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My Dell Inspiron 6000 is not recognizing the hard drive


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My Dell Inspiron 6000 is not recognizing the hard drive

  • Hello There,

    I sent my inspiron to a pc repair shop to put in a new motherboard for the burnt out one it had in it.  Now, I got it back form the shop but it's not recognizing the hard drive. The technican from the shop thought it maybe that my hard drive was damaged and tried some hard drives he had hanging around but my computer didn't recognize any of them.  I put my HD in a external HD case & connected it to my other laptop & it comes up just fine.  Can someone please give me advice on what could be the problem & how to correct it before I send it back to the repair shop?  Thanks in advanced.

  • If the hard drive is ok I would expect that the problem is in the motherboard even thought it was replaced. Before taking it back I would try removing the battery and any user removable periphials , like cd roms or floppy drives and try it again. Another thing the tech might try is to temporarly remove the bios battery to see if the bios will reset themselves. I have had DOA parts before. I know that can be very frustrating.   

  • The most common cause of this problem is that folks forget about the "interposer" board that Dell often uses that goes between the 44 pin hard drive connector and the main board.  The adapter has sockets for the hard drive pins on one side and a connector that looks like the contact edge of a circuit card on the other.  It is the circuit card side that fits into the main board hard drive connector.

    I notice that you started with your original drive which should have had this adapter already on it, but I figure it might have been stuck to the old main board.



    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • JackShack made an excellent point. I had a technician here where I work who made that mistake when changing out a hard drive. The drive will not work in the laptop without that board installed.

  • The technican said the motherboard isn't the problem it's working perfectly fine its just not recognizing the hard drive.  I ran a diagnostic test on my computer and everything passes except for the hard drive.  I don't know if it's my IDE connector or what.  Your advice is really appreciated. 

  • Just to make sure, did you check the hard drive for the "interposer" board that Jack mentioned? On my hard drive it was more like an adapter then an actual board. it plugged into the hard drive over it's pins and then plugged into the motherboard. If you did not look closely you probably would not notice it. The hard drive will plug into the laptop without the "adapter" but it will not work. When I purchased a new hard drive for a dell laptop, I had to move the adapter from the old hard drive to the new hard drive. Again, as Jack said, the adapter may have stayed in the old motherboard or it may have fallen off. If this was a desktop this problem could be the hard drive, data cable, power cable, the pins on the motherbaord, or some other defect on the motherboard itself.  For this situation, The hard drive tested good in your external box, there is no data cable on this model unless you count the "interposer" board (adapter) and the power is in with the data connector. So if the connections on the board are good and the board is good ( and the BIOS are working properly) that only leaves the "interposer" board (adapter). I'm not sure, but I think you would have had to remove it to connect it to an external box. Unless it was already missing.

  • I opened my computer up today and you were on the money with your theory.  The IDE connector that connects from the motherboard to the hard drive is missing.  I think the repair shop technician is trying to hustle me for more money because the connector is not on my original motherboard either.  Plus, he was acting like he didn't know what the problem was when I sent the computer back to him.  How hard would it be to buy a connector & install it in myself?  Thanks for the advice.

  • Well, I didn't think it likely that it was actually stuck to the old board.  If you need to try to capture data from the old drive, however, it is necessary to remove the adapter in order to mount the drive into an external shell.  If you took the machine to a shop, perhaps someone removed the adapter from the old drive in preparation for mounting and the fellow talking to you was unaware.

    The part you need is shown here:  Inspiron 6000 Hard Drive Kit.  The interposer board can be seen in the picture at the upper right on the left of the hard drive caddy; click on the picture to get a larger view.  Parts-people don't seem to offer the part separately, but you could also try Dell.  I haven't called in a long time, but the number that used to work is 1-800-372-3355 ( just called, by the way, and Dell still answers ).  You won't find this on their web page, you will need to speak to them and have the service tag ready on your machine.

    Another approach to this is that once you have seen what the adapter looks like, perhaps the shop you took your computer to will have one to replace the adapter that they evidently lost.  It's worth asking, anyway.

    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • How do you remove the interposer from the old hard drive? I am upgrading my hard drive and ran into the same hard drive found.

    Thanks for your help.

  • Is the computer an Inspiron 6000?  Some Dells do not use this board, and I prefer not to assume you are using the same type computer as originally described in this thread.  If the computer is an I-6000, you must pull the adapter as straight off the drive pins as possible, with no rocking side to side if you can manage it.  This is a bit challenging if you are doing it by hand.  The reason for this is that you generally don't want to damage the pins on the old drive.  If the drive is completely dead it doesn't matter so much, but if you wish to try mounting it into an external drive shell to recover data, it is very important indeed.

    Don't forget that when you place the adapter onto the new drive you must match a missing pin on the drive with a blocked socket on the adapter before pushing it all the way on.

    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • Yes, it is a 6000. You mentioned "if...doing by hand". Is there a special tool that is normally used for this operation?

  • Actually I don't know why I said that.  Probably because I hope there is one for a technician in the trade.  I've always done this by hand, and some of the adapters are pretty stubborn.  I sometimes use a small screwdriver to pry it just a little, but you must be careful of this since the parts are plastic.  Once I get it started it seems to be a bit easier.

    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • I'm swapping out my old 60GB drive for a newer 120GB drive right now.  I know I've done this several times before, but don't remember that adapter being such a pain to remove. I finally just grabbed it, contacts and all, and pulled .  My fingers are fairly clean, lol. Guess I'll find out if that was a bad idea. Stick out tongue

  • Thank you very much. I had been on the phone for nearly 2 days talking to Dell and Western Digital " tech support ? " and they suggested everything to another defective drive, or the motherboard!

    After reading your post, I removed the new drive, moved the "interposer" board, installed in on the new drive -- and everything works fine! You were right on the money the first time.  It would be very nice to call anyone's " tech support " and actually get someone that knows more than I do!

    Thanks again!