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Windows can't detect HDD?

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10-04-2014, 01:05 PM #1
Posts: 2,487 Threads:426 Joined: Jun 2011 Reputation: 11

Windows can't detect HDD?
Trying to fix a computer for a family friend.. It worked fine, then he unplugged it from his router to move the routers location and plugged it back in. It was giving him an error detecting an IP from BIOS. I checked boot settings, and for some reason PXE was on. This is a home computer and I'm assuming Windows is installed locally on the HDD, so I disabled it.

Then I got a error with partition tables. Checked boot order in Bios, was set to start with the 1tb HDD. Seems right. Still wouldn't work. I used a windows recovery disk and repair tool but that didn't help. I tried using cmd to /fixmbr /rebuildbcd No windows installations found. I went into the install windows section to see if it even detected a hard drive... It didn't.

I'm stumped. BIOS detects the HDD, windows disk doesn't.

I also tried to cd c:\ just to see what happened but it said that the partition was an invalid format or something...

10-07-2014, 07:13 PM #2
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Posts: 4,862 Threads:494 Joined: Jun 2011 Reputation: 67

RE: Windows can't detect HDD?
cd 'ing to C:\ won't necessarily work if whatever you're booted into ( live cd of some sort? ) doesn't recogonize that as the path for the particular windows partition.

I'm by no means an expert on booting/partitioning though so take all anything I say as questionable. You could try to install Ubuntu to see if grub 2 sees the windows partition and fixes your problem.

There may be other ways to go about this, but I tend to stick in the realm of familiarity when I touch other people's systems. And I've installed ubuntu onto a system with a messed up MBR and it got everything sorted out for me.

10-07-2014, 09:41 PM #3
Posts: 9,733 Threads:1,026 Joined: Jun 2011 Reputation: 76

RE: Windows can't detect HDD?
If the BIOS still detects the hard drive and you can select it as a bootable drive in the boot order menu then chances are the MBR is invalid. If the boot sector was corrupted I believe the entry in the MBR would allow you to still attempt to boot from that hard drive, the Windows installation, and it would just fail.

In this case, who knows if the hard drive might be failing. I would get a Live Linux CD and boot it up. See if you can view the Windows hard drive's RAW data, and copy anything important to another removable drive or another disk to get it off the one with Windows installed on it. It might even be worth a try to test out the available Linux tools for fixing the MBR if it's corrupted.

As for the partition errors, have you looked into diskpart? That seems like a problem suited for this utility IMO.

I am still confused here... If all he did was move the router around, are you absolutely sure that PXE should be disabled, and that he doesn't have a special setup over the network?
This post was last modified: 10-07-2014, 09:43 PM by AceInfinity.

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10-08-2014, 05:02 PM #4
Posts: 2,487 Threads:426 Joined: Jun 2011 Reputation: 11

RE: Windows can't detect HDD?
I'm not sure AT ALL what's going on. I didn't know what PXE was but in the BIOS it talked about leaving it disabled unless connecting to a remote server and I just assumed.

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