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Harddrive Problems...I Think

Hi All

Main Question here is: how do i Reformat a 2nd Drive? i dont want an OS on it just a reformat. But pls read the rest as i would like ppls opinnions.

Erm For a while now my PC has been Freezing while i have been using it, on restart it shows the following "Detecting IDE" it takes ages, eventually it finds my main Harddrive and sometimes detects the 2nd one, however sometimes it Detects IDE really fast but misses out 2nd HD, anyway all HD Monitoring Software etc has said both drives r fine, i reformated yesterday as comp wouldnt load at all, it kept saying Detecting IDE, Detected Main Drive but wouldnt get to the XP boot screen so had to restart. anway main drive has been formatted but 2nd hasnt in ages, im currently copyin important stuff from the 2nd drive and putting it on the main one, n im goin to reformat the 2nd drive see if it helps. Sometimes before it freezes i hear a clicking noise, but im still able to use windows for about 15secs after it, so is it 2nd drive bein a bitch? but main one carrying on? or is it the IDE Cable? or even the mobo? if the reformat of the 2nd drive doesnt work im gona replace the IDE Cable, a question first tho how do i Reformat a 2nd Drive? i dont want an OS on it just a reformat.




OSNN Junior Addict
If the BIOS has a problem picking up the drives, then formatting them will make no difference. Clean the IDE connectors on the mobo, and replace the IDE cable with another one, and see if that helps. But its normally a sign of a failing HD or failing mobo


- geek -
You can format the drive from within XP by going to control panel --> administrative tools --> computer management --> disk management :)
then you right-click on the actual partition you want to format, then select (obviously) "format". Also, I agree with cj in that if you're getting clicking sounds and the BIOS unable to detect the drive, it sounds like the drive is dying... you can TRY reformatting, but I dunno that it will make that much of a difference. Might wanna try leaving the drive disconnected and see if your PC stops locking up and if the BIOS detects the other drives quickly.


The Voices Talk to Me
I would try resetting the HDD detection in the bios, try clearing the bios and reselecting the auto detect.

Formating the drive will have no effect on the detection of the drive. One way to isolate the problem is when you format the second drive, copy over just the system boot info, (same files that you would use for a boot floppy disk), then remove both drives and hook up the #2 drive as the primary and see if it detects it right away and goes to c: prompt. If it does and there seems to be no problems, attach the #1 drive as the secondary, and see if the bios has a problem detecting that drive.

What this will do is tell you if the problem is the drive or the mobo. If when you swap the drives arround and you still have a detection problem it is most likey that the 2nd IDE channel is failing (mobo problem). If the system has a problem detecting the #2 drive as the primary then you know that the drive is failing.
Thanx ill try most of the above today, n the drive is set to slave, ill reformat today, as it needs it anyway, n if not ill try the above, thanx
ok i just reformatted my 2nd HD and it Froze again, however this time there is no problem of the IDE detection, maybe cos i changed the boot order from CDrom HDD0 Floppy to Floppy HDD0 CDrom. Next Thing im gona do is Clean the Connections on Mobo and HD's and put the 2nd HD in the 3rd IDE slot on the Mobo, do i have to configure the mobo to detect it in a new slot?
If i want to put the 2nd HD in the 3rd IDE slot on the mobo do i have to congifure the bios to boot the HD or will the mobo autodetect and boot?


Run auto detect then move to section that says about boot order and it should be like HD0(main) HD1 HD2 HD3 etc, select first boot device, but it has to boot from primary ide (stated in my manual), Thats why I think myself to run main drive as master and other HD as slave (or slave to master) on first ide cable and run other devices such as cd/dvd/internal zip drives from second ide and as master then slave etc.
i havnt been able to clean the IDE Connectors or swap the IDE channel yet but for the mean time is there any utility that can scan the Mobo or HD or The IDE Channel for problems? i got active Smart for the HD which tells me there is no Probs with the HD

Pls help


i opened my case and found that the main drive and 2nd drive were connected on the same cable, so i unplugged the 2nd drive and booted up, Comp loaded fine.

So i took the cable from the main drive and plugged it into the 2nd and vice versa, and so far comp has loaded succesfully everytime, and hasnt froze yet, im puttin both HDDS under a bit of stress by copying Very large files onto them both while installing programs on both of them at the same time, Processor usage is high but no major problems or freezing, i dont see how me changing the cables has made this improvement as by now the comp would either have crashed or restarted n taking bout 5mins to detect the 1st HDD, Also before i swapped cables, it took 5mins to detect the 1st HDD and sed there was no Slave Drive, it then continuned to load, and then said System Boot Failure pls insert System disk? and also on restart would not let me enter the bios options just got passed the memory test and stayed there and had to restart, on restart, multiple times the comp didnt take any IDE so left it for awhile, n hour and half later i came bk tried it again, same thing happend, i then swapped the cables over and had no problems for last hour which is longest time ive succesfully used the Comp in awhile now. Any Thoughts?


The Voices Talk to Me
Well it sounds to me there is either a dma control conflict with that ide channel or that cable has a problem with the second ide bus. When you get some time you can buy a new cable and see if the problem exists on the new cable in the same config as the old. If the problem still exists on a new cable then I would say there is some type of conflict or even a mobo failure of the second ide channel for that slot.
if it happens again i will def buy a new cable, but so far just swapping them has worked fine, restarted comp loadsa times after installing software etc and no failures yet, Fingers crossed for tommorow wen i attempt a defrag lol


Like a soap opera this one, you can always start from scratch, just burn everything that is important to a disk and start from scratch. Format primary, format secondary.

Take out all your hardware, make sure the settings on hd are set correctly, clean all cables, dust inside and then put em all back, set up bios how you want it to be and install windows, then drivers, then apps, then drag back files.

I only formatted 2 times in 4 years, one serious shyte happening and two for sp1. I had all my pics, music, webs, pictures, gif, jpegs etc burnt to a dvd and then restored them after (you know this stuff already not trying to bore you).

I think it was you who mentioned norton a month ago, imho subs start again.

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