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Windows 7: Hard Drive is not detected in the BIOS

22 Sep 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Hard Drive is not detected in the BIOS

(I posted this thread in the Devices section and have received no help. I'm hoping I can receive some help here)

Hey SevenForums users.

I'm afriad that a Wild Problem has appeared (Sorry for the horrible Pokémon reference). I have been trying to sort out this problem for days now and I've had no luck what-so-ever. Here's the problem:

My Windows 7 Computer was diagnosed with a dangerous virus. It was stopping Windows 7 from booting. Windows 7 would attempt to boot, it wouldn't get passed the "Starting Windows" screen. Then, it would automatically restart. Then the process would start again. So, I thought 'Why not reinstall Windows 7 since I had the disk with me?!'. That being said, I attempted to reinstall. It wouldn't make it past the "Setup is starting" screen. So, I thought 'This virus must be really bad.'

I decided to install Ubuntu with the sole intention that it would remove the little bugger that was stopping Windows from Booting or installing. It did, but now I wish I haven't. Ubuntu got rid of the virus, and installed successfully. But, now when I want to reinstall Windows 7 back on my laptop. Luckily, it DOES make it past the "Starting Windows" screen and goes into set up as usual. But, I cannot make it past the "Where do you want to install Windows?" screen. This is because I get the following error:

"Windows cannot be installed to this disk. This computer's hardware may not support booting to this disk. Ensure that the disk's controller is enabled in the computer's BIOS menu."

Now, I checked the BIOS and noticed that my hard drive isn't listed at all. Only the CD ROM drive is listed as a bootable option. But, it was there BEFORE the Ubuntu install. What's weird is, that Ubuntu DOES recognise the drive when I installed Ubuntu again. It recognised it as a TOSHIBA Hard Drive, which it is. But my BIOS says nothing is there. I tried countless amounts of things to repair the hard drive. Here's some:

-Tried repairing the MBR. (Bootrec.exe /fixmbr)
-Tried installing AHCI Intel Drivers made for my HDD.
-Tried some tweaking with Diskpart in the Command Prompt that I used from the Install CD in the "Repair Windows" section.
-Tried running CHKDSK through the Command Prompt.
-Tried over and over and over again with the above methods.
-Tried reseating the HDD.

I've ran out of options. My last option is if any of you guys could help me sort this problem out. Ubuntu says that the Hard Drive has many Bad Sectors which is what urged me to run [HKDSK. 256 Bad Sectors to be exact. Then it sky-rocketed to 376 AFTER CHKDSK ran. Now I'm out of options.

Windows installation recognizes that there's a 320GB hard drive Partition there, but I can't install Windows to it. Ubuntu recognises the exact name and model of my HDD, so surely there's a chance that the HDD hasn't failed?

Any thing that I can do to get this working? If I can somehow make my BIOS recognise the HDD, then I can probably install Windows 7 again, then I'll be back on the road again! Like I mentioned earlier, trying the drivers didn't install or change anything.

Thanks a lot!

Ishmael9100.

(Oh and it's a Laptop too, not a Desktop. )

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

22 Sep 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

This virus may have corrupted bios easily and it could have destroyed the hard drive but lets first worry about bios you could try and flash bios again I know it's risky with a virus that could be still present in the bios. You may want to look around on the internet of what to do in case of bios virus and how to get rid of it..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ishmael9100 View Post
Now, I checked the BIOS and noticed that my hard drive isn't listed at all. Only the CD ROM drive is listed as a bootable option. But, it was there BEFORE the Ubuntu install. What's weird is, that Ubuntu DOES recognise the drive when I installed Ubuntu again. It recognised it as a TOSHIBA Hard Drive, which it is. But my BIOS says nothing is there.
It sounds like you went into the BIOS but did not attempt to change anything. I have had my HD just mysteriously not show in my BIOS before. I went in and set it so it did show. If you did not do that, let us know and we can guide you to setting up the BIOS so it does show.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


22 Sep 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

This tutorial explains in detail how to repair the Windows 7 Master Boot Record if you've had problems with Linux.

MBR - Restore Windows 7 Master Boot Record

You can also try resetting your CMOS/BIOS settings to their defaults.

http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000976.htm
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2011   #5

windows 7 64 bit and dual boot Pinguyos
 
 

If you still have the Ubuntu cd or better yet get hold of a copy of gparted. run the cd as a live disc use that to reformat the hdd as a ntfs hdd only no mbr no gpt just as a clean hdd then try to reinstall windows. if that fails you may be looking at a bad hdd or a cmos reset.
One thing though do have a windows 7 disc or is it the reinstall cd that you get from the laptop manufacturer?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2011   #6

MS Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1
 
 

Your system's specs are for a Dell Inspiron 1545 with a Western Digital 160 GB HDD, and the problem you are facing is with a Toshiba 360 GB HDD. Do you have two different laptops or one laptop with two hard disks?

You have mentioned that the problems you are facing are due to a dangerous virus. Could you identify the name of the virus.

You need to identify whether your problem is with the hard disk or your system.

In the beginning your hard disk was not booting with windows 7 OS. We assume that your windows 7 installation was corrupt.

Then you tried to run windows 7 setup using a Windows 7 DVD. But the setup has not progressed further. Did you use a Windows 7 DVD or a Reinstallation disk from Dell?

Then you installed Ubuntu and everything worked out great.

Then you tried to install windows back. But the windows DVD does not recognise your HDD.

Here your system was not recognising the HDD. The HDD also did not appear in BIOS.

The most important thing is that the HDD should be recognised in BIOS before you try to install any OS on it.

Did you try to remove the harddisk and putting it back in the system. Sometimes due to loose connection, The HDD may not get power and is not recognised in BIOS. You said you tried reseating the HDD.

Were you able to enter into BIOS, change the settings, save settings, exit and reboot. Did you check whether BIOS was retaining the saved values? If not then your BIOS battery may have gone bad.

You can try the HDD on another laptop and check whether it is detected or not. If it is not detected in other system, then most probably the HDD is busted. You have to buy a new HDD.

If you have a spare HDD, you can try that in your laptop and check whether it is working. If this HDD is also not detected, then there is a problem in your laptop, either in BIOS or motherboard.

Once you make your HDD detect in your BIOS, you have two options to set the HDD.

1. AHCI mode is the preffered mode. Your OS DVD should have drivers for this.
2. Native SATA (legacy) mode which works with native drivers and does not need any special drivers.

You can try AHCI mode first and if it does not work, you can try changing to native SATA mode which works most of the time but slower than AHCI mode.

The HDD with Linux should have the MBR modified to default mode so that you can install Windows OS. This can be achieved by most of the partition managers.

If the BIOS is corrupted by say a virus, you can reflash the BIOS either by downloading the latest bios program from manufacturer's website or go to a laptop service center.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
A reply to all of the recent replies!

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seth500 View Post
This virus may have corrupted bios easily and it could have destroyed the hard drive but lets first worry about bios you could try and flash bios again I know it's risky with a virus that could be still present in the bios. You may want to look around on the internet of what to do in case of bios virus and how to get rid of it..
Hello there,

The virus is no longer on the Hard Drive. It was wiped out when Ubuntu decided to partition and format the Hard Drive. Plus, I've formatted the Hard Drive too. I'll try reflashing the BIOS like you suggested and will get back to you on the results.

Thanks!


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bigmck View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ishmael9100 View Post
Now, I checked the BIOS and noticed that my hard drive isn't listed at all. Only the CD ROM drive is listed as a bootable option. But, it was there BEFORE the Ubuntu install. What's weird is, that Ubuntu DOES recognise the drive when I installed Ubuntu again. It recognised it as a TOSHIBA Hard Drive, which it is. But my BIOS says nothing is there.
It sounds like you went into the BIOS but did not attempt to change anything. I have had my HD just mysteriously not show in my BIOS before. I went in and set it so it did show. If you did not do that, let us know and we can guide you to setting up the BIOS so it does show.
Hey there!

I have revisited the BIOS multiple times to see if it has shown up. All it shows is "CD/DVD ROM..." and that's it. On the BIOS' main screen, it used show AHCI Port 0 [Hard Drive name was shown here] but now it only shows "AHCI Port 0 [Not Detected]". My HDD's name is no where to be seen in the BIOS.

Thanks for your reply!


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seavixen32 View Post
This tutorial explains in detail how to repair the Windows 7 Master Boot Record if you've had problems with Linux.

MBR - Restore Windows 7 Master Boot Record

You can also try resetting your CMOS/BIOS settings to their defaults.

How can I reset CMOS / BIOS settings?
Hi there!

That was the exact tutorial I followed to repair the Master Boot Record. I've repaired it successfully before too. I've also tried setting my BIOS settings to default, too. That was one of the first things I had tried.

Thanks so much for your reply!


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by razy60 View Post
If you still have the Ubuntu cd or better yet get hold of a copy of gparted. run the cd as a live disc use that to reformat the hdd as a ntfs hdd only no mbr no gpt just as a clean hdd then try to reinstall windows. if that fails you may be looking at a bad hdd or a cmos reset.
One thing though do have a windows 7 disc or is it the reinstall cd that you get from the laptop manufacturer?
Hey there!

I do still have the CD's. In fact, I have Ubuntu 9.04 and 9.10 CD's. I only installed Ubuntu to get rid of the virus because I know Ubuntu formats the Hard Drive during installation. I doubt I'm looking at a bad HDD because it was working fine before, and it was fairly new. I don't know why Ubuntu is saying that it has many bad sectors, but that's beyond me.

Thanks for the reply!


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by rraod View Post
Your system's specs are for a Dell Inspiron 1545 with a Western Digital 160 GB HDD, and the problem you are facing is with a Toshiba 360 GB HDD. Do you have two different laptops or one laptop with two hard disks?

You have mentioned that the problems you are facing are due to a dangerous virus. Could you identify the name of the virus.

You need to identify whether your problem is with the hard disk or your system.

In the beginning your hard disk was not booting with windows 7 OS. We assume that your windows 7 installation was corrupt.

Then you tried to run windows 7 setup using a Windows 7 DVD. But the setup has not progressed further. Did you use a Windows 7 DVD or a Reinstallation disk from Dell?

Then you installed Ubuntu and everything worked out great.

Then you tried to install windows back. But the windows DVD does not recognise your HDD.

Here your system was not recognising the HDD. The HDD also did not appear in BIOS.

The most important thing is that the HDD should be recognised in BIOS before you try to install any OS on it.

Did you try to remove the harddisk and putting it back in the system. Sometimes due to loose connection, The HDD may not get power and is not recognised in BIOS. You said you tried reseating the HDD.

Were you able to enter into BIOS, change the settings, save settings, exit and reboot. Did you check whether BIOS was retaining the saved values? If not then your BIOS battery may have gone bad.

You can try the HDD on another laptop and check whether it is detected or not. If it is not detected in other system, then most probably the HDD is busted. You have to buy a new HDD.

If you have a spare HDD, you can try that in your laptop and check whether it is working. If this HDD is also not detected, then there is a problem in your laptop, either in BIOS or motherboard.

Once you make your HDD detect in your BIOS, you have two options to set the HDD.

1. AHCI mode is the preffered mode. Your OS DVD should have drivers for this.
2. Native SATA (legacy) mode which works with native drivers and does not need any special drivers.

You can try AHCI mode first and if it does not work, you can try changing to native SATA mode which works most of the time but slower than AHCI mode.

The HDD with Linux should have the MBR modified to default mode so that you can install Windows OS. This can be achieved by most of the partition managers.

If the BIOS is corrupted by say a virus, you can reflash the BIOS either by downloading the latest bios program from manufacturer's website or go to a laptop service center.
Hey there,

I own more than one Laptop, it's just that my Inspiron 1545 is my main computer. The computer with the problem is the Advent Modena M201 Blue.

Sorry, but I didn't get a chance to identify the virus. Windows wouldn't even boot to allow me to check the virus. It wasn't booting in Safe Mode either.

The reinstallation disk I used was an Official Windows 7 DVD disk.

Yes, I was able to enter the BIOS and change settings successfully.

The Windows 7 Setup recognizes the Hard Drive and Unallocated Space (298GB), but the BIOS doesn't. The real big concern here is that the BIOS doesn't detect the HDD which is stopping me from installing Windows 7. So now, my Laptop is completely OS-less.

Thanks for your reply!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2011   #8

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit Build 7600 / Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP3
 
 

I answered you other post... sorry XD... maybe you have a bad cable (data or power), try cheking that phisicaly...
If the disk presents bad sectors, may be just because of that... but I cannot guarantee

See ya!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2011   #9

Windows 7 Pro 64bit build 7601 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ishmael9100 View Post
(I posted this thread in the Devices section and have received no help. I'm hoping I can receive some help here)

Hey SevenForums users.

I'm afriad that a Wild Problem has appeared (Sorry for the horrible Pokémon reference). I have been trying to sort out this problem for days now and I've had no luck what-so-ever. Here's the problem:

My Windows 7 Computer was diagnosed with a dangerous virus. It was stopping Windows 7 from booting. Windows 7 would attempt to boot, it wouldn't get passed the "Starting Windows" screen. Then, it would automatically restart. Then the process would start again. So, I thought 'Why not reinstall Windows 7 since I had the disk with me?!'. That being said, I attempted to reinstall. It wouldn't make it past the "Setup is starting" screen. So, I thought 'This virus must be really bad.'

I decided to install Ubuntu with the sole intention that it would remove the little bugger that was stopping Windows from Booting or installing. It did, but now I wish I haven't. Ubuntu got rid of the virus, and installed successfully. But, now when I want to reinstall Windows 7 back on my laptop. Luckily, it DOES make it past the "Starting Windows" screen and goes into set up as usual. But, I cannot make it past the "Where do you want to install Windows?" screen. This is because I get the following error:

"Windows cannot be installed to this disk. This computer's hardware may not support booting to this disk. Ensure that the disk's controller is enabled in the computer's BIOS menu."

Now, I checked the BIOS and noticed that my hard drive isn't listed at all. Only the CD ROM drive is listed as a bootable option. But, it was there BEFORE the Ubuntu install. What's weird is, that Ubuntu DOES recognise the drive when I installed Ubuntu again. It recognised it as a TOSHIBA Hard Drive, which it is. But my BIOS says nothing is there. I tried countless amounts of things to repair the hard drive. Here's some:

-Tried repairing the MBR. (Bootrec.exe /fixmbr)
-Tried installing AHCI Intel Drivers made for my HDD.
-Tried some tweaking with Diskpart in the Command Prompt that I used from the Install CD in the "Repair Windows" section.
-Tried running CHKDSK through the Command Prompt.
-Tried over and over and over again with the above methods.
-Tried reseating the HDD.

I've ran out of options. My last option is if any of you guys could help me sort this problem out. Ubuntu says that the Hard Drive has many Bad Sectors which is what urged me to run [HKDSK. 256 Bad Sectors to be exact. Then it sky-rocketed to 376 AFTER CHKDSK ran. Now I'm out of options.

Windows installation recognizes that there's a 320GB hard drive Partition there, but I can't install Windows to it. Ubuntu recognises the exact name and model of my HDD, so surely there's a chance that the HDD hasn't failed?

Any thing that I can do to get this working? If I can somehow make my BIOS recognise the HDD, then I can probably install Windows 7 again, then I'll be back on the road again! Like I mentioned earlier, trying the drivers didn't install or change anything.

Thanks a lot!

Ishmael9100.

(Oh and it's a Laptop too, not a Desktop. )
It sounds like you just assumed it's a virus. It sounds more like a hdd failure. I've a had brand new hdd's fail so it can happen. I'd download the hdd manufacturers diagnostic tools and make sure the hdd is indeed still good. Since it looks like everything is pointng to hardware failure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2011   #10

Windows 7 Build 7601 x64 - Windows 8 Build 9200 x64
 
 

To see if the drive is actually working, try connecting the Hard Drive via an external enclosure to another PC, and try opening on it. If it doesn't work, it is a Hard Drive failure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Hard Drive is not detected in the BIOS





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