Why can't I detect my extra drives?


My computer has stopped detecting the E and F drives. The E drive is a third hard drive and the F drive is my CD-rom. Because the CD burner is no longer detected, I can't back up my files. Before the computer stopped detecting both of these, the cd-rom started to list a list of songs on a cd, but would not play a cd.

What do I do?


David Guest


This question was answered on December 6, 2002. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Looking inside your PC, you will likely notice both your E and F drives connected using the same flat ribbon cable Most likely this cable is loose First, seat the cable connectors firmly Be careful to reinsert in their same directions, if you pull connectors from their sockets Use a flashlight for light, as it can be tricky to see in there Check the tiny master and slave drive jumpers are in place on both drives, and configured correctly.

If that doesn't fix it, try another cable, or, to test that one, connect it in place of the one connnecting your C and D drives.

If the cable seems OK, suspect a bad IDE channel The do go bad sometimes, but not often You can test the channel with your other drives, but must reset the BIOS settings, first Consult your maanual If the IDE channel is indeed at fault, recommendation would be a new motherboard, or else a plug-in IDE expansion card, which might save about thirty dollars.

The way trends are going in storage, an IDE expansion card is never a bad idea, providing the power supply can handle it along with any additional drives Suggest getting the fastest card you can afford 60 or 100 speed cards are OK for CD drives, but for hard drives, better get a 133.

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Posted by Robert of Mesa Community College on December 6, 2002