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Home > Network Cards > How To Effectively Troubleshoot Hard Disk Drive Problems
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This error is seen generally when the hard drive is not identified in CMOS. If the hard drive is identified correctly, power down the system, reseat the data cable, and possibly change the power lead to the hard drive. Data CableThis error is seen generally when the hard drive is not identified in CMOS. If the hard drive is identified correctly, power down the system, reseat the data cable, and possibly change the power lead to the hard drive. 198 MB SDRAM
smallbluedisk.jpg "Maximum 120 second wait for controller."
smallbluedisk.jpg Hard disk installation aborted"
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smallbluedisk.jpg "Invalid command interpreter"
smallbluedisk.jpg "No boot device available"
smallbluedisk.jpg "Missing operating system"
smallbluedisk.jpg  
This error is generally seen when the BIOS cannot properly initliaze the hard disk drive as the system boots up. Reconfigure the hard drive through the CMOS setings and reboot. Also ensure the hard drive data cable is securely attached to the mainboard and the hard drive. PCThe Master Boot Record (MBR) is a very tiny application used each time a computer boots. The MBR resides on the first sector of the primary bootable hard disk drive, stores information about the operating system, and governs how it loads. Partition TableA system file is a type file used by an operating system to control a specific aspect of the operating system functions. Examples of Windows system files are: command.com, autoexec.bat, and config.sys.

Some common error messages and possible solutions for general hard disk drive failures is illustrated in the table below:

 

This error message generally points to a cabling problem with the hard drive. Insure that the cable is securely seated and the power lead is also secure on the back of the hard drive. Make sure that the application you are running has no corruption on the hard drive by running ChkDsk or ScanDisk on the hard drive.
smallbluedisk.jpg "Hard disk configuration error"

Whatever the situation is, this document will outline the basics about how to troubleshoot hard drives effectively so you'll be able to know exactly what route to choose for a successful resolution to the issue.

Hard disk drive problems are normally caused by one of the following scenarios:

smallbluedisk.jpg "A serious disk error occurred while trying to read/write drive C:"
If this error message is seen as the system boots up, check CMOS and retry the boot. If this error is seen only in specific applications or during certain routines within a program, insure that the software is up to date and that the routines that you are attempting are valid in that program. Make sure that the application you are running has no corruption on the hard drive by running ChkDsk or ScanDisk on the hard drive. 1A data cable is a wire that controls how data flows to different peripheral devices in a computer. Hard drive data cables are equipped with three 40 pin conectors.
smallbluedisk.jpg  
Master Boot RecordSoftware
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smallbluedisk.jpg "General failure reading drive C:"
smallbluedisk.jpg "Not ready reading drive C:"

 

The Partition Table contains a variety of information associated with the hard drive structure in a computer. Partitioning involves segmenting a hard drive into different sections for better organization of directories and files. The partition table is a file that contains the exact structure of all partitions in a system. If the boot record on the hard drive is corrupted or has been deleted, these errors may be displayed as you boot up the system. Try using the "SYS" command or simply reload MS-DOS to restore the boot record to the hard drive. Always make sure that the hard drive is identified correctly in CMOS or you may receive these errors.
smallbluedisk.jpg "Hard disk controller failure"

This mesage is likely caused by a problematic IDE controller. Power down the system and reseat the data cable on the back of the hard drive.

Connect a new working IDE cable to a seperate IDE controller on the mainboard.

Power up the system and watch for the hard drive light to lighten. If there is no light and there is no sound coming from the hard disk replace the power cable.

These errors may be caused by an invalid boot record on the hard drive. Either it has become infected with a boot sector virus, or it has been completely deleted, these errors may be displayed as you boot up the system.

Use the DOS command "SYS.com" command to restore a working copy of the boot sector files. If your PC is infected with a boot sector, you'll need to make a boot disk from a clean PC and restore the files using a clean image.

Reloading your MS-DOS and/or Windows installation files is another possible solution.

Ensure that the hard drive is identified correctly in CMOS.

Cmos
smallbluedisk.jpg "Invalid drive specification"
smallbluedisk.jpg "Error selecting drive"
smallbluedisk.jpg "Invalid command interpreter"
smallbluedisk.jpg "No boot device available"
smallbluedisk.jpg "Missing operating system"
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smallbluedisk.jpg "Hard disk 0 failure"

If this error message is seen as the system boots up, check the CMOS settings to ensure the BIOS is properly recognizing the drive.

If this error is seen only in specific programs or during certain routines within specific applications, insure that the software is up to date and that the routines that you are completing are valid in that program.

Run the Windows chkdsk utility to ensure there is no corruption of data on the hard disk.

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Generally hard disk drive problems and errors that occur because of them are indicative of an improper system configuration. Either the hard drive has not been setup properly within the system (i.e. jumper settings or switches on the hard disk itself have not been properly configured, or there is a problem with the interface cable that connects the drive to the mainboard inside the main personal computer).

BiosThe BIOS is a chip or series of read only memory chips soldered directly onto the motherboard. The BIOS governs the functioning of all devices within a system including the proper setup and configuration of hard disk drives, floppy drives, memory, and other related devices. The BIOS is there to initialize all devices and control how the operating system loads.CMOS is an abbreviation for complementary metal oxide semiconductor and is a memory chip used to store the configuration settings of a system including the date, time, and setup parameters for all hardware components installed in a computer.
smallbluedisk.jpg "Hard disk configuration error"
These error messages almost exclusively point to the incorrect configuration of the hard drive in the CMOS Setup program. Check the hard drive settings. If the hard drive settings are OK, the problem may be with the FDISK partition on the hard drive.
smallbluedisk.jpg "General failure reading drive C:"
smallbluedisk.jpg "Not ready reading drive C:"

This error is seen generally caused by the BIOS not recognizing the drive correctly.

If the hard drive is identified correctly in the BIOS, power down the system and connect a new IDE cable to the hard drive.

Also try changing the power lead to the hard drive.

Related documents and learning materials
smallbluedisk.jpg "Hard disk controller failure"
December 16, 2006 This error is generally seen as the system boots up. Enter the CMOS setup program and make sure that your hard drive is set correctly. If you receive this error after ensuring that you hard drive is set up correctly, the cable on the hard drive may be loose. Power down the system and reseat the cable. January 7, 2007 IntermediateComputer Virus If you see this message as the system boots up, power down the system. Reseat the data cable on the back of the hard drive as well as the system board. Power up the system and watch for the hard drive light to come on. If it does not, replace the power cable to the drive with another available lead from the power supply.
smallbluedisk.jpg "Maximum 120 second wait for controller. Hard disk installation aborted"

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