Troubleshooting in Build: Hard Drive

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Hard Drive Troubleshooting

First make sure that the hard drive you are placing in the desktop computer is the correct size based on the Build Specs worksheet. Make sure the system has the proper interface for your hard drive (e.g, IDE, SATA), and the cable is properly connected both to the hard drive and the motherboard.

NOTE: if you are connecting a SATA powered hard drive that ALSO has a 4-pin molex power connection, DO NOT plug in both the SATA power cable and the molex 4-pin cable. If there are SATA ports use only SATA connectors.



When starting up the computer, the hard drive clicks, chirps, or otherwise makes odd noises.

Something is not functioning as it should in the hard drive... recycle it and obtain another.

A SMART Warning on my desktop is telling me that the "Hard drive failure imminent", or some other indication the hard drive is dying.

Properly shut down the system (from inside of the operating system), unplug the power cord, remove and replace the hard drive.

I can't find the hard drive in BIOS, and/or the computer doesn't load Ubuntu after BIOS screen.
  1. Ensure that somewhere in BIOS the Hard Drive is detected or the interface on the motherboard the drive is connected to is enabled and/or set to automatically detect devices (for assistance, ask a neighbor or build instructor for navigating BIOS).
  2. If the hard drive is IDE, double check that its jumpers are set to Master and that it's connected to the last IDE plug along the ribbon cable. If the hard drive doesn't have a diagram depicting its jumper setting, you can usually find it by Googling the model number. Often times, no jumper means Master. You may want to try plugging the cable connecting the Hard drive into another IDE/Sata Port on the motherboard.
  3. Try replacing the IDE/SATA cable.
  4. Try disconnecting/disabling all other boot devices (e.g., optical drives, network boot) except for the hard drive.

If Ubuntu still isn't coming up, you might still be able to get into GRUB (GRand Unified Bootloader) and attempt to edit some of the boot parameters for the kernel. This can be intimidating, especially if you aren't yet comfortable with the command-line, so don't feel bad about calling over a Build Instructor to help walk you through the process.