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Old February 6th, 2019, 02:49 PM   #1
Mad_Poet
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O.T. Old Computer Hard Drive Woe

Dear Sirs,
Can anyone think of any reason why an old computer would only work
with one specific hard drive in it?

I have four old machines, (Versamark Printers if you must know,) with old
PCs sitting on top of them. Number 3 had a hard drive go out. I re-imaged
a 'new unused' 250 Gig hard drive with an older image for number 3, dropped
it in and everything worked great.

These machines date back to 2007 . . and the computers on them are about
as old - Celeron processors and I believe the RAM in them was the same as
a Pentium III used. The necessary card slot is the black ISA type slot.

So I had the bright idea of making fresh ghost images of the other three
machines, and replacing the hard drives with new ones.

Machine 4 was the first one I tried . . . and it refuses to work with the
'new unused' 250 Gig drive. It refused to work with an 80 Gig, or a 40 Gig drive.

I looked at the BIOSs - all four machines have the same BIOS. The other ones
had the hard drive setting to 'Auto', number 4 wasn't. AHA, I say, I set it to
Auto like the other ones . . . . still not working.

It works fine with its original hard drive . . . will not work with any other
hard drive.

Any thoughts as to what might be wrong?
Poet.
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Old February 6th, 2019, 03:02 PM   #2
BobB
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Did you format the drives with a later version of Windoze? FAT is not FAT these days - you will possibly need an older version of Windoze to format them?
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Old February 6th, 2019, 03:13 PM   #3
Lare
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It can be that boot sector isn't right. Try to fix MBR after cloning
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Old February 7th, 2019, 05:18 AM   #4
Mad_Poet
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Dear Sirs,
The number three machine took a 'new' 250 Gig drive with no problems.

The machines are not so old that one has to punch in hard drive prameters . . .
They do auto-detect . . .

The closest I got it to work instead of going into booting off the hard drive, the message
BIOS gave me was "A Disk Read Error Occurred"

By the way, ALL the machines are running Windows XP. I think I'll have to see if I can install XP on a new drive in that machine.

Thanks for the suggestions.
Poet.
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Old February 7th, 2019, 06:43 AM   #5
sigmadelta
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I remember that there were 40 conductor and 80 conductor IDE cables... just for fun, try using the HDD cable from a working machine in the non-working one with the new HDD. It sounds crazy since your old HDD is working with it, but you never know.
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Old February 7th, 2019, 06:54 AM   #6
Mad_Poet
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I'll consider the 40 conductor versus 80.

In the meantime, After number 3 lost the hard drive, and a 'new' (unused) 250 Gig
hard drive worked so easy in it (with an old ghost image re-imaged onto it) . . .
I thought maybe I'd better make plans on replacing the other three machines drives.

So I used Ghost, version 8, to make an image of machines 1, 2, and 4. Used an old XP
computer to format the new drives then used ghost version 8 to re-image the three
drives - one for each machine. Yesterday machine 4 refused to work.

This morning, I went ahead and tried replacing the drive in machine 2 with the 'new'
250 gig drive. Worked like a charm.

In the meantime, I still have other maintenance functions I need to work on . . . And
I don't need more than one machine working at any given time (And three of them are
working just fine.)
Thanks, Poet.
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Old February 7th, 2019, 10:31 AM   #7
Mad_Poet
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This just keeps getting stranger.
I took that 250 Gig drive and plugged it into the same IDE cable that the hard
drive is in. (Center position.) Cable select on the drive, and the machine booted
off the original drive. Both drives are there and I can open files on the 250 Gig
drive.

Poet.
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Old February 7th, 2019, 10:34 AM   #8
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Could the other drives be set to something other than Cable Select?

Or maybe the other computers can't use Cable Select, try assigning them to Drive 0
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Old February 7th, 2019, 12:13 PM   #9
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What if you jumper new drive to master and take old off, will bios then see new drive.

CS also needed correct cable for CS, but for computer from 2007 should have CS cable allready
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Old February 7th, 2019, 02:55 PM   #10
Mad_Poet
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I tried jumpering the new drive as master, took the old drive out and it still would not
boot. BIOS is seeing the drive.

I then removed the original drive, and installed the new drive at the end of the cable,
set for cable select. Loaded an XP install disk in the CD drive and installed Windows XP.
(Took about forty five minutes to format the drive . . . ) Windows installed good. Works
good. Boots good. Powered the thing down completely, brought it up again, still booted
good. But no Versamark software on it (yet).

I am now convinced the problem is the drive . . . and that it corrupts an image removed from it.

Put the original drive back in, booted up OK. Machine testing OK again.
Poet.
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Old February 10th, 2019, 04:47 PM   #11
wimpiesplc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad_Poet View Post
This just keeps getting stranger.
I took that 250 Gig drive and plugged it into the same IDE cable that the hard
drive is in. (Center position.) Cable select on the drive, and the machine booted
off the original drive. Both drives are there and I can open files on the 250 Gig
drive.

Poet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lare View Post
It can be that boot sector isn't right. Try to fix MBR after cloning
There must be something wrong with the cloned bootsector, especially since you can read the drive's files from the old setup and installing a new windows setup also works.
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Old February 12th, 2019, 12:46 PM   #12
Mad_Poet
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Problem appears to be solved.

It just kept getting stranger. The other day I had two drives on one IDE, OK. Today I
had two drives, and the computer said it the drive was broke . . . I also tried fix mbr . .
didn't work. I also did a checkdisk, and the original working drive won't boot any more.

So I went with the new 250 Gig drive with a fresh XP install. Installed the Kodak
software and fiddled around and got it working. I could access the printer and run
diagnostics . . but the 'Service' showed the parallel interface to be 'not working'.

On a good machine the device manager showed four serial ports and three parallel ports.
The machine has an ISA slot with a card which has two serial and two parallel ports.
So in desperation I tried moving the printer parallel cable from the card to the on
board parallel port. Lo-and-Behold it worked. There is also a serial cable which is already
on the computers on board serial port. So I ran tests, did OK, removed the card and ran
tests again. I'm pretty sure it will run our weekly production.

Thanks for the suggestions.
Poet.
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