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486 Not recognizing hard drive

This forum is dedicated to the general computer related issues we all come across on a daily basis, such as e-mail/Internet/Operating System/virus/spyware, etc questions & problems.

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Jongage
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2006 1:41 pm
What radios do you own?: Alot of old Motorolas

486 Not recognizing hard drive

Postby Jongage » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:10 pm

Hello

My beloved 486 DX2 is not working. Currently it does not recognize a hard drive to boot from, however it does identify the drive if booted from a disk. I have replaced the bios battery, however my computer knowledge is limited. Would reformatting the drive work??


Rob

Al
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Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2001 4:00 pm

Re: 486 Not recognizing hard drive

Postby Al » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:59 pm

Before you touch the hard drive(formatting will delete all your data and operating system), use the appropriate key combination to enter the BIOS setup routine builtin to your BIOS and verify that BIOS itself recognizes your HD. By changing the battery, I'm sure that you corrupted the CMOS memory that the battery supports. And if the battery was dying before you changed it, CMOS likely got corrupted. When you select the correct hardware configuration(hard drive configuration) the BIOS routines will rewrite the configuration to CMOS so the machine will boot normally on powerup.

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wavetar
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Re: 486 Not recognizing hard drive

Postby wavetar » Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:40 am

If it still doesn't boot after Al's suggestions, you'll likely need to format & reload DOS (or whatever you're running). The fact it can still see the hard drive after boot indicates it's just the boot files that are corrupted, not the entire drive. It can indicate bad sectors though, which even after a format & reload can continue to fail in a cascading fashion and eventually lead to a failed hard drive entirely. There are many free utilities out there which can scan the drive and tell you the sector health.
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Jongage
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What radios do you own?: Alot of old Motorolas

Re: 486 Not recognizing hard drive

Postby Jongage » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:24 pm

thanks for the support. How do I tell if the BIOS is recognizing the hard drive?

Al
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Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2001 4:00 pm

Re: 486 Not recognizing hard drive

Postby Al » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:39 pm

On the powerup screen before the PC boots, you may see a message at the bottom that says ' press delete(or F1 or F2) to enter setup' or a similar message. hitting the appropriate key before the screen disappears will get you into the setup routine portion of the BIOS. If you have a users manual, that should describe the step(s) that you should perform to enter the BIOS setup routines as well. Once you're running the BIOS setup routine, there will be a menu choice for telling your BIOS(and CMOS memory) what the physical drive configuration is in your machine. Some of the newer BIOSes can autodetect what you have for hard drives, floppies, etc. If you have this choice available to you, let the BIOS autodetect your configuration, then exit the BIOS routines. Then the PC should boot if there's no damage on the boot sectors of the hard drive.

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Jongage
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2006 1:41 pm
What radios do you own?: Alot of old Motorolas

Re: 486 Not recognizing hard drive

Postby Jongage » Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:42 pm

thank you for everyones help. I have it working, it wont boot from the HD now, but i can access it via boot disk.


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