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techie question about hard drives

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Shane, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. Shane

    Shane Computer stained fingers

    i have two internal hard drives in my pc. if i have the power cable plugged into the second one (the one without windows) before starting up then windows checks it for consistency then reboots, checks it for consistency then reboots, checks it, reboots etc etc and i cant get anywhere unless i unplug it and then i cant access it because its unplugged. is it ok to connect the power cable once the pc and windows have started up or might i fry something/myself? i wonder would that allow the drive to be accessed without going through the disc check loop

    hopefully this makes sense...
  2. pd

    pd Slightly Desperate Staff Member

    Well... my counterproposal would be to make yourself a nice little bootable tools CD and use that to integrity check/repair the hard disk if possible. Check out http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

    In direct answer to your question, you can probably get away with powering up the hard drive later but the system BIOS won't then have noticed it at boot time, thus it may not then actually be visible by Windoze (might be if it's a newer technology like SATA).
  3. Shane

    Shane Computer stained fingers

    Thank you pd

    i will have a go at that bootable tools cd thing
  4. ermm

    when you say it's the one without windows, what exactly is on it?
    Also (techie mode) how are the jumpers set on the disk - is it cable select or primary/secondary - they're those fiddly little things on the back of the drive that I always drop on the floor and can't find afterwards.
  5. Shane

    Shane Computer stained fingers


    its just extra storage space. i record music so this goes on to it (and tends not to get backed up unfortunately...), also photos, mp3s and other downloaded stuff, documents etc. it was working fine for the last year or two and only stopped working properly the other evening, i havent tampered with the pins at the back at all.

    i downloaded the bootable disc from the site above and ran a test on the drive. it said the drive was fine. i'll try connecting it to another pc sometime and see if it works there.

  6. Connect it externally via USB

    You might want to try getting an external case for the disk drive - I've got a couple and they work fine.

    You can buy them for around £25 from Scan or Dabs, and they plug into a USB port - Windoze will recognize them as a "USB to IDE" converter (or USB to SATA if it's a SATA drive - you can buy either), and then they show up in My Computer like any other drive.

    Being USB, they make the drive "hot swappable" and you don't need to have the thing plugged in at boot time for the BIOS to recognise.

    I'm assuming a few things here - that you have Windows XP or Vista, you have spare USB slots and you have £25 quid to blow!
  7. Shane

    Shane Computer stained fingers

    thanks for the advice :)

    i put the drive in another pc and it worked fine so i burned a few dvds of stuff i really wanted. then the dvd drive in my pc stopped working. stupid thing will read cds but not dvds. i dont care anymore really, i give up.
  8. critch

    critch Aye lad, I knew you had it in you

    It sounds to me that your primary harddisc jumpers are set to automatic, and the jumpers on your secondary are on primary.

    Thus without the second disc on it boots up fine, but with it connected, it tries to find windows on that disc while completely ignoring the other.

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