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hard drive works but computer can't find it

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hard drive works but computer can't find it

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I have a strange set of problems with a Dimension system.  Came to a head this morning, when I turned on my monitor (computer was left on all night), my computer could access the BIOS, but couldn't load the operating system (XP Pro), as the BIOS said there were no hard disks.  Tried recovery with a FixIt utilities recovery disk, couldn't find any hard drives, tried with a SpyBot recovery disk, couldn't find any hard drives.  Both recovery disks could see the USB stick that was in the USB port, and correctly registered it as a drive.  Tried with an XP installation disk, couldn't find any hard drives.  Turned off the computer., left it off for a while, made sure cables were connected ok, not loose, they seemed to be ok, none were detectably loose, turned on system, same problem, tried restarting, same problem again, no hard drives, then tried FixIt recovery disk again, it found the hard drives and I could restore the system to a recovery check point, system now working like normal....but....

when I ran the FixIt SMART disk check, it said both my hard drives were fine, but, the primary drive returned an 'unkown' code of 15, this code means, can't find the disk!

possible related problem...when I start up the system, plug and play finds new hardware, an SCSI RAID controller, but, I do not have a raid system, and, if I cancel, I get 'hardware not installed', if I try to install the non-existant RAID controller, I get...'service not installed' and the installation, of course, fails...

So..anyone have any idea as to what is happening to my system?  Am I going to see a complete hard drive failure?

 I have restarted the system several times since it recovered, and there has been no reoccurance of the problem, but still PnP finds the non-existant RAID controller each time.  System checks out virus/trojan free with both A2 and AVG, SpyBot also says clean. 

Primary Drive was original equipment Samsung, second drive I put in myself, two years ago, is Maxtor, both IDE


Any thoughts?


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  • RKuczek

    What is the computer model?

    Are the hard drives recognized the the system setup?



    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
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  • The system is a Dimension 3000.  Device Manager says that it sees both my hard drives and they are working fine.  Drives are a Samsung SP0802N and a Maxtor 32049H2.  When I have accessed set up utility in the past, all drives have been recognized without any problem, except for the other day, when it couldn't find them.  The non-existent SCSI/RAID controller that plug and play has been finding, that has been happening for months, I have no clue as to why. That shows up in device manager as well, along with another SCSI/RAID controller that device manager says works fine.

    Computer has been working fine today, but I am baffled as to why the drives would simply disappear, why I have a non-existent SCSI/RAID controller, and why everything came back to normal. 

  • Additional information on Controller issue.  Device Manager shows two SCSI/RAID IDE controllers, one which it says is working, one which it says does not work.  If I uninstall the not working one. computer is still fine, but, a restart of the computer, and plug n play finds the not working controller and then wants to install a driver, but if you try to install the driver, the message is that you can't do it because the 'device is not installed as a service'.  Both the working and non-working controllers are listed as generic IDE controllers.