General discussion


No fixed disks present

By patc ·
I have a four year old, Pentium III PC running Windows 98SE which recently started to refuse to boot up (no hardware or software changes were made).

The hard drive, a 40GB IDE Quantum Fireball Plus AS, is recognized by the BIOS.

There are no odd sounds coming from the drive; it seems to spin up or spin down appropriately.

The PC boots fine from a floppy or CD.

Running FDISK/status returns a "No fixed disks present message."

The jumpers are set the original way and have never been changed.

I can unplug this hard disk and plug a Seagate 40GB IDE hard disk into the same spot on the IDE cable and the PC boots fine from that new disk, which indicates to me it is not a problem with the cable or a loose connection anywhere.

Any ideas? My backups are older than they should be, and the drive is recently out of warranty...

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by 1stladytech In reply to No fixed disks present

Your drive has failed, you may be able to get data from (not a high likelyhood though) by slaving it in behind the Seagate and trying to read it from there.


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by nikharkashyap In reply to No fixed disks present

You might also want to try logging into the recovery console and typing fixmbr. FIXMBR would remove any boot sector virus stopping your hard drive from booting. (FIXMBR is used in XP, i think the command for 98 is fdisk /mbr.) After doing that finish by inserting the 98 boot disk and at the prompt type sys:c This command will bring back all boot files back if they were missing.

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by sgt_shultz In reply to No fixed disks present

don't panic.
wonderful post. great info.
have you tried redetecting your drives in BIOS. if you cannot see how, then select the 'reset to defaults' option in your bios.
if this gets you going, consider new battery for your BIOS settings

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by lwd86 In reply to No fixed disks present

If you have slaved it properly, don't forget to set the jumpers, and fdisk will still not see the drive there are a couple of last resort tricks. The first is borrow a controller from an identical drive if you have one.
The second would to put it in a plastic bag in the freezer for a while. It doesnt work often, but it sure is nice when it does.

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by OTL In reply to No fixed disks present

Problem Quantum Fireball Plus AS, reboot until it boots. Copy data as quickly as it allows to other media (ie: hd/cd/floppy)

Problem indicates not memory, only HD problem. Not a fan of Quantum Fireball, they have a habit of dying after 3+ years of use.

FYI - Took 8 cold reboots to access HD, copy was slow to floppies (but got my data before disk died) Turned out to be HD and memory problems, too many power cycles possibly ?

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