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Old 03-18-2004, 08:57 AM   #1
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Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Candad
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BIOS now not detecting Hard drives

Compaq Presario 5837 desktop had windows 98 installed and working fine. Has 2 HD (1 @ 20GB and 1 @ 40GB). Both worked fine untill I installed Mandrake 9.2. Now the BIOS doesn't detect either HD.
I don't have a boot disk for Linux (does it even exist?).
Any Suggestions would be most helpful.
Old 03-18-2004, 09:59 AM   #2
Registered: Mar 2004
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how so does it not detect the drives?
they are IDE right?

go into your bios and see if you can autodetect them.
then save and exit.
Old 03-18-2004, 10:12 AM   #3
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Use GRUB as a bootloader and save it to the first option, I think it said MBR. Also, I think your problem could be because you own a Compaq. I bought one for my wife and it always has problems!

I don't think Mandrake could have fu-barred your bios, that's nutz...
Old 03-18-2004, 10:18 AM   #4
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i had a similiar problem.. the ide cable was bad.. replace it
Old 03-18-2004, 11:36 AM   #5
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I changed the IDE cable. Still Not working...
I booted with my WIN98 boot disk. Tried fdisk, and it told me that no Fixed disks were found.
Both drives worke fine yesterday, and work in other computer.
Could it be the disk controller on the mother board, if so can it be fixed, or bypassed?
Old 03-19-2004, 06:15 AM   #6
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Germany
Distribution: SuSE 8.2, SuSE 9.1 on desktop (besides W2K). SuSE 9.1 on notebook (besides XP).
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You could buy an IDE controller card with additional IDE interfaces for your PC and connect your hard disks to that card rather than to the motherboard. ("bypass" solution)
Old 03-19-2004, 07:39 AM   #7
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: coastal alabama, united states
Distribution: Mandrake 10.0 official, slackware 9.1
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Some one who knows their stuff please go over this.
It usually wont hurt to pull the cmos battery or (properly) reset the cmos and some times seems to work a miricle.
Certainly worth a shot if you are approaching the end of your rope.
Old 03-19-2004, 08:10 PM   #8
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It would seem to be an intermitant problem... to make thing even more furstrating!!!
I turned it on today and it booted no problem.
Did a little playing and turned it off.
2 minutes later I tried turning it on again, and no luck. Nothing!

I'm oing to wait a little while (need to save up a little cash) and try an IDE controller card. Hopefully It will fix the problem. If it does I'll post here to update everyone.

Thanks for all of your input.
Old 03-20-2004, 05:50 AM   #9
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while you are waiting for $, aren't we all, you may like to have a look at your /var/log messages and open a terminal and have a look at dmesg (messages at boot up),
these may give you hints to probs unrelated to hardware such as missing kernel modules or wrong settings in your /etc files?

2) If you can grab a mate's cd try booting off a knoppix or other demo cd to see what IT thinks of your hardware

3) start a diary today, writing down what you were doing and what messages you saw, it may help a technician
Old 03-20-2004, 11:48 AM   #10
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not to worry. I think?!? hopfully its fixed.
This is a second hand computer from my father. He got rid of it when the hard drive stopped working properly. When I installed the new hard drive, the old one was still there and seemed to work. But then the problems started! So I have now removed the old hard drive, and reinstalled Mandrake 9.2, and everything seems fine. Hopefully it will continue to behave.

Thanks for all of your input!!

P.S. Where is a good site for games for linux??
Old 03-20-2004, 12:07 PM   #11
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Distribution: Gentoo, Windows 95 2000 & XP
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You know, I bought this desktop off some guy for $50, because the hard drive crashed. I couldn't get it to work with different hard drives, so I bought a controller and nothing. It ended up being a problem with faulty RAM in the computer. I just thought I would throw in my $2e-02, and experience with a similar problem.

I've seen some game links on this site:


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