How come my computer will not recognize my hard drive?

by on December 6, 2012

Q: OK. I’m pretty sure this question is not a duplicate because of the variables and things I’ve already tried. However, I believe it may be a common problem because of it’s nature.

I have a 60Gb 2.5″ IDE HD from a laptop that used to run XP on it. It quit working, giving a check cable error. I am almost positive it is dead.

I recently purchased a 40Gb 2.5″ IDE repacement (it was cheap) but the laptop will not detect it. when trying to start up, it tells you to insert boot media and restart.

Neither hard drive is detected in the bios. I thought maybe it was the internals of the laptop, an IDE controller gone awry. So I purchased a 2.5′ IDE to USB interface (again cheap but it came with a case, yay.) and proceeded to test both hard drives on both the laptop and my desktop computer.

With the USB adapter the laptop showed no changes in results of either HD.

My desktop refused to recognize either HD in the bios or any of my OS’s (Windows 7, Ubuntu 12.04, Backbox 3.0). No applications I have could detect either of the hard drives.

Now I am stumped, is there anything else I can try, any program that will “force” a detection of hardware? or should I just assume either (or both) the new HD and/or the USB adapter is a lemon, and start negotiations with the providing companies?

PS i have not tried jumper settings, but I am assuming the act of using the HD’s as external USB make this moot. Please correct me if I am wrong.

I am unsure of the laptop specs at the moment but the desktop PC is as follows:

Motherboard: Asus M4N98TD EVO Socket AM3 Mainboard w/ nForce 980a SLI PCI Express 2.0, DDR3 1333, SATA 300

Processor: AMD Athlon II X4 645 Processor, 3100 Mhz, 4 Cores, 4 Logical Processors

RAM: 4 x 2Gb OCZ Platinum PC16000 (2000MHz Bus) DDR3 (8 gigs total)

Video: Dual SLI NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT 1024Mb VRAM (each)

Operating Systems (Installed on dedicated Hard Disks): Windows 7 64 bit Ubuntu Linux 64 bit Backbox Linux 64 bit

2 Responses to “How come my computer will not recognize my hard drive?”
    Picked as best answer

    Basic plan here would be to determine what parts actually work.

    If you have two harddrives that two computers are unable to detect, either both harddrives are bad, or you aren’t hooking them up correctly, or the IDE/USB adapter isn’t working.

    My best advice here is to check with a local shop, or a friend with some hardware experience and see if they can get either harddrive to actually work and go from there.


      I kinda figured as much, I really was hoping there was something more I could do though, I know I am connecting them properly, it just sucks when you get a bad part off the internet and you’ve ordered multiple parts. There’s only one way they connect, lol, it’s pretty much foolproof.