Ide Hdd Hard

by Storage Merchant on December 15, 2012

Ide Hdd Hard
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Most Dell laptop and desktop computers will come with a handy utility already built into them for performing at least some form of basic diagnostics when you need to do a little bit of preliminary troubleshooting. This article will show you how to test the hard drive which is installed in your Dell laptop or desktop computer.

Some symptoms which should make you suspect that your hard drive is either going bad or has gone bad to some extent include:

No POST - your laptop or desktop computer just hangs and does nothing when you turn it on. It may sit with the lights on, but do nothing more. It may come on for a couple of seconds and then shut itself back off.

Errors - instead of seeing the Windows splash screen after your laptop completes it's POST you get an error which may mention that there is no boot device, or that maybe there is no mountable volume on the drive.

Sluggish Performance - Often when a hard drive is failing you will be able to have some form of a heads up about this unfortunate fact by witnessing a noticeable decline in your systems performance when you are actually in the laptop's OS (Operating System).

Windows Warning - Microsoft Windows does have the ability to actually warn you through a message which will pop up on your screen letting you know that you should save, then backup all important data immediately because a hard drive failure is imminent. Now, it is not necessarily a good idea to wait until this message is displayed because often times a hard drive will go completely bad, unusable, without this warning message ever showing up on your display screen at all.

On your Dell laptop or desktop computer you will likely find a handy utility which will run a quick test on your hard drive for you. This test is very reliable, at least for determining if your hard drive has actually gone bad.

The way you can access this test is as follows:

Power on your Dell computer, you will see the Dell splash screen, then very briefly you will see a message referring to F2 and F12 in the upper right hand corner of your laptop or desktop screen. The trick is to press the F12 key on your keyboard right when you see the message about F2 and F12 show up in the upper right hand corner of your screen.

This will bring up a BIOS boot menu and you will simply choose the one which refers to the hard drive diagnostics. Different Dell laptop or desktop models will offer different choices based on the hard drive being IDE or SATA. Once you have selected your drive the testing will begin. After around two to five minutes or so, depending on the size of your hard drive, you will see the results of the test. The results will either be a PASS, or a fail error code. The thing to remember with the Dell hard drive diagnostics is that a return error code 7 means that your hard drive does indeed need to be replaced. Backup any important data which you may have on your laptop or desktop computer and replace your hard drive.

Learn alternative ways to run Dell hard drive diagnostics already built into your Dell computer.

Toby Barns is a computer and networking consultant with over ten years experience as an independent representative of many major computer manufactures and retailers. Toby has worked in tech support call centers, led teams of advanced technicians in the computer manufacturing industry, done consulting for retail computer outlets, and as a field representative for many major computer warranty service providers.

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I'm using an USB to IDE (HDD) adapter. How does that work exactly?

Question:

Can I take the hard drive out of my old computer(internal drive) and hooked it up to a USB to Ide Adapter(R-drive III)? How do I install a hard drive using that device? The R-drive III USB to IDE adapter didn't come with instructions. When I installed the USB my computer recognized it but nothing happened. It only recognized it because I plugged in a USB. It did not recognize the hard drive.

Do I need to change the BIOS? How do I change the BIOS(give details)? I have no idea how that works. I need to find a good article or website on it. I don't think I can set the drive jumper using an USB to IDE adapter, though I'm not clear on what a drive jumper is exactly.

I thought it would be more like an external drive. you can just plug those into a USB and it works. Internal drives don't work like that I guess.


Answer:

A USB to IDE adapter works exactly like a Usb Drive enclosure. The only difference is, you don't have the box protecting the hard drive.

In order for a hard drive to be recognized it has to be formatted and partitioned. If it isn't, it will be recognized as being attached, but won't have any drive letters or usable storage space. This matches the description you gave (USB plugin sound, but not drives showing).

If using Windows XP, right click My Computer, Manage, then Disk Management. You will see your drive listed there as unallocated storage. Right click it to partition it how you like. NTFS format is best, unless you want to use the drive in other operating systems (eg earlier Windows versions, Linux, Mac OS) in which case you should use FAT32.

If the drive is already partitioned/formatted, and doesn't show in Disk Management, the USB/IDE adapter is probably faulty. Many of these devices are cheap and often just won't work.

You don't need to change the BIOS for anything. The BIOS only needs to be changed to alter the boot order (eg. if you wanted to boot from this new drive). Whether you use the drive internally (via IDE) or externally (via USB) has nothing to do with the BIOS setup.

It may be the case that you need to change the jumper on the drive since it is IDE. Usually for them to work with external adapters/enclosures, they should be set as either Master or Cable Select (CS). Try both. If neither work, try Slave as well, just in case. The drive jumper is a little plastic thing sitting on the pins on the drive where the connections are. The jumper will sit so that it's covering a top and bottom row pin. There will usually be either 4 or 5 pairs of pins (in columns), each one representing a Master/Slave/CS setting (the other settings not being used). The white label on the top of the drive will have a drawing showing what pins mean what setting.

And FYI, external drives are the same as internal ones. They are literally the same thing. An "external drive" just has the enclosure, and a USB (or Firewire, or eSATA) adapter. Sometimes the enclosure will have a "quick backup" button, which invokes backup software. But physically, the drives themselves are no different from any internal drive.

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