Hi, I have a PC with 2 internal HD's, the main one (Drive 0) where the OS is, and a 2nd internal (Drive 1). When I reboot the BIOS halts with the following message:" Drive 1 not detected, press F1 to continue or F2 to enter setup".
If I press F1 Windows will boot normally and Drive 1 will show both in Device Manager and My Computer and I can access it normally without issues. If I press F2 and enter BIOS setup menu, it will show Drive 1 as "unknown", i.e., not present.
So, how come the BIOS does not detect it and yet Windows does?
I ran CHKDSK to fix any errors and ran a full physical sector scan and no problems and whenever I reboot the BIOS will halt with the same warning.
Could it be the IDE cable that is starting to show some defects? Or the mobo's battery being low? Thanks
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Thread: Strange BIOS behavior
I can't give you a great answer, but I'd be checking some other forums for this one.
However, if windows recognizes the drive consistently once you're booted up I doubt it's a cable or battery problem.
"Unknown" does NOT mean "not present". No drive detected, nothing at all, means Not Present. UNKNOWN means that some drive is, in fact, seen to exist, but it's parameters were not detectable. Heads, cylinders, sector count, etc.
Some non-standard drive partitioning software could cause this. Some defect in the cable or connector could cause this. A delay in complete spin-up of the drive is, in my experience, the most likely cause of this problem. This could be power-related or, more likely, just a mechanical problem with the drive itself.
You can often determine this by listening carefully, and/or holding the drive in your hand while booting up. The gyroscopic effect, along with the noise, is clearly noticeable. You could also try waiting at the "press F1" prompt for several minutes before entering the BIOS and checking the drive.
Try removing the second drive. Try a different cable. Run the drive manufacturers SMART diagnostic software.
Thanks everyone for their views. The SMART status is PASS, all SMART parameters are OK. As I said, there are no physical bad sectors in the drive and the logical structure is also fine (ran CHKDSK). I will replace the IDE cable and see if that changes anything. Will update on the results.
Is this a drive you just installed or did it suddenly start doing that?
If you just installed the drive, did you cursor down to the drive in the BIOS and hit enter (in case it wasn't set to autodetect). Check the label on both drives for special jumper settings; some drives need jumpers set differently when a slave is present (IDE drives, are those IDE or SATA?).
With IDE drives, you're best set the jumpers to Cable Select (only with 80 wire cables). Some brands don't play well with others, try connecting the 2nd drive on the other port.
nic2k4, I have used this drive for months as 2nd internal and it suddenly started doing this. And yes, both drives are set in the recommended Cable Select jumper setting (of course the IDE cable is an 80 wire one). Thanks.
Time to put a new CMOS battery in the motherboard, perhaps?
This is the Tweedledee. And oh, there's the Tweedledum, too.
Thanks turk690, yes, my PC is very old, but also very reliable, it has been delivering stable and good performance for several tasks for 11 years already. I've been lazy to upgrade to a new computer mainly waiting for that "wow"effect, I'm still waiting for quantum PC's to be available. Now seriously, since Ivy Bridge I decided to upgrade so I promise to put this PC to a well deserved rest soon.
Yes, the BIOS version is not only the latest, it's even newer than the latest official BIOS offered by Dell for this MOBO. See, my P4 3.06Ghz CPU HT feature was only enabled in this BIOS version and it's been performing flawlessly for 9 years already.
I'm pretty sure this issue has to do with the IDE cable, but changing the CMOS battery won't hurt.
By the way, what are the symptoms I should be looking for when a CMOS battery starts to be weak? I read that the PC's clock fails to keep the time....any other symptom? I haven't seen this yet.
Things eventually give up the ghost, components inside an 11-year old computer no exception. When I'm aware that any computer under my knife is 5 years old or more, I change the CMOS battery regardless. This resets all CMOS values to default, so you may want to inspect what they specifically were prior to removing it. But some settings may be corrupt or questionable, the result of that flaky battery so I suppose it's OK to start with the BIOS defaults anyway.
The weakest link in any electronic equipment is more often than not the electrolytic capacitors. There will lots of them in your PSU and mainboard. Even if they don't show any physical signs of damage, it will now take them longer to charge up to the required line voltage. The increment may just be milliseconds, but this can be enough to throw a carefully choreographed boot sequence into disarray. Another possibility is, in the time frame that the BIOS expects that drive 0 to be ready it's still not, then this is what happens now when booting. In most BIOS, though, there are settings for introducing a delay by some seconds before the controller seeks a hard drive. You may want to experiment with that if it's available. Of course by the time those messages appear the drive will have been ready that's why Windows sees it handily. Lastly, in the days of IDE, I was very particular about the cables: on any 80-conductor cable that had even the slightest wrinkle or crimp on it, I threw it away. 80-conductor cables are supposed to be a well-meant design to provide some shielding on the then-fast Ultra-ATA interface by making every other wire on the cable grounded. But it also made them more fragile; even slightly twisting the cables against the connectors (which now have smaller real-estate crimps compared with the 40-conductor) are known to make the connections intermittent if not completely cut. I learned all this the hard way through the death of many HDDs & mainboards in my watch. I went out of my way to use shielded round 80-conductors (as opposed to the conventional flat-cable types). This is why, in contrast, SATA cables are a godsend (unless they don't have a locking connector, but that's another story).
If things like these start happening, and some very important stuff are on these drives, I'd take it all as a cue to start transferring these data before the drives, and the computer, belly up.This is the Tweedledee. And oh, there's the Tweedledum, too.
turk690, I agree with what you say. Capacitors degrade with time and eventually lose their capacity to store charge. And it's amazing that both the PSU and MOBO are still working fine after so many years of almost non stop operation. Dell computers, at least that generation, were excellent. In all these years the only failures I had were the CPU fan which was replaced only once (last year) and IDE cables (I replaced the main IDE cable twice). I had occassional HD failures (bad sectors), but they were all repairable with software.
Yes, I always do regular backups (I clone the main drive, and backup all data to external drives) at all times, even if everything is working fine.
Regarding the issue at hand, I will report an update (if any), when I replace the IDE cable.
My first guess was the CMOS battery, too. Especially since it was fixed once you rebooted. When the machine is on, the CMOS memory receives its power from the system - when off, from the battery. If the CMOS does not match, then the BIOS SETUP will rescan and update the values (it is the BIOS doing this, not WINDOWS). All will be fine, until you power down, when the CMOS memory voltage will not be properly maintained, thus will error again.
An 11 year old system will probably need a new battery.ICBM target coordinates:
26° 14' 10.16"N -- 80° 16' 0.91"W
I don't think it's the CMOS battery. If, and these days I don't think it does..... but if the battery was enabling the CMOS to retain settings, why would a flat battery only cause a problem with one hard drive? What about the rest of the hardware? Plus usually a BIOS only stops the boot process when it knows connected hardware is different or missing..... so logically if it's stopping with a "press F1" message then it knows something's changed, which wouldn't happen if it wasn't retaining settings.
I'd be thinking it's more likely to be the hard drive controller. How old is the drive?
I've had "odd" things happen with IDE drives in the past.... two drives not playing nicely on the same cable, having to set the drives as master and slave rather than use cable select.... I recall having an IDE drive at one stage which locked the BIOS up when it was connected to a particular motherboard.... unless there was another drive on the cable.... then it'd work fine.
I'd probably start by putting the drive on an IDE cable by itself to see if anything changes, even if you have to unplug the optical drives for a little while to use their IDE cable.
Last edited by hello_hello; 23rd Jun 2012 at 23:03.
Strange ending to a strange issue, all of a sudden the PC reboots normally without any changes. In any case I changed both the IDE cable and the CMOS battery. So far so good.
So, you are saying it now boots normally without any changes, but you are also saying you made two changes? Does this logically hang together for you? It doesn't for me. What it does is provide zero useful information.
Yes Nelson, it started booting normally without any changes, I was unable to determine the cause of this issue. So it was some random behavior, most probably due to a faulty IDE cable. Being that I did not change the CMOS battery for many years I replaced both components (Cable+battery), even more so since they are both very cheap (I got 5 new batteries for $1).
By the way, now the BIOS no longer shows the 2nd internal drive as "Unknown", it displays the drive correctly with its real capacity.
Maybe we can add this thread as a new chapter of "The Twilight Zone"
All Riiiiighty then.
So did you change the CMOS battery and IDE cable After the problem started, but BEFORE it fixed itself, or what?
If memory serves me correctly about previous issues, I'm not sure I will trust the answer either way.
Hi Nelson, as I said when the issue was present and having done no changes I rebooted and there was no BIOS warning sign, as if it were a random issue. That does not mean the issue was fixed, maybe had I done no changes the issue would've reappeared randomly again. So I decided to change both the ide cable and the cmos battery and after doing so, so far the issue has not shown up again, which I hope it means it was fixed, time will tell.
Most probably it was due to a faulty IDE cable. My experience over the years with these cheap IDE cables is that if you remove/insert the hard drives, which involves attaching/detaching the ide cables, no matter how frequently or how carefully, eventually the cables fail and need replacement.