Use this checklist to determine whether the BIOS has detected your hard drive, and to troubleshoot situations where it has not.
After the Gateway/eMachines splash screen:
Disconnect external devices
Remove external devices and removable storage media.
Disconnecting External Devices: If the computer appears to start normally, one of the devices previously plugged into the computer may have been preventing the system from starting properly.
Check RAID configuration
If your computer has a RAID configuration:
This checklist is only applicable to RAID when BIOS has not detected one or more of the required RAID volume drives. Unlike system BIOS, RAID BIOS, if accessible, will present a clear indication of the hard drives that have been detected. RAID BIOS will also present the status of any configured RAID volumes.
Check hard drive settings in BIOS
To check BIOS settings:
The Drive Configuration page (or similarly named page) provides a list of all detected serial ATA (SATA) and Parallel ATA (PATA) devices that have been detected. If this page identifies all installed hard drives, Desktop Hard Drive not detected is not the proper checklist.
Use Disk Management
Use Disk Management in Windows XP to perform disk-related tasks, such as format, change drive letters, convert to a dynamic disk, delete a volume, create a new volume, color code the disk detail pane, and for adding a second hard drive.
Refer tot MS Knowledge Base article:
How to use Disk Management to configure basic disks in Windows XP - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/309000 for additional information.
Inspect and reseat cables
Use proper Electrostatic Discharge procedures.
The drive cables may have become loose if the desktop had been moved or during the shipping process. Reseating the cables ensure that they are properly connected to both the drives and to the drive connectors on the motherboard.
Test the hard disk drives in another computer
If available, test the hard drive(s) in another computer.
Testing the hard drive in a different computer eliminates other issues and isolates the issue to the hard drive.
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