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[SOLVED] disconnected and reconnected hard drive, now its now working

This is a discussion on [SOLVED] disconnected and reconnected hard drive, now its now working within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Ok so my friend wanted to put his hard drive into my pc so I disconnected my one and put


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Old 07-04-2014, 01:14 PM   #1
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Ok so my friend wanted to put his hard drive into my pc so I disconnected my one and put in his one and it wasn't working so I changed back to my hard drive but when I try to start up my pc the screen goes black.
The screen goes black after I click "Start Windows Normally".
I tried running it in safe mode but it freezes half way.
I tried everything and cant get it to work. Is the operating system damaged or something?

My pc is an acer and the os is windows vista. I also have a graphics card installed in it.
Please help.
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Old 07-04-2014, 01:18 PM   #2
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First make sure the HDD is plugged in correctly and all the cables are in tight. Then Boot into Setup (Bios) make sure the HDD is recognized.
If you have a Vista disc, boot off of that and choose Repair Your Computer.
In the future to test someone else's HDD use a USB Adapter or put it into a USB Enclosure with a power adapter.
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Old 07-04-2014, 01:24 PM   #3
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I dont think I have one. All I have is an acer recovery DVD.
Ya when I go into the boot menu the hard drive shows up so it is connected properly.
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Old 07-04-2014, 01:32 PM   #4
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The Acer Recovery DVD will do the same thing.
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:00 PM   #5
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Ok so i put in the cd and then pressed f12 for the boot menu. Then I clicked on cd/dvd.
It then brings me to the same 'windows error recovery menu' that I get when I try to boot from the hard drive. I have two options saying 'launch startup repair' and 'start windows normally'.
It doesn't matter which one I pick because the both lead to a black screen.
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Old 07-04-2014, 06:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demon117 View Post
Ok so i put in the cd and then pressed f12 for the boot menu. Then I clicked on cd/dvd.
It then brings me to the same 'windows error recovery menu' that I get when I try to boot from the hard drive. I have two options saying 'launch startup repair' and 'start windows normally'.
It doesn't matter which one I pick because the both lead to a black screen.
I don't think it booted up through the Acer Recovery DVD. It seems that your system still boots up from the corrupt Windows system in your hard drive. You might definitely need a bootable recovery disk to repair your system.
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Old 07-04-2014, 06:21 PM   #7
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Boot into Setup (Bios) go to Boot tab and move the CD/DVD rom drive to first boot device. Save and Exit.
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Old 07-05-2014, 06:34 PM   #8
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I have tried everything to boot the CD but it wont.
It just brings me to the 'windows error recovery menu'.
I think it is the CD that's not working. I will try and get another CD and see if that works.
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Old 07-05-2014, 08:22 PM   #9
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Sounds like your friend's hard drive had a problem, right? And that's why he convinced you remove yours and put his into your PC, right? Bad idea--as Spunk mentioned. Most likely his failed drive changed some settings in your BIOS (computer setup program) and that's keeping your hard drive from working correctly!

To fix try this: Enter into the BIOS using F2 or similar key (you'll have to download your exact ACER User Guide from the ACER website to determine; it would be helpful if you provided the compete Model number for us). See the link "HOW TO ENTER BIOS OR CMOS SETUP" document in my signature link below on directions on how to do this.

Once in your PC's BIOS, program look for the location where your hard drive is recognized. If you don't see it; chances are your BIOS settings were changed by your friend's faulty hard drive. If you go to the last tab of the BIOS, it should off you an option to reset BIOS settings to DEFAULT or FACTORY DEFAULT. Do this; save and exit the BIOS. **MAKE SURE TO REMOVE YOUR VISTA OR RECOVERY DISC FROM DISC DRIVE AT THIS POINT!!*** Your PC will reboot and the Main BIOS page or a page that lists your drives should now recoginize your hard drive. If it does, exit BIOS and reboot Windows normally **DO NOT SELECT THE REPAIR YOUR COMPUTER OPTION**; but rather the **START WINDOWS NORMALLY** option!!! This is VERY IMPORANT TO DO!

If this is the case, your Windows Vista should boot right up as it did the last time you operated the computer prior to removing your original hard drive from it to help your friend!

If this is not the case, and the BIOS still doesn't recognize your hard drive, there are several possibilities, the most likely scenario is that when you attempted to connect your friend's hard drive or reconnect your original hard drive, you damaged a connector on the Motherboard or one of the drive cables. If this is the case, NO hard drive you connect to that computer will work until you replace the faulty cable or cables. I suggest you replace the SATA data cables first; those are low cost and availabe at Radio Shack. The Hard Drive Power Cable however is not replaceable and requires a new Power Supply. You should have multiple SATA hard drive power connectors in your computer already; select a different one than you were using along with a NEW SATA hard drive cable and retest and reboot. If the BIOS now recognizes your hard drive, you found a bad cable and fixed it and all should work as before.

If neither of the above solutions work; you've most likely irreparably damaged your PC's Motherboard or the Power Supply.

You can test this by completely removing your originaly hard drive from the PC and attempt to boot into BIOS. If you can do this, your Motherboard and Power Supply still may be working correctly, and you've just damaged your hard drive. At this point, you will have to buy a new hard drive, insert into PC and make my BIOS test. If it works, you can then insert your Vista Recovery CD or DVD and reinstall your Vista and all programs back to factory default settings. You'll have to do a Data Recovery on the failed drive; post back if you get to this point, and we can give you further instructions on how to do this. But, your PC will now work correctly and Boot to Windows Vista!

If none of these 3 options I've provided to you work; you've most likely damaged the Motherboard and or Power Supply and they will need to be properly diagnosed and replaced. New Power Supply runs about $60 for the part, Motherboards can be $80-$400. If you are at this point; I urge you to take to your local licensed Computer Pro and pay them to properly diagnose it. It will cost from $30-$85 in the U.S.

If you add the labor cost onto the parts needed for repair you may find your repair total from $100-$400 or more; you might consider purchasing a new computer, as brand new they run from $300 or so and up.

I know you were trying to do you friend a favor, but you might have permanently damaged your computer. I hope he will be willing to cover part or all of the cost of this repair and or the cost of a replacement computer. That's a conversation for you and him to have at some point.

Proceed with the tests I've recommended and post back and let us know your progress. If any of our suggestions work, please post back that result so we can share with others who ran into your particular problem!

Best,
BIGBEARJEDI
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:52 AM   #10
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Ok so I went to the BIOS and I clicked on 'advanced BIOS settings' and I found my hard drive in the 'First Boot Device' option, SATA:3M-Hitachi HDS(random numbers).
Also when i click f12 when my pc starts up it shows me the boot menu where my hard drive is recognized.
I could not find the default or factory default option but I did find a 'Load Optimized Defaults' option which I guess is the same thing so I clicked on that and then I saved and exited.
So my PC recognizes the hard drive but it still brings me to the 'Windows error recovery' page and I click on 'Start Windows Normally'. It then brings me to a black screen and I cant do anything from there.
I disconnected my hard drive and tried to go into the BIOS to see if the problem was my motherboard. I got into the BIOS just fine so its not my motherboard.
The only thing I did not check was the cables but if the PC recognizes my hard drive then I think the cables are fine.
I have an acer recovery DVD but I cant seem to boot it for some reason and I tried everything to boot it so im guessing the disc is not working so im going to go and see if i can find another one.

I really don't understand what is wrong with it. I never had this problem before.
I think I had a similar problem with the blacks screen when I was installing my graphics card but I don't remember how i fixed that.
I don't really want to get a new hard drive as I have some important stuff on the one I have.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:37 AM   #11
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My friend gave me a Windows Vista Home Premium Disk and it booted up.
It now says 'Windows is loading Files...'
I will reply back shortly and tell you if it works or not.
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Old 07-06-2014, 10:28 AM   #12
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Ok so the 'Windows is loading Files...' screen is frozen.
So now I have no clue what to do.
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:29 PM   #13
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Hi Demon:

Good job on running my tests there. I agree it looks like your BIOS is recognizing your hard drive now. That's a must. AND, it also appears like your Motherboard is good as you can still access your BIOS with the hard drive removed; so the failure mode of the hard drive isn't blocking BIOS access.

Ok, now that you reset your BIOS to defaults; you should have undone any damage your friend's hard drive did to the BIOS, and I agree that your cables sound fine, as the BIOS recognizes your drive.

You are now at the point where you either have a failed hard drive, or a failed Windows installation. It doesn't appear that the normal remedies for a failed Windows installation have worked (you haven't tried them all yet), but in the interest of getting it fixed for you as fast as possible I'm going to recommend this:

#1: Remove your existing hard drive from your computer and purchase a brand new one. I recommend you buy at least a 120GB SATA hard drive to have enough room for Vista and some basic programs like MS Office and your web updates and anti-virus. *this step ignores the testing of the hard drive you have now, as several of us have suggested you do this by running the manufacturer bootable drive diagnostic; since you have not done this, my guess it's beyond your capabilties and or skills to do so*.

#2: Insert your ACER Recovery disc into your cd/dvd drive

#3: Use the F12 key to access your Boot Menu and make sure it's set to your internal CD/DVD drive.

#4: The screen may say "Boot from CD" or "Press any key to Boot from CD" upon first boot up. Once the Black & White screen comes up and says "loading Windows files" you should be good.

#5: Your screen should load up the Vista install screen (for whatever version of Vista you have: for example, "Vista Home Premium", or "Vista Home Basic". It's important to select the correct version that matches the Microsoft COA sticker on the outside of your ACER pc case).

#6: Proceed to install your Vista, answer all the questions, and make sure you use the CUSTOM install, and format the hard drive partitions or the entire hard drive (preferred).

#7: Reboot the computer and enter Windows. If you get here, you've repaired your computer!


This should take care of your problem. Should you choose to buy a larger hard drive than the 120GB I recommended, that's fine. I would recommend you keep it under 1TB as there are some issues with >1TB hard drives and PC BIOSes; you might require a BIOS update to see all of a 2TB or 3TB drive for instance. Doing that incorrectly could Brick your Motherboard and you'll have no computer to work with at all! The reason I suggested a 120GB drive, is that they are very inexpensive on ebay as here: 120GB 10000RPM 16MB Cache SATA2 Hard Drive w WD Icepack Heatsink Free Shipping | eBay

Replacing the hard drive in your situation will get your computer working by getting rid of the most likely failed component. If you still cannot install Vista onto a brand NEW hard drive, then you most likely have a bad Motherboard (or possibly RAM; but we asked you to check that). There are still 2 variables left here, and that's your ACER Recovery CD that has Vista on it. If that disc is bad, Vista won't install even on a brand new hard drive. Also, if your optical drive *the cd/dvd* drive is dirty or has failed, that would also keep your Vista from installing on the new hard drive.

At this point, you have 2 more things to try:

#1: Purchase or borrow an external usb cd/dvd burner drive and attempt to install your ACER recovery disc from that. **if your Motherboard IS really bad, this step will fail, but, you'll at least know that--with a new hard drive and an external usb burner drive; there's nothing left but the Recovery Disc to be bad.

#2: Purchase or borrow a retail copy of Windows Vista for $80-$90 on ebay and attempt to install it on the new hard drive with either the internal optical drive or the usb external burner. If this step fails, you have ruled out all options, and your Motherboard is toast at this point!!

With new hard drive, new external dvd burner drive you have eliminated the hardware issues; using a retail copy of Vista from Microsoft eliminates the software issue, as Vista WILL install on any OEM desktop PC, even though it may not work correctly with peripheral drivers, it should at least install and boot!

I know we're asking you to try a lot of things and spend some more money, but you've most likely got a serious hardware problem, and that's going to be the only way to get it fixed! (unless your ACER Recovery disc is bad, which is a media/software issue. If it's a copy of the ACER disc, you are probably in trouble there, and buying the actual Microsoft retail VISTA disc will prove that point out).

Your alternatives are to take it to a Computer Pro or Repair Shop as I mentioned in previous post to diagnose/repair--and again more money there!

Let us know how it goes...

P.S. Regarding saving your information from the original hard drive, we need to have the "data recovery talk", so for now just replace that drive for testing purposes, set that original drive aside in a safe place; we can get your information off of it later, once you get your computer working. If you don't get your computer working with Windows, what would you do with that information even if you had it???

Best,
BBJ
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Old 07-08-2014, 04:25 AM   #14
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Did you plug the SATA cable in the same motherboard SATA port as it was before disconnecting your drive.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:56 AM   #15
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@Alpenadiver: I think you may have replied to OP post BEFORE reading OP post #10. His hard drive IS NOW being detected by the BIOS, so his cables are ok. His problem is that his hard drive has failed and needs to be replaced (see where we recommended he test it; but he has not done so), and that likely his ACER Recovery CD disc or his internal cd/dvd drive has also failed. I made step-by-step recommendations for him to work around these failures [replace his hard drive, replace his internal cd/dvd with a usb dvd burner, and replace his ACER Recovery disc with a legit MS copy of retail Vista to test install Windows on the new hard drive]. Following those steps should produce a positive result; if not, his friend's defunct hard drive murdered his Mobo and he'll need to replace it or build another computer.

BBJ
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Old 07-09-2014, 05:34 AM   #16
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Ok so my friend is buying me a new hard drive online so I will be getting it in a week or so.
I did try an external disc drive and I put in a windows vista recovery disc in it and it came up 'press any button to boot from CD/DVD'. I clicked a button and it said 'Windows is Loading files'. The bar filled up but then it froze. I dont have a legit MS copy of vista so maybe it was the CD/DVD that caused it to freeze.
When I get my new hard drive my friend is going to put Windows 7 on it and hopefully it will work.
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:51 AM   #17
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It does sound like your HDD has failed,
To test this theory, remove the HDD and attach it via a USB Adapter or put it into a USB Enclosure with a power adapter and attach it to a working computer. You then can do further testing on the HDD from there.
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Old 07-11-2014, 01:03 PM   #18
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Ok so I got a new hard drive and I tried to install Windows 7 on it.
It got past the 'windows is loading files' part and now it is on the 'Starting Windows' screen.
Its froze on that screen at the moment.
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Old 07-11-2014, 01:21 PM   #19
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It may take up to 20 minutes for it to get past this window. If it takes longer, restart the computer.
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:16 PM   #20
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I just found out the problem.
It was the RAM!
So my friend and I decided to take out one of the RAMS I had and boom! it worked!.
There was actually no problem with the hard drive at all.
All that time and it was just a simple problem and I don't know why I didn't test the RAM, agh!

But anyway, thanks for the help I do appreciate it.
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