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Discussion Starter #1
Although I`ve tried the search tool on this topic, none of the queries produced helpful feedback.

I`m running on a Windows 98 Dell computer with 256 Megz , some default Dell hard drive (20 gigs of space I believe?) and an additional Maxtor slave which runs about 80 gigs.

BIOS detects my CD-Rom and CD-Burner but fails to detect the two hard drives. The CD-ROM drive also makes a beeping noise and after a few seconds on the first screen, an error appears as so:

Operating System Not Found

I checked the cables and such, and both are connected securely. Tried running FDisk and all that, but with no avail.

I`m suspecting it`s a virus, but not quite sure as Norton didn`t detect any.

Any ideas?
 

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I am assuming that the system was up and running well at some point. Can you give a little history as to anything that occurred prior to the failure, and how you first noted the failure?

Did it go down while you were operating, failed to start from a reboot or manual start-up, etc?

Have you attempted to get into safe mode (toggling f8 while the system is booting)?

Give us a little more info and we'll do our best to help you get back up!
 

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What are the specs on this Dell? Have you gone into Bios and set the boot order so that the hard drive with the operating system (OS) is looked at first? Your system maybe trying to load an OS from your data drive instead of the primary drive. Since there is no OS on your data drive the system stops.

Also was your system working before you put that new hard drive in the system? If your Dell is as old as I suspect, that hard drive will not be able to work in your system. Dell has a habit of building systems with only 200~250 Watt power supplies. If you switch out too many Dell parts with more power hungry parts your system could stop running normally or all together. This is part of Dell's idea of a locked box.

The problem I had with this set up on my old Dell was that the power supply could not handle drain that the rest of my system was demanding. And that was with the original Dell components. So I had to spend a lot of time with Dell tech support ordering replacement parts. This meant that upgrading systems parts was out of the question. If this is indeed the case with your system I would suggest removing the new hard drive and see how things work with the old set up. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
First off this is what happened when I awoke my computer from sleep:

Error writing to C: drive

It was the nice blue screen, so I was like hmm, let`s try rebooting.

Thus, I rebooted and that`s where it took me to the BIOS screen and where it failed to detect both hard drives.

Today though, that`s a different story. The computer started up with a scan but only managed to scan the C: drive. BIOS finally detected the C: drive (the default Dell hard drive) but not the D: drive, so is this a matter faulty cables?
 

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jealousy said:
BIOS finally detected the C: drive (the default Dell hard drive) but not the D: drive, so is this a matter faulty cables?
It could be faulty data cable, if you can find a data cable that you can borrow or buy try replacing the old cable and see if that works. Before you change the data cable, unplug each end of the data and check the pins. Bent or damaged or pushed in pins could also cause problems.

If these options do not work, then I would suggest unplugging the disk drive that came with the Dell system, but leave the new drive connected. Then boot up the system and see if Bios recognizes the new hard drive. If Bios can see the drive, then try loading the OS (you can always reformat after your done). If you can boot the OS and the new drive seems to work ok then reconnect the old Dell drive. After you reconnect the old drive, go into Bios and set the boot order so that the new drive is loaded first. Then reboot the system to see if the system loads correctly.

If it does not boot correctly at that point then I would have to suspect the power supply not having enough power is the issue and using two drives would not be an option. However if the system does not work correctly with only the new drive connected then it could be either the new drive at fault or the power supply issue. I would test the new drive in a system that you know is ok and see if it works there. If the new drive does not work there then I would suspect a bad hard drive. If it does work the again I would suspect the power supply is the issue. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, you guys, but the Maxtor hard drive worked previously so it doesn`t have anything to do with the power (I checked anyhow).

I checked the power supply, jumper cables, whether or not the hard drive spins, etc. None of which proved helpful.

In the end result, Maxtor's hard drive basically pooped out on me and alas, I lost all 1,500 of my MP3's.

Thanks for the help though, I'm returning the HD for a full refund.
 
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