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Old 04-20-2011, 05:47 AM   #1
acraig
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Disaster after installing new OS!!


I tried to install a newer Debian, I wanted to go from Dreamlinux 3.5 to Debian 6.0 but somehow, after I shutdown the computer completely and rebooted it, after installing an Nvidia graphics driver-- because the OS would not let me restart from bios, just logged me out -- when I turned the computer back on it got stuck after saying the 1st drive was okay.

After I disconnected the drive I installed the new Debian on. The second drive still worked and was detectable. So I installed my old Dreamlinux 3.5 on the empty partition there and restarted it. Everything seemed fine, but when I shut down the computer and tried plugging the 2nd disk into the place where the first disk had been (1st master? drive position) and unplugged the 1st disk altogether and rebooted it, the 2nd drive was no longer recognized at all. I had no bootable medium.

I shut down and plugged the 1st in to primary slave position leaving the 2nd in 1st position. And turned the computer on. Same story.

Also, the live disk I am using right now also cannot detect either!

I have read conflicting info online. I have removed the bios battery for 30 minutes and even reset the jumpers to clear cmos and both drives are still undetectable. Only the DVDrw drive is recognized by the bios (for now) and it and the floppy drive are recognized by the live disk.

I do not know what to do! I can not even check my Hostgator account, including webmail, without the info on my hard drives. I can not even write this thread using apostrophes/contractions!

I have also read that a cheap or dying psu could cause this to happen. Mine fits the bill. But a new one, not as cheap, is on the way I am using current one because the less than month old PSU I was using died and had to be sent off two weeks ago for replacement. To be honest, I find that little hard to believe. But the whole thing is mysterious.

Is the problem my hard drives -- can 2 fail at the same time when they are not the same age? Is it the bios? And if so, why does my live disk not recognize either of them?

Additional info:
Pentium 4
ECS (sp?) motherboard
Western digital caviar 320GB - bought new last fall
Wester digital caviar 750GB - bought refurbished last winter

Please help!!
 
Old 04-20-2011, 06:16 AM   #2
samhill5215
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A couple of things come to mind. First most modern BIOSs will have hard disk autodetection. If your BIOS identifies both drives correctly chances are they're good. Second you speak of slave. With SATA drives that's not an issue. Master/Slave is only relevant with IDE where they must be explicitly set as such or cable select with jumpers. Another thing you could try is removing all internal drives and connecting either (with a conversion kit, lots online) to a USB port. If nothing else that removes the internal ports from the mix. Finally to eliminate the graphics driver how about installing a virgin Debian and booting from that. If that works but not after installing the graphics you should look for a different driver.
 
Old 04-20-2011, 10:26 AM   #3
Mr. Bill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acraig View Post
I can not even write this thread using apostrophes/contractions!
If you're experiencing keyboard errors as well, that tell me your drives are most likely fine. Hopefully it's just a low power issue- IOW the PSU, but other possibilities are the CPU or BIOS is dying.
 
Old 04-21-2011, 01:39 AM   #4
acraig
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Smile Thank you!

Thank you both for responding! Turns out you were right, Mr. Bill. ALso, I forgot to mention that I had the SATA drives on a molex to 2 sata adapter, and when I switched the power molex going into it both drives were detected again. But the 1st drive still did not boot and made the bios stick, so I unplugged it and I'm now using the 2nd drive alone. As you can see ' I can use apostrophes again.


I was hoping that I could get the 1st drive to work, since it is the newest one but I guess its done. Still don't know how installing a OS to the entire drive could cause that to happen. I wonder if this has ever happened to anyone else? Could it have been the the hard shutdown? Is that possible?

I tried using the sata cable that came with the psu, but the 1st drive still wouldn't boot. Since the drive is far less than a year old, my brother advised me to send it in for replacement. I'm just glad this didn't happen to my Media partition (it contains an entire backup of the first drives' files prior to the installation of the new Debian). I really got off easy, it could have been the Bios, CPU, or the motherboard itself.

Thanks again guys! Great suggestions.

If there is something else I could try with the 1st drive before returning it for exchange, I'm all ears.
 
Old 04-21-2011, 05:36 AM   #5
Mr. Bill
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I suggest that you try the 1st drive alone. If BIOS detects it but it still won't boot, then boot from a live CD, mount the HDD and try reading from it. There's a possibility that the drive is fine but your new installation went awry.
 
Old 04-22-2011, 01:16 AM   #6
acraig
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Question I tried your suggestion...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Bill View Post
I suggest that you try the 1st drive alone. If BIOS detects it but it still won't boot, then boot from a live CD, mount the HDD and try reading from it. There's a possibility that the drive is fine but your new installation went awry.
Thanks for the suggestion, Mr. Bill! I unplugged the 2nd drive and booted from live disks with no drives plugged in, and then plugged in the 1st drive, but none of the live disks could detect the drive. And I tried four different live disks. I guess there's no hope. Unless there's something else I could try?
 
Old 04-22-2011, 03:58 AM   #7
Hevithan
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So if you've re-set the bios to read HardDrive (a) first, and HardDrive (b) second ... and that doesn't work (but you can still run Drive (b) ) ... I'd just boot off of (b) for now, and try to test Drive (a) in a different machine ... What i'm getting at is this sounds more like a hardware problem. Maybe the drive is corrupted or some other issue involving the drive (or do you know it works for sure, and the only thing not working is the LiveCD?) ... of course I don't know what to do if it is a linux problem, But if it was a machine issue ... i'm more familiar with that lol. so try it in another machine (with an OS already installed, just to double check it) ... and hopefully it'll end up to be something small like it wasn't plugged in all the way. Best of luck!
 
Old 04-23-2011, 01:46 AM   #8
acraig
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Question Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hevithan View Post
So if you've re-set the bios to read HardDrive (a) first, and HardDrive (b) second ... and that doesn't work (but you can still run Drive (b) ) ... I'd just boot off of (b) for now, and try to test Drive (a) in a different machine ... What I'm getting at is this sounds more like a hardware problem. Maybe the drive is corrupted or some other issue involving the drive (or do you know it works for sure, and the only thing not working is the LiveCD?) ... of course I don't know what to do if it is a linux problem, But if it was a machine issue ... i'm more familiar with that lol. so try it in another machine (with an OS already installed, just to double check it) ... and hopefully it'll end up to be something small like it wasn't plugged in all the way. Best of luck!
If there's no drive plugged into my motherboard, the bios seeks anything bootable, including disks and floppies. That's one of the things I love about it. But if there are drives plugged in and I don't set the drive to seek disks first it goes for the primary drive first and the other drive next. If the 1st drive is plugged in, there is no boot up, it stops and sticks there, even if the 2nd drive is set as primary. It simply reads that drive first then sticks when it gets to the 1st drive. That is why Mr. Bill's suggestion of no drives plugged in until after booting from a live disk worked, but the drive was plugged in after the disk booted but the 1st drive still could not be detected by any of my live disks.

Thanks, for your suggestion, Hevithan! I don't have a 2nd computer but I'll ask a friend or relative to let me connect my drive to one of their machines this weekend. Hope it works. Thanks again!
 
Old 04-26-2011, 01:01 AM   #9
acraig
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Smile Thank you! [Solved]

After placing the drive in someone else's computer, and getting no response, I am now certain that the 1st drive is dead.
Oh well, at least the 2nd drive is fully functional.

Thank you, to everyone who offered solutions! I appreciate it.
 
Old 04-26-2011, 02:23 AM   #10
EDDY1
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Quote:
I unplugged the 2nd drive and booted from live disks with no drives plugged in, and then plugged in the 1st drive, but none of the live disks could detect the drive.
The drive is detected on boot with drive already plugged in.
 
Old 04-27-2011, 12:36 AM   #11
acraig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDDY1 View Post
The drive is detected on boot with drive already plugged in.
You misunderstand me. There was nothing plugged in as far as drives go. I booted from a live disk -- 4 different ones, then plugged in the SATA drive. Both hdd are SATA.
 
Old 04-27-2011, 12:42 AM   #12
EDDY1
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Quote:
You misunderstand me. There was nothing plugged in as far as drives go. I booted from a live disk -- 4 different ones, then plugged in the SATA drive. Both hdd are SATA.
Maybe I'm still not understanding you.
But what I'm trying to say is that in order for the drives to be detected, they should be plugged up before booting.

My understanding of what you were doing was that after booting you then plugged in the drives

Last edited by EDDY1; 04-27-2011 at 12:45 AM.
 
Old 04-28-2011, 12:29 AM   #13
acraig
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Hope this makes sense...

Quote:
Originally Posted by EDDY1 View Post
Maybe I'm still not understanding you.
But what I'm trying to say is that in order for the drives to be detected, they should be plugged up before booting.

My understanding of what you were doing was that after booting you then plugged in the drives
At the end? Yes. I was advised to do so by Mr. Bill.

Before, whenever I tried booting with the 1st drive (my oldest drive) plugged in it would not boot at all. I could wait hours and nothing would happen. I switched sata cables and power cables and still nothing changed on that front. The 2nd drive boots and works fine, as long as the 1st drive is not plugged in. If the 1st drive is plugged in nothing boots. It just sticks.

That's why I was advised to unplug both drives and use a live disk and then plug in the 1st drive to see if the live disk would be able to detect it, because the 2nd drive was not able to.
 
  


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