"Installing two drives" question - what next?

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by Jim, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. Jim

    Jim Guest

    I just passed the A+ Core Hardware test, and there's one question
    from the test that I'd like to throw out to the collective wisdom
    of this group.

    I'd like to give the question as best I recall it, but then wait
    for some discussion from the collective wisdom here before posting
    the test's possible answers. It's a "troubleshooting, what to do
    next" question, and the point of my asking is that I don't think
    any of their possible answers were reasonable "next steps".

    As best I recall, the question went about like

    "You have just installed two hard drives in a computer, on the
    primary controller. The CMOS doesn't recognize either drive. You
    swap the drives and connectors with each other. The CMOS still
    doesn't recognize either drive. Assuming the jumpers and
    connectors were configured correctly, what's the next step?"

    There was no information about what kind of drives they were, or
    where they came from (e.g., brand-new, pulled from a working
    computer, found in the bottom of a box of old broken parts).

    I'll be interested in seeing how people would proceed from here.

    Jim
     
    Jim, Aug 1, 2005
    #1
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  2. Jim

    JohnO Guest

    > I'll be interested in seeing how people would proceed from here.

    Check if the BIOS is set to AUTO for that drive channel.

    -John O
     
    JohnO, Aug 1, 2005
    #2
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  3. Jim

    Gerard Bok Guest

    On Mon, 01 Aug 2005 12:25:54 -0500, Jim <> wrote:

    >I just passed the A+ Core Hardware test, and there's one question
    >from the test that I'd like to throw out to the collective wisdom
    >of this group.
    >
    >I'd like to give the question as best I recall it, but then wait
    >for some discussion from the collective wisdom here before posting
    >the test's possible answers. It's a "troubleshooting, what to do
    >next" question, and the point of my asking is that I don't think
    >any of their possible answers were reasonable "next steps".
    >
    >As best I recall, the question went about like
    >
    >"You have just installed two hard drives in a computer, on the
    >primary controller. The CMOS doesn't recognize either drive. You
    >swap the drives and connectors with each other. The CMOS still
    >doesn't recognize either drive. Assuming the jumpers and
    >connectors were configured correctly, what's the next step?"
    >
    >There was no information about what kind of drives they were, or
    >where they came from (e.g., brand-new, pulled from a working
    >computer, found in the bottom of a box of old broken parts).
    >
    >I'll be interested in seeing how people would proceed from here.


    - Connect them one by one (to verify that both each drive and the
    controler are functional)
    - Verify that your motherboard is recent enough to support the
    current drives.
    - Reset the bios parameters and try again
    - Connect one of the drives to the secondary controller
    (sometimes 2 different drives keep causing problems)

    Valid options that are excluded if you accurately produced the
    original question:
    - Assuming it's ATA: visually inspect the connector area.
    (a connector mounted upsite down shows this symptom :)
    - Assuming it's ATA: visually inspect the cables. (I've come
    across cables that had been 'modified')

    Very curious to Comptia's suggestions :)

    By the way: congratulations!
    --
    Kind regards,
    Gerard Bok
     
    Gerard Bok, Aug 2, 2005
    #3
  4. Jim

    JohnO Guest

    > - Connect them one by one (to verify that both each drive and the
    > controler are functional)


    LOL, that step falls in between the two steps stated in the question, if I
    were doing this. But since they didn't do it, it must be done.
     
    JohnO, Aug 2, 2005
    #4
  5. Jim wrote:

    > I just passed the A+ Core Hardware test, and there's one question
    > from the test that I'd like to throw out to the collective wisdom
    > of this group.
    >
    > I'd like to give the question as best I recall it, but then wait
    > for some discussion from the collective wisdom here before posting
    > the test's possible answers. It's a "troubleshooting, what to do
    > next" question, and the point of my asking is that I don't think
    > any of their possible answers were reasonable "next steps".
    >
    > As best I recall, the question went about like
    >
    > "You have just installed two hard drives in a computer, on the
    > primary controller. The CMOS doesn't recognize either drive. You
    > swap the drives and connectors with each other. The CMOS still
    > doesn't recognize either drive. Assuming the jumpers and
    > connectors were configured correctly, what's the next step?"
    >
    > There was no information about what kind of drives they were, or
    > where they came from (e.g., brand-new, pulled from a working
    > computer, found in the bottom of a box of old broken parts).
    >
    > I'll be interested in seeing how people would proceed from here.
    >
    > Jim

    You would have to run FDISK on both drives, making sure that, when you
    do that, FDISK is correctly told, which will be Primary and, which is,
    Secondary.

    To get to FDISK, you would have to boot from a disk that has both, the
    boot programs and, FDISK on it.

    After FDISK, you would have to use 'FORMAT' to make both drives fully
    recognizable.

    Christopher
     
    Christopher Range, Aug 3, 2005
    #5
  6. Jim

    Gerard Bok Guest

    On , Christopher Range <> wrote:

    >
    >NNTP-Posting-Date: Wed, 03 Aug 2005 01:27:14 MST
    >Date: Wed, 03 Aug 2005 03:25:39 -0500
    >Xref: uni-berlin.de alt.certification.a-plus:82942
    >
    >Jim wrote:
    >
    >> I just passed the A+ Core Hardware test, and there's one question
    >> from the test that I'd like to throw out to the collective wisdom
    >> of this group.
    >>
    >> I'd like to give the question as best I recall it, but then wait
    >> for some discussion from the collective wisdom here before posting
    >> the test's possible answers. It's a "troubleshooting, what to do
    >> next" question, and the point of my asking is that I don't think
    >> any of their possible answers were reasonable "next steps".
    >>
    >> As best I recall, the question went about like
    >>
    >> "You have just installed two hard drives in a computer, on the
    >> primary controller. The CMOS doesn't recognize either drive. You
    >> swap the drives and connectors with each other. The CMOS still
    >> doesn't recognize either drive. Assuming the jumpers and
    >> connectors were configured correctly, what's the next step?"
    >>
    >> There was no information about what kind of drives they were, or
    >> where they came from (e.g., brand-new, pulled from a working
    >> computer, found in the bottom of a box of old broken parts).
    >>
    >> I'll be interested in seeing how people would proceed from here.
    >>
    >> Jim

    >You would have to run FDISK on both drives,


    No. The question --as presented here-- tells you that neither of
    the drives is recognized by the BIOS.

    You cannot run FDISK or FORMAT on a drive that doesn't exist :)

    (But beware: Windows can access --and use-- drives that are not
    recognized by BIOS. But you cannot boot from such a drive.)

    --
    Kind regards,
    Gerard Bok
     
    Gerard Bok, Aug 3, 2005
    #6
  7. Jim

    JohnO Guest

    > You would have to run FDISK on both drives,

    Bzzzzt. Wrong answer.

    If the BIOS won't recognize the drives, neither will FDISK. Your suggestion
    might come into play later, however, it's not "The Next Step" in this
    scenario.

    -John O
     
    JohnO, Aug 3, 2005
    #7
  8. Jim

    JohnO Guest

    >
    > Next step - look for a cylinder limitation jumper on each of the drives.
    >


    Edjumacate me on this one....some drives have such a jumper? What type of
    drive has this?

    -John O
     
    JohnO, Aug 3, 2005
    #8
  9. Jim

    Jim Guest

    Thanks to all who responded. It's been interesting.

    I would agree with the folks who said "try one drive at a time" or
    "try the other controller". Certainly the cable itself could be
    the problem. I'm not sure I would have given up on trying more
    things with the BIOS, either.

    However, no one mentioned anything like the actual choices:

    A. Replace the C drive because it is now bad.
    B. Conclude that the two drives are incompatible.
    C. Conclude that the two drives are non-standard.
    D. Replace both the C and D drives because they are now bad.

    I'm about 99% sure of the exact wording, specifically, the use of
    "now bad".

    I don't actually remember how I answered (and don't know what their
    "right" answer is, of course). I probably figured that it's
    really, really unlikely that both drives are "now bad", and there's
    nothing that suggests "the C drive" is more likely to have failed
    than "the D drive". I don't know what "incompatible" meant - with
    each other or with the motherboard? I would assume (this may be
    wrong) that if the drive connectors mated with the cable
    connectors, they're probably not "non-standard" (again, whatever
    that means).

    Anyone else have any thoughts (he asked unnecessarily)?

    (Gerard Bok) wrote in
    news::

    > By the way: congratulations!


    Thanks!

    Jim
     
    Jim, Aug 4, 2005
    #9
  10. On Thu, 04 Aug 2005 12:35:50 -0500, Jim <> wrote:

    >Thanks to all who responded. It's been interesting.
    >
    >I would agree with the folks who said "try one drive at a time" or
    >"try the other controller". Certainly the cable itself could be
    >the problem. I'm not sure I would have given up on trying more
    >things with the BIOS, either.
    >
    >However, no one mentioned anything like the actual choices:
    >
    >A. Replace the C drive because it is now bad.
    >B. Conclude that the two drives are incompatible.
    >C. Conclude that the two drives are non-standard.
    >D. Replace both the C and D drives because they are now bad.


    I have seen drive incompatibility before. Once it didn't matter which
    drive was master and which was slave, and the other time it would only
    work one way.

    Tom
     
    Tom MacIntyre, Aug 4, 2005
    #10
  11. Jim

    JohnO Guest

    > However, no one mentioned anything like the actual choices:
    >
    > A. Replace the C drive because it is now bad.
    > B. Conclude that the two drives are incompatible.
    > C. Conclude that the two drives are non-standard.
    > D. Replace both the C and D drives because they are now bad.



    When CompTIA decided to prevent any professional question writers from
    participating in th groups that write these things, we started seeing this
    type of question. Blame the guys who wrote questions, then put this on the
    front of their book: "We wrote the exam questions!" They are still writing
    books, btw.

    BTW, "B" is the only one that makes any sense whatsoever, but you'll *NEVER*
    know what answer they are looking for.

    -John O
     
    JohnO, Aug 4, 2005
    #11
  12. Jim

    CLV3 Guest

    "Jack C." <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Wed, 03 Aug 2005 16:25:55 GMT, "JohnO" <johno@@&%heathkit##.com>
    > wrote:
    >
    > >>
    > >> Next step - look for a cylinder limitation jumper on each of the

    drives.
    > >>

    > >
    > >Edjumacate me on this one....some drives have such a jumper? What type of
    > >drive has this?
    > >
    > >-John O
    > >

    >
    > Some, if not all IDE drives have a jumper that limits the drives'
    > detected size to 32GB because some older BIOS's will hang when detecting
    > any drive larger than 32GB. Want to know more, just Google "cylinder
    > limitation".
    >
    > Jack
    >
    >


    I always thought that was just a setting in BIOS but I guess we learn
    something new everyday. :)
     
    CLV3, Aug 7, 2005
    #12
  13. Jim

    Gerard Bok Guest

    On Sat, 06 Aug 2005 23:08:12 GMT, "CLV3" <>
    wrote:

    >> >> Next step - look for a cylinder limitation jumper on each of the

    >drives.


    >> Some, if not all IDE drives have a jumper that limits the drives'
    >> detected size to 32GB because some older BIOS's will hang when detecting
    >> any drive larger than 32GB. Want to know more, just Google "cylinder
    >> limitation".


    >I always thought that was just a setting in BIOS but I guess we learn
    >something new everyday. :)


    It couldn't be a 'setting in the BIOS'.
    The problem is, that some bios are unable to handle the size of
    such an 'huge' disk at all. They just crash.
    Caused by something like '32 GB ought to be enough for everyone'
    in the design stage.

    Because many BIOS versions couldn't handle more than 32 GB the
    drive manufacturers created a 'solution': "lie to the PC about
    your size".

    (Yes, I know. But this one actually works :)

    --
    Kind regards,
    Gerard Bok
     
    Gerard Bok, Aug 7, 2005
    #13
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