Gone Fixin'


hey. my (very old) computer a couple weeks ago came up with a message first saying 'invalid system configuration data' in the original startup, and then upon searching said there was something wrong with the primary ide controller. in the 'system information' path from the start bar (start-programs-accessories-system tools-system information), and then under 'components' and 'problem devices' it said the primary ide controller was either not there or had incorrect drivers, and a similar message was there for the second ide controller (there were two hard drives). then she crashed, and half corrupted one of the drives. now all it will say is 'operating system not found' and a buddy of mine who looked at it says it wont recognize a hard drive even when theres one there. now i dont know much about computers, but it starts just fine until the system recognition place in startup before windows (it still sees all the ram), and the bios seems accessable and fine. i know this is pretty major, but ive heard its possible to fix it. is it? i dont exactly have the means to shell out for a new computer, and i really like this one, so ill try anything, even manual stuff like soldering to fix connections (im pretty good with that stuff), because otherwise its trash. hope you can help, and thanks.


This question was answered on March 12, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

The problem could be one of the following:

1 The cables are not properly plugged in or not securely fitted

-open your computer and make sure they are plugged in correctly (red stripe is in the direction of the power cable)

-check that the jumpers on the back of the drive corresponds to the setting of your computer (i.e if there is a CD-ROM drive on the same cable make sure both of them have the right setting for master/slave jumpers (HD-master CD-slave))

2 Total hard drive failure

-get a new hard drive, or if you have any warranty left call on that You can get a really cheap hard drive from your local hardware store, granted, it will be on the smaller side, but you don't sound like you need much (8gb enough? Around $20)

Soldering won't help unless you really know how hard drives work, and that is beyond even me.

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Posted by Alex of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on March 12, 2003