Home » Questions » Computers [ Ask a new question ]

The computer doesn't boot when the hard drive is plugged in- RESOLVED

The computer doesn't boot when the hard drive is plugged in- RESOLVED

When the PATA cable is plugged in the computer boots, but it doesn't display anything on the monitor and the hard drive doesn't start at all (it's not vibrating). When the hard drive is connected only to the power cable it vibrates and it looks like everything is ok (i can access the bios)

Asked by: Guest | Views: 200
Total answers/comments: 2
Guest [Entry]

"Generally speaking, a hanging BIOS is typically due to a failed drive with a BIOS that doesn’t handle dead drives well, or it’s a legacy system which requires manual cylinder/head data to determine the type.

The problem with fixing machines with an IDE hard drive is these are generally found to be long in the tooth Pentium 4 systems where parts cost more then another system - remember, these are commodity systems everyone has laying around to the point professionals inherit them because the people who owned them wanted to retain the hard drive and let you keep the unwanted system. And in addition to high cost, they cannot run modern operating systems. They’re almost never worth repairing, unless you need to keep it alive or have a spare drive and time to spare to try. It’s sounding like you have something from this era because it’s an IDE hard drive rather then SATA. The Core 2 IDE boards usually only use it for recycled optical drives - unless you or a previous owner put a random IDE drive in as an emergency/no cost replacement.

While these are usually Pentium 4 machines, there were some IDE Core 2 carryovers since some of the Intel chipsets from that era still had ATA logic. The problem is whenever you hear IDE for a HARD DRIVE, it’s usually a warning as to the age of the machine (Pentium 4 WinXP). However, all of the Core 2 IDE boards support SATA (I or II; no native III support without a PCIe expansion card to add it) so there’s zero need to hunt down an IDE hard drive - just buy a drive with full autosense (I/II/III) :-). Don’t waste a second trying to find IDE parts unless you have it laying around and you’re using it for a optical drive.


Since your system is from ~1996 with Socket 7, you are going to be dealing with a 28-bit LBA BIOS which is limited to 128GB - so essentially the largest drive you can install is 120GB.

With many legacy systems like that, you have to know which “type” your drive is, especially if the AUTO detection does not work (it rarely ever does). The drive type must match the capacity you are installing, otherwise you run into detection issues OR drive write errors beyond the capacity of the drive - but in some cases, the systems just don’t boot. It hasn’t been printed on drives in years simply due to the fact that it’s not as necessary today.

In order to find it, it is based on the Hard Disk Cylinders and Heads (Sectors are often calculated from those numbers). This data is normally put into the BIOS in the appropriate prompts on these systems, which it then in turn calculates the type. See the screenshot for an example of what this data looks like:

You can grab it with a program like Hard Disk Sentinel, but you need an adapter like this to get it.

If you use a CF to IDE, the conversion is NOT automatic like the ATA standard, so you need to do the math yourself. Thankfully, most CF cards are small enough the BIOSes don’t struggle but it is something to keep in mind."
Guest [Entry]

"what is your model of your computer'?

Sounds like the hard disk might be having issues to get detected in the computer, thus causing this ""freezing""

suggest you to take this hard disk out and test it

1. on a docking / enclosure

2. on another computer, set the hard disk to slave, and observe it it stalls too on another computer."