Hardware upgrade how to install a new hard drive, pt 2, troubleshooting

As we discussed in part one, your drive will likely be one of two basic types: a IDE (also known as PATA) drive, or a SATA drive. If you’re upgrading a particularly old system, your machine might have issues with SATA drives—issues that can’t be resolved. In almost any scenario when you can use SATA, you’ll want to. But if you can’t, you’ll have to muck through some master and slave settings to get your IDE drive to work properly before installing it. If you’re planning to use SATA, you can jump to the next step where we install the new drive. If you’re using IDE drives, you’re going to want to look this over carefully.

Jumper settings are often critical. In first pic in this section, you can see an illustration of the hard drive jumpers and their various settings.


On the pic directly above, you can see the part on the power/cable end of the IDE drive that shows the pins where you make your jumper settings. Jumpers complete critical parts of the circuit that tell the drive how to operate. The important thing to recognize here is that IDE drives have an illustration of how to set up the drive properly before installation, and you have to read that before installing.

If you can install drives on separate IDE cables, it’s always easier to do so. You might be in a situation where you have to connect two drives on one IDE cable because you have too many devices and not enough IDE connectors on your motherboard. For instance, maybe you’re installing two new hard drives for storage, you already have an IDE drive, and you also have an optical drive you need to keep. If you only have two IDE connectors on your motherboard, you’ll be forced to deal with jumper settings to get your drive to work.

Set system disks to master, and other disks to slave or cable select settings. Master/Slave settings tell the computer which drives respond to which commands, and are therefore critical. If you can install your system disk on its own IDE cable, set it to single disk master mode (sometimes achieved by removing the jumper) and install other disks and devices on other cables. If not, you’ll have to install your system disk to the master dual-drive setting, choosing to set the other drive on the IDE ribbon as either Slave (dual-drive) or Cable Select, which will automatically determine if the drive should be the master or the slave. (Only use cable select as slave setting drives.) Some disks may require an additional “slave present jumper” for a master with slave present setting—again, check your drive to see the settings you need to use.

Hopefully you have the hardware from when you removed the drive. If not, you’ll have to find or buy some hard drive screws. With the drive seated, insert and tighten two screws for each of the broad sides of the drive cage. The power and cables should be facing outward.

Once your data is connected, you can connect power to your drives. The connector on the left is SATA power, which not all computer power supplies have. It is not necessary to use SATA power unless your drive doesn’t support the ordinary Molex power connectors, which many do. The molex connector on the right is not exclusively “IDE Power.” Either power connector will carry the juice to your drive.

Right after you hear the POST beep when you turn your computer on, you’ll need to press one of the common keys to get into BIOS. These are usually one of these: Delete, F1, F2, F3, F5, F10, Esc, or Insert. The first screen you see after POST will usually say something like “press Del to enter BIOS.”

You may have to look around in some of the other menus, depending on how your BIOS works, but you’re looking for “Boot Sequence.” You usually want your optical drives or other removable media listed first. This is including USB or even Floppy, if you’re old school. You should be able to see the drive in this list of boot devices. If you don’t, you’ll have to look at this next section on troubleshooting disks. Troubleshooting An Unrecognized Drive

The pins/connectors on the motherboard have been damaged. This can be frustrating. If a connector has been irrevocably damaged, you might not be able to use it for your drive. You can bend pins back into place safely, although there’s always the chance that they can break off if you use too much force.

Your computer doesn’t support SATA and you can’t get PCI-based SATA connectors to recognize the drive. This is normal, and there’s no way around it. You’ll have to install drivers for the PCI card either in or when you install the operating system.

Your computer supports SATA, but the drive is not listed in BIOS. You may have to install drivers for the disk before using them. Older versions of Windows allow installation of 3rd party drivers by pressing F6 during setup. This will allow installation of SATA drivers for the disk, or for the PCI cards you need to use the hard drive.

Device and jumper settings are critical! As we discussed in the earlier section, if you’re having a problem with an IDE drive, you can almost always be sure it’s jumpered improperly. Take a look at how you’ve got the drives installed, and check your jumper settings. Use a single cable for each device, when possible if you’re having a lot of issues.

Obviously we’ve tried to list as many issues as possible. In the comments, tell us about any of your hard drive installation issues not listed here, and we’ll add them (and hopefully solutions) to this list. Of course, if you’ve had crazy hard drive problems, and have solved them yourself, tell us about those too for some serious geek cred!

In Windows XP, you can get to the XP version of this tool by clicking “Run” on your start menu and typing compmgmt.msc. Disk management works the same way on both operating systems, as well as on Windows Vista. Install A New Operating System

Most Windows installations require an optical drive, and some kind of DVD or CD. If you’re looking for a fresh start, you’ll likely need to have your DVD-ROM or CD-ROM in proper working order. Of course, you could always create a perfect clone of your existing system drive, as we discussed in part 1 of this Hardware Upgrade. We’ve also covered how to install the developer preview of Windows 8 alongside Windows 7—or you could simply install the dev preview only on your new system disk.

Image Credits: My Poor Computer 3 by Andy Ciordia , available under Creative Commons. Jumperblock shunts by Bloodshedder , available under Creative Commons. Nappe.svg by Wereon , available under Creative Commons. SATA power cable by ed g2s , available under GNU license. Molex Connector by Chowells , available under GNU license. Main BIOS w/Genie BIOS selected by OCN NameUnknown , assumed fair use. Dell Bios Boot Sequence by Clive Darr , available under Creative Commons. Three Hard Drives by Christopher Fritz , available under Creative Commons. All other images by the author, borrowed from fellow HTG authors, credited in previous articles, or assumed fair use.