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Troubleshooting Hard Disk Drives - Desktops

Booting problems are frequently mistaken for problems with the hard drive. Please refer to Troubleshooting booting issues. Whenever possible, known good parts should be used to replace any suspected bad parts before ordering replacements. For example, swap a suspect hard drive with another drive from a similar system that works correctly. If the problem follows the drive, try completely reloading the operating system on the suspect drive. The operating system install program will typically not complete on a defective drive. If the installation completes and the computer now boots to the operating system desktop, the previously installed operating system was corrupt. If the problem stays with the original computer, suspect the cable or system board. Swap cables next to eliminate them.

Many symptoms such as lockups, hangs, slow performance, rebooting, error messages, etc. are caused by the installation of software that was not preloaded or by viruses, but are incorrectly attributed to the hard drive. Before replacing a hard drive for these symptoms, check the drive using the latest virus definitions. Removal of some viruses may require specific steps using special software to successfully and completely remove the virus. Also, pay careful attention to computer performance after non-preloaded software is installed to identify when offending software is reloaded. Some software can cause significant undesirable results when installed with other software.

Data backup is an important part of any computer security program. Some of the procedures below may result in complete data loss. Make sure all important data has been backed up before continuing.

Operating system considerations

It is important to not confuse operating system limitations with hard drive problems. Different versions of Microsoft operating systems have limitations as to the size of hard drive they may be fully compatible with. For example, Windows XP without any service packs is limited to hard drives of 137GB or less unless registry changes are made. For more information, please refer to document number 303013 at the Microsoft Knowledge Base at http://support.microsoft.com.

To troubleshoot IDE hard drive issues, follow these steps and test your hard drive after performing each one:

Select the topic you need help with while troubleshooting hard drives.

IDE hard drive is not recognized by the system BIOS
Noisy drives
Other hard drive problems
Bad sectors
Hard drive tools
How To Install and Troubleshoot Serial ATA (SATA) Hard Drives

Note: Before performing any of the steps described below, please review and observe the personal safety and electrostatic discharge (ESD) precautions in Safety information to be familiar with before servicing a NetVista or ThinkCentre computer.

IDE hard drive is not recognized by the system BIOS

If the drive is not recognized by the system in the System Summary section of the System Configuration Utility (the BIOS), use a process of elimination to determine whether hardware configuration, the drive, the data cable or the system board is at fault.
  1. Disconnect all other IDE devices on the primary controller and reconfigure the hard drive to be the master drive on the primary controller if necessary.

    • When checking the drive for proper jumper configuration, there are 3 settings to consider: Master, Slave and Cable Select.
      • Some drives are configured using the simple Master drive or Slave drive jumpering scheme.
      • Some drives can be jumpered as a single Master drive with no slave drive, as a Master drive with Slave drive, or as a Slave drive. If a new drive has been added as a Slave drive, the Master drive may need to be reconfigured as the Master drive with Slave. Refer to the drive owners manual.
      • Cable Select is an alternate jumpering scheme used on newer systems. All devices on the channel must be capable of supporting Cable Select. All devices on the channel must be jumpered Cable Select.
  2. Remove, examine and reseat the drive data cable and power connections to the hard drive and the system board.
    • Cables should be carefully pulled near the connector when disconnecting from the hard drive or the system board to reduce the possibility of damage to the cable.
    • Check for bent or broken pins on the system board IDE controller and the hard drive
    • Check the cable is correct for the drive:
      • ATA-66, ATA-100 or ATA-133 - 80 conductor, 40 pins
        • Connect the blue connector to the system board.
        • Connect the black end connector to the Master drive.
        • Connect the gray middle connector to the Slave drive.
    • Check for cut cable conductors. Make sure that cables do not interfere with drive trays when they are closed. Swap with another cable if possible.
    • Check for proper pin 1 to pin 1 connection orientation. It may be possible to incorrectly flip cable connectors.
    • Check the power connector to the hard drive is making a good connection to the drive. Swap with another connector if possible.
  3. If the other system board controller is known to be good, move the drive and cable assembly to that controller and check the BIOS for drive recognition.
  4. If the drive uses sound and vibration insulators, use a screwdriver or install a jumper wire between the drive and chassis to ensure the drive is fully grounded.
  5. Remove any unnecessary adapters from the system board slots.
  6. Check if the drive is recognized by the BIOS in another working computer. If not, the drive is defective.
  7. Check if another drive is recognized by the BIOS in the original computer. If it is, the original drive is defective.
  8. In the case of troubleshooting a replacement or new option drive, check if a firmware update is available for the drive.
  9. If these steps have not solved your problem refer to "Need more help?"
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Noisy drives
  • A hard drive making a grinding or continuous clicking noise can usually be considered defective for replacement purposes. Verify the hard drive is the source of the noise by removing the cover of the system and identifying the hard drive as the source of the noise.
  • Some drives are inherently noisier than others by design.
  • Occasionally the mounting method may cause a higher than expected noise level. Such drives should not be replaced unless diagnostic testing reveals a failure.
  • Manufacturer provided applications may report an "imminent failure" message during operation. Such drives can be replaced as defective.
  • Additional testing of confirmed noisy drives with PC Doctor is not necessary.
  • If these steps have not solved your problem refer to "Need more help?"
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Other hard drive problems, hard drive boot error, 1962 POST error, I999030X error code, non-system disk error
  1. Remove any media from the diskette drive and CD-ROM drive.
  2. Verify that the drive is properly recognized and correctly placed in the System Configuration Utility (BIOS).
    1. Power on the system, press F1 to enter the System Configuration Utility
    2. From the Main Menu, select Devices, press Enter, select IDE Drives Setup and press Enter. The hard drive should be listed with the correct maximum hard drive space available indicated.
    3. Press Esc until the main menu is on the screen.
  3. Verify that the drive is shown in the System Configuration Utility Startup Sequence.
    1. From the System Configuration Utility Main Menu, select Startup Sequence and press Enter
    2. The hard drive should appear on the screen as the second or third startup device depending on the startup configuration. Typically, the sequence should be either CD-ROM, then Diskette drive, then hard drive or Diskette drive then hard drive. The hard drive should usually be the last device in the startup sequence. This permits booting to rescue diskettes or other similar media.
    3. Press Esc to return to the Main Menu, and then select Save and exit to restart the system.
  4. Run diagnostics using the latest version of Lenovo Hard Drive Quick Test and investigate any resulting error messages.
    • Please check the compatible system listing to confirm the diagnostic will work on the particular machine. If the machine is not listed, go to the next step.
    • The Utility requires access to Windows. If Windows cannot be accessed, a DOS Diagnostic image may be used.
  5. Ensure that the drive is properly jumpered. (Master, Slave or Cable Select).
  6. Verify the drive partition information is correct and that the drive is active using FDISK (Windows 9x, Me systems) or Disk management (Windows 2000 and XP).
  7. Remove and examine the drive data cable and power connections to the hard drive and the system board.
    • Check for bent or broken pins on the system board IDE controller and the hard drive
    • Check the cable is correct for the drive:
      • ATA-66, ATA-100 or ATA-133 - 80 conductor, 40 pins
        • Connect the blue connector to the system board.
        • Connect the black end connector to the Master drive.
        • Connect the gray middle connector to the Slave drive.
    • Check for cut cable conductors. Make sure that cables do not interfere with drive trays when they are closed.
    • Check for proper pin 1 to pin 1 connection orientation. It may be possible to incorrectly flip cable connectors.
    • Check the power connector to the hard drive is making a good connection to the drive. Swap with another connector if possible.
  8. If the drive uses sound and vibration insulators, use a screwdriver or jumper wire between the drive and chassis to ensure that the drive is fully grounded.
  9. Disconnect all other IDE devices on both channels and correct the Master/Slave jumpers if needed.
  10. Run fdisk /mbr (Windows 9x or Me systems only). Please refer to Knowledge Base article 255967 at http://support.microsoft.com
    for detailed information on how to use fdisk and fdisk /mbr.
  11. Remove the drive from the chassis and operate outside the chassis to eliminate possible heat and electrical shorting problems.
  12. Remove any adapters not needed for minimum system operation.
  13. Check to see if the drive will work on another computer. If not, the drive is defective.
  14. Check to see if another drive will work on this computer. If it does, the original drive is defective.
  15. Check to see if a firmware update is available for the drive.
  16. Reload the operating system using the available recovery media. This should include formatting the hard drive.
    • Reloading the operating system will result in the loss of all existing data on the hard drive.
  17. If these steps have not solved your problem refer to "Need more help?"
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Using FDISK (Windows 9x)
  1. Use a startup diskette to boot the computer to an A: prompt. Refer to http://support.microsoft.com for detailed information on how to create and use a startup diskette.
  2. Type fdisk at the A:\ prompt and press Enter.
  3. Using the up and down arrows select option 4 and press Enter.
  4. If there are no partitions on the hard drive, you will need to create a Primary Dos partition.
  5. Verify the correct partitions are present and ensure the primary DOS partition is set as the Active partition.
  6. Verify the file system is FAT16 or FAT32. If the file is unknown, the hard drive must be reformatted.
  7. If these steps have not solved your problem refer to "Need more help?"
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Restoring the Master Boot Record (MBR) and system files (Windows 9x) with FDISK /MBR

Note: Do not perform this procedure if there is any possibility the current failure may be due to a virus.
  1. Start the system using the Recovery CD supplied with the system to get an A:\ prompt.
  2. Type fdisk/mbr and press Enter.
  3. Type sys C: and press Enter.
  4. Remove the Recovery CD and restart the system. If the system starts up in DOS, the hard drive is OK but Windows system files may be corrupted.
  5. If these steps have not solved your problem refer to "Need more help?"
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Bad sectors

Microsoft Windows may run a chkdsk program on boot up if the system was not shut down properly or if it detects a hard drive error on boot up. When the chkdsk program is finished, a list of information will show up on the screen showing various information about how much space is used and available. There may also be another message stating "x number of Sectors on the HDD are Bad" where x is the number of bad sectors that were found. This may be caused by a corrupted file or the hard drive may be bad. The system will attempt to correct the problem. It is recommended that Lenovo Diagnostics Software (Lenovo Hard Drive Quick Test) be run to determine if there is a problem with the hard drive, especially if there are a number of these errors showing up or if these messages are happening frequently and the system is being shut down properly.

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Hard drive tools

Lenovo Hard Drive Quick Test
This Test can be downloaded and used within Windows to quickly determine if a Hard Drive needs replacing.


Disk Management (Windows 2000 and XP) 
Used to view, change, create, or delete partitions on a hard drive
  1. Right click My Computer then click Manage.
  2. Select Disk Management from the Computer Management list and verify the partitions are correct. Please refer to Knowledge Base article 313348 at http://support.microsoft.com
    for detailed information on how to use the Disk Management tool.

    If these steps have not solved your problem
    refer to "Need more help?"
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How To Install and Troubleshoot Serial ATA (SATA) Hard Drives

Serial ATA interface disk drives are designed for easy installation. It is not necessary to set any jumpers, terminators, or other settings on this drive for proper operation. The jumper block adjacent to the SATA interface connector on SATA drives is for factory use only.

With a Serial ATA interface, each disk drive has its own cable that connects directly to a Serial ATA host adapter or a Serial ATA port on your motherboard. Unlike Parallel ATA, there is no master-slave relationship between drives that use a Serial ATA interface.

You can use a Serial ATA drive in the same system with Parallel ATA drives as long as both interfaces are supported on the motherboard or with a host adapter. This makes it easy to add Serial ATA compatibility to your existing system without removing existing Parallel ATA disk drives.


Installing an Operating System

What you need:

  • A Serial ATA interface cable.
  • A Serial ATA-compatible power cable or adapter.
  • A version of Windows with FAT32 or NTFS file system.
  • A system with a motherboard that has a Serial ATA connector on it, or a Serial ATA host adapter and available PCI slot in which to install the adapter.

Refer to your computer system documentation to locate the Serial ATA on the motherboard and to locate the Serial ATA connector.


Handling Precautions
  • Disk drives are fragile. Do not drop or jar the drive. Handle the drive only by the edges or frame. Keep the drive in the protective anti-static container until you are ready to install it to minimize handling damage.
  • Drive electronics are extremely sensitive to static electricity. While installing the drive, wear a wrist strap and cable connected to ground.
  • Turn off the power to the host system during installation.
  • Do not disassemble the drive. Doing so voids the warranty.
  • Do not apply pressure or attach labels to the circuit board or to the top of the drive.


Attaching Cables and Mounting the Drive

  • Attach one end of the drive interface cable to the Serial ATA interface connector on your computer's motherboard see the User Guide or Hardware Maintenance manual for connector locations.

    Note: Serial ATA connectors are keyed to ensure correct orientation.

 

  1. Attach the interface and power cables to the drive.
  2. Secure the drive In Accordance with the Users Guide or Hardware Maintenance Manual.
  3. Close your computer case and restart your computer. Your computer may automatically detect your new drive. If your computer does not automatically detect your new drive, follow the steps below.
  4. Restart your computer. While the computer restarts, run the system BIOS setup utility. This is usually done by pressing the F1 key during the startup process.
  5. Within the BIOS setup utility, check the system summary to see if the SATA HDD is detected.
  6. Using the F10 key Save settings and exit the setup program. When your computer restarts, it should recognize your new drive.


Microsoft Operating System Installation Instructions

For further detailed information about “How to partition and format a hard” refer to the Microsoft Knowledgebase Article references below. To locate an article, go to http://support.microsoft.com and enter the article number in any search box on the Microsoft web site.

Microsoft                   Microsoft Knowledgebase Article Numbers
See the following.      313348, 314859
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  • #Alias ID#:MIGR-4Y67AU
  • #Document ID#:HT080188
  • #Last Updated# :17-06-2014 22:41:09
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