Unable to Initialize External Drive <> Bad to Worse

  • lucassix
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I bought a USB 2.0 external hard drive enclosure and a 180GB hard drive to use with my laptop. So I put the two together, and plugged it in. I hear the familiar Windows sound when it finds a new USB device. It was recognized as a USB 2.0 mass storage device. No problems so far.

It didn't show up in My Computer, which was expected, because it is a brand new drive. It does show up in Device Manager, and it does show up in Disk Management:

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All I should have to do it right click on it, initialize, then once it is online, partition an format.

So I right click, choose initialize

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Choose that disk,

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The hourglass comes up for about 3 seconds like it is going to do something, and the light on the enclosure so it is accessing the disk,

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But then nothing happens and it says "Not Initialized" still.

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Anyone have any ideas? I have tried taking the hard drive out and formatting it in an actual computer, then put it back in the enclosure. Same problem.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I assume the disk came with a drivers/install disk and I assume you've already been there done that? What is that Win2K?

I'm just wondering how Windows is handling large hard drive support with a USB disk over 137GB. I've never experimented with your scenario. Disk documentation says nothing about it?
  • lucassix
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I am using XP Pro SP1a. There are no drivers to install for 2000/XP, it just is susposed to come up as a mass storage device, as it did. The hard drive enclosure is rated up to 300GB, but I will see if I can find something on a 137GB limit.
  • lucassix
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Quote:
The only current Windows operating systems that natively support the full capacity of ATA drives larger than 137GB are:

Windows XP Home Service Pack 1 (SP1) or higher
Windows XP Professional SP1 or higher
Windows 2000 Professional SP3 or higher
Windows 2000 Server SP3 or higher


So, looks like that shouldn't be the problem...
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Dumb question, but let's get the obvious out of the way. I assume you rebooted?
  • lucassix
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Rebooted, reinstalled USB ports, rebooted, reinstalled the device, rebooted. :wink:
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Another question. You using any third party multi-boot proggies? For example, I use System Commander on a couple computers for multi OS boot. By default System Commander hides, NTFS drives and partitions to avoid conflicts. If you want to be able to see other compatable NTFS drives you have to manually go in and unhide them with System Commander.
  • lucassix
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Nope, no multi boot. Also, Partition Magic can see the drive, but can't partition it or format it.

Western Digital Diagonostics can also see the drive and can even pull the make and model off the drive, but can not access it to do any tests on it.

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I have also tried swapping IDE cables and running the hard drive off another power supply to see it maybe that was the problem. No such luck.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Unrelated problem, but perhaps you might get some ideas from it:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardwar ... 90258.html

This might get you closer though:
http://www.ntcompatible.com/thread26938-1.html

Never occured to me to think about jumpers
  • lucassix
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Just tried missing with the BIOS settings reguarding USB, no luck. Have also tried all jumper positions and deleting everything out of device manager that even remotely smells like it might have to do with USB, still no luck.

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  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Check this:
http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic17470.html

I notice from your images your cd/dvd drive letters didn't change.

If I follow the solution there, try a manual drive letter change on your cd/dvd drives.
  • lucassix
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Changed my CD-ROMS to Y: and Z:, deleted the USB drive, plugged it back in, waited for it to reinstall, still no dice.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Crap -- I was hoping that would do it. My assumption was that your USB drive was trying to map to drive D

At the moment I'm out of ideas.
  • Xel02
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Can you give us the make and model of your HDD Enclosure and HDD?

This is really odd...Windows XP is supposed to be able to automatically mount the HDD. Do you have a MP3 player or some other USB Storage device? (USB Key) That you can plug in and see if it works?

Also if possible you should try plugging in the enclosure on another computer and see if it works.
  • lucassix
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Post 3+ Months Ago

:(

Well, I fould a BIOS update for my computer that was susposed to improve USB 2.0 capability so I tried that yesterday. While it was flashing it just skipped the "Back up old BIOS" step for lack of space on the floppy and went straight to "Erasing BIOS." I was crossing my fingers that it was the right one, and naturally, it wasen't.

So now my $3000 laptop just blinks random colored characters at me. But all is not lost, I can still hear Windows boot and once it has booted I can get to my shared drives from another computer in my compartment. So, if I can find the CORRECT BIOS, I should be able to reflash it and solve that. I don't have the BIOS number handy, but I did write it down. I will post that when I get home and hopefully I can at least get back to where I was.
  • GSlinger
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Post 3+ Months Ago

one problem i have with my USB port is that if i reboot with something plugged into a USB port, they do not function. they are recognized, but they wont perform their function. try to reboot with it unplugged and plug it back in after windows has booted. im not the greatest at helping ppl but that is what i would try. hope this helps.
  • lucassix
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Ok, the BIOS I am looking for is for an Alienware Area 51 Mobile 5620DS. The motherboard is made by Intel, the BIOS is by Pheonix Tech, ans the BIOS string is SHE845M0.86C.0013.D.0303111749

If anyone can find this BIOS binary or if anyone has this BIOS and would be willing to copy it for me, that would be excellent!
  • lucassix
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Crisis might have been averted, waiting on an email replay from this guy:
http://notebookforums.com/showthread.php?t=57409
  • Truce
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Post 3+ Months Ago

How old is your laptop? Area-51 comps are supposed to come with 1 year of free tech support including on-site support. You can call them and have them send you a floppy with the BIOS or even make them bring it to your door. If it is within the warranty they will usually do this free of charge. They might even be able to give you a binary over the internet.
  • lucassix
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yes, well, there are three problems with that plan.

1. I am the second owner of this laptop. Alienware only will give support to individuals who bought the computer from them directly.

2. This laptop was manufactured Winter of '03. Year warranty is up anyway.

3. The BAD BIOS image was downloaded from none other than http://support.alienware.com
  • lucassix
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Post 3+ Months Ago

WHEW! :handsup:

The guy from the other forum came through and sent me the correct BIOS image and the laptop is up and running again!

Now, back to this hard drive.

The enclosure I have is this one right here:
http://www.xpcgear.com/caseue705blk.html

I tried my USB pen drive, and it works just fine.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I came here looking to see if you got your BIOS fixed. Nice to see that. Now for the really tough question. Did you check the XP HCL for that? I could not find that model number on the XP compatability list. I can't tell from your link the manufacturer so I couldn't check further.
  • lucassix
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I did not find it on the list either, but I have found positive reviews from people using it with Windows. I tried it with another hard drive today (1gig) and it still didn't work. Based on everything I have tried, it has to be the enclosure itself. I emailed them for an RMA today and we'll see what happens when I get the new one.
  • tojimbeam
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I am also looking for the alienware 5620 ds bios. Does anyone have it or know where to get it?
Thanks
Jim
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

http://support.alienware.com/Profile/Lo ... loads.aspx

You need to create an Alienware Support Account.
  • tojimbeam
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I wish I could, but I cannot. I am the second owner of the pc. AlienWare will not even talk to me about it.
I have even offered to pay.


I'm looking for the bios for an alienware area51-m 5620DS.
Thanks,
Jim
  • tojimbeam
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I wish I could, but I cannot. I am the second owner of the pc. AlienWare will not even talk to me about it.
I have even offered to pay.


I'm looking for the bios for an alienware area51-m 5620DS.
Thanks,
Jim
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • tojimbeam
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Post 3+ Months Ago

i just tried that link..... it tells me that I am not allowed access to that file.
thanks
Jim
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The only thing I can suggest is contact alienware and tell them your story. I am sure they can help you.

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