Installed Slave EIDE drive now system won't boot

By matthew.holmes ·
Okay - so I've been reading posts on this site for a couple of hours. I have a ca. 2005 Sony VAIO RZ44G P4HT with AMI BIOS (v2.51) and have not updated anything except that I have Windows XP Media Center w/SP2 updates. the original HD is a 160GB partitioned C/D drive but the C partition was down to only a few hundred MB of space even after clearing out all the accumulated flotsam and jetsam. I put in a Western Digital Caviar 500GB with the jumpers configured to run the 'original' drive as master and the 'new' drive as slave and now windows will not boot. There was no prior functional issue with the original drive and I've never had a boot error before in several years - the machine has been bulletproof. Now when I enter BIOS it does not detect either of the hard drives (although when the computer attempts to boot, the original drive spins up and appears to be operating through the power up screen where it flashes "SONY" and "P4HT" then it spins down and I get an error that says "Reboot and Select proper Boot device or Insert Boot Media in select Boot device and press a key" I have not yet used my work laptop to attempt to download and run any boot software b/c I'm thinking that I should still be able to boot from the original drive and it doesn't make a difference anyway if the BIOS can 'see' either drive, right? The issue is that the AMI BIOS will not let me manually search for or create a hard drive...it only has "AUTO" "CDROM" or "ARMD" settings....and it won't find the drive on AUTO...when I F2 into the BIOS at startup, the system appears to be reading and listing the 3 drives (perhaps the C/D and new drive?) just before entering BIOS but I still can't 'see' the drives in BIOS or get around the boot error. In addition, I've used F8 to try and force the system to boot off the original hard drive (listed as Sony UMH-U HS-MS) but I still get the boot error message.....somebody help me, please????!!! Going nuts here....Thanks in advance.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Answers

Collapse -


by Jacky Howe In reply to Installed Slave EIDE driv ...

your IDE cables. If you are connecting the two drives to the Primary IDE1 make sure that the Master is on the end of the cable.

A few hundred MB is no good, you need to have 17% free space on the drive for it to function properly.


Collapse -

Is the MBR on the slave drive?

by nepenthe0 In reply to Installed Slave EIDE driv ...

If the BIOS can't find the Boot Sector on the Master Boot Record, Windows won't start. I'm wondering if the MBR resides on the drive you've set as slave?

You should be able to restore the MBR on the primary drive by booting from the Windows installation/repair CD, entering R for repair at the command prompt, then entering fixmbr.

You may also need to replace the Boot Sector. At the command prompt, type fixboot.

I have very little experience with this, because my computers came with bundled software and proprietary installation/restore discs, not the original Windows installation/recovery disc. Hopefully other TR participants with more experience managing this glitch can better advise you.

Rick/Portland, OR

Collapse -

Two things

by ozi Eagle In reply to Installed Slave EIDE driv ...


There are two things that I know of that cause this.
1/ Both drives are jumpered the same way, ie both masters or both slaves. Double check every jumper. Maybe just try Cable Select on both. Master should be at the end of the cable and slave in the middle.

2/ The other thing that could cause your problem is that one or both of the plugs on the cable is reversed when plugged into the drive, ie pin 1 is now at the pin 20 end. Check that the marker strip on the cable is towards the power plug on both drives and to pin 1 on the mobo.

Good luck


Collapse -

Well it could be be several different things

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Installed Slave EIDE driv ...

The first is that the Second drive is incorrectly jumpered and this is making both invisible to the Hardware. What the settings here should be is Master for the Original Drive and Slave or Cable Select CS on the new drive. Also the Original Drive has to be on the end of the IDE Lead not the middle connector and the Red Strip or marking strip needs to be beside the Power Plug.

It also could be that the new IDE Drive doesn't want to play nice with the existing one even if it is correctly jumpered and this is causing the problem. Some Drives do not run well with other brands so you need to keep them on separate IDE Channels to work.

Also it could be that 500 MEG is not able to be read by BIOS as BIOS has a upper Limit built into it for IDE Drives and you need to install drives below that upper limit.

To test things here you'll need to open the system again and disconnect the WD Drive then try booting again. At the same time make sure that the original Drive is actually on the end of the Data Lead, you may have to move the drives around to make the lead fit the drives. When the system boots enter BIOS and check to see if the Drive is recognized. If it is power down disconnect the Original Drive and connect the new drive and repeat the process. If the new drive is seen in BIOS correctly power down and refit the first drive and try again. If the system still fails to recognize the IDE Drives power down and change the WD Drive Jumper to CS not Slave and try again.

If the system now fails to recognize the IDE Drives you have a compatibility problem with the new drive and you need to change it with a different Brand Drive.

Also if the BIOS fails to recognize the 500 GIG Drive when connected by itself it is too big for your computers BIOS a Flash of the BIOS to the newest available may cure this problem or you may need to change the drive to something smaller that can be recognized by the Computers BIOS.


Collapse -

Still working on diagnostics

by matthew.holmes In reply to Well it could be be sever ...

First of all, thanks to all for your insights and suggestions - to clarify the situation further:

* both drives are Western Digital 'Caviar' and I have the jumpers set appropriately with the 'original' 160GB drive as Master (jumper setting 5-6) at the end of the end of the IDE lead and the 500GB drive in the middle jumpered as a slave (jumper setting 3-4). The IDE lead is set correctly with the red indicator on the power plug side of the IDE connection. I've also reset both drives to the Cable Select jumper setting (1-2) with no success -> Next I tried disconnecting the 500GB drive and just running the original drive in both Master, Cable Select, and Single jumper modes still with the same boot error. The crazy thing is that while the system is stagnant displaying the boot error, I can hear the both drives functioning but they are still not recognized by the BIOS - I even reset the BIOS to the default setting through the F5 function to no avail...very frustrating. I'm about to just take the whole lot to a local computer center to see if they can get it up and running. My version of Windows requires you to burn your own recovery discs and they were lost in a recent move so I am kind of SOL with being able to try and recover the system at this point if I can't get it to recognize the orignal drive and boot from it....any other thoughts out there? Regardless, once I figure it out I'll post a complete synopsis of the actual cause/correction for all to reference. Thanks in advance for any other insights.

Collapse -

OK if I understand this correctly

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Still working on diagnost ...

When you return the system to the original setting it still fails to see the HDD in BIOS right?

Power down unplug the system and remove the BIOS Battery or clear the BIOS with the jumper whichever you have. Wait 5 minutes with no power to the computer and plug back in and try booting to BIOS again and now see if it sees the Original HDD.

If it doesn't change the Data Lead and try again. I don't use WD Drives because a long time ago I had a problem with one when setting up a system. Sorry but I can not remember what it was or the solution but there is a reason why I don't use them ever now. Perhaps it was a Slaving issue which is the only thing that makes any sense to me now. Make sure that the power leads are inserted all the way as well here. They can be a tight fit so you need to push the plugs in hard. Also check out the plugs for the power and make sure that none of the pins have slipped out the back of the plug or that the connectors in the plug have opened up so they are not making a connection now. If you need to tighten up the connectors in the plugs unplug the system first or you'll do a lot of damage, take it from someone with experience as the so called insulated tool that I used wasn't actually insulated and it trashed the Power Supply and the M'Board.

As for hearing the drives running you will as there is power to them so the Motors will spin up no matter what else is wrong. There are 2 power feeds to these drives 1 at 12 V DC and the other at 5 V DC so look at the plugs the Red Power Lead should be closest to the Data Cable and the Yellow furtherest away with 2 black leads between the Red & Yellow leads. If you are using a Power Splitter look at all the plugs on this as they can fail or push out the back of the plastic plug housing. Also while I haven't seen this recently the Splitter may have been manufactured incorrectly so check the wiring as well. If it's wrong the the two power rails have been mixed up and the Circuit Boards on the Drives will have been damaged and could be responsible for the current situation.

Do you have another computer available that you can test these drives in? If so plug them into either a USB Adapter or a USB Caddy and test them for function. Don't open the computer as if there is a problem with the drives you could damage it. If they work test the Data Lead in the USB Caddy, all you need do is remove the short lead and plug in the Data Lead at one end to the Circuit Board in the caddy and the other end to the HDD. While you're at it also look at the data lead if the 40 Pin Plugs have the backs lifting off the ribbon Cable replace the lead.

OH what type of Power Supply is being used here? It may be a bit marginal and when the second drive was connected it was overloaded so it's no longer producing the correct current. If the wattage is below 300 W replace it with a 450 or better Brand Name unit like Antec. There are other brands but as I only use Antec I'm not sure which are the better ones these days. Ones like Flower and TT Switching Power Supply should be avoided. If you have a Known Good Power Supply can you plug it into this unit and test it? It could be something as simple as the PS going bad which is causing the problem.

If the drives test OK and the Data lead tests OK you have to start looking at the M'Board as a possible culprit so a bit of Diagnostic work wouldn't hurt a Copy of the Ultimate Boot CD available free from here


This is a Live CD and will start the computer if placed in the Optical Drive so you can test the Hardware. Also look at BIOS and make sure that what is present is being reported correctly so look at the CPU, RAM and so on to see if the values are correct.

Are there any beeps when the System starts? If BIOS Passes the POST you should hear 1 Beep and if there is a problem there are a series of beeps in a different order telling you what is wrong. If you hear a series of Beeps listing them here along with the BIOS Makers name will result in a answer to what it is trying to tell you if you don't already know or can not find the Destruction Manual if there was one supplied with the new unit. Sometimes these come as a PDF File on the HDD and need to be made along with the Recovery Disc's.

Also try pulling the RAM and reseating it. There may be a bit of a problem here and removing and replacing in the same slot will cure any possible contact problems. If the gold contacts on the RAM are dull and dirty clean then with a soft rubber.

OK I know it sounds disjointed but I'm clutching at straws now and I'm just listing things as I think of them.


Collapse -

both drives are Western Digital 'Caviar'??

by Kenone In reply to Installed Slave EIDE driv ...

Shut down
remove jumper from "Master" drive

Collapse -

Now tried original drive unjumped, 500GB as jumped as slave

by matthew.holmes In reply to both drives are Western D ...

I've just followed your suggestion and 'unjumped' the original drive, but left the slave jumped in the (3-4) slave setting. It may be irrelevant but, as I power up and F2 into BIOS it runs that quick DOS script before it hits BIOS no matter what I do, the script shows that it sees 3 storage devices (I'm thinking the 160gb C/D drive plus the new 500gb drive) but I still can get BIOS to recognize either of the drives....strange considering I never had any boot issues before I tried to set up the new HD. Also, I don't understand why I can't 'force' BIOS to search for the drive - my Primary IDS settings for Master and Slave only allow me the following selections for drive Type:

*Not Installed

I've even tried setting the slave to 'Not Installed' but still cannot recognize the Master/original drive with BIOS....wierd.

Collapse -

What Happened When

by Kenone In reply to Now tried original drive ...

One of the guys above suggested unplugging the new drive completely and reconnecting your old drive the way it was. What happened when you did that?

Collapse -

reinstalled original drive and system boots normal

by matthew.holmes In reply to What Happened When

This is bizarro, but when I followed the instructions to reconnect original drive (perhaps of note, original drive was curiously jumped to the (4-6) settings although I can find no documentation for this orientation with WD) it didn't work before. I just tried it again and the system booted properly. I'm going to try reconfiguring with the slave again and let you know what happens. Thanks and gimme about 20 mins to reset the system.

Related Discussions

Related Forums