EIDE -> PATA, supposed to be easy swap?
January 24, 2010 2:38 PM   Subscribe

I'm replacing an EIDE drive in my Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop with a PATA one, thought that would be an easy swap. But, of course, I'm here, so it wasn't. The laptop now isn't seeing my new HDD, so I'm guessing I need to update something in the BIOS (ver. A07, 6/27/2005)? The new drive is a Western Dig Scorio Blue, if that makes any difference. Little help?
posted by Exchequer to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
Are you seeing the drive detected in your BIOS?

To answer your own question - have you updated it?
posted by wongcorgi at 2:48 PM on January 24, 2010

BIOS says there is no primary HDD present.
posted by Exchequer at 2:51 PM on January 24, 2010

Last I checked, PATA is just another way of indicating EIDE/etc, now that we have SATA.

Can you tell if the drive is actually spinning when you start the machine up?
posted by jjb at 3:02 PM on January 24, 2010

Hard to hear any drive sounds on startup, the fan kicks on right off, but, I THINK I heard the heads seek for a moment on initial power-on...POSSIBLE faint spinning sounds, but hard to confirm.

My understanding also is that EIDI -> PATA is just a nomenclature change...
posted by Exchequer at 3:08 PM on January 24, 2010

You got the jumper settings correct? Many/most WD drives are somewhat unique in that they have separate jumper settings for Single Master vs Master w/ Slave (but, IIRC, the Scorpio laptop drives aren't like this). Get it wrong, and the drive won't been seen by the BIOS at boot.

IIRC, they ship with the strap set to Cable Select, which may or may not be appropriate for your laptop. Check the strap settings for your particular drive on the label on the back, or here, & compare with the strappings for your original drive.
posted by Pinback at 3:19 PM on January 24, 2010

No jumpers on old drive, used as Master (single drive, only). From Pinback's link, no jumpers required on new drive.
posted by Exchequer at 3:32 PM on January 24, 2010

Another issue is that the chipset may not support a hard drive larger than 137GB. According to this page on the dell forums, your laptop may not support LBA 48 which is needed to address larger hard drives. A bios update may fix it, but Dell's website is being unhelpful in allowing me to check the change logs for the BIOS revisions. A09 is the latest, so that may solve the issue for you.
posted by borkencode at 3:33 PM on January 24, 2010

With regard to the size issue, I can partition as needed to get under any size limits, correct?

Should I use an updated A07 BIOS, or go straight to A09?
posted by Exchequer at 3:40 PM on January 24, 2010

Most Dells of that vintage have a special connector that attaches to the pins of the EIDE/PATA hard drive that then connects to the machine. If you took out the old drive, and didn't transfer the connector, it's likely that the new drive fit but isn't actually physically connected to the computer. The drive connector looks like this, and may require a bit of outward force to get off the old drive.

There's also the possibility, if already you transferred the connector to the new drive, that a pin was bent. Check to make sure there's not a pin poking out between the drive and the connector.

The 6000 is likely to be subject to the 137GB limitation mentioned above, but generally that shouldn't keep it from recognizing the drive. It's unlikely that firmware would be available that would get around this limitation, but I concur that it's a good idea to take this opportunity to do the update.
posted by eschatfische at 3:47 PM on January 24, 2010

Additional thought: you have moved the 44pin HDD-> motherboard 'adaptor' board (the part in the bag here) from your old HDD to the new, haven't you?

If it's still on the old drive it's bloody obvious that the connectors are different, but I've seen on some other Dells where it's remained stuck to the motherboard - in that case, it can be fiendishly difficult to plug the new drive in properly (it looks like it's seated, but needs to go in another 1/8th" or so). Depending on model it can be a real bastard to get back out, but you need to retrieve it (I've used loooong duckbill pliers, but it can be pulled loose with a bent paperclip hooked behind the adaptor) & plug it into the new HDD before sliding it in.
posted by Pinback at 3:50 PM on January 24, 2010

Problem solved, partitioning now in progress.

Thanks so much eschatfische and Pinback, that adapter was the issue.

Now I can go back to football, have a great afternoon, everyone.
posted by Exchequer at 4:24 PM on January 24, 2010

The 137GB issue is only an issue for the BIOS, by the way; no modern operating system will give two hoots about it. BIOS reads are only done by the BIOS itself and the boot loader. So if you make sure any partitions you're going to boot from fit inside the 137GB wall, you'll be fine.
posted by flabdablet at 10:53 PM on January 24, 2010

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