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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    Reinstall OS - replace hard drive (XP Home)

    Was charged with fixing my sister-in-law's laptop - dell 1100 Inspiron. Replaced her 20gig Hitachi drive with a WD 160Gig.
    Long and short is: I've gotten the hard drive installed, the os installed, all the updates (including sp3) installed. But one problem persists - I need to have the boot disk in the cd drive for the system to come up to a menu for: boot to hard disc or boot to cd.
    1. The hard drive is a 160g WD, but her bios only 'sees' 127Gig - I figure an outdated bios?
    2. The bios utility reports:
    Hard Disk - None
    S/N - WD-WX908UP2263
    Why does it say 'none'?
    This was my first dive in 'fixing' laptops and has been an education - I can't believe I got this far and still have that boot issue.
    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Reinstall OS - replace hard drive (XP Home)

    I'm not familiar with the Dell laptop line, Bob, but you probably should check their site for BIOS flashing updates to see if that will help. It could also be a setting somewhere in the current BIOS that needs to be changed so it will recognize a larger drive, but I don't know what it might be. You'll just have to crawl through and look around. Of course, another Lounger who's got Inspiron experience may chime in here, or...

    See if anything here is of any help: Drive Solutions, Inc.

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Reinstall OS - replace hard drive (XP Home)

    Any clues in this thread at the Dell Community? Otherwise, a search/query there may yield more answers.

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    Re: Reinstall OS - replace hard drive (XP Home)

    Thanks for the links Al and Leif.
    Al, sad to say, but your link just added gobble-de-gook to my brain - but I'm sure someone will be able to use it.
    Leif your link definitely mentioned that my sister-in-law's bios will only see 120G max. That she is ok with.
    But I still have that problem with not being able to boot up to the hard drive. The bios 'sees' it, but reports None - next line down is the serial number for the drive - I am in territory that I am not familiar with - so if anybody has any clues, please chime in.
    Thanks all.

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Reinstall OS - replace hard drive (XP Home)

    Sorry you've struck out so far. When you say the BIOS sees it, are you talking about when you boot and get the usual boot time messages on screen? Have you been in the BIOS (I think it's F2) and taken a CAREFUL look around? Anything to do with the hard drive or LBA or booting and such as that. If you see something you're not sure what to do with, leave it alone and come back here. Someone will know what to do with it. Otherwise, I think it's BIOS flash time and/or a call to Dell I'm afraid.

    BTW, how did you "prepare" the hard drive for loading the OS? Did you use any Western Digital drive prep software? That could be the problem too.

  6. #6
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    Re: Reinstall OS - replace hard drive (XP Home)

    Hi Al,
    By BIOS I mean that I went into F2 on bootup before windows tries to do anything.
    I didn't change any settings there - and on the primary screen the bios listed the hard drive as 'None' with a second line that spelled out the serial number for the new hard drive. weird.
    The process I used to process the new hard drive is:
    1. removed the carriage for the old hard drive from the laptop case by unscrewing the 2 secure screws..
    2. unscrewed the 4 screws on the sides of the old hard drive.
    3. carefully pulled what I call an 'extender' from the old hard drive (changed the drive pins to a 'plate' and extends that plate to fit into the laptop)
    4. added that 'extender' to the new drive.
    5. placed the new drive into the chassis and screwed the 4 screws back into place.
    6. place the carriage back into the laptop case and carefully slid it to a fully seated position, re-applied the 2 secure screws to hold the drive into place.
    7. powered up the the XP Setup disk in place.
    8. press F12 to boot from the CD/DVD drive.
    9. followed the XP Setup disk instructions to partition, format, and finally install XP Home onto that hard drive.
    Everything seemed to go smoothly after that, I applied the missing device drivers, got the xp system up to snuff by applying SP3 and other patches.
    Then I notice the XP Setup cd was still in the Cd drive - removed it XP would not boot from the hard drive. I need to have the install Cd in the Cd drive and a bootup menu defaults to 'hard drive' and times out (5 seconds) to do exactly that.
    The next thing I'm going to try to do is remove the cd after bootup to see if XP will continue to work, or if it needs that cd in place to run??
    Wondering:
    1. If I run FDISK on drive C: and blow away the partition and re-do the whole process if the results will be the same.
    2. Still stuck on that BIOS entry that says 'None' for Hard Drives.
    <sigh>.

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Reinstall OS - replace hard drive (XP Home)

    <hr>... Still stuck on that BIOS entry that says 'None' for Hard Drives ... <hr>
    And I think you're right to be of that mindset. It seems to me that there's some setting further on into the BIOS that is the problem, because at that point, Windows doesn't yet enter the picture. It could be LBA or who knows what else.

    Having said that, I admit that I've never "prepared" a new primary drive using the XP CD, so I don't know if there's something there like the MBR or something else.

    You might even try booting the machine from an old DOS boot floppy if it has a floppy drive, but first I'd still think about other screens internal to the BIOS. It doesn't look like anything is amiss in "connections" since the BIOS does find the drive.

  8. #8
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    Re: Reinstall OS - replace hard drive (XP Home)

    Well, I've just booted up that laptop, went through the menu (it's a 10 second delay) and let the hard drive boot to XP. All fine and dandy.
    Removed the boot CD from the CD drive - and most programs work normally without the boot cd. I say most, because I fired up the menu program for Avast and it ran fine, went online with IE explorer and got where I wanted to get, but when I ran chkdsk it ran part way an balked saying it could not complete. Slipped the Boot disk in and re-ran chkdsk and it completed normally.
    Oh, and my BIOS in that machine is very basic, other than the main screen, it only has a few tabs and none of them list anything about the hard drive. On the main menu, the hard drive line is not selectable. I can, however, set and re-list the boot order <sigh> that does no good in my case.
    The mysquerry continues...

  9. #9
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Reinstall OS - replace hard drive (XP Home)

    One more shot and I'm out of ammo, Bob. Is it remotely possible that it's a JUMPER problem? I haven't ever dealt with a WD laptop drive and I can't find a good page at WD to show EIDE laptop jumpers, but I know their internal non-laptop drives have always been very fussy about their tricky jumpering methods, i.e. master alone, master where a slave is present, or slave. I've no idea what that WD laptop drive looks like.

  10. #10
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    Re: Reinstall OS - replace hard drive (XP Home)

    I finally found this and I bet you're gonna say that you installed it with NO shunt on any pins, right? So, I guess I am out of ammo now...

    Jumper settings for WD 2.5 inch and 3.5 inch EIDE drives.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
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    Re: Reinstall OS - replace hard drive (XP Home)

    Yep, you're right Al, no shunt (or jumper) - the original drive was jumper-less and the WD came jumperless from the factory so that is how I installed it.
    Thanks for the assist anyways, I'm just about out of ammo on this one too - so sister-in-law will either need to use it as is, or (seeing as how old it is) fork over for a newer model. Time is running out as they are leaving for Floriday in a week and and a half (lucky them).
    Later

  12. #12
    4 Star Lounger SteveH's Avatar
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    Re: Reinstall OS - replace hard drive (XP Home)

    Is this an IDE drive or a SATA drive? IIRC Windows XP does not have native support for SATA drives - you need to install some drivers. No one seems to have mentioned this yet. <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15>
    Steve H
    IT Lecturer/Access Developer
    O2K SR3/O2010; Win7Pro

  13. #13
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    Re: Reinstall OS - replace hard drive (XP Home)

    Sorry Steve, this is an IDE drive - for the life of me I cannot understand why this is happening - I'm about ready to pull the plug on this as futile.

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