Help! More Hard Drive Woes


OSNN Senior Addict
11 Dec 2002
I had some hard drive troubles a few months ago after my power supply died and it turned out to be a pretty easy (yet time consuming) fix thanks to the help from people on these forums. So now that it's happened again I thought I'd come asking for help again.

Here's the situation. I installed my new Radeon 9800 Pro today and as soon as I started up a game it killed my power supply. I went and bought a nice 500w power supply that ought to be able to handle everything. I have power and everything again, however the power supply took down all 4 of my hard drives on its way down.

When I first started the computer after installing the new psu it didn't detect any hard drives. I managed to boot up to my windows xp installation disc and luckily it still detected the two partitions on my primary drive. I installed windows into a different directory on the primary partition. That has allowed me to at least get back into windows. Everything on my C: And D: partitions work fine once I'm in windows, however there are still problems during bootup.

When booting up I have to go into my BIOS each time and auto detect the drive, it tries to auto detect during bootup on its own, but it is never successful. When I manually tell it to auto detect from within the BIOS it doens't detect it as a hard drive like it usually would. It detects its as "user" with the values entered in for me.

Other hard drives do the same thing with the "user" values, but once I'm in windows there is no sign of those drives. Not even using the drive restorer program I used to recover all of my files last time something like this happened.

A friend suggested flashing the most recent BIOS, which I did. It didn't really do much help though. ANY other suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
eek ... sounds like maybe power supply might have done something to your motherboard ... also I would investigate why you keep losing power supplys. Are you buying name brand and they are going? I wouldn't think a graphics card could blow a quality power supply unless something else was wrong ... if anything system just wouldn't start or just parts not getting power wouldn't function.
Well the first power supply was only like 200w or something, it lasted a good 3 years before it finally kicked the bucket. The recent one was 350w, it was the cheapest one I could find bc I was short on cash at the time. The new vid card has a splitter thing so you plug the power supply into it and then into the hard drive. When I tried to play a game the video card started sucking the power and I guess it was enough to kill it.
I have no idea what's going on but here is what I would try.

The first one is probably worthless since when you flashed your CMOS it probably reset to default settings anyway. But, it won't hurt. Turn off your PC at the power supply switch on the back. Open the case and do a CMOS memory reset. Pull the jumper put it on the other side for 30 seconds then put it was.

If that doesn't work next time you manually select the drives write down the settings. Then reboot and intentionally select user and enter the settings yourself and save them. Not the best approach in the world but it might save entering bios on every boot.

Now about the power supplies...
Make sure you have a good surge supressor.
Make sure the case has an intake fan and preferably an exhaust fan (other than the power supply).
If you live near a railroad station, heavy industry, etc. Surge protection is especially important. They dump crap back into the power grid.

Back to the HD problem. I would think about using a Track 0 repair utility (WD has one on their utility disk). I have had problems with multiple installs of Windows XP on the system and had to restore Track 0 to get around it. This is a last resort and back up all data to your second drive before considering it. See what ideas the other members have before trying it.

PS I'll nag again (it's been a month or so).
Bigger is not always better! Get a major name (enlight, antec, enermax) power supply not just a "biggger one". Yes the major brands can still fail. BUT, if they do you can probably get replacement parts for whatever got toasted during failure from the power supply manufacturer. No name taiwanese will not do that.
Sounds like a possible faulty connection (lead) via video/psu etc.
Replace each cable in turn .

I got the big drive up and running last night, but none of the files were working on it. I restarted this morning and windows ran scan disk or check disk, whatever its called. Anyway, it repaired all the damaged files on that drive. So now I have a fully functional drive that is recognized at bootup with no problems. That will be enough for me to back up the smaller working drive with the OS on it. Format it and have 2 fully functional drives.

The other two are the ones that scare me. They still aren't even detected by the bios or anything. I'm going to try sticking them in my moms computer later tonight when I get a chance to see if hers can recognize either one.

Thanks for the help so far guys.
Another update in case anybody is still with me on this one...

The two non working drives also don't work in a different machine. So I don't think its a mobo problem. Looks like the drives are just dead. The WD diagnostic tool thing doesn't even recognize them. I can't recover files or even format them without them being recognized by anything. The 100gb drive is sometimes detected by the bios as a "user" entry. However it only detects it as an 8gb drive. Then I get a primary slave hdd error. Unless somebody has a better suggestion I guess I'll just have to check the warranties on them and try to replace them :(

Thanks again for all the suggestions.
I just wanted to add, btw. I have the same video card as you. And if you read the directions of the card. You are NOT supposed to hook up a hard drive on the splitter that the card has. maybe a cd rom or smthn. But it specifically says not to hook up a hard drive on the spittler.
toretto said:
I just wanted to add, btw. I have the same video card as you. And if you read the directions of the card. You are NOT supposed to hook up a hard drive on the splitter that the card has. maybe a cd rom or smthn. But it specifically says not to hook up a hard drive on the spittler.

It was hooked up to the DVD drive.
the way the original was, it seemed as if you hooked it up to your hard drive. sorry for the assumption

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