looping to the BIOS screen you experienced, that could be why it isn't recognising your drive. Connecting to another computer would prove whether the problem is in the drive itself or elsewhere in your computer system.

Edited by Platypus, 03 December 2010 - 05:40 PM.

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#7 Rei Santino

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 06:35 PM

First of all, thank you keny111111 for your concern. :) Am hoping to get this sorted soon as I must do my college work on this computer. :(

@ hamluis, I was referring to the drive itself, sorry for the vague choice in words. I'm not sure if the problem lies in the BIOS, and I don't have access to another computer to test it on at the moment (this computer only has PATA connectors; my HDD is SATA), so I might have to wait until I can speak to my brother to see if he can supply me with what I need.

(BTW, a copy of your files on another partition on the same drive can never truly be considered a backup...)

That's why I put quotations in the OP lol :P

I realize that it wasn't a very realiable failsafe should something like this occur, but I had no other external devices to store my data on, so that was all I could do.

I did want to mention that I found a copy of my backup on this computer, albiet which is a little dated, but most of the other stuff is recoverable on the web, so yeah. Now I'm just focusing on getting this HDD functioning again, given that's even a possibility.. :(

I will repost in this thread as soon as I can test my HDD.

Thank you all for the replies,
Rei

Edited by Rei Santino, 04 December 2010 - 02:47 AM.


#8 Rei Santino

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 05:22 PM

Okay, I hooked it up to a friend's USB HDD connector and it recognized the drive, but it made me format it before I could use it (the disk was empty from the start). I got home and I tried booting it up and I got some kind of "Bootsomething.something" not found, which was obviously due to it not having an operating system on it because I formatted it. I fired up my XP 2003 installation disk and it too read the drive fine, and seemed to have installed fine, but when I rebooted I got the "primary drive not found" error again. After that I inserted an Ubuntu disk and checked the file system and the 300gb storage device was there. Assumed the problem therefore was with the XP disk, so I put my Vista Home Premium disk in and when setup started, it couldn't find my HDD...

I'm confused. :/

This computer never had a problem with my XP disk in the past. I've installed it onto this computer at least five times.

Help please. :(

Edited by Rei Santino, 12 December 2010 - 05:23 PM.


#9 hamluis

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 06:19 PM

When an existing partition on a hard drive...suddenly becomes unable to be detected...it usually indicates a problem with either the hard drive or the file system or both (file system has problems because drive is bad).

Since you have already formatted the drive...and similar problems evidence again...I suggest that you consider the drive toast and download/run the appropriate hard drive diagnostic. These are available at the websites of the respective hard drive manufacturers.

This may prevent you from expending more time/energy on a drive that seemingly is not going to function properly and it will confirm the operational status of the drive.

If a long test and short test are each offered on the diagnostic utility...run the long test.

Free Hard Drive Testing Tools - Hard Drive Diagnostics - http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/tp/tophddiag.htm

Louis

#10 Rei Santino

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 08:29 PM

When an existing partition on a hard drive...suddenly becomes unable to be detected...it usually indicates a problem with either the hard drive or the file system or both (file system has problems because drive is bad).

Since you have already formatted the drive...and similar problems evidence again...I suggest that you consider the drive toast and download/run the appropriate hard drive diagnostic. These are available at the websites of the respective hard drive manufacturers.

This may prevent you from expending more time/energy on a drive that seemingly is not going to function properly and it will confirm the operational status of the drive.

If a long test and short test are each offered on the diagnostic utility...run the long test.

Free Hard Drive Testing Tools - Hard Drive Diagnostics - http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/tp/tophddiag.htm

Louis

Sorry for the laaaaaaate reply, but yeah it was the HDD. I ended up buying a new one here lately and it booted fine. Thanks for the concern guys!

Edited by Rei Santino, 19 July 2011 - 08:29 PM.


#11 hamluis

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 09:34 AM

Thanks for the feedback, happy computing :).

Louis




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