Windows 7 Installer not recognising HDD, but BIOS does?

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Windows 7 Installer not recognising HDD, but BIOS does?

Postposted on Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:39 pm

First build as follows:

Code: Select all
Item: Antec 300 Three Hundred Case

Item: Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 Z68 Socket 1155 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard

Item: Samsung SH-222AB 22x DVD±RW DL & RAM SATA Optical Drive - OEM Black

Item: Seagate 500GB 3.5" SATA-III 6Gb/s Barracuda Hard Drive 7200RPM 16MB Cache

Item: Corsair 500W CX V2 PSU

Item: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600Mhz CL9 1.5V Non-ECC Unbuffered

Item: Intel Core i5 2500K 3.3GHz Socket 1155 6MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor

Item: Sapphire HD 6850 1GB GDDR5 DVI HDMI DisplayPort PCI-E Graphics Card


Got everything through fine from ebuyer and built it last night, set up some BIOS options and went to sleep.

Today, I go to install Windows from a USB stick and I get to the part where I select the HDD I want to format/partition. No drives are found/recognised. My HDD is sat in there, plugged into a SATAIII port (1) and powered up. I boot into the BIOS to check it's there, and sure enough, it recognises it. I started to think that it was probably something to do with the fact that I changed from IDE to AHCI before I installed the OS, so I changed it back, and still it doesn't recognise it. But it's still there in the BIOS. I changed it around and put it in the other SATAIII Port (0) and still it doesn't work. I even tried to put it in the SATAII Ports, and none of them work. Meanwhile the ports all work fine because the Optical is running fine off all of them when I switch them around.

I started reading online (both sensible and dangerous, I know) and people having this issue start talking about the AHCI/IDE thing again, and needing a driver in AHCI mode, so I reset my BIOS to 'Fail-Safe' default settings, to no success, and 'Hardware Optimised' default settings, with no success. I even try to put it in AHCI AND IDE modes and use the 'load drivers' in the install GUI to make them work. Nothing. Infuriated, I pull the CMOS battery and try to start over. Identical nothing.

Am I out of options? Is my HDD DOA? Or have I missed something spectacularly obvious and am blinded by inexperience?

Tl;dr, currently:
IDE, not AHCI
Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200rpm 16MB Cache SATAIII
Gigabyte Z68AP-D3 Rev 1.0
HDD is connected to SATAIII (0) & Power
Turns up in BIOS, but is not a volume when in the Installer for Windows 7 under the advanced drive options, and no driver on the motherboard disc I have will work for it.

Can obviously give you any information from the BIOS you need that will help, or other relevant data.
hendos43
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Re: Windows 7 Installer not recognising HDD, but BIOS does?

Postposted on Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:01 pm

1. Is your hard drive getting juice? Is it spinning?

2. Have another HDD you can test?
EsotericLord
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Re: Windows 7 Installer not recognising HDD, but BIOS does?

Postposted on Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:01 pm

Diagnostic suggestion: grab a (recent) Linux LiveCD, boot that up on a computer with this drive, and see whether the drive is visible to the OS - whether the appropriate /dev/sdX exists, if nothing else.

Or for that matter, put the drive in another computer, boot off of a different drive (whose OS is already installed), and see if the new drive is visible. That changes a few more variables, though, and I don't know whether the basic existence of the unpartitioned drive will be as easily determinable from Windows.
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Re: Windows 7 Installer not recognising HDD, but BIOS does?

Postposted on Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:32 am

Thanks for your help guys. I was interested to see if cmd could see the drive so i dropped a window from shift + f10 and started diskpart.

Not only could diskpart see it as a disk, but it could see it at a volume, which i was then able to run

Format fs=ntfs quick

Which worked. It's C:, so i browsed to C:, and mkdir'd a directory on it. Then ran tree to check it was there and it was. The drive is now a 500gb ntfs volume that windows installer can STILL NOT SEE. When running tree, i even get a serial number for the disk (00000200 F86B:4C1F). This is driving me nuts now...
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Re: Windows 7 Installer not recognising HDD, but BIOS does?

Postposted on Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:08 am

You might try having Diskpart send the clean command to the drive.

Alternatively the Linux Live option sounds good too. Use GParted to destroy all the partition data on it.
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Re: Windows 7 Installer not recognising HDD, but BIOS does?

Postposted on Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:35 am

If there is no data on the drive, use the diskpart clean option. Google it.

Also, be absolutely sure you have the latest bios for your board. You'd be surprised how these little issues sometimes have long been fixed by a bios update.
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Re: Windows 7 Installer not recognising HDD, but BIOS does?

Postposted on Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:31 am

if its a new SATA 3 controller on the motherboard then the driver won't be on the windows disc and you'll have to load it manually
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Re: Windows 7 Installer not recognising HDD, but BIOS does?

Postposted on Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:36 am

EV42TMAN wrote:if its a new SATA 3 controller on the motherboard then the driver won't be on the windows disc and you'll have to load it manually


I've never heard of this. In fact, I just installed windows home server 2011 on a AMD E-350 machine with only SATA 3 ports.

That said, it wouldn't hurt to try a new SATA port, if you haven't tried it already.
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Re: Windows 7 Installer not recognising HDD, but BIOS does?

Postposted on Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:42 am

So, I booted up an Ubuntu LiveCD and used it to completely wipe the drive and reformat it. Initially i got an error about /dev/sda not actually existing, but I just wiped it, made a new partition table and formatted it to NTFS.

Then, using the same LiveCD, I thought I would test it, and installed Ubunutu - hey presto, it worked.

I then booted the windows USB and ran the installer. Lo and behold, the drive turns up with two partitions on it (from installing Ubuntu). From there, deleted the partitions and reformatted to NTFS, and I am currently installing it the way nature intended.

As I say, I'm still installing the OS, so I'm not out of the woods yet, but I can't see any reason it wouldn't work from here that is related, so I think the issue may be 'gone' =)

Thanks, guys!
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Re: Windows 7 Installer not recognising HDD, but BIOS does?

Postposted on Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:52 am

That's bizarre. The only explanation I can come up with that is even semi-plausible is that the drive had a partition table that was so totally whacked it confused the Windows installer.

These days, when I'm going to do a scratch install or re-use a drive I typically wipe at least the first few megabytes of the drive using Linux's dd tool; this guarantees that any vestiges of the previous partitioning scheme are gone for good. (If the drive may have contained sensitive data I take that a step further and write zeros to the entire drive...)
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Re: Windows 7 Installer not recognising HDD, but BIOS does?

Postposted on Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:21 pm

Next time, after using Shift+F10, diskpart and clean the disk. Fixes almost any problem if you don't need the data on the disk.
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Re: Windows 7 Installer not recognising HDD, but BIOS does?

Postposted on Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:06 am

hendos43 wrote:So, I booted up an Ubuntu LiveCD and used it to completely wipe the drive and reformat it. Initially i got an error about /dev/sda not actually existing, but I just wiped it, made a new partition table and formatted it to NTFS.

Then, using the same LiveCD, I thought I would test it, and installed Ubunutu - hey presto, it worked.

I then booted the windows USB and ran the installer. Lo and behold, the drive turns up with two partitions on it (from installing Ubuntu). From there, deleted the partitions and reformatted to NTFS, and I am currently installing it the way nature intended.

As I say, I'm still installing the OS, so I'm not out of the woods yet, but I can't see any reason it wouldn't work from here that is related, so I think the issue may be 'gone' =)

Thanks, guys!

Confused at the same-exact double post. ^ this one made exactly 1 minute after this one: viewtopic.php?f=33&t=79561&start=30#p1107450
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