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  1. #1
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    Hard drive help?

    Yeah, I know, $5 on craigslist is too good to be true. Anyway, all I had to lose was $5.

    So I picked up an 80 gig Seagate SATA HDD, used, of course. When I plug it in, my computer doesn't recognize it. When I try to boot with it plugged in (note: not even boot from it), the computer locks up in the the BIOS.

    Is there any way to test this, format it, and perhaps get it working? Any ideas what could be the problem?

    I'm running Mac OSX (10.6.6) and trying to turn this into a Win 7 dual boot machine.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    no help, but I'd be scared about viruses on a CL hard drive. You're a braver man than I (or have better antivirus stuff).

  3. #3
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    Ah, I'm planning on giving it a thorough formatting and run through with a/v stuff as soon as I can get it running.

    I managed to get it recognized in the BIOS, but still can't access anything on it.
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    If you or a friend have a windows machine that can boot into DOS, you can give the disk a thorough clean up, which includes rewriting the master boot record (MBR) using the DOS DEBUG command.

    There may be newer programs that do this, even mac based programs to do this.

    Rewriting the MBR is important since there are viruses which can reside in the MBR, which are impossible to remove using standard virus tools. Also, a corrupted MBR can cause a hard drive to be unbootable and/or unrecognizable on the new system.

    I haven't done this in years. Hard drives are cheap enough these days that I destroy them and recycle them at the least sign of trouble.

  5. #5
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPlKE View Post
    If you or a friend have a windows machine that can boot into DOS, you can give the disk a thorough clean up, which includes rewriting the master boot record (MBR) using the DOS DEBUG command.

    There may be newer programs that do this, even mac based programs to do this. This is important since there are viruses which can reside in the MBR. Also, a corrupted MBR can cause a hard drive to be unbootable.

    I haven't done this in years. Hard drives are cheap enough these days that I destroy them and recycle them at the least sign of trouble.
    Awesome tip, thanks.

    I'm trying to find a friend with a SATA based windows system so I can run Seagate's proprietary utility...
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  6. #6
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    That's an old drive and you may need to set the SATA controller into IDE-compatible mode (in BIOS) for it to work correctly.

    Easy way is to download, burn and boot this Gparted live CD. It contains disk formatting and partitioning software.

    Dual-boot is a pain because you gotta save everything and reboot. I find it better to run Win7 simultaneously with OSX with VMware Fusion. I also like running Solaris, FreeBSD and various flavours of Linux for testing at the same time as well.

  7. #7
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
    That's an old drive and you may need to set the SATA controller into IDE-compatible mode (in BIOS) for it to work correctly.

    Easy way is to download, burn and boot this Gparted live CD. It contains disk formatting and partitioning software.

    Dual-boot is a pain because you gotta save everything and reboot. I find it better to run Win7 simultaneously with OSX with VMware Fusion. I also like running Solaris, FreeBSD and various flavours of Linux for testing at the same time as well.
    I tried changing the SATA controller in the BIOS, but as this is already an x86 machine (hackintosh).

    I'll check out Gparted, that looks cool!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bklyn
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  8. #8
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingingSabre View Post
    I tried changing the SATA controller in the BIOS, but as this is already an x86 machine (hackintosh).

    I'll check out Gparted, that looks cool!
    If you can see the HD in the BIOS screens, then it may be formatted NTFS which Mac OSX can't see natively. First, check to see if the hard-drive is seen at the hardware level:

    1. run System Profiler
    2. go down to ATA if your controller is set to IDE-compatible mode, or
    3. go down to Serial-ATA if controller if set to AHCI mode.

    Does the drive appear in either location? If so, it's OK at the hardware level, you just need an NTFS driver to see the Windows volume. Download and install NTFS-3G and you'll be able to see NTFS drives.

    All that is a lot of work if you're going to be dual-booting with Win7 on that disk. Just boot from the Win7 installer CD and pick that drive to format and install Win7 onto. Be sure to pick the right drive!!! As a safety measure, you may want to remove your current OSX boot-drive and set that aside.

    How were you planning on selecting which drive to boot from? From flipping a BIOS setting? That's a pain the a**. A great tool is the Chameleon BootLoader. It lets you pick a boot on the fly at each boot. You can pick a CD, usb, different drives or even different partitions on a single-drive computer.


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