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Windows won't recognize slave

By mikemar1280 ·
Thanks in advance for any help you can give!

I have an HP Media Center (M1170n) that had a Western Digital SATA drive (Part # wd2000). Upon initial bootup, the system indicated there was an error with the HAL.DLL file. Rather than mess with the file, I went out and bought a new hard drive and botted the system up with some recovery disks. The system booted up fine and the OS is good.

Now I am trying to run the old Hard Drive as a Slave so that I can pull the old files (Pictures/videos/text) off of it. I plugged the old SATA drive into the SATA2 drive on my motherboard, and it is recognized in BIOS, but once windows starts it does not recognize that the old drive is presents.

I have gone under "Disk Management" and even tried "Add New Hardware" and gotten no results. You can tell that the drive is spinning, so I do not think that there is a physical problem with the disk that is preventing it from being detected.

I am fairly competent in working with my PC, but this is over my head quite frankly. Was there a step that I missed? I have a lot of pictures of my kids on here and it is going to kill me if I cannot retrieve them. I have a backup DVD from 9 months ago, but I really don't want to lose the last 9 months!

Thanks again for any help

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re: New to Old

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Windows won't recognize s ...

SATA drives are treated a bit differently by the OS than are the old IDE drives. The old ones depended on a jumper to indicate which was slave/master and drive letters were assigned accordingly. With SATA drives, once a letter is assigned to the drive, Windows will retain that drive letter specification even when it's not plugged into the controller slot that it used to be plugged into. When you booted the first time on the new drive, it was given the letter C, but the old one wasn't changed (ie; you have two, one is ignored). Hence, when you want an old SATA drive to become another letter (ie, you're no longer booting to it), you have to go into computer management and reassign the drive letter.

Right click My Computer and choose Manage from the menu. In the manager, click Disk Management. Find the old hard drive. You will notice it does not have a drive letter because you can't have two different drives with the C designation. Right click that drive and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths. Change it to a letter that isn't in use, such as E (your CD will probably already be D and you may have other letters already in use).

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HAL stands for Hardware Abstraction Layer

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Windows won't recognize s ...

Or what hardware is present in that computer so if that was corrupt there is something going seriously wrong here. You should start off by testing the HDD with the Makers Testing Utility. Western Digital call this the Data Lifeguard Diagnostics for Dos and it is available here


Download this file test the HDD and if it works correctly I would suggest fitting the Drive to a USB Enclosure that accepts SATA HDD's. It is possible that the M'Board in your HP doesn't support two independent Drives only a RAID Array where both drives appear as 1 drive to the OS. Quite a lot of the HP Boards act this way unfortunately.

If the above suggestions do not work you'll need to remove the HDD fit it to a USB Caddy and read it from there. While you are at it this would be a good time to work out a Disaster Recovery Plan so that you do not loose all your Data as people who do not Backup regularly will loose data sooner rather than latter.

As someone else here has said there are only two types of Computer Users those who have lost all of their Data and those who are going to loose all of their data. After it has happened at least once you then start to take seriously the need to backup as the Data is the most valuable thing on any computer. The rest can be replaced in a few minutes cheaply but the moment that you loose Data it costs thousands of $ to replace if there was no reliable backup in place. A Dead HDD can cost well in excess of $46,000.00 to recover that is hardly worth while just for a few pictures and most domestic people don't bother they just work with what they have and then take steps to prevent this occurring again.

After you fit the HDD to a USB Caddy you need to know that you shouldn't have it constantly running as it will fail far sooner than it would inside a computer. So you only use the External Drives when required they are not supposed to be there for full time use. If you plan to use a external drive full time you need another form of DR in place to safe guard your data.


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